A miscellany of weekly ramblings on comics, art and film by Ted Mathot, storyboard artist and writer/artist/self-publisher of graphic novels and comics

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

...On A Lapse of Creativity...

Well, I've done something I haven't done before on the 3 comics I've produced. And it's bad.

I've allowed so much time to lapse where I haven't worked on the new book that I've become disconnected with it. This is a dangerous place to be because it gives self-doubt a chance to take up roots and threaten to ruin the project. The mind starts to over think and become irrational. Some of the negative and self-conscious ideas running through my head during this time have been:

"Is this the story I want to do?"
"I don't think this is me anymore"
"I'm tired with this storyline"
"It's boring"

Now obviously, none of these are true. But it was inevitable they would appear at some point during a project of this length.

What I've done with the previous 3 books is to never allow this to happen; to continue moving forward, no matter what. Live with the story and never let it get out of your head. The positive thing about what's happening now is that it's identifiable and can be turned into a call to action. It's time to mix things up, look in new directions, and think outside the box. The deadline I've set for myself is a terrifying one, but nothing is a better motivator than imagining myself with nothing new to show at festival time. Especially when the ideas are there, hibernating under a blanket of inaction.

As a creative person it's good to feel this way because it lets me know I care about the project, the characters, the story, and very importantly, the people who are going to be reading it. I'm going to figure it out and come July 09, the second part of Cora's story will be released.


Lucas Martell said...

It's great that you can self-analyze and put a finger on the source of your frustrations. Usually I just tear my hair out and beat my head against the wall until I eventually get past it.

andreas said...

good to see that this is something everyone seems to face.

i hope you´ll make your deadline with ease and while riding on a unicycle smiling like easy money!

Anthony Holden said...

This is interesting, because I've been struggling with similar sentiments over a personal project of my own. Stick it out--you've got great stories to tell, and that we need to hear!

Anonymous said...

Fill up the tank, and get this show back on the road! All your ideas & characters are still there waiting for you!

SDCC 2009!

Anonymous said...


The above comment was from me.


Trophiogrande said...

Reading your blog inspired me greatly to start a web-comic. I'm grateful for your honesty about your process and the final results. Keep plugging away.

Anonymous said...


You have not been posting for awhile so I assumed that you have been locked away and busy on your books. My recommendation is taking a short 3 day trip either the South West or Northern Mexico to get inspiration OR purge the doldrums by downing a 1/5 of fine single malt scotch with some Cuban stogies. If you choose the scotch aka other literary personas like Faulkner. If you choose the single malt and stogies, as promised, I definately can provide the supply. I agree with Trophiogrande. R&I and Cora is a source of inspiration for me. I can honestly say that it gives me greater insight in the arts especially composition and Portrait paintings.


Jamie Baker said...

Ted, I feel your pain. I go through that brain funk (over analysing and idearrhea) all the time... and as a consequence I get about a fraction done of the things that I wanted to do...

I know YOU'll bash your way through this though!


Dude, I hear you. It's good to hear that everyone goes through this crap. THe difference is, you've already produced in the past. It will kick ass. I have loved all of the previous stories. Keep it up.

Hans said...

Thanks for putting words on something I recognize only too well. Maybe this will help me push forward with some of my personal projects, instead of loosing interest and come up with something new, everytime I get stuck with the old.


Senor Ira said...


with all these comments, you know have kindred spirits behind you. Not that you need my advice, but:
-The deadline is king.
-Don't doubt yourself.
-Use any disappointment from finished work to be fuel for the next project.

Looking forward to your next volume. I know it will be a crowd pleaser,

OV! said...


i couldnt agree more, and in fact, THIS POST is what killed my comic, PIGTALE.

you nailed it right on the head.

from that ive learned that when times get tough, keep plowing and your reward will be in the fall harvest, so to speak.

cup o jo said...

Yeah I gotta get on this bandwagon... I have been in a deep block but have broken through. gla you put you thoughts in writing.