I DO NOT LIKE OR POST HOMESTUCK ANYMORE.
I’m a 20-something design graduate who’s finally getting back into drawing after a four year long depression hiatus. Eventually I’d like to go to grad school for either fashion or illustration, and knowing myself I’ll probably wind up doing both. You can check out My art here!
I’m still learning how to sew, and am trying out new techniques on cosplay and costumes before I start with for real-real apparel. I’ve learned a lot, though, so if you have any questions about something, feel free to ask! If I don’t know the answer, I definitely know people who do.
Today I witnessed something amazing. Almost in stark contrast to yesterday, today I saw tangible impact of lady-representation in comics.
At the bookstore I work at, we have a dedicated Adventure Time section. This family came in and those kids were SO EXCITED to see their favourite characters in comics. I talked them through each OGN and series compilation, explaining what they all were and in what order they should be read, and this little girl’s entire life was changed. You could see it on her face.
The moment I mentioned Kate Leth (and that, yes, she is a girl.) this little girl’s face lit up like Christmas morning. I don’t know if it just never occurred to her that girls can work in comics but the excitement and wonder that left the store in her was a privilege to see. I ended up selling them the Fionna & Cake’s, all the OGN’s, and an AT doodle book. She left begging her dad to help her learn how to draw Marceline comics. (And he was happy to comply!)
Kate Leth has left an everlasting impression on this little girl just by existing and working in the industry. I honestly hope to someday be able to see such an impact on someone from my own work. Ladies in comics is important. The representation on the page, and behind them, is important. Having a reflection of yourself in the content you enjoy is important. I hope that little girl grows up to be a famous comic author someday.
It was a very good day.
I don’t even know what to say, I think my heart exploded. This is, I think, the best response I could ever hope for.
Asked by Anonymous Anonymous
So, let me tell you a quick story:
My grandpa on my dad’s side came over from China when he was pretty young— grew up in Chicago. He was in high school when World War 2 broke out; he joined up, and was put in the 407th Air Service Squadron. It was part of the famed Flying Tigers fighter group, and one of the first all Chinese-American units in the military. He fixed planes. He also shot at them when they strafed the airfield. With a pistol.
He was there when the Japanese officially signed the surrender, and was honorably discharged soon after. The very first thing that he bought with his stashed up pay was a sterling silver bracelet with his serial number on it.
I keep it within sight of my desk at all times.
After the war, he went back to Chicago, but his father was already housing too many Chinese immigrant workers (up to this point, most Chinese immigrants were single men because of strict immigration laws and quotas), so he had to move to Detroit to live with an uncle and finish high school.
One of his high school teachers noted his artistic abilities, and recommended that he use his GI Bill to go to art school. Of course, his dad wouldn’t have it. So, he worked in laundromats, owned his own grocery, and later worked as an insurance salesman instead.
70 years later, I’m the graduate of an art school, and I’m taking a break from drawing to write this out.
I guess my point is this: the time that you use to pursue art has to come from somewhere. At some point, a sacrifice was made by you, or others, to allow you to have that time. Illustrators try to make a living in that intersection of art and commerce in an effort to lessen that sacrifice. There are some that are doing quite well at that. There are many, many more that are not.
Even those artists who we view as extremely successful have to sacrifice time. It just comes from other places: relationships, health, or family, etc. The real struggle then, is to find that balance on how you are spending your time.
If you know that a life spent making art is your ultimate goal, then doing things you don’t like aren’t really frustrations. They are necessities that must be done to give yourself time.
I think this is why I cringe every time I hear someone say that self-righteous creed of the “creative class”: “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” That statement discounts all the hard work and sacrifices that you or others have made to be in that situation—what on Earth would entitle us to only work jobs that we love?
I don’t do this because I love it. I do it because I must.
It’s in my bones.