November 1, 2013

Progress in a Box

7:54 am in Uncategorized Ulises Farinas

I saw this buzzfeed post the other day, was a bunch of advice from female artists to aspiring artists. It didn’t make much of a difference that they were female, i only bring it up because i was surprised at all the feel-good bullshit that it was made of. I guess it’s unfair of me to expect anything meaningful from one or two sentences written on a note-card. But i think what i’m getting at, is the false sense of community that is constantly promoted and spoken about by comics folks. You’d believe that this was some kumbayah, woodstock get together. It’s not. And feeling safe just keeps you soft. It doesn’t improve your artwork, it doesn’t improve your career. You want to be soft, get in bed. You want to work, get up and do something. Do something that hurts you.

“I’m only speaking to you because everyone else did,” “This is ugly, don’t draw like this. Draw this way, this cute lego stuff” I will remember that til i die. It was like 2010, New York Comic Con. For a year, i stopped drawing MOTRO, and fully dedicated myself to drawing shit that would get someone to notice me. I remember my boy Shawn Kittelsen, had shown my work to some editors at DC, and he came back to tell me that i needed to work on my anatomy. I remember drawing every lesson in Jack Hamm’s “Drawing the Head and Body” while i cried, and my girlfriend asking me why i’m so upset, “You’re a good artist” she said. “I’m not good enough” i just kept repeating and kept on drawing. I remember breaking up with my gf, the day before that 2010 New York Comic Con, i remember getting my portfolio reviewed by Marvel and DC, even though i had an ‘indie’ style. I remember Eddie Berganza telling me my work was ugly, to stop drawing anything but the lego shit i’ve done. It hurt. I came home that night, and i didn’t have a girlfriend anymore to tell that the last year had paid off.

The biggest motivation is pain. Every last one of us can have their Dustin Hoffman Straw Dogs moment. When you’re pushed, drawing is as easy as breathing. But this community smiles at you, tells you “We’re all friends here” then talks about you behind your back. The biggest disservice we do for aspiring artists, is letting them think that they have friends. There’s one way to make it irrelevant, be the most productive motherfucker you can be.

I’ve never heard “i got this great idea” more than in the comics industry. I hear bitchasses complaining about doing 8 pages in a month. Kirby did 10 pages a day, keep up. I see kids talkin’ about “Oh my god, i only got a week to finish this zine for the Small Dicks Expo” and all i think is “What the fuck have you been doing? I see you at every motherfucking book release party, stay inside and get some shit done for once” Its not enough to work hard, you gotta work fast. You gotta see some progress in your endeavors.

A goal is a dream with a time limit, and you don’t need a deadline from a bossman to stick to a schedule. When i dropped out of college, i gave myself a 5 year and 10 year deadline. 5 years to be working in comics fulltime. 10 years to being paid to write and draw my own characters. It took me 6 years to do it. Time isn’t gonna smile at you and write on a notecard “JUST BE PASSIONATE” because passion is not what’s missing from comics. Every dude and dudette has gotta have their mutual masturbation fest about how much they LOOOOOOVEEEEEEEEEEE COMIX!!!! How much they just GOTTA MAKE COMICS! Ahhhh fuck offffff. What’s missing are god damn calendars. If you’re having difficulty drawing a new 16 page comic for the next convention you got coming up, then get out. Just stop, shutup, leave. You’re done. Wrap it up.

You know what i do when i get those ballots online or at a con, i delete or throw them away. When someone asks me for a top 10 list of comics of the year? Who cares. What the last comic i read? Uhhh…something with the hulk in it? I dunno. I currently have 7 days to finish 10 pages. You know how worried i am about that? I’m not worried about that. Necessity is the mother of invention, and i’ll just invent some pages. I see webcomic advice, about artists worried that they will stop drawing because they’ll never be good enough. Let them.

Time isn’t on your side. And you gotta always be racing. Every day you’re not doing something more, moving forward, making progress on all fronts, is the day you’re dying. Sharks that don’t swim, drown. We are taught, that our job competition are all the those trying to get the same job you want. No, that’s not true. Our job competition are those who already have your job. Your friends, that welcome community of comics compatriots, they are the people you gotta be better than. And if you can’t be better, you can always just make more than them.

There’s no taste in comics, you don’t gotta worry to much about being a great artist. Just work faster, work bigger, work more. When i was told my work was ugly, it hurt, but i still thought, “Made ya look


  1. You got me at the ‘kumbayaa shit’! Yeah its all a backstabbing party.

    Comment by JPares — November 2, 2013 @ 4:52 am

  2. […] waste of time to somehow harp on only the negatives of a work? I don’t believe so. As i said before, we’ve got enough PASSION in comics. We got enough people who LOVE comics. What we […]

    Pingback by Think Faest! » Comics Review – Gaiman & J.H.Williams x 3, Yanow, Deforge, Rinzler & Mayhew, Snyder & Capullo — November 19, 2013 @ 9:28 am

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