Are you telling the stories you want to tell?
As a storyteller (and everyone working in comics is telling a story, from the editor to the letterer and colorist), with every panel and page you work on, you have to ask yourself if you’re telling the story you want to tell.
When we’re new, we want to tell variations of stories we’ve read or seen. Telling a “new” story, but aping someone else’s style of storytelling. You’re not telling your story—you’re telling a story how some other creator would tell that story. It would be considered an homage at best, and a ripoff at worst. (However, in order to be any good at posing as another creator, you have to be good at what you do in the first place.)
You don’t have to look too far to see artistic influences of creators. A lot of what has gone before has come back around (and some hasn’t, although I think it should; the old masters are called that for a reason), so you can tell what those creators used as influences in creating their own style.
However, it takes time to develop your own style, or if you’re really ambitious, two or more, and have them all be viable. And in telling the story, becoming part of a team, you have to make sure the story you’re telling is complementary to everyone else’s story on that page.
I have a story idea, and I was gathering a team to put the story into production. One of the team members, the colorist, wanted to be able to tell the story in color the way he wanted, which would depend on the mood of the story, characters, and their own. I agreed, because I thought it would have been extremely interesting to see. The project fell apart so I never did, but it made me realize all over again just how important putting the right people on the story is, because they all have a story to tell.
Learn. Grow. And as you do so, always ask yourself the question: are you telling the story you want to tell?