I wanted to create this Bristol Board and Ink blog as a place to talk “shop” about creating and publishing comics for the web. I’m not an “expert” when it comes to this subject, so I certainly don’t want to give the impression that I have all or even most of the answers. But, I’m willing to share my own learning experiences, so that’s what this blog is all about.
I’ve been cartooning all of my life, so I’m learning less about the craft of cartooning and writing comics and more about the producing on a regular schedule and the constant promoting. But none the less, I plan to use this blog to discuss any and all aspects of being a cartoonist on the Internet.
My goal is to talk about both traditional and non-traditional approaches and techniques. Certainly there is no “one” best way to produce a comic or to promote a comic.
I am not a formally trained artist. I unfortunately didn’t have a single art class while in school. I regret that fact, as I could have benefited immensely from that training. I have attended a couple of informal community art education classes over the years typically titled “cartooning” or “making comics”. They were motivational, but not very good in terms of developing my art skills. Most all of my art training, such that it is, comes from reading books and articles, watching videos, self teaching and a certain amount of O.J.T. ( on the job training ). This has always inspired me to “give back” by writing articles that demonstrate skills and ideas that for some aspiring cartoonist might produce a breakthrough developmental moment.
A quick note: Don’t be too self critical, when starting out, all our art sucks to some degree, but time, experience and practice causes most of us to suck less.
Rule #1 Persistence: The more you do and the longer you are doing it, the less you will suck at anything, so don’t get discouraged and quit.
Rule #2 Learning : You can learn from your own 1st hand experience, but don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from others who offer to help you.
Rule #3 Diversity : There is never only one way to do anything. There are always many paths between where you are and where you want to be. What works for you is all that matters.
Rule #4 Improvement : Never stop trying to improve your work.
Rule #5 Magic : Unfortunately there are no magical tools that impart skill just through their possession. The pencil or paper or software or graphics tablet that one person uses is not in an of itself going to make much difference. Obviously there are pros and cons as to tool choices but ultimately revert to Rule # 3.
I hope you find the articles informative, thought provoking on occasion, and inspirational. With all that said, let’s just take it one step at a time. And most importantly, let’s all have fun.