|Travel Comic Page 1 by Vanessa MacLeod|
For the last five or so years, I've been sporadically working on a comic about the European backpack adventure I went on when I was 21. At the time of my travels, I kept a journal and wrote nearly every day, along with poems, drawings and little bits of memorabilia that could be taped onto the pages ( empty sugar packet from a cafe in Spain or train ticket stubs, for example.) Thing is, after 200 or so pages of "story boarding" (stick figures and word bubbles, basically), I became extremely scared of drawing the real thing. I didn't know how to start! It's so easy to get caught up in over analyzing everything, not feeling like you're good enough, and getting caught up in "perfection." Yes, it's great to have standards. Yes, it's great to continue to strive to get better and to learn and grow as an artist. But sometimes you get to a point when you need to let go of all that; just have fun, not be too precious about everything, and don't be afraid to experiment and try things out.
Well, so here it is. Page one of my travel comic. I used paper, pencils, ink pens and gouache for this. Denied myself the temptation of doctoring it in Photoshop. Plain and simple. It's a lot different than my regular full-page illustrations (where I mostly do digital colour.) But I really went with the flow and I feel pretty good about it. Of course, I'll probably end up hating it in some way. Even as I write this, I see flaws and little bits I could change. But that's ok! Sometimes it's good to just do it and then move on.