Sunday, 14 December 2014

Why Do You Do What You Do?

Several years ago I moved from one side of the world and started a new life.

It is both no where near as dramatic as that sounds, but yet also even more dramatic than I sometimes realize.

I moved for the best reason there is; Love.

I was in my thirties, doing okay in my day job, hadn't even realized that comics could be something I could do, and had a family to think of.

A little less than three weeks after arriving at my new home, I had a job which made me comfortable in so many ways, but also meant that I didn't have any where near as much time as I used to have.

It was a good thing and a bad thing. I really didn't process what was happening to me, and didn't really come to terms with how big a life change I had undergone.

When one moves to a completely other country in their thirties, they give up a big part of what makes them who they are - their friends - and they never really address this.

So much changed so quickly, that I never really stopped to think about how I had stopped being me in so many ways, and still continue to try to learn what that means.

Then something happened in the day job - the hours were long, the pay was enough to make us comfortable, but the people I worked with became...difficult.

I had no friends to talk to about this, I had no release to express how I was feeling, and so I started to think about comics a lot. It was a touchstone to the old me - something from my past which I could understand.

I became obsessed in both good (I wrote a lot) and bad (I bought a lot of Heroclix figures for no real reason).

On the good side, I started to realized that I could do something I'd always wanted to do - make my own comics.

I did everything almost wrong, of course - the world of comics is littered with stories of people starting out, making the same mistakes, hubristically thinking they will somehow make the magic happen that everyone else failed to make happen.

It make me happy. It was good. Work was hard, but comics got me through it.

I had some good, some bad, and some tough experiences, but I never did it for any more reason than to just do it.

This year I have really found myself questioning a lot about what I am doing and why in comics. I have also found myself questioning my worth. I have also had my work experience change to where I enjoy the people I work with more, and that has made it somehow harder to write as much.

I feel that it will be a question I think about a lot this year.


Javier Hernandez said...

That's an interesting predicament.

Being somewhat distance from your co-workers opened up your passion to pursue comics.

Now the question of pursuing comics arises, and you're in a better environment at work.

Ideally, I'd hope (speaking as a total outsider, mind you) you would still find passion for the creating. It's great you're getting along with your co-workers, and maybe that takes your edge off creating. It's an interesting theory, but I'd hate for the art to lose out!

Also, you're now the father of two children. Might that also have an affect? I'm sure the joy (and responsibility) of parenting can direct your energies toward being the best parent you can be.

I would think you might take a long look at why you love writing, and balance that with where you are as an indie creator (I totally relate to that!). And also, the happiness in your work and family is, I'm sure, fulfilling. You should just try to see what fulfillment the creative aspect of comics brings you.

My two cents...

Gerimi said...

Some say that comfort is the killer of creativity. That you always have to stay hungry and dissatisfied.

I don't believe that that though. It may be harder to FIND TIME to create when there are other things in your life that fulfill you, but creativity is like love.

There's always room for more of it in your heart.

If someone asked my why I create, I could give a number of reasons. The truest one for me, is that I love the process just as much as the result, if not more so.

But this is one of the cases where an acceptable answer is "Why Not?"