I think the most important things about creating a comic is to map out whatever it is you want to convey, and start out with what message you want to give out, and build off of that very little seed. You should also build hype for your comic before actually releasing on different sites so more people can know about it and encourage you to actually continue. – Vel, Countdown to Countdown
Well, the advice that I have to give is pretty simple; just start. The first page is always the hardest. Do the research, do the designs, do the hours of lying on the sofa thinking about narrative and plot and backstory but just remember- nobody is going to know about all of that, if you don’t begin drawing the comic! So go do that. – Modmad, The Property of Hate
If you are inexperienced at creating comics and have other responsibilities (eg. School, day job), try not to start with a 10-volume epic story. Walk before you run. Start with short stories. Show yourself and your readers that you can complete at least one story. Experiment with various themes, genres and characters –you’ll learn more that way. It’s alright to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and move on to your next creation. Many creators with long series’ fall into the trap of going back and fixing their first few chapters, which prevents them from moving forward. Some stop because life inevitably gets in the way. Recognize your limits and the time you’re given. That said, don’t limit your creativity and experiment as much as you can in order to grow. You’ll know yourself better and if life allows it, you can probably deliver the best goddamn 10-volume series there is. – Zelkats, Undying Happiness
I’m feeling so unmotivated right now ^^; but I normally get very motivated when reading other manga and playing video games >w< so much so that I sometimes only read a few pages and then I have to start drawing myself >w<; works with looking at great illustrations too, sometimes I can look at an illustration for like an hour (probably not really) and really analyze it… all the details and what not… sometimes I just scroll thru some pics and something catches my eye and I get really inspired too tho… *w*; and I have to draw… – rukan, SE;ki
I just have one.
Just draw it. No excuses, just do it. – SnaiLords, Snailed It
When I’m unmotivated I try to remind myself that nothing will get done if I do nothing. Even a simple sketch of a “useless” doodle is “something.” I would label it practice. I also tell myself if I struggle getting something right, I should simply keep trying. Easier said than done of course but if I hadn’t made a 1000 mistakes of that one task that means I have not yet mastered it. Therefore, I should keep trying and not get upset when I do fail. I should just move on and try again. Take healthy breaks. Though I admit I sometimes fail to follow myself. Keep moving forward. – The Kao, Mondo Mango
Don’t think of backgrounds as chores. They can be powerful storytelling tools; they can be expressive, like a character.
For example: what does your character’s room look like? Neat or messy? What kind of messy? Laundry on the floor? Books? Sheet music? Any signs of something abnormal, such as an entire wall plastered with secret photos of the object of their obsession, or piles and piles of whatever it is they’re hoarding? Maybe the room is filled with pastel colors, cute decor and fuzzy plushies, and you find out it belongs to a burly dude in his 40s!
Think of the environment as a part of your character. The reverse is also true: your character is a part of the world that they live in. They are inseparable. – keii4ii, Heart of Keol
An original name for your things often work, remember that 1st impressions are always important and try to always have a fresh style because people dig that (For example anime-like comics tend to get lost in the big amount of another anime-like comics). – Jose, A King or Whatever
I started making comics out of a huge attachment to my stories and characters – I just had to get them out there! but what motivates me the most right now is probably the comics community. Since I started doing Postcards in Braille last year I’ve been able to meet A LOT of very talented comic artists, and I’ve also made some awesome friends!! It’s great to have a group of friends who share your passion, comics take a lot of time and hard work and being able to cheer for eachother really gives me the strength to keep going. Interacting with my readers is also really important to me, and seeing people who care about my characters like I do is something very special. The comics community, creators and readers alike, is just a wonderful group to be in.
To anyone planning to start a comic for this upcoming year: GO FOR IT! We’re all constantly learning, and honestly, the best (and fastest) way to learn is jumping in and get those comics done already. You’re likely to meet people who’ll help you on your way, so you’ll be fine 😀 – kurisquare, Postcards in Braille
I think honestly the best advice I have about starting a webcomic is just freakin’ start it. So many people who mention they have a comic they want to start also tell me they don’t want to start it until they learn to do this or that. I was actually exactly the same way, and still felt that way when I did finally start it. But most of the stuff I was worried about, I’ve learned how to do BECAUSE of the comic, and I’ve gotten better at those things since I have to draw them every page… [It’s backgrounds. I’m talking about backgrounds. //hiss]
This kind of leads into a second piece of advice, which is… start small. Like, don’t start on your big story like I did lol. Use shorter stories to play around and learn how to do things you’re weak at. If you don’t have any other stories, maybe try turning a chapter from a book [or fanfic] you really enjoy into a comic — like, not just your favourite scenes, but the ‘boring’ parts too, ‘cos trust me, you’ll wanna figure out how to make those ‘two characters just chatting’ scenes interesting to look at. – Heather Meade, dream*scar
About motivation and staying with a comic: It sure isn’t a bed of roses.
