Mar 302011
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My shiny newness of today was mostly spent tinking around with a toy – as is really quite inevitable whenever there are toys in my proximity that are new. On extended loan from Amy is her old Wacom tablet, before today sitting alone in a closet quite rejected since she she went all professional big time with her precious Cintiq … which I must admit is pretty awesome and would be something I wouldn’t mind having if I could even for a moment justify owning it which I completely can’t.


So I’ve got this new-to-me Wacom tablet, and I hooked it up today. Took a bit of fiddling to get Windows 7 to want to play nice with it, but nothing too time-consuming. Which is for the best, as it left me with so much more time to work with it. Doing important things, you know.

What I create after having a tablet for 30 seconds.

Things like this.

Jett is particularly hideous.

It was pretty awkward at first, but after about an hour I felt a little more comfortable with it. Of course, comfort in no way improves ability, as you can see in this next thing I doodled.

Wolverine, by: Nikki (age 3)

Even Logan's healing factor can't help that foot.

I so clearly got bored with it and lost interest somewhere around the knee, whereupon I just said “fuck it” and started scribbling. He also appears to have lost a finger somewhere along the way.

Is it apparent yet that I cannot draw?

So why bother? Well, the lack of drawing is really the reason. I’ve mentioned a few times now about how I have a webcomic idea, but unfortunately (as is painfully obvious), I lack any degree of talent in getting my brain to talk in a language my hand can understand. I’ve been doodling, trying to find some kind of middle ground between a look that I can use for the comic and my gerbil-level of artistic ability, but I keep doing this doodling on paper. The problem is that every time I mess up a page (which is only every time I set pencil to it), I feel a pang of guilt for wasting it. Call me a hippy liberal tree-hugger if you must, but the guilt + impending failure makes me not even want to try. My solution? This tablet. Already I’m no measurably worse than I am with a pencil and paper, and I have the added benefit of immediately undoing mistakes (and there are many), the ease of correction, and a baby-ass smooth conscience thanks to not murdering trees for my personal visual horrors.

I started on that today, and it’s so so clear I have a very long way to go. But a while back I also mentioned coming up with an alternate to that webcomic, one that catered to my utter inability to draw. My initial plan was to simply transition the story ideas into this new visual style, but after several weeks of trying to make it fit, it just won’t. So now I have these simple, fun little characters but nothing to do with them.

Until this afternoon, anyway.

This is another thing I did today.

Proto strip.

what is it I don't even

Not difficult, not impressive, not even consistent from panel-to-panel. But fun and they made me smile.

I think I will like my new toy.

  • PhoenixAnew

    Since I’m in a similar situation, I’ve made it a goal to draw something every day this year, similar to what you are doing with the blog. I find that if I’m looking at a picture for reference, and I have enough time to devote to it, I can do a decent job. Before this year started I would have sworn to you I couldn’t draw either, but I continue to surprise myself. I’m a far way off from being able to draw my own comic, but I am finding skills I didn’t know I had. Keep it up, I’ll bet you’re better than you think too.