It’s time to take the comic a bit more seriously!
New Beginnings: a Fresh Start
Last July, I enrolled in the IGNITE Ireland Academy in Dublin. It’s a 6 month course in self-employment, and starting your own business. It’s basically Entrepreneurship. I love it! And I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my wife and son for their understanding and patience.
Initially, at the course, I had a vague idea about getting serious with freelance illustration. So, at my first ‘Walk the Coals’ presentation, I presented 4 potential business ideas to the group. They included freelancing, but also the Between * Wars comic – tacked-on at the end. Ultimately, the latter would be my dream ‘job’. Working on this labour of love and making a living from it. And so far, it has been a labour of love. A hobby. Something fun to do on the side. I love it!
And a funny – and interesting thing happened: the audience loved the comic idea the most, out of the 4. Maybe we’re all just deluded, but it captured their imaginations.
I thought about how earning a living as a freelance illustrator in Ireland is murder for most illustrators – even the few ostensibly successful ones. I also thought about how much I love working on B*W, the idea of self-publishing, and selling direct to the public – and not to other businesses.
My conclusion was (call me a dreamer, a deluded fool, away with the fairies…) that I could test the learning and tools from this course on the comic idea first. I’ve already been doing it for a year. People like it (audience/demand) – I LOVE it more than any work I’ve ever done (passion) – and it already exists. So why not?
So, a significant thing had occurred: I made a decision! Not easy for someone with a C/S personality type. (See: Free DiSC Personality Testing). That’s something else I learned on the course, by the way. It’s great, because self-knowledge is so important – in just about everything you do in life.
Anyway, I’ll explore the self-publishing/comic idea for the first few weeks of the course and if it turns out to be pure folly, I’ll try to come up with something else, even if it’s not as fun or interesting and apply the lessons-learned to that. Sigh. But I will still do the comic, in some shape or form, no matter what I end up doing for a living.
Do you know, they tell us that most people on the course realise their idea is an “ugly baby” after a few weeks anyway – and rethink everything. It’s a horrible term, but an ugly baby, for our purposes is a business idea that you love, and nurture and protect and invest all of your hopes in, but no one else can see why! Especially those with business heads.
Despite all the anecdotal remarks like “only 1 in a 1000 succeeds” in this webcomics lark, and every other lark, if you listen to every wage-slave who wants you to be one too; I’m wondering how many self-publishers online are actually TRYING to make a success out of it? I suspect the figure is much lower than people imagine it is. Maybe 1 in 100 succeed at it – and the other 9,900 aren’t even bothering to try. What happens if you take sensible approach to it instead? I’m not saying that I’ll be cynically trying to discover if you all love Pink Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows – and then prostituting myself in Hell making a webcomic based on it for the next 20 years, but it’d be sensible to get the fundamentals right!
Speaking of research, I posted links to two online survey forms last Sunday on the B*W Facebook page. Thanks to those of you who spent the necessary 2 minutes to complete the anonymous survey. 14 people have responded so far. but the more that respond, the better the results. If you haven’t done it – I would love it if you did! No need to enter your name or email address – it’s totally anonymous! You get to tell me what you think, so I can give you a better experience!
The 2 minute Survey to Help Me Out
If you like comics, choose your survey:
If you’re aged 20 – 39 (lucky you!)
please use this form »
If you’re aged 40 – 55 (a seventies kid, like me)
please use this form »
Sincere thanks, and…
* Stay Groovy *