My first and foremost thing on how to stay motivated would absolutely be patience and understanding that you’re going to learn so many new things.
You’re creating your own worlds, choosing the art-style however you see fit, you get to tell your own story and make your own characters. Obviously it sounds like fun, and it stands true! However, getting frustrated every once in a while will be a recurring problem, and you need to understand how to handle it and accept it. It’s good to be never completely satisfied with your work, but it’s bad to let minor mistakes crush you.
Also, there is this demotivating thing that artists seem to do and most of the time it’s completely unnecessary from the readership’s point of view: Remaking pages.
Artists should give space to the rapid growth of their own skills. Comic-drawing is a huge, fast resource for learning different elements in drawing. Be ready to see quite a lot of improvement between every 20 pages. Do not be scared of those first pages you’ve ever done: You thought they were good enough back then, and you should trust your past self. It’s most likely true.
What makes a comic great: Characters in their own home.
Characters and how I get to understand them make the story for me, since I’m a sucker for great dialogue. Of course this needs like… good 100-200 pages before I can make any clear justifications, but it is very important that the actual people living in the comic introduce you to how the world works rather than a random storyteller/author who isn’t even really there.
This applies to movies, games, books, everything. I won’t mind if the actual plot is kind of in the back somewhere or if it’s almost nonexistent, as long as the protagonists are entertaining and they make their environments and world more clear to you.
I’m not one for a book-read-lecture on how the comic’s world supposedly works. I’d rather learn it bit by bit on how the population of the said world live in it. – Cerberyusu, Year in Hereafter
To stay motivated, all I have to do is read people’s responses to what I post. In the comment section, people always have a story to tell, and sometimes have long, friendly discussions. It fills me with great happiness seeing how we all connect on some level over something as simple as a silly comic.
Of course, since I also live off my art, my Patrons and supporters are another great motivator. Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than the generosity of people willing to help me with my daily struggles (rent and bills) so I can make more art for everyone.
For new creators my advice would probably be: Surround yourself with inspirational people, art, and don’t compare yourself to people who are ‘better’ than you. :>
I think the best comics are the ones that don’t try too hard to impress… they come naturally and feel genuine and from the heart. The art skills will eventually catch up naturally if you draw lots.
Hope this helps someone out there who’s struggling! Art is hard, but don’t give up~ – Mikiko, Mini Comics
Basically making comics, especially webcomics, is something you have to do out of love of comics. It’s a lot of work, and you will probably mess up again and again with very little to show for it.
That being said! If you do really want to make a comic, make sure you can parcel off a lot of time, and summon up a lot of stubbornness. Endless time. Endless stubbornness.
I don’t think there’s any magic formula to success- but doing your best to make a comic that you would *pay money for* is important. Even if you give it away for free, the comic you make has to be good enough to stop you, the creator, in your tracks.
*Maybe* if it’s good enough that you’d pay your own money to buy it, then someone else might read it, and hopefully enjoy it! – harrodeleted, A Better Place
I stay motivated to create because it’s what I’ve always loved to do. I’m thankful for a chance to share my work with an audience almost instantly, and find that having an interactive audience gives me the responsibility to create new content regularly. A great comic to me is one that makes me laugh out loud before I share it. When my audience loves it too it’s a great feeling, like there’s an honest connection happening. – The Awkward Yeti, The Awkward Yeti
I never got any advice when I began my comic. I hadn’t read any comics. I had no idea what I was doing. But I had a story to tell and a friend who wanted to help.
All that matters is creating something that you are proud of. Something you like. Something you enjoy. Something that says what you want to say. Don’t worry if it’s good. The only way to grow is by doing. So do. Create. And have fun. – Dave Stankoven, Rainy Days
Staying motivated in creating comics can be hard – especially when you, like me, have committed to a longer comic! It’s a bit like running a marathon, except it takes years. But I’ve always been compelled to tell stories, so the basic urge is always there. I live and breathe stories.
The tough bit is to keep getting things done. It’s a slog sometimes, but discipline helps a lot! I make plans for myself so that I know what I need to do, and then I set myself deadlines. And I stick to them like glue. If I’ve decided a page needs to be finished on a certain day, then so help me, it will be finished! And working a little on something every day – well, it adds up!
Also, having readers who are excited about the comic helps! Posting art on the internet can feel a bit like shouting into the void – you throw your stuff out there, and nobody answers – which is pretty discouraging, but with Grassblades, I’ve had the good fortune to find readers who not only *read* it, but are very active in the comment-fields and basically cheer me on. ❤
Grassblades would still get made even if they weren’t there, but they sure help make the hard days a lot easier to push through! – Anna Landin, Grassblades