I love creating art. I started drawing at age 2, many moons ago. I’m sure I’ll be an artist until I’m in a nursing home. I can just see it now. Nurses will have to fight with me to put the crayons back in the box. Retirement plans aside, I’ve reached a point where I need to accept the that I’d rather write.
Hey, at least I can have a sense of humour about this.
Here’s the thing. Working on Cottonseeds the graphic novel has burnt me out, and I’ve felt that way for a while now. I hoped that my Independent Art Series would rejuvenate me, but that didn’t happen.
The question, of course, is why? I can create art, either fine art or digital. So why can’t I finish Cottonseeds as a graphic novel? I sat down and wrote a list.
1. It’s a bigger story than what I can express in art.
I wrote the first draft in 2009 as a 70,000 word thriller. Though I’ve tried my best, I can’t fit a 70,000 word story into a graphic novel. All the space is taken up by art. I’m actually starting to resent the art, only because the story isn’t being told.
2. I only have one brain.
It’s been brutal switching from art to writing to art… and so on, and so forth. Since starting the graphic novel, the breaks I have to take have been getting longer and longer.
3. The story is ruined.
Well, not completely ruined, but pretty close. I trusted a “friend” to help me with the project, as a mutual agreement, since we were both pursuing graphic novels at the time. Yes, it’s my fault for listening to his bad advice, so I’m not playing the blame game here. I’m just stating facts.
We had a constant email exchange for 2 years. He just wouldn’t listen. Cottonseeds is a psychological thriller with supernatural elements. He refused to accept that and held his promised help over my head like a sword. He tried to convince me that Cottonseeds should be some kind of action hero story.
(No offence to lovers of action heroes, it’s just not Cottonseeds).
All of his emails can be paraphrased as the following. I’m secretly a mansplaining asshole who will only help if you do everything my way and everything you do is wrong. Long story short.
Anyway, we reached a settlement (I did a lot of artwork for his own projects… without payment), cut ties, and moved on.
4. As much as I love art, I’d rather write.
I just prefer writing most of the time, and art once in a while. I’m not a full-time artist.
5. I’m running out of disk space.
Graphic novel pages are massive. I know how to compress so that an issue can be downloaded, but the files on my computer are just too big to handle. And I need all files so hand so I can go back and make sure everything is as consistent as I can make it. Also, see number 4.
6. I miss having the time to write reviews.
I would love nothing more than to open my blog to accept review requests. Writing reviews is so much fun and I haven’t been able to write reviews in a long time.
So, to sound all fancy, in conclusion, I’m wrapping up the graphic novel as best as I can with issue number 3. After that, I’m going back to my 70,000 word manuscript and finish Cottonseeds the novel The graphic novel will be a companion, always available to download from my website.
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