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kimblahkim's avatar

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really a comic about random stuff ill encounter i guess
once i get more comfortable i may start an actual story
comic here

i'm having a hard time trying to come up with my own style
pretty sure every artist struggles with that
-____________________-
Kenny Cappuchino's avatar

Anxious Lunatic

That is... a very bitter comic O.O

For art, if you wish to find your own style, look at artists you look up to and see why you like their style so much. Incorporate some of those elements into your own work. Influence from a good role model is always a good thing.

Otherwise, like I had said, that comic was very angry. Felt almost like I walked in a bad conversation. I'd suggest adding some more humorous strips sometimes, it's much more welcoming than vent comics to a reader. Good luck~
Nessess's avatar

Dapper Streaker

Kenny Cappuchino
For art, if you wish to find your own style, look at artists you look up to and see why you like their style so much. Incorporate some of those elements into your own work. Influence from a good role model is always a good thing.


Ack, don't do this!
BE ORIGINAL. Don't regurgitate old art that's already been drawn. Sit down at a Starbucks and draw people you see. Draw faces, bodies, bodies sitting in chairs, etc. Your personal style will organically emerge just from drawing things from life. You won't even have to think about developing it!
I've got to agree with Help-Me-Plzzz. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to find a personal style is to ape someone else's work. When Scott Pilgrim came out in 2004, suddenly everyone was trying to draw like Bryan Lee O'Malley. It's no different with anything that has come out since- if you try to find a style you like and mimic it, by the time you've become efficient at it the fad will have passed. The best thing you can do is, as Help Me said, go practice drawing from life. Look at the way you draw people you observe and begin to gradually distill certain features down into more basic elements. I'm not saying that you should caricature people like they do at Six-Flags, but try playing with shapes as building blocks for human anatomy. Push and pull your silhouettes. If you see someone with a square jaw, give them a square for a jaw- it's harder than it sounds, and coming up with good character designs can be hard, but if you keep working at it you'll find a "style" that is uniquely your own just from doing a ton of life drawing. Fill an entire sketchbook just with people. You'll see a huge difference.
Kenny Cappuchino
Otherwise, like I had said, that comic was very angry. Felt almost like I walked in a bad conversation. I'd suggest adding some more humorous strips sometimes, it's much more welcoming than vent comics to a reader. Good luck~


I'll just throw my own weight in here. I like comics that are honest, even if honesty is ugly. Don't feel like you have to be "funny" or you'll "alienate your readers." If they don't want to read something that isn't funny, they can move along. But there's a time and a place for every type of narrative. We have angry music for a reason. smile

I think the worst thing you can do with autobiographical narrative is to be disingenuous, and however you do it it'll come off that way if you try to create what you think people want to hear rather than what you really want to say.
Kenny Cappuchino's avatar

Anxious Lunatic

Well, there goes my advice o.o

I only feel the need to defend my opinion on the narrative. Mainly because, while you can keep it honest and about real life, there's a difference between having it be relatable kind of angry and just uncomfortably personal. It's more like you should keep a comic diary in that case, something that can be used to express anger but stay unknown. Imagine if the girl you were talking about came across this comic. I dunno, I suppose there are people that enjoy that but, that may just be my opinion.

Sorry, listen to the other people, disregard what I said. They know what they're talking about.
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

Kenny Cappuchino
Well, there goes my advice o.o

I only feel the need to defend my opinion on the narrative. Mainly because, while you can keep it honest and about real life, there's a difference between having it be relatable kind of angry and just uncomfortably personal. It's more like you should keep a comic diary in that case, something that can be used to express anger but stay unknown. Imagine if the girl you were talking about came across this comic. I dunno, I suppose there are people that enjoy that but, that may just be my opinion.

Sorry, listen to the other people, disregard what I said. They know what they're talking about.

I think you have a valid point. While honesty is important in an autobiographical comic, it's still a comic that's out there for people to read. Like any comic, you (hypothetical you/the author) need to decide whether your goal is to just do what you want to do, or to make something that appeals to readers. If you just want to do a diary-type comic and don't care about appealing to readers, then any tone works, but it might be best to keep it private. If you choose not to, don't be surprised if very few people stick around for it.
If you do want to appeal to people, then you need to treat it a bit like fiction - dramatise, pace the serious and comedic moments so that the reader is not overwhelmed, keep it interesting. Autobiographies are usually not the whole truth, they're embellished to make a point, and to keep the reader interested.

Another factor is the author's enjoyment - for some people, documenting the truth/their opinion of the truth is the most fun option. For others, making an interesting story out of the truth is more fun.


