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Tiny Victories & Busywork
Posted By Scott Hallett at 2/15/2011 1:22 PM

One very taxing project at work and a few busy weekends and I've let my intentions of finishing one piece a week go completely off the rails. However, in this case it's given me some time to think. A friend commented once that they enjoyed the fact that I can self-evaluate and try to learn from it, at least in regards to my art. So that's what I've been doing recently.

I started this blog roughly five years ago after a long lapse from art, mostly through University (full time classes and work will do that). Comics were just a glimmer in the distance. Until expanding my horizons, and discovering things like the Flight anthologies, I thought I had to draw like Jim Lee to even break into comics. For the longest time now, I've been busying myself with what I call "tiny victories"; small, digestible chunks of "success" to trick me into thinking I'm accomplishing something. This has taken the form of an admittedly poorly drawn web comic, submitting finished art to forums, Drawer Geeks, deviantArt; anything at all. I also have a bad habit of taking on busywork, namely agreeing to work with any writer who asked. Not that any of these things are bad per se, but they are distractions from bigger picture items.

From writing lyrics in my high school band, to drawing comics, to all the media I consume in my spare time (movies, tv shows, video games, music), the theme has always been the same: storytelling. I've got characters and ideas running around in my head at all times. They've kept me up at night, distracted me countless times, and never seem to want to calm down. So what have I done about it? Taken every opportunity I could to put off putting pen to paper. Why would I do that?

The same reason I've put off or walked away from all other things I've really cared about doing: being scared to the core of failing.

Even when getting stories published in Fablewood or Popgun, and getting generally positive feedback, it was easy to shrug off as just being a small part of a whole. I've never had to stand on my own with only my work to bolster a project. The irony there of course is I can't think of anything more satisfying: putting yourself out there and having some measure of success doing something you love.

So here's what I'm going to do... I will still try to produce something each week. I may try my hand at single page comics, using Illustration Friday topics as a jumping off point. If not doing that, I will be working away at my own stories, finally getting these characters out of my head and running around for everyone else to see. No current idea how or when these ideas will see the light of day, but I have a few ideas. No more busywork; all my tiny victories will be my own, failure be damned.

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