Monday, 1 June 2015

Two Thousand Bad Drawings

Backcover, Cerebus Archive #3 (August 2009)
DAVE SIM:
(from the Cerebus Guide To Self-Publishing, 1997)
...It is a conventional and accurate piece of wisdom that "you have two thousand bad drawings in you, and once you get those done you start doing good ones." What is often not added -- and really should be, in my view -- is that there is a world of joy and gratification and surprise to be had in doing those two thousand bad drawings, watching them get less bad, watching your own style emerge, your own ideas take shape and coalesce and develop a life of their own. Enjoy it. Enjoy creativity, first, last, and always for its own sake. If it isn't fun, find a new way to do it that is fun. Satisfy yourself every step of the way. Draw what you want to draw. Write what you want to write. If you want to revise the earlier work, revise the earlier work. Your leisure time is your leisure time and no one else's -- "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" -- and if your greatest happiness is to be had in writing and drawing comic books, you are miles ahead of most of your peers, who haven't the faintest notion of what would make them happy.

Write and draw and draw and write for their own sake and to please yourself -- enjoy it to the fullest, and always pursue the avenue that seems to be the most fun, that compels you, irresistibly, to pick up that pencil and start committing your words and pictures to paper. It won't take long before you can grin and say in perfect honesty:

"Get a life? Man, I’ve got a life."

3 comments:

Paul Sklade said...

What's the aspiring writer's equivalent, I wonder? 20,000 bad sentences? 200,000?

Jeff Seiler seilerjeff said...

20,000 omitted or misused commas? 10,000 misplaced apostrophes (it's is only used for the contraction of it is, boys and girls)? 5,000 semi-colons used when the following text doesn't comprise a complete sentence of its (not it's) own?

I could go on and on, but I...

Oh, yeah: My latest pet peeve is when people use the spelling "lead" when they mean "led", as in "He led his people to the promised land."

Exit Dictionary Lad.

Travis Pelkie said...

OOH, yeah, I'm seeing the lead/led a lot too, and it bugs the heck out of me. GRR!!!

I'd forgotten how inspiring Dave can be at times, with this quote. He's usually so doom-and-gloom you forget this aspect of him.