Anniversary!

Hooray! Happy web comic anniversary to The Little Monks!

This is it.

I have been updating consistently, two to three times a week, for a year.

Very proud moment!

Birthday-card

Of course, this would not be possible (is this the most cliché sentence ever, or what?) without having some tremendous supporter around me! First of all: to every single reader, thanks for putting up with me, and my sometimes quirky experiments and very bad art! It is great to know that what I draw is being read by someone, and isn’t just sitting around on my computer.

I also want to send a personal thank out in the world. I really want to thank my personal IT-guy, who build the website with his own hands (well, and keyboard), and made adaptations along the way whenever I asked it. But the IT-guy did more that, you supported me the whole time, picked me up when I was feeling down, and believed in me the whole time, even when I had temporary lost hope. You’re the best!

banner--birthday

After those heartfelt words, I thought this was also a good moment for a little bit of reflection.

The first thing that comes to my mind to reflect about is my art. And, man, I sucked one year ago! I still can’t say I love what I draw, but it’s certainly more passable than one year ago.

So, how can one really reflect on his or her art evolution? I was lucky that in April I had a comic that was ready to be published, but, for personal reasons, I chose not to publish it back then. In June, it seemed okay to me to schedule it to be reused in September. So I looked at it to see if I needed to change some things because the story had evolved. I immediatly went uh-oh. The art simply sucked. It was a page I drew back in december 2014, and I simply could not publish it like that. The content was OK, but the art was unbearable for myself to watch. So, I redrew it.

Afterwards, it turned out to be a great lesson. I could compare both versions, and lo and behold, I could actually see where I made some progress! I thought it to be very exciting, as I hadn’t felt that big of a change during that year, but to me it meant that drawing everyday for a year simply mattered. The idea of constant practice to create some talent is one I’ve heard so often, and now I could really witness that it worked.

The funny thing is that when I now look back at that page I redrew in June, some six month ago, I already think it also sucks. Still progress made in the meantime!

So, I thought you may want to also have a look at what changed between december 2014 and september 2015. The actual pages were published on the second and the third of September (comic 133 and 134).

xx Comic-68

Old page left, new page right

xxComic-70

Old page left, new page right

Look at those differences? I really cringe when looking at my anatomy back in December. It has gotten better, but I’m still not happy with it. But by drawing people over and over again, it all just got better. The gestures got more dynamic, and the expressions got more “real”…

What also got tons better is my lettering. The placement of my balloons was so damn awful! That is also something I think I still have some progress to make, but we are getting there, slowly.

I think that is what I want you to remember, after reading this blogpost: If you want something, you want to learn a new skill, you want to draw, paint, program, dance or sing, or whatever your dream is, persistence is the key. I got so much better in one year, and I will likely continue to make progress in the coming year, just by drawing every single day! In the past year there were only a handful of days I did not draw. Some days I wasn’t working on The Little Monks, but I still drew. And it actually got me somewhere. To me that is a very reassuring thought!

So, dream big, and keep hustling at it!

And of course, a scary and happy Halloween to everyone!

halloween

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