For Real Though

I believe that every person on earth has innate worth, talent, and unique things to offer the world. And that’s the thing about living is people combining their different strengths to make great things or change things and so on.

But I used to base all my self-esteem on how good my grades were and how well I drew. This is a completely unsustainable way to live and it fell apart during early 2011. I had a huge emotional crisis and was convinced that my drawings were complete shit and I was going nowhere and life was a long struggle towards death. So I made a pact to value myself and my work more. The Bug Boys were born during this time, they sprang right from this idea of trusting myself and using my earned skills and intuition to make comics, rather than approaching everything as a struggle that I might fail at.

Every comic I have used this approach on has been a huge success, both in my own mind and with other students and professors.

The other day, one of my art professors said “what feels the best isn’t necessarily the best way to make a picture” and I completely disagree. If you’re fighting yourself, you’ll never win.

And I’m completely sick of the idea that there’s one “Good” way to make a picture/comic etc. There are thousands of ways to tell the story you want to tell. I think of “Good” drawing as being the belief that there’s an algorithm you can crunch that will produce an interesting image when you put in your content for x and solve for y. When people say the “SVA house style” this is what I mean. And we need to reject this in its entirety.

I’ve been using the phrase “draw what’s in your heart” to sum up these paragraphs into a handy phrase and I think my peers have been thinking I was being condescending but it’s too long to be like “everyone has innate worth and blah blah…”

While drawing, I try to ask myself these questions:

  • What makes this have value?
  • What am I trying to convey in this and how can I make that clearer?
  • If drawing isn’t fun, what can I do to make this engaging to me?
  • Think back on WHY you set down the path to be an artist. You do have the potential to offer great things, but first you must realize and cultivate it!

Accent theme by Handsome Code

Drawings, Illustration, and Comics by Laura Knetzger.
I live in New York but I hail from Seattle.
Contact me:
Twitter: @Rhinob

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Bug Boys

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