Monday, October 17, 2005

A man of thought

If anyone had told me I had an analytical mind I’d have laguhed at them. Actually, if I told anyone I had an analytical mind they’d probably laugh at me. But I guess I do. This insight has been revealed to me as I try to come up with some ideas for comics and I realised it’s pretty much how I always try and come up with ideas for any story, or illustration. Instead of being struck by inspiration, or just letting my mind wander (although I have done that) I tend to think things through more methodically. So with the comic stuff I’m trying to come up with the process goes like this -
It’s meant to be manga-esque so I look at some manga + the very excellent Manga book by Paul Gravett I got last Christmas.
I think about what happens in a lot of manga, what ideas, etc keep cropping up.
I think about how that could translate into western ideas.
I list random names, things, creatures, events that are suggested by looking at these things, or just because I like them.
I then try and put these things together and see if any of them fit together comfortably or in a pleasingly uncomfortable manner.
I look at what I’ve got and vow never to waste my time ever again.
I’m not sure I mind this method of working (apart from the last bit, but at least I’m learning to ignore that niggly small minded little voice that tells me I’m no good - he’s talking to me now) but romantically I like the idea of bolt out of the blue blinding flashes of inspiration. Sometimes the kind of ideas that just come seemingly out of nowhere are just better somehow, they have a freewheeling sense of fun and their own logic that allows anything to happen. I guess one way of working seems cold and mechanic and the other way seems magical and human. The truth is that it’s the end result that’s important not the process, but I just wish it was all a bit easier.

20 comments:

Gopher said...

I'm the same with all of my writing Paul. I would prefer excellent inspiration where the story writes itself, but it never happens. The concept is excellent, the story is logical and methodical, which takes the romance out of writing.

Oh and the little voice is in all of us. It's stopped me completing a full piece of writing for a while now.

'Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics' is an excellent book - I take it that's the one you meant.

Gopher said...

PS. Your sister has been trying to call you!

Danny said...

The little voice is definitely in all of us... Bastard...

I guess as far as methodology goes, however it comes it comes. If it comes in a flash, or after weeks, months of planning... if it comes it comes...

paulhd said...

Sorry Gopher, tell her I was upstairs on my exercise bike watching The Rutles with my headphones on!
That was the manga book.
That little voice is cock, I'd like to think it spurs me on and helps whittle out the bad ideas, but really its' just a cock fulll of shit.

Gopher said...

Interestingly graphic thought. I tried showing some of my work to Fleur, who sided with the voice... what ever happened to support? I've banned her from seeing any of it now.

Nimiwey said...

Brainmarket has taken it upon himself to BE the voice, I pour my soul into something, sobbing whilst birthing it, wish to share it with him, he reads the first line, "Blecccch, you know how I feel about poetry" and leave the room! WTF!?!?!

Nimiwey said...

Needless to say, he''s banned. BANNED.

paulhd said...

Fortunately my wife's really supportive (apart from letting me quit my job, but then that's because she doesn't earn much either), I'm the one who's down on my work far too often.

Gopher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gopher said...

I love my work, but I wish I could write like I used to. I just have no decent sounding boards, and I hate everything I do so there's no point reviewing my own work... it tends to get deleted on the spot.

reeseporter said...

The harshest critic is yourself.

I remember recording an instrumental track with my band so that i could write some lyrics for it.

I tried and tried to write something that i thought suited the band and whenever i tried, i ended up with something that lyrically sounded like Ricky Martin's next single. I simply wanted to write something different so i hid the lyrics for months whilst trying to write some more. I couldnt.

So in the end, reluctantly and with much.. "ive tried and this is all i could do.." to the rest of the band, they played and i sang.

They loved it and we found that it would be the key to getting our audiences dancing.

True, some things you do/write are shit but it's best to let the rest of the world decide that, allowing you to move on, develop via constructive criticism and grow a thicker skin in the meantime.

reeseporter said...

...trying to be a perfectionist often makes you a procrastinator.

paulhd said...

Yeah it does make me procrastinate. Although it's fear more than perfectionism, fear of the blank page. Should make me want to fill it really, but instead it makes me question myself - the answer being 'get working fool'.

Lupin The 3rd said...

I think every early writer has the same issue. I love procrastination. Accept imperfection: it's the only way!

reeseporter said...

Accept imperfection: it's the only way!

absolutely, for imperfection can bring constructive criticism that will help you develop and avoid the imperfection next time. :)

paulhd said...

and the irony is that I like imperfection! Artwork that betrays the hand that created it can be beautiful.

Gopher said...

That's true, but literature is different for me. Perfection is required. An awkward part can ruin the fluidity and therefore the absorbtion of the tale.

Nimiwey said...

The hardest part of any creative endeavour is knowing when its done.

Garen said...

Hi Paul - thought you might like this blog - some good stuff there:

http://makecomicsforever.blogspot.com/

paulhd said...

I mostly agree, Gopher, but a story can still have a raw edge to it, and as Nimiwey says it's important to know when a project is done, tinkering in the quest for perfection can iron out creases that actually made the thing work.