Staring at a blank page is one of the worst things about drawing. You know you want to draw something and you know you want it to look a certain way. But can you do it?
It's something that's haunted me since I first picked up a pencil and is a recurring frustration I have daily. Which is really bad when you're trying to get a book done.
Being surrounded by comics is not always a good thing. You're constantly reminded about your artistic shortcomings. When I was younger, I would have to remind myself these talented artists had been at it awhile and knew what they were doing. Now, I curse myself for the breaks in my art that I could have progressed myself further along that I am.
With finally getting this book out, I had to set aside a lot of issues I have with my style and current talent level. It's kept me from getting this book done for all these years. But the need to get the book out finally outweighed my need to "get there" with my art. Remarkable, I've printed 48 pages of story and art because of this need. And believe it or not, I don't hate what I see like I thought I would.
But that doesn't mean it's still not a constant struggle just because I've allowed myself to "get by." As by this post you can tell, it's like "Groundhog Day." This page is done. But as soon as you flip it to the side, here's another blank page waiting like you've not done a thing. And it starts all over again.
Is there a fix? An easy method to get past it? No. But there is a workaround.
Its better than not doing anything at all. Who knows? What you do, you might actually like and you're one step closer to your goal. So far it's working for me.
In my graphic design career, I'm known as Mr. Deadline. Always make impossible deadlines with plenty of time to spare, that's me. But when it comes to my own material, well, I'm not so johnnie-on-the-spot with that. This website is a prime example.
As some friends will attest (looking at you Jeremy King), the wait for this site has been well over a year in the making. But between my paying work, family and yes, finally getting my book on some sort of schedule, the website has been low down on the objective list. But as I go further along in my publishing, I realize that having something that I can update as I go along this journey can be beneficial to both me and my project. My hope is that it might give me that push in the morning to focus on my drawing and writing and not let my obsessive need to keep my business going be my only priority.
Hope to keep updating the site as best I can with the usual website attractions, sketches, colored work, etc. I don't do the Facebook or Twitter thing. At least not yet, so this is the only place you can visit for updates.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.