Can't do what I could do before [SUPPORT REQUEST]

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Aunt Herbert 1 week ago.

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm supposed to be a comic artist (I stopped working to be a full-time illustrator in 2021, I'm french), but the fact is that I can't draw comics anymore. I've submitted some projects for two years : first year, I've been told I wasn't good enough and should get someone to draw my scenario by a professional artist, and this year I managed to show my work to two major french editors who were hyped by my project. The problem ? Graphism again. So they are not wrong with a drawing weakness apparently. They told me the story was good. The graphism was uneven in a way, but they were defintely some really good ideas, in particular with the tone, the camera views and the story itself. They kept my projects saying : improve.

    The fact is that I draw litteraly every day to improve my work. I sell my illustrations, I draw commissions, I make some posters for events... But I can not draw comics anymore. I'm stuck. I feel like it worth nothing. I recently read my roughs again, and they are good, there are so many people saying that "it will work", "one of my favorite story" (from a scenarist teacher, well-known in France), and "when it will be time it will be great" (I've a lot of family supports). I've followed a two year courses of comic drawing, but it was a loss of time and money. The teachers were not kind and out-subject, the director was a pure pain, most of the time it felt like kindergarden... Some professional artists I've met are not sweet, but that's ok as it gives valuable "impartial" feedbacks (some of the artists are haters, but that's ok).

    I just feel like it's not worth it, that my story are not good enough to be told. I'm afraid I won't make it. Cause it scares me to be at my desk for anything else than a "one shot illustration". I keep ont trying different style (mainly digitial but traditional with china ink, fine line etc) and read about 3 comics a week (let's say graphic novels, comics, french-style comics, mangas).

    I've everything an human needs to be happy : but I can't f* make it...

    I've not the social skills to benefit from others (I doubt when someone say my work is good - sometimes I'm estonished when someone buy from me, that's just awkard when the person is at my table looking at me looking at him/her with a "what are you doing, why are you here and why are you buying, you should be desoriented, can I help you ?" stare.), and I just can't reach this one professional scenarist teacher who told me she would be ok to work with me on my project... I'm afraid of being used... well... wary, self-depreciative, despairing, no value...

    Aside, I ve got one artist friend who is a skilled artist - we met at art school, but he lives far from me : his style won't match my ideas, but I work with him building a good scenario for his project. And I think I'm good at it. Helping others. But I can't do it for myself it appears ?

    Please, help.

    How can I succeed...

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    hey, first of all i wanna say i acknowledge your frustration, drawing is a pain. i love it more than almost everything, but holy shit is it hard. also, never mind pretentious artists who put your work down, sounds like they're either insecure or self-centered and cruel. i've been drawing for 10 years (not consistently enough, and not really practicing in a productive manner either) and i'm not where i need to be yet. i just seriously started working on it for the past two months.

    i also want to draw and illustrate graphic novels (et je suis française aussi ahaha). for sure, you need good bases to draw, an understanding of anatomy before you can stylise your human figures more. one of my favourite authors is joann sfar. his style is messy, but i'm sure it works because he understands perspective and anatomy. that being said, do you feel you're at a place where you have a sufficient understanding of these things? personally i know i'm not there, so i haven't really started stylising my drawings yet (but that doesn't mean you can't obv).

    i guess what i'm trying to say is, do you think you need to learn more before moving on? do you think you could find professionals online or in person to review your art and give you tips (i know people do that on this site)? maybe this would help you figure out specifically what you need to improve, and you could then practice these things smartly. i'm saying smartly because i really did spend 10 years practicing in an inefficient manner, not practicing my anatomy, not practicing perspective or simplifying the human form etc. i essentially would just look at references and reproduce them line for line on paper. i got good at doing that, but it brought me nowhere near the competences i need to draw my graphic novels. i'm just now starting to practice in a productive manner.

    this is getting long and my comment really isn't structured, but maybe we can exchange more later ahaha


    I don't think I can be helpful, but may I indulge my curiosity? Because, when you say "I can't draw comics anymore", there are two possible interpretations: a) People don't let me draw comics (to publish) and b) I had actual skill at drawing comics, that I can no longer access.

    Or, given how ambivalent your description of the problem is, c) a somewhat complex mixture of causality and interference between a) and b)

    The reason I try to make the distinction is, because problem a) and problem b) seems to ask for completely different solutions, a) boils down to basically a public relations problem (or a problem of how to sell your soul in an adverse cultural environment), while b) seems to be a very personal quest to regain lost creativity.

    And sticking with the theme of me asking clueless questions: What is the actual difference between drawing an illustration (which you clearly still seem to be capable of) and drawing a comic, if story line and camera angles aren't the issue? (Which I would have naively guessed to be the biggest hurdle to overcome).

    And, if you were once able to bridge that gap, and now no longer are, do you still have memories of the time before you lost that ability, or memorabilia (your art from back then?) to help you restore that memory?

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