Lately I’ve been concerned about how to engage in activities that provide a bit of income. To be honest, my life here in Japan is comfortable. I have a full time job that pays the bills, and on evenings and weekends I do personal English tutoring. I’m not going to be rich or anything, but I’m doing okay.
I bet a lot of you know how it is. You do a job that you’re kind of good at, you can do well, and it’s somewhat enjoyable. But there’s that gnawing part of you. That side of you that won’t shut up, and it’s telling you, “you KNOW that’s not what you REALLY want to do.”
And it’s right. Right now my passion is in drawing depression comix. But I want to draw more. I want to draw more Suicide Girl comics. I want to develop some illustrated short stories. And then there’s the Thin H Line, which got put on the backburner because depcom got unexpectedly more popular.
Basically what I want is to justify reducing my work load a little and focus more on the art, like I did in the good old days when I was drawing like five to ten pages a week. Sadly, when I was doing all that, I didn’t give a thought to how to promote myself or try to make money because I thought one day someone would come along and give me my break. This was a stupid, stupid thought and to nobody’s surprise no one came along. It may be too late but now I understand that I have to do it all myself. I have to give myself a future because no one else will. Life never gives you what you think you deserve. And not realizing that has held me back many wasted years and contributed heavily to my depression.
So now I gotta find some way to make this work. I WILL become professional. Somehow.
I have lost something. I’m not exactly sure what it is but I know I didn’t always feel this… sedated. But you know what? It’s never too late to get it back.
— Lester Burnham, American Beauty.
One thing I’ve been working on is the depression comix account at Deviantart ( http://depressioncomix.deviantart.com ). Right now comix 1 to 15 are posted… a small beginning, I guess… but anyone can buy printed art there from high quality scans I made. Art prints, canvas, greeting cards, postcards and magnets. My cut is like between 15 and 20%, but it’s a start to make the work available for purchase. I am also highly considering putting scans of the comic up for sale for home printing, and the cost would be whatever one wanted to pay for it, a kind of gift-donation system. Then it’s on to other comics, perhaps pdf book versions of depcom and Sexy Losers under the same “pay what you want” system. I have other stuff I’m working on too, like t-shirts.
Of course I’m always listening to ideas. Being in Japan doesn’t help admittedly. I can’t attend cons or print stuff locally without asking for mammoth sums for shipping. But I will find a way to become professional. My dream is back, and this time I’m not going to let depression stop me.