Beth Wagner's Work Log (Isaac & Lee, Space Trucking, Sam Hawke, A Grotto of Poppies)



  • Finally finished the mini-comic. Banged out the cover without too much thought....just like they did with the original pulp. I'm just not sure that people will get that...

  • There is something to be said for table organization. In many ways, I'm very glad that VCon was quiet. I needed this convention to get an idea of what I need to have on my table and what I need to weed out. I have one final convention this year and I'm going to use it to try to unload the last of a series that I'm going to discontinue printing and working on for now.
    I'm also looking at changing the format of some of my mini-comics, getting away from printing them myself and getting them printed through a company.
    At the same time, I also want to foray into the world of screen printing. I just want to experiment with it and see whether or not this would be an effective printing method for me. In the end, the amount of time spent on it is key.
    I also need to clean out my studio and re-organize it (it's currently looking like a tornado hit it, due to con-prep)
    Finally, I'm figuring by about Thursday or Friday I should be fully back to work. I have several different projects on the go right now including Grotto of Poppies (beginning from the ground up), Space Trucking #4 (should be a quick weekend project), Isaac & Lee (pencils, scanning and final inks) and some concept sketches for a collaborative project. It sounds like a lot, but I have a schedule in order to get everything done and everything is at different stages of completion so it should all work out fine. 
  • I had planned on not doing anything over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Instead, I accomplished quite a bit (See the "Do the Work" thread).

    The outcome of this weekend however is, my studio is in a state of flux (aka, everything is pulled out while I try to go through, organise and throw out what I don't need) and my scanner won't work until I get more cartridges for it (3 out of four of the cartridges refuse to display the fact that they still have ink in them)

    By the end of the week I'm hoping to have everything organised and ready to go. Until then I'll be using my phone to upload pictures. (and over the next few months I'll be looking at getting a new scanner, one that's dedicated to just scanning)
  • Last night, no work got done, unless you count a poorly done Vampirella sketch. A big reason why I didn't get work done was because I didn't have a plan for the day. I thought I could get away with it yesterday. Not so. I've come to the conclusion that if I don't have a rough plan for the day, nothing gets done, or if it does, it's only by chance.
    I've made a work list and have stuck it on my cork board (amusingly enough part of my to do list involves hanging the board on the wall)

    Tonight work will get done.

    Oh and sketch:

  • I have a Society6 account. What is this you ask? It's a site where you upload your artwork to sell prints. It has branched out into other merchandise now as well including having your artwork on iphones, tshirts, laptops and pillows. The only thing is that you have to reformat your artwork for each piece of merchandise, meaning that you will have to either extend the artwork to fit the dimensions, or simply fake it with a border (which looks kind of awkward on the pillow). I've started going through some of my artwork to post it on the site. My main focus right now is my Tedieval series which seems to be an obvious choice.

    At the moment this is a good, productive thing I'm doing because right now, I am completely exhausted all the time and not artistically motivated at the moment. It's frustrating because I have projects waiting in the wings for me to work on, I just need the focus and drive to work on them. Which means the routine process of writing out my check list for each day of things I need to get done.

    Weekly Worklist:
    Ink Tedieval picture (yes there is another one)
    pencil Space Trucking
    pencil Isaac & Lee
    scan in Isaac & Lee
    plot construction Grotto of Poppies
    character designs - many projects
  • I'm having to be very patient with myself. When I have energy, I work like a mad woman to get something, anything done. I'm very lucky that I don't have any super pressing deadlines. But I do have a work load. Things that need to get done. Although this morning I *did* get some concept sketches done for an upcoming project (which I'll post once I get the go ahead) that's something.
  • It's been a week since I've posted in here. Take that as you will. I wish it was because I was getting all kinds of work done. However, it seems to be more of me in a slump. I just don't seem to be able to get artwork done lately.
    So this week, I'm going to focus on everything else.
    I have neglected websites and social media services to update and tune up. I have a convention to get ready for. I have other conventions that I need to look into attending (making sure I've got my applications sent in and what-not)
    I have retailers to get in touch with and distributing to do.
    I have promotions and ads to create and webstores/storefronts to update
    and whatever time I have left over with, I can dedicate to artwork.
  • Interesting plan.  Do you really think you can eradicate everything else and just leave your art projects?

