Thursday, 18 June 2015

My first comic festival Part 1

It's been almost a month since I had my first table at Vancouver Comic Arts Festival.  It was an interesting experience for me.  I learned a lot, and I hope I'll be able to do it again next year too.  But, being my first comic festival, and in light of the craziness of the months leading up to it, it certainly wasn't without weird emotion too.

With everything that was going on, I had very little time to finish my first issue and get it printed before the festival.  Basically, two weeks to ink, letter and colour everything (in order to have my comic printed in time)  All I had were my pencils done, and most of the dialogue figured out.  Now, I knew it wouldn't have been the end of the world had I NOT finished in time, but in my head I really, really, needed to get it done. 

When you are working on something you really love, and it's really important to you, it's easy to put too much pressure on yourself; you want it to be amazing, and you want to be proud of your work.  And you want other people to love it too.

Working 13-15 hours a day, while I practically ignored my family and other household duties wasn't ideal.  And as much as I can appreciate a deadline, the life balance was way off for a while.  Also, there were so many things I didn't really know how to do, so I had to learn as I went (things like lettering, page prep for printing, inking-none of which I've mastered yet, of course!) I worked my ass off.

Finally, all my pages, were inked, lettered, and coloured.  Long hours, but in a weird way, I would soon find out, I had just finished the "easy" part.  

Almost there.  It was the night before my deadline.  

I went to a place to have my pages scanned since they were large pages and I didn't have the time to scan them on my smaller scanner.  (That would mean scanning each page into sections and then stitching them together)  Time consuming to say the least.  And I also didn't know how to do it seamlessly.  It would have taken me a very long time.  I got home with my pages scanned onto a little hard-drive, feeling like I was gonna make it!  I looked at the scans on my computer and then I realized something...

When I first started drawing this comic, I decided to use the paper that already has the margins/bleed/safe-zone lines on the page.  I thought they would save time for me so that I wouldn't have to do the measuring myself.  That's all very well, but what I didn't realize ~ and if you're a comic artist I promise you will cringe reading this ~ was that those blue margin lines would show in the scans.  Of course they would!  They don't magically disappear once you're done with them!  Especially on the pages where my art was full-bleed (for those who don't know, this is where the art runs right to the edge of the page), if nothing was to be cropped, then you'd see those little dashed lines running up through the page and through my art.  

My heart sank.  I couldn't believe I had done such a stupid thing!  That would basically mean cropping all my pages AND I couldn't have any pages with bleed.  And it would all take TIME!!  I was so pissed off at myself.

I worked hard to fix and resize all 28 pages.  And getting everything print-ready was so new to me.  And I didn't quite know if I was doing it correctly; if my page sizes were okay and the margins were correct.  

Then my printing deadline came and went.  And I wasn't done.  I wasn't really close to being done.  And I was devastated.  I wanted to give up.

After a good cry that night, and a restless sleep, I woke up the next morning feeling a bit better and decided I would do the best I could do, and hope that there was still a small chance my comic could be done in time.  If not, fine.  I'm an adult.  It's okay.  There would be many more opportunities, and I'd still have my art I could sell anyway.  Fine.  

So, I kept working on it.  And finally, about a week later it was all done.  

I'll admit I wasn't 100% happy with it.  I was disappointed that I had to crop the pages, and my cover wasn't what I wanted it to be, but I knew that if I let myself I probably could've worked on it forever and still not be totally satisfied.  

I emailed all my files to the printers and crossed my fingers.  But I couldn't just chill out now.  I had all the other things I had to do to get ready for the festival.  It was less than two weeks away...

Still working on the dialogue here.

Everything is now ready to be inked and coloured.
All my tools to get it done.
Colouring with watercolour pencils.
A page
Getting there...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Etsy Shop