The whole comics chasing thing. You really gotta want it. There's just no other way in. It'll be years before you smell any money. Forget about the money. It has to be a burning desire inside you that keeps you going.
And this is coming from an artist.
I take my hat off to every writer who throws his (or her) hat into this arena. Brian Bendis said he had mental problems. I have to agree. You gotta be that stubborn about it. You can put countless hours, days, weeks, months, years into it and nothing. People will take a gander at it and just pass it by.
I used to post a whole lot at DW but nowadays, I save myself the grief. I mean I still post, but not like before. Before I'd get so excited posting something on-line, waiting for a response. That's a trip. Mostly because everyone has an opinion. As dumb as they might be. Posting on-line at a web hosted forum exposes you to criticism. And there's alot to be learned from crits. It keeps you on your toes. It opens your eyes to a whole slew of mistakes you never even knew existed. It teaches you how to be sensible for different things.
But then there's the other side of the whole thing. Persona's getting into the mix. See, some people are just obnoxious. And they totally take advantage of your post to be so. And at first you want to seem like you've got the thick skin it takes just to make it as a pro, so you just take it. And after after a while as you keep at it, you keep seeing the same names. And most of them keep saying the same ol thing when you realize they're pickin nits ' Hey man if you can't take it don't post it up on-line'. And that there opens a whole new can of worms. Flame wars. Because by now you've done your research on them and realize they're no better than you are. They have even more flaws than you do. Maybe they're jealous and can't contain themselves.
You can tell a lot about a person by what they say. Even on-line. See when we write, a bit of our true selves are exposed. And you find a hint of jealousy behind all those words. And then you end up not liking the person. And they probably don't like you either but you both realize you both still want to play at the same sand box so you stay out of each others way. Maybe until the next time.
But the worst thing about posting stuff on-line is when your precious work that you've spent hours and hours on. And you wanted to show your growth as an artist. You wanted people to see how you've improved on the mistakes you used to make, but now they're no longer there. How your sensibilities have opened up to new things. And..... and....and.... nothing. Nothing. No replies. No comments. No crits. No advice. Nothing. And it may be because you yourself haven't commented on anyone elses posts either.
But as an artist you want your work to speak for itself. And it did. And that's what it had to show for itself, that no one gives a damn!
This could be a precursor for things to come if you ever become a pro. Brian Bendis said (somewhere I'm not sure where and when) that he's spent a whole bunch of time working on something and nobody cared. Can you imagine your dream finally comes true and it's tainted now? Because the celebration you're supposed to have isn't going to happen because nobody cares. The moment you've dreamed of for so long is now reduced to some life lesson like " Don't count your chickens before they hatch" or something dumb ass saying like that.Don't get your hopes up high.
Me? Everything in my being hopes that things don't happen that way for me. But judging by the way things have gone so far? I'm gonna prepare myself for that one too. Just in case.
There's a lot of negative burn involved in having the job you always wanted. So much to endure. And when you just want some encouragement most times you'll just get knocked back down. Get the whole reality check speech. You'll go through things by yourself. No one else cares about your dream but you. The mental stress. Not being able to create when and how you want to. You might feel that life itself is a distraction. The frustration of having checked everything off your schedule and finally have time to to get some work done only to be bombarded last minute. People looking looking at you like you've just walked out of a flying saucer saying "You wanna do what? What are you a fuckin kid?" All that stuff, you gotta go it alone. All an internal journey that no one will ever see. But you'll be better off for it.
Lately though DW has been great. There's even a new thread where Cary Nord is going over some good lessons in perspective. And other people are chiming in to help.
And that's where I take solace. Not just in learning new stuff. But in the work itself. Just keep my nose at my desk and keep drawing. That makes me happy. Knowing that I can escape this shitty world and jump into my own with just a pencil and some paper. Knowing that no matter what happens I'll always have that. I'll always be able to get to that place and be at peace when I'm working. It doesn't matter that no one will see it or not. I just do it for the way it makes me feel while I'm doing it. And when I finish? For me there's no better feeling than when I get a full page done. That feeling of accomplishment is heaven for me. It brings me back to reality. All the insanity that was overflowing out of my brain, into my emotions, into my fists (side note: my wife even bought me a punching bag, and let me tell you -it works.) All that craziness built up inside of me is released- creatively. When that page is done, all that is gone. And I'm happy. I want to see that my wife is happy too, that my kids are happy. That since I'm feeling great everyone else should be too. So the work and the feeling you get after a good days work is what I look forward to.