Oh Kayla, the world needs ditch diggers too, and professors who never really live their dreams. It’s pretty surprising how many of you really liked Kayla. I seriously spent no time creating her. Which might be why she looks like a discount Pinkie Pie. If a character is going to appear a lot I try not to design them with a lot of intricate details. That’s why Carol and Nina don’t have freckles, for example. I sometimes draw them that way in outside art, but in comic it takes to much time. I try to keep designs as streamlined as possible. It’s way easier to do that when you have to keep to a schedule. If you update whenever it’s not such a big deal. The regularity of updates is very important for monetization online though. so the easier you make the art in general the better.
If you look at your Penny Arcade, for example, the art is pretty streamlined over time, but the better the artist gets within those three boxes the more he makes things complex. In some ways he outgrew the panel. That’s a good problem to have really. It’s way better than always struggling to fill them. I’ve always struggled and wanted to show more than my capabilities. When I was feeling good, at my peak before getting sick, I felt like I was slowly getting to a good place. Getting sick knocked me back down the steps a fair bit. I was able to keep going because I have a lot of tricks now I can use to save time. The kind of things that people give you endless shit for in forums, but that get the job done. People who aren’t making anything actively get pretty high and mighty about things like that. Once you actually work on a deadline, and depend on your ability to produce something to survive, you lose a lot of that sort of douche mentality.
Digital art has made it possible for people like me to do things we’d never be able to do in traditional media. I used to spend so much money on paper, ink, pencils, and whatnot; only to fuck up hours of work with my unsteady hand. Being able to reverse a bad move makes this possible for me. If I were ever to get a tattoo it would probably be CNTRL+Z.
I’ve always felt let down by my college instructors because they told us that digital art would NEVER surpass traditional media. I don’t know how I was stupid enough to believe that. The fact of the matter is that they didn’t want to have to learn how to do it themselves, and the college didn’t have the means to teach us, so they just told us what we needed to hear. Who knows what my life would be like now if I’d been exposed to photoshop 2 decades ago. My name might be one of those ones that gets mentioned with the big online comic people. On the other hand I might not have ever crashed and burned into retail. The way I fucked my life up made all I have now possible. If I’d been successful from the off I’d probably be a massively tedious art douche. I’d be the guy who draws fucking… damnit, what’s it called… Dresden Kodak. XD
(I don’t actually know much about that guy. I only see him through the filter of his tweets that go viral and whatnot, and people who already hate him pouring poison in my ear. ) If life had never fucked me over I’d be insufferable, callous, arrogant… Well, a lot more than I am now anyway. I’d be everything terrible about the internet, updating at my leisure, while people kept telling everyone how good my unfinished stuff is.
I probably wouldn’t be any happier than I am now. But that’s as may be. I made the choices I made, and this is what happened. What I do seems to help a fair number of people and that makes me feel like I’m making the world suck less. That’s pretty much my goal in life now. Do as much as I can to make life less shit for as many people as I can. I have to work within the confines of my personal gifts, but so do we all.
By the way, if you ever wanted to see what Thomas’s nakey butt looks like I got a request for it and went ahead and posted it on Patreon for everybody who supports me. I’m sure it’s not going to be as popular as the girls, but at least one person wanted to see it, so I went ahead on. The link is Nina’s pic on the sidebar, like always, if you want in.