    I'm just asking.  Totally serious.
  • @Jimmie_Robinson 
    If I could just work on my art projects and let everything else do itself, I would. This is the balancing act I always have to do. Between business and art.
    I tried to take this year off just to focus on the art and producing as much work as I could. It didn't work out and I ended up getting disconnected from everything.
    The biggest part of my problem is that I hit an art slump while trying to get ready for the last two conventions of the year.
    But once this last convention is over, I can refocus and get my goals set up.
    As for not doing art this week while trying to focus on other things, I am expecting that won't happen and therefore will pull me out of the slump by my contrary nature of wanting to do things that I'm "not allowed" to do.
    Yes I play psychological games with myself to get things done. :D
  • Okay, I really like what he says and how he says it, so I'm going to post it here and refer back to it.

  • I stumbled upon this new (to me anyway) writing technique - first draft in 30 days. Being that this is my first time trying this technique, I likely won't complete a first draft in 30 days, however, it will give me a framework and a guideline as to how long I should be spending on each process.
    I tried to start it on Friday, but getting ready and attending convention is not a good time to also try to start a project. I have a little bit done, but there is still a lot more to get done.

    Day 1 Character Sketches:
    I've already got one of the main characters' sketches done and am half way through another one. There are four protagonists and I've identified two antagonists (although there are likely four antagonists in total) So that's eight character sketches in total (six that need to get done today). I don't know if this method was set up for a more complicated story structure, but we'll see. (Maybe I'll just have fun breaking the process) :)
  • Yesterday I made up for the weekend a bit and not only finished the Character Sketches, but I also got Day 2 work done. With the Character Sketches, I stopped at just the four main characters. I will likely work on one of the major supporting characters and the main antagonist tonight.

    Day 2 Setting Sketches and Research Strategies:
    The setting sketch was relatively easy. Basically, it's going to be set in modern day Vancouver, BC. Given what I want to do with the story, I think it could be fairly interesting to have the story set in Canada.
    The research list was kind of vague, I didn't think it was a good idea to narrow it down too much at this point.

    I finished off last night by beginning Day 3 work, the Plot Sketch.
  • My goal right now is to try to update this more often than the once a week that I have been. For right now I'm just going to jot down what I've been working on and what I have to work on:

    - Really got into the zone of plot and character development and will continue to work on that this week. (Still sticking to the First Draft in 30 Days for the most part)

    - I added more artwork to my website. I'm starting to get a bit of a following on there so I am going to have to start updating the artwork more often.

    - I am also going to add more artwork to the Society6 site as well

  • Yay, updating is nice and all.... but doing the work is even better.  If I don't see people on their workblogs all the time then I assume they're working *more*.  Well... I want to assume that, hahah!
  • The work is definitely being done. Just not as quickly as I'd like.
  • Same here for me.
    Lately I've been screwing around on social media too much.

    Yesterday I ran my Freedom application (it kills all access to the Internet) just so I could get back on track -- and STILL I felt like I wasn't getting enough done.  And as you say... I'm not updating my workblog here enough, so even when I do the work I'm not documenting it -- which could help my work habit, etc.
  • I haven't upgraded yet because I have to upgrade my server first. (The server gets disabled if you upgrade to Mavericks without upgrading your server first). I also was having issues with wifi, which I took in and they ruled out it being am airport card issue, which means that I have to upgrade everything and so I had to wait until payday so that I could pay for the server upgrade which, unlike Mavericks, isn't free.

