Hey Everybody! I’ve been quite busy lately working on some freelance jobs and a new graphic novel (details to be announced at a future date).
Since I’m back on a book deadline now, I’ve been thinking about productivity and best ways to get a lot of pages done in the limited time I have. As all cartoonists know, comics take a long time to produce. Typically, a cartoonist must tackle writing, penciling, inking, coloring, and even more extra tasks. A lot of steps! Often I get asked about how I make time to get my comics and blogging projects done since I do those things in addition to a full-time job. I’ve come upon an approach that I wanted to share since I think it would be helpful for others (whether you’re a cartoonist or not).
When I was thinking of tackling my art schedule, I envisioned myself living every day as I would as my “ideal self”. What would the best possible version of Abby do every day? I concluded that every weekday I would work at my job, study Japanese (I use flashcards on my phone), exercise (swimming, going to the gym, dancing, or taking an hour long walk – something physical), and ink or pencil two pages of comics. Weekends I am doing all of that (except for going to my job), and penciling or inking on average four pages a day. I even inked six pages in one Saturday! (those results are not typical – I’m pretty fast since I do not have a very detailed drawing style and I work on small pages)
I usually allow one or two days a week as a break day on the art and exercise aspects. I like to make plans with friends during those break times to stay social.
I refer to this as “apexing”. So when I accomplish all of these things in a day, I’d say I am apexing. It might seem daunting, but I’ve been able to apex pretty much consistently every day the past month. As a result, I am ahead on my comic schedule (important since you never know when something like an illness or injury – or on the positive end – winning a free vacation to Europe ^_^ could arise and set your schedule back suddenly). So, daily, I am trying to accomplish living at the “Apex of Abby”.
I hope sharing this info will be helpful to artists and others trying to juggle a lot of tasks day to day! Good luck!