There are more ways than ever to build a career in comics. But you - yes you - you’re doing it wrong.
At least, that’s what you’re telling yourself by always looking for the “one right answer” to build a career in comics or the next hack that’s going to make everything easy.
Unfortunately, building a career in comics is never easy. If you can accept this then you stand a chance of accomplishing your goals in this industry - whatever they are.
But if you don’t, you’re likely to subject yourself to a vicious cycle of doubt and inaction that will be your biggest impediment to reaching any kind of success.
Of course, there are useful resources (sites like this one, for example) along the way, that can help you avoid mistakes. They can teach you lessons to apply to your own career, but ultimately we all walk our own path in building a career.
That’s easy to forget, when building a career can be so difficult.
Even I struggle with this. Clearly, as you can see from this site, I’m a proponent for self-publishing. And I’ve taken that to heart in my own creative projects. But I’m not against working with publishers. In fact, if you’re like most creators, it makes sense to work with publishers along the way.
They can help you avoid all the other work that comes with self-publishing, provide an editor, give you the validation of having a logo on your book, and allow you to reach audiences you might have difficulty reaching on your own.
I think, for most of us, the answer lies in some combination of the two. And figuring out which road to walk is far less important than just continuing to put one foot in front of another.
Don’t get caught up staring at the map of the career you’re planning in your head. Make great work, and try to be conscious of the decisions you make along the way. When you encouter a challenge reach out to your fellow creators or search through sites like these to get the information you need to make an informed choice when it’s actually time to make that choice.
All my projects have gotten a lot easier to manage as soon as I stopped looking down the road and turned my attention to the work at hand.