I posted this the other day on my personal facebook account. It felt good to get out of my system. Something I've been holding in and dealing with for years now.
Morning thoughts (rant): Ever since I started doing comics professionally there have been these periods where I go MONTHS without income. Money in comics, especially when you're doing creator-owned properties, is not a guaranteed thing. The comics (that I've done) typically pay quarterly and sometimes shit happens and that quarter check pays less than what I'd make doing freelance work. When I can't afford to pay things like rent I pretty much have to drop what I'm doing (comics) and pick up a bunch of freelance to make ends meet. Sometimes those freelance jobs are canceled for xyz reasons. So where does the money come from then? Well... I'll get paid next once I finish that comic (*if* everything goes well) but I actually can't afford to work on it. Or I'm overwhelmed with freelance so I cannot work on it. Oh yeah and there's also deadlines... This is... horribly discouraging.
And it's been this way for years.
People tell me they're proud of me for being so successful or that they really enjoy my work. Well, it makes me happy that people are enjoying what I do. Most times it's what keeps me going, and it's rewarding. Because, despite the lack of money it makes, I enjoy what I do. I like making art and storytelling. To have people reading and enjoying it, that is key to doing comics in the first place.
I've had many friends make suggestions on how I might get out of my situation but I feel like no one seems to understand that I'm too busy struggling to do anything about it. Yeah, that happens even when you're "living the dream".
There are days when working a minimum wage 9 to 5 at the local CVS seems comfy and safe... but its just not my skill set. I'm a much better artist than I am a cashier. I know because I did the cashier thing! Simple math gives me anxiety... but I can project emotions onto viewers using things like color theory.
Then I see these bright-eyed kids telling me that they want to do what I do! They want so badly to get into the comic industry. I want to tell them to follow their dreams but on the inside I'm screaming, "do anything BUT art for a living. Be a scientist, be an astronaut!"
Then I get interviewed by people in the industry and all they want to talk about is WOMEN in comics and gender stereotypes and how "oppressed" I am because of my gender. ...but nothing about art or what I do. It's humiliating and frustrating!
I am thankful though... to have a few good mentors in my corner telling me things like how comics are a life-long love/hate relationship. That always puts me right again.
For whatever reason, I keep telling myself, one day all this will change. I won't be standing there clueless about how I'm going to pay rent this month or the next. One day that this will all come together and I'm doing the right thing. I am so done with the stress of it. I don't even get mad anymore. I don't know if it's because I'm so full of hidden rage it's become a constant or I'm spent. (haha spent)
I will end on this note. You fans out there who buy our books, read them, love them, do fanart, or tell your friends about it, and do reviews. You guys are awesome! Whatever fire that's keeping me alive stays lit because of you guys and girls. When I see profile pics, banner art, (omg the cosplay photos!) or some nice words about my work I ...forget all the bad shit I'm dealing with for a few minutes. I say to myself, "oh yeah, that's why. I am doing this right."