This week Mitch continues his journey of coming into his own which leaves Sharon concerned and anxious. If you are new to Helping Mitch or need a quick refresher of the story (since a certain creator takes so long to update 😉 ) you can find all the pages here.

I’ve been rather indecisive lately, particularly around minor details, so committing to design choices became the challenge of finishing this page. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the story is coming to an end in a couple of pages and obsessing over the many ways of representing music in the absence of the musician is a form of procrastination. (I hope you like the reference to John Coltrane’s Giant Steps in the background).

Although I’m looking forward to a new project that’s been on the back burner during the production of Helping Mitch, I have this weird feeling that can be best described as anticipated loss. You know, you live with your characters, they occupy your thoughts and dreams, you get to know them intimately, and then you have to say goodbye. I’m really going to miss Mitch and Sharon however flawed they may be. This is probably a good sign I need to get out more.

Loosely related to feelings of anticipated loss over fictions beings, I’ve been contemplating a lot about motivation and the ‘big why’ behind the work that I do. This was spurred on by a course I just began on personal projects as well as a conversation I had with a friend who posed the question: ‘If you are doing this for yourself, who is waiting for you to finish?’ What exactly drives someone to hunch over their desk alone for hours instead of spending time with real people when the weather is so lovely?

Honestly I don’t think I can fully answer the ‘big why’ at the moment and maybe there are aspects of motivation and creativity that cannot be ‘known.’ I just feel compelled to make comics and I don’t want to stop. I find the process of writing and drawing comics endlessly fascinating and see huge potential in the medium as an approachable way to understand each other.  It’s hard to articulate really but making comics allows this scared little girl inside to be okay in this world. The personal growth that results from overcoming the fear of putting your work out there and exploring issues through storytelling has been incredibly rewarding.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the external influences that drive someone’s creativity. Although I may have stated this before it is worth saying again: connecting with other creators has been fundamental to my own artist growth. I am inspired every day by the thoughtful content that you guys (the blogs that I follow) share and your determination to pursue your interests and passions. I am also really grateful for those who take the time to read this little blog and also engage in ongoing, meaningful conversations in email, the comments and reaching out on twitter. I think the ‘big why’ lies in the intersection of all these things which for me makes it worthwhile to spend countless hours alone  in an attempt to turn vague ideas into something tangible.

Of course these questions will come up again over time. As I grow as a person and an artist, I may have a completely different response three months, one year, etc. from now. That is truly exciting. Until next time, keep scribbling.

6 thoughts on “HELPING MITCH – PAGE 11

    1. Oh wow, thank you Sharon for the kind words! I feel like I’m still learning and have a long way to go before mastering the craft. I truly appreciate your encouragement 🙂

  1. Excellent work, and I find your words extra inspiring right now as I am “anticipating loss.” See, in a few weeks, I will be retiring from a 10 year career in tattoos (the thing that got me hunched over a desk while the weather outside was so beautiful, only in my case it was a human being I was hunched over) so that I can pursue my dream of writing and illustrating children’s books, etc. I wish you much luck on your endeavors, you are quite talented!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, taking the time to read and for all the supportive words!

      I’m really excited for the next chapter of your life. I’m equally inspired by your ambitions and attitude to just go for it. That’s awesome that you were a tattoo artist and I would be interested in seeing if this will have any influence on your illustration style. Definitely keep in touch, I would love to follow your journey in realizing your dream of creating children’s books!

  2. I just got caught up with the whole series and I think this is quite impressive! Your style works beautifully with the story and I can see leaps of improvement with each page you release. Comics are hard work and the amount of thought and care you put into every decision really shows. You’re quite harsh in your self-critiques (it’s only natural haha) but none of the errors you’ve pointed out are detracting from the story at all. Can’t wait to see more!

    1. James thank you so much for taking the time to read the story and for the encouraging words. Haha yes I think we are often our own worst critics however I don’t want to take drawing for granted and want to keep pushing and exploring the limits.

      I’m really excited to follow your work and blog which, from what I’ve read so far, touches upon some fundamental issues of cultural production.

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