Full Steam Ahead

I started drawing comics a while ago.  I did a comic strip before Uptown Girl called Fake Farm Landcape, a autobiographic (mostly) comic inspired by guys like James Kochalka and John Porcellino.  Eventually I was drawn (ha ha) to more fictional stories so I started a comic book and Uptown Girl was born.

I was doing comics as a way to kill time and keep me in form while I was between children’s book projects as I was aspiring to do that for a living.  But comics were a lot more fun and I was really jazzed by the whole DIY approach to it.  Plus there were a ton of guys in Minneapolis doing comics and the community was really fun and supportive.

But like most artists, I was interested in a lot of other creative projects.  After the monthly comic series ended in 2010 I was excited to have more time do other stuff now that I no longer had a monthly deadline.  With the plan to do one 250 page (or so) book a year I thought I could do a lot of other things.  I had plans to develop an animated series, try doing children’s books again…I had big plans.  Big.

I also had plans to sell original art through Etsy.  I set up a shop recently and lately I’ve been getting a lot of well-meaning suggestions to do greeting cards, clothing, whatever.  It’s nice to hear that my artwork would look good on a onesie or whatever but…I’ve realized I stretch myself too thin.

There’s SO much I want to do.  I want to create a cartoon, I want to do so much.  But what comes down to is time.  Two years ago I thought I’d easily have time for non-comics stuff but I am finding when I do work on non-Uptown Girl I get behind on Uptown Girl (which makes sense) but I am finding I don’t have time to get behind.  Between my job, my family and sleep my time to draw is pretty limited.  I realized it’s either Uptown Girl or…everything else.  I realized I have to do what makes me happy.  What I love.  And what do I love?

I had a moment of clarity last night where I need to focus on one thing.  I used to think that I should have “other lines in the lake” and see what happens.  Work on comics while I shop a book to publishers.  Create a pitch bible of an animated series and send it to networks between Uptown Girl books.  I think I need to focus my energy on just one thing.  At least for now.  I guess I need to be honest and my heart isn’t in creating new projects if i gets me behind with Uptown Girl.  I love drawing Uptown Girl.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

So I guess for the time being I’ll be focusing all my time on Uptown Girl, specifically ‘A Long Forgotten Fairytale’.  I am close to 100 pages in and I think I have about 150 more to go.  As for ‘This Little Piggy”, the children’s book I did somehow find time to write and draw, I will continue to shop that to potential agents and publishers, but plans for a follow up to that, along with all other non-Uptown Girl projects are on hold for now.

Full steam ahead.

The above image was drawn by James Kochalka.



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3 responses to “Full Steam Ahead

  1. Brian Leonard

    I think you made a very wise choice, Bob!

  2. Pingback: Art of Color | uptown girl, etc

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