There’s an idea often stated in creative circles that you can only be really successful creatively–whatever that means for you–if you’re creating something you love. It’s expressed a million different ways. Follow your passion. Make the thing you want to read. Ryan Estrada put it into the context of his own creative productivity by saying something like: “I only work on what I’m excited about.” (From episode 59 of Comics Are Great, if memory serves.)
Tackling a long-term creative project means riding a roller-coaster of enthusiasm for the work. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. If you’ve read Odori Park for very long, you know I’ve infused new energy at times by exploring new stories, characters, styles, tools and techniques. Still, there’s even more I’d like to explore: I want to put together another Odori Park book collection. I want to create an Odori Park graphic novel telling the tale of how Arisa and Colin first met. I want to finally get prints up for sale (for really real), and t-shirts, too. And I have other story itches I want to scratch, like a kid-friendly fantasy-adventure graphic novel I’d like to put together before my own kids are too old to appreciate it.
But putting together three strips a week for Odori Park: the Website means I never have the time to walk down those roads. (Heck, these days sometimes I can’t even seem to make all three updates in a week.) So here’s what I’m going to do:
I realize this is quite a change for a comic that has generally followed the standard web-strip model. Back in my first life in webcomics, doing the BorderWalker anthology, I learned the hard way that lack of focus can kill productivity, let alone enthusiasm. This time around, I’ve been hyper-focused–one comic, one schedule, one business model–and I’ve started to experience the negatives on the flip side of the coin. So, I’m going to mix things up a bit again, and I hope you’ll join me for the ride.
Let’s go exploring, and by the end of the year, maybe we’ll have some very interesting somethings to enjoy.