Discover more from Stupid Fresh Mess
An unfinished story of doubt
I was looking through the MY PROJECTS folder, which has dozens of folders inside it. Each of them are filled with doodles, documents, inspiration, etc. It’s the place I keep all the ideas that I’d like to work on some day. Some of those folders have become books that you have on your selves right now. Most of them are still sitting there waiting to be opened and brought to life. Some have missed their window and will forever exist in that little blue digital folder.
I wanted to share one of those that I’ll never finish, at lease in it’s current form. It’s actually a story related to those folders of ideas and the struggle to make them reality. The story was called WORLD OF 3. Here’s the thing. I have no idea why it was called that. This was conceived 10 years ago. 2013. Looking at the pages, I can’t tell you why I titled it WORLD OF 3. It really makes no sense. So, I’m renaming it.
I was in a very interesting headspace in 2013. I was 4 years into being a dad, 2 years into having lost my dad, and generally trying to figure out what my life and career had in store for me. We were bringing the OZ adaptations to an end after 5 years and I was itching to work on my own project. Write, draw, and own it! I had ideas for graphic novels, children’s books, and much more. I had plenty of material to get started on, but for whatever reason I would stall. I’d sketch characters, layout pages, do ink and color samples. Sometimes, even get logos ready. Then… nothing. I would freeze. I was getting very frustrated with myself. I couldn’t figure out why my confidence would just take a hike as soon as I was ready to start actual scripts for pages for any one of these ideas. I would think they’re not quite ready yet, or the market wouldn’t support it, or, or, or. I had so many or’s and exactly zero of my projects finished.
“I tell stories everyday. They’re just not my own. I mean they’re mine, they’re just not MINE, you know?”
One day I decided to open up and put these thoughts an feelings into a short, autobio story about how I was feeling while trying to tell my own stories. I didn’t know what I was going to say when I started the layouts for this story, and that ended up kind of being what my problem was. I think. It’s been awhile now so it’s easy to make myself seem all insightful. Basically…
…I was working so hard at trying to say something and then realized I didn't know what I wanted to say. And so I’d stall. This is that story. Take a look at the very rough layouts of what I now call THE CLIMB. I wrote and drew this on the spot. No plan. No script. Just improv style.
It’s funny that even a story about falling victim to self doubt went unfinished because of SELF DOUBT. Haha. At least I was consistent. I think this is feeling I can examine still, but I’d have to explore it in a broader way. Maybe this can be a BOY AT THE END study.
“Once I feel like i’m there, it’s like I have nothing to say.”
Eventually I did get past the doubt and I’ve made serval books on my own and with my friends and couldn’t be happier. Now, here’s the fucked up part. 10 years later I realized that I didn't really have to have something to say to be able to start and finish something. I just needed to start something… and I would end up saying something with it by the time I finished. Doubt in myself was the challenge to overcome, not whether or not I had something profound to put into the pages.
Anyway, I thought you might enjoy a little peek at the insecure me that existed just before I started writing and drawing my first ongoing with Rocket Raccoon and launching my first creator owned book I HATE FAIRYLAND! Both projects changed the direction of the rest of my career so far!
Things can change fast. Enjoy the ride!