What kind of support system do you have?
Making comics can often be a lonely endeavor. Most of the time, you’re sitting at the desk (computer/drafting) and doing the work. If you’re lucky, you have some sort of social interaction via Twitter or Facebook, but for the most part, you’re there alone with the work. That can cause it’s own kind of stress. Here’s where having a support system can be crucial.
My first wife gave me great support for a time. I was new to making comics, trying to absorb everything I could. She was a great cheerleader, wanting me to do it and do well. Image Comics had formed, the internet was still a place of wonder, and comics were on a bubble. Everyone wanted to be in comics, and everyone wanted to be Image. My first wife was great in telling me that she was there for me, she would support whatever I wanted to do, and she even found Digital Webbing for me.
In such an environment, it’s pretty easy to feel safe and to flourish. I felt my creativity was pretty high, and concepts were coming to me left and right. When I needed to talk about something comic-related, I had someone to turn to. A physical presence. It didn’t matter if it were an idea or a book I had read or a script that I thought was crap (yes, I thought most of the stuff I read was crap, even then)—having someone there to talk to helped.
I’ve also had the opposite—with the same person. Someone I couldn’t turn to in order to talk about my new idea, or a different take on one of my heroes, or a new storyline. It wasn’t that I had to keep them to myself, it’s that she was no longer interested to hear it. Talking to a wall is no fun. And since I was home sitting at the desk with no real human interaction for my ideas or concerns, it grew to be very lonely as a creator. My creativity took a hit, my confidence flagged, and my ideas suffered. It wasn’t a fun position to be in.
Having support is important. Why do creators get together during conventions and go out and have a good time together? Because it’s really the only time we can get together with like-minded people and talk about everything under the sun with someone else who “gets it.” We support each other, just by being there, in person. It’s awesome.
So, what kind of support system do you have? If you don’t have one, what can you do to change that?
Important questions that need real answers if you’re going to survive in comics.