    In the interest of getting work done, I'm going to try to get out of the house for a bit tonight to write at a nearby restaurant. I need to get this plot stuff done, it's a complicated story and I need to make sure that there are very few if any, plot holes. This week has seen a lot of me just sitting in front of the computer in the evenings not getting much work done. Sure, I am getting at least a little bit done, but I need to be waaaaay more productive if I want to make any headway on any of these projects.
  • My wife has been doing that lately -- leaving the house and going to the nearby Starbucks coffee house.  She's unemployed and looking for work and she scours the listings, writes her resumes and letters of inquiry and all that jazz.  She could do it at home, but as you say... going somewhere else is a way of focusing for her.

    I work at home all the time, so it's natural for me to focus here, but not everyone can do that.

    But I admit... the Internet is still very much a distraction, thus I use applications like *Freedom* or *Anti-social* to block things.
  • I just downloaded the most annoying distraction blocking app. It's called Obtract. Anytime you start a program that it (or you mark) as a distraction, it makes you complete a maze before you are allowed to use the program. I am concerned by my reaction to running it. I get filled with anger and resentment and then my mind starts thinking about ways to get around it so I'm not sure if it's really the best program for me.

    I have noticed that I work very well when I give myself a small milestone to achieve and then have a quick break to do something fun and unrelated. For example, this weekend I would work until I finished one part of the story I was plotting, then I would sit back a play a game for a round. As a result I got about 1/2 of the way through the story I am working on and I finished colouring some artwork.

  • That software is an interesting approach to forcing the user to stay on-task. But I'd hate it too.
  • I find what is most effective for me is to do what I call the holy triad.

    I begin by working on comics (writing, drawing, or whichever) then at a certain point I take a break and do some housework, after I get to a certain point with the housework (not taking longer than 20 minutes on the task) then I sit down and play a quick game for about five minutes before settling back into working on comics.

    It works great on weekends when I don't have to go anywhere for a while. I am going to try to use it during the week as well for shorter interval
  • GAH!!! I'm an idiot! I got a url from a comic creator friend to set up at this place called "" So this morning I decided to poke around and find out more about it. Lo and behold apparently it is the umbrella company for Drive Thru Comics. Drive Thru Comics....where I apparently have already setup an account, but haven't uploaded books to it yet. Argh!

    Which also reminds me that I need to reformat and upload a bunch of mini comics to Ka-Blam and IndyPlanet...a big bunch of them.

    Finally, I had to turn down an offer to table at a convention in February because of personal commitments (aka my boyfriend wanted us to go as attendees so we could spend the weekend, gaming together)

    I can see that I will be working on a bunch of business related stuff this weekend/next week. Sigh!
  • So many different ways to jump:
    • Brochures to get ready for the New Year for my promotional campaign.
    • Grotto of Poppies to work on (story plotting).
    • Isaac & Lee to finish roughing and inking
    • Space Trucking to finish pencilling
    • Get Colour Separations ready for screen printing
    • Get Store sites up to date and loaded with comics (this includes the digital distribution sites)

    I need to get at least two of these finished by the end of the month, but I'm battling fatigue and the holidays. YAY!!! 
  • edited December 2013
    I'm designing them myself, but I haven't decided if I am going to go with Ka-Blam or a local printer, Rayacom (I need to send out for a quote from them still), I have some price shopping to do.

    It's going to be a simple half fold 8 page flyer with an order form/instructions in the back. I want to model it after Previews. The tricky thing is that I also want to get custom envelopes for the brochures, that I am also currently pricing out for as well.

    My timeline for the brochures is this, get the initial brochure together this week. Then, begin shopping for printers. I don't want to limit myself to those two either, especially since Ka-Blam is more comics oriented. I'm going to do price shopping and then I'll post what I've found here. I may even get it done this week as now I'm very curious about pricing.
  • In other news, my promotion and distribution skills may be getting put to use in my day job as I will be sitting in on a meeting between the owner of our company and our web developer who will be redesigning our company website.
    I will also be doing some other graphic design as I redesign some of our inspection forms. It's not high art, but it helps keep my graphic design skills up to snuff.
  • I'm chatty Cathy today but in all of this, I also plan to do some more scanning tonight along with some sketching and digital inking and colouring. Let's see how much actually gets done shall we? :)
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