As for art - I think it's important to develop one's taste by looking at other people's art and figuring out what you like about it, and why. It's a bad idea to ape someone else's style or someone's way of drawing (whatever), but there's nothing wrong with, say, liking the way someone draws noses, figuring out how/why they stylise them the way they do, and applying a similar stylisation to your own understanding of noses. The result will still be your own style, and you'll develop a greater understanding of both the specific subject and stylisation in general.
JD-Ayane's avatar

Blessed Vampire

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When I started out I did not really have my own style - I invented it. I looked through tons of comics, made sketches of different parts of faces they used (you know, like eyes, noses, eyebrows etc.) and tried to mix it. I tried to figure out what I felt most comfortable with. And after learning about anatomy, trying out different things it and working with another artist it evolved into something that later became my style. It is not wrong to look for inspiration but just donĀ“t copy a style. You can try to figure out why you like certain styles and try to emulate the parts you like.
Peculiar Purple's avatar

Gracious Mage

I feel like this isn't a comic, it's just your diary with pictures.
I'm really uncomfortable hearing all of that personal stuff in the first page.
Atomic Octopus's avatar

Tipsy Prophet

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Please don't worry too much about finding a style! Just draw. That's all you should worry about.

Anyway, I like the fact that this comic is personal and you wanted to share it with people. I'm a huge fan of auto-bio/memoir comics and I like reading about other people's lives. It's not for everyone, but there's a niche of people like me who enjoy those comics. So I would keep at it.
Sheploo's avatar

Dapper Shapeshifter

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I'm bouncing off both ideas of drawing things from real life and also looking for inspiration in other artwork when you feel stuck. I think if you incorporate both of these practices, you'll become a better artist with your own style.

Though, I would say that you shouldn't really focus on finding your own style, because through practice you'll find what you're comfortable drawing and what works for you. If you become too wrapped up in perfecting your style, then you won't really enjoy practice, which is important because you're going to be practicing A LOT if you want to be a serious artist.

About the story, it really depends on what you your readers to gain from reading your comic. I feel that for people that have experienced friends recently growing apart, this will speak to them at some level, but most likely invoke negative emotion.

However, for your general audience, who has probably not experienced this lately and have all grown past and accepted the feeling of friends growing apart, this will seem very bitter and teenager-ish. (Although, you will likely grow a big dA fanbase since there are many angsty teenagers on dA.)

Personally, it just made me feel very... Negative. It's like your anger was radiating off of the comic, and not being an angry person myself, I did not enjoy the experience; though, I know people that would, so don't let that discourage you. I am saying, however, that you can convey your message and story ideas in a way that will not make it sound as if you've just been terribly burned. Whenever you put an unexpected expletive in your otherwise 'innocent' comic, it dramatically changes the tone of the story. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on what mood you're going for.

Either way, where you want to take the story and your own style are up to you, but I would like to offer one small critique- I feel that the font/handwriting you used was a bit hard to read when it came to the cursive. I had trouble clearly reading '...into talking with your boyfriend who lives even further than me's okay'.

I had to reread that part a couple times, and that will not help the flow of your story. This could have only been me; however, a lot of people have trouble reading cursive, so if you choose to put it in your story, try to make it as clear as possible.
Zeo
Kenny Cappuchino
Otherwise, like I had said, that comic was very angry. Felt almost like I walked in a bad conversation. I'd suggest adding some more humorous strips sometimes, it's much more welcoming than vent comics to a reader. Good luck~


I'll just throw my own weight in here. I like comics that are honest, even if honesty is ugly. Don't feel like you have to be "funny" or you'll "alienate your readers." If they don't want to read something that isn't funny, they can move along. But there's a time and a place for every type of narrative. We have angry music for a reason. smile

I think the worst thing you can do with autobiographical narrative is to be disingenuous, and however you do it it'll come off that way if you try to create what you think people want to hear rather than what you really want to say.


Well said. You have to write as it comes to you. There will be true fans that will appreciate what you have to offer.
Xiam's avatar

Anxious Humorist

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kimblahkim
i'm having a hard time trying to come up with my own style
pretty sure every artist struggles with that
-____________________-

You get the hang of it after you draw for a while. Experiment a little, you'll eventually come up with something that looks good to you, and you can replicate easily.
Some good thoughts on the topic of honesty in autobio comics and the way they are presented. I like this a lot:

Kyousouka
Another factor is the author's enjoyment - for some people, documenting the truth/their opinion of the truth is the most fun option. For others, making an interesting story out of the truth is more fun.


In general, keeping a pulse on your audience (or intended audience) is necessary for a successful readership, and the way people respond to your work is useful information. Honestly, quite a few people posted in this thread to say that the comic sample was uncomfortable, which I find interesting. It's true, autobio comics are generally written with the intention of telling a story, whether it includes fictitious elements or not. There's still an intended narrative there and an eye towards the audience.

I think my earlier comment was directed more at the idea that something has to be "humorous" or has to avoid uncomfortable or unpleasant emotions in order to be palatable. There's still this stigma that comics have to be funny and I argue against that perspective every time I see it. I personally love comics that don't feel like they have to be funny to examine serious issues. But that doesn't mean that all serious, dark, edgy, personal comics are equally good or effective at communicating.

There are a lot of people who like that "peeking into your diary" illicit feeling of angry, raw, journal style comics. I wouldn't say that style is a bad thing in itself. It just might not appeal to everyone, and that is why you have to first decide what you want to write and then decide who it will be relevant to.

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