24hour Comic Day! What is 24hrcd you may ask? I actually had no idea until 3 days before the event this past weekend and I was lucky enough to get invited by my good friend Eroyn Franklin (amazing comic artist). It is an event that happens worldwide where people gather in groups of around 15-20 and try to take on the challenge of drawing a 24 page comic in 24 hours. It was created by Scott McCloud and is supposed to inspire and push the comic artist to show him/her what they can do when pushed to the extremes.
Our 24 hour period began at 1pm, I arrived prepared with water, coffee and a sandwich completely nervous but ready for the challenge. I had not planned or prepared any kind of pre thought-out story or concept feeling like complete spontaneity was the best approach. The first 10-15 mins I sat staring at my blank piece of paper with my mind just as blank. I started to panic knowing that I had about an hour per page if I were to complete the full 24 page project. Finally I just told myself I must dig in and start drawing otherwise this wasn't going to happen at all.
I believe that part of the reason I get stuck or am slow to produce work sometimes is because of an obsession with perfection in my work. I always want to create the very best possible piece that I can and know that anything I do I could probably could of done better. However in this moment I didn't have time to double think or plan the perfect page, I had an hour and the only thing important was that I has something on the page even if it wasn't perfect. This freedom allowed my hand to flow onto the page and I amazed myself with what came out.
I decided to draw Tofu and Morty (if you have seen my work they are the two round characters that wear pink and blue pants and Tofu always has a big pink bow on her head) because they are my more autobiographical characters that I formed back in college as a way of expressing certain stories and emotions in my life. Yet I have never quite written their story the way I wanted to, so part of me feels like these characters are old but yet I had to remind myself that although they have lived a long time running around in my head they have never seen that much light of day. They are also two characters that I can get really passionate about when I draw them and they are so real to me they seem to tell me what they are going to do, I don't tell them.
So their the story flowed, and I think this event was exactly what I needed as a big push to simply get things out of my head. I was surprised and excited by the pages I produced during this time and it has given me so much encouragement to keep producing so I can finally share the massive world that lives inside of my head. Sadly I only finished around 9-pages (although pretty much everyone finished the same amount of work) but I have big plans and strategies for next year on how to actually accomplish this seemingly impossible task.
And finally I'll say a couple more words about the event itself. I feel like I got lucky because the group I got to draw with was amazing. It was a room full of great personalities who all got along extremely well, ontop of that they were all great comic artists and getting to draw around other people with your same passions in life was incredible. Most of us made it through the night, eating free pizza and frozen custard that was donated to us. There was alot of pacing up and down the halls, sleeping under tables and some simply went home for a few hours and then came back to finish. It truly was a crazy day but well worth it.
(I will be posting my completed pages soon but my scanner has been not working so I have to figure that out)