Ready for another tip?
As a creator, you’re always going to be warring with yourself. You have stories to tell, but you also have to have those stories sell. So the war will be between being a creator and a consumer.
I love Prince. Anyone who knows me for about ten minutes will hear some sort of Prince reference from me. Purple Rain was a seminal album/soundtrack, and there really aren’t many out there that can touch it.
But Purple Rain is also the story about a musician who’s going through his troubles: at home, in his personal life, and musically. Because his home and personal life influence his music, his output is becoming stranger. This means the consumers, the people who listen to his music, aren’t coming the way they used to. The owner of the club even tells him that he’s getting stranger, and that “the only one who understands your music is yourself.” The Kid was losing the battle between creator and consumer.
It’s a fine line to walk. The stories you want to tell have to be of commercial value in order for you to continue to create. The consumers have to want to read the books you create, and the only way they will continue to support you is if they both like and understand what it is you’re doing.
You have to walk that line. Your creator intuition has to be influenced by consumer opinion somewhat. Otherwise, you’ll end up creating things that don’t sell, and then you’re left wondering why no one is buying your comics.
ComixTribe is looking into things that will have commercial appeal, so that we can continue to publish books, but still satisfy the creative itch. It isn’t easy, because we have to see what’s both not being published, and then publish it in an appealing way for the consumer to latch onto. Not chasing a trend, but maybe making one, or filling a niche that isn’t being served well.
Creativity and consumerism. These are the cornerstones of making comics. Winning this particular war means you’ve created a comic that people enjoy reading and will support, while at the same time satisfying you creatively.
(And just to finish the Prince thing, he’s not really following the lessons The Kid learned in the movie, and it’s influencing his output. Some commercial success is still to be had because he’s Prince, but it can also be said that he’s nowhere near as commercially viable as he once was. His creativity is winning the war with his commercial viability.)