Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Phantom Hourglass

Edit: Uploaded a larger version so you can actually SEE what's in the sketch when you click on the image.

How do people have jobs? Seriously, from the time I wake to the time I collapse I am either working, thinking about what to work on next or aggressively unwinding so I can remain sane enough to work. The more I learn about this webcomic world, the more I realize how behind I am.

Then again, I put myself in these situations. I want to be a badass, but badass requires effort. Today started a five week effort in which I will present the parents arc in color, with update days expanding into Sunday. It should be awesome enough to make up for the awkward timeline shift. The only problem is that I'm currently working without a net! I used my entire month of buffer strips to take care of many other art things in my life. I put myself out there and drummed up lots of support. I tweaked the website to be more awesome with each incarnation. I made a bunch of giant paintings and submitted them to a show. For the next Precocious strips? I sketched them out! That's a good thing, but it still leaves inking and coloring.

Oh god, the coloring. With any luck, I'll speed up as I go. Right now I'm like an awkward teenage trying to take off a difficult bra. It's still rewarding in the end, but the process is lengthy and disheartening.

Fortunately, I don't have to color this one quite yet. This is the "cover" illustration, which won't run until the arc is completed. I'm not sure how much comes across, since I messed up repeatedly to cause eraser (and, subsequently, scanner) hell. It should be nice and spiffy in the end, but for now you get a sketch on the sketch blog. (I didn't see it coming.)

The new goal is to produce two strips a day, allowing the buffer to build up anew. In addition, I have general ad/website/life maintenance to do. That's a full time job in itself, so I have to choose my battles. Finally, I need to keep the sketching and art going to fuel the blog/my soul. If painting becomes a relaxing luxury, that would actually be pretty sweet.

Right now, my unwind time is spent playing a certain Zelda game you should be guess from the post title. It's one of the best designed games I've ever played, and it is a lot of fun... but to play a game in which the temple one visits over and over is a race against the clock that ends with your soul being sucked out if you fail... what was I thinking? Last night I screwed up repeatedly, died (had the item to save me at least) and nearly ran out of time. I finished the dungeon with 9 seconds to go, which is not only miserable pacing, but meant I was stressing and panciking all through the last three floors. WAY TO UNWIND, ME!

For my next trick, I'm going to sooth my aching drawing hand by putting it in a blender!

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