This past week I began inking chapter 2 and am currently 1/3 done inking the entire chapter and slowly making my way through the coloring process. I have found that the penciling and inking process are the fastest for me and much easier to get going because I can do that at work, on break and so on. The coloring process I have to be home for so I only make measured progress on that. Which is fine because when I get home that’s time for my family and I t0 be together and I don’t want to pull myself away from them too much.
Which brings me to a thought on time managament for everyone. When you are making a graphic novel, I really believe because of the scale of the project it can become really discouraging just how time consuming it can be. How do we get around that? I think two things are particularly important.
1) Try To Finish In A Year
Why 1 year? I think it helps you to get that sense of confidence needed in making these sorts of books. Does that mean that people who take longer are wrong or messing up? No. But! As you are learning to make these books, especially if its not your full time job, it’s good to be completing work. So when I took on making Adamsville I decided that the most important thing for me was I wanted to finish in a year. I want to have a definite date for completion, if at all possible. I did a couple of things that helped me with this.
I had a finished script. I took my time before hand, crafted out a outline, complete script and then sat down and broke the entire script down into pages and panels. Essentially giving me a road map for the whole thing before I even put pencil to panel. What that helped me do was see that the whole project was about 130 pages of completed art. I then realized that I had taken about two months to write so that left me ten months to work with. So that means I have to complete about 13 pages per month to get to my goal on time. Now I’m pushing to be done faster, but having that sense of certainty was really helpful in planning out my project.
I had also decided that I wanted to make the book originally in black and white, but after coloring the entire first chapter, I realized that this book is coming together very quickly in fact in the color stages and that I could handle a completion rate of three or so pages a week without much of problem. So I decided to go ahead with that. But the real reason I did was that because I had a road map I could do the math and see if it was smart or not.
2) Plan Your Day Better
For most of us, making a comic or graphic novel occurs while also working a full time job and other responsibilities. But with my road map in hand I was able to take a look at what needs to happen and when to hit the goal. I realized that I have tons of free time throughout my day that I probably spend surfing the web, starting at a wall or whatever. Now I have really wanted to work all digitally but because I want to keep my home time for me and family as much as possible, I decided I had to ink and draw the book away from home as much as I could so I could free my home life up. It’s worked out great and I’m finishing about five to seven pages a week pretty easily right now. So I’m head of schedule on some aspects!
So think about your own life. When do you have time? How could you use it better? And try to be as productive with what is basically dead time as possible! You’ll be surprised how much you can get done if you do! Here’s a great post my buddy Stephen McCranie made about procrastination and time management. http://doodlealley.com/2011/11/30/be-proactive-not-reactive/
Finally here is the chapter 1 image for Adamsville. Had fun thinking up this image. Work continues and will have a new post on Monday!