I haven’t posted for about a month, it’s bad, I know. And here I am doing the thing I’m worst at: writing. I do this once a while to comb my thoughts so please bare with me.
The simple version of the explanation was: My momentum stopped. On my last post, Brandon commented that the momentum is very important in doing things and I totally agree. When I was creating whenever I had time, that became my momentum, and I was pushed by it. A few weeks ago I had long time friends visiting me in Seattle, followed by my family. I took a break to hang out with them and enjoy the beautiful summer in Seattle. Then it was the summer vacation, I was busy arranging all kinds of activities to keep my children busy ( I’m such a last-minute camp booker).
When I wasn’t making the comics, I had more time to think about it. Oh, I know the danger of it, and I’m the queen of overthinking. That’s why writing it down might be helpful. I’ve been making the comics( and some other things) for about 9 months now, it all started with an urge without much planning– exactly the right way to start anything creative. I’m very proud of myself to stick with it and created about 100 pieces of original content. Here I am now, it’s also a good time to reflect on my path and figure out a way to go forward. And I want to share my thoughts with you.
Why I do this? This is the question I ask myself all the time. Sometimes the answer was clear and firm, sometimes ambiguous and uncertain. During the ups and downs, the answers range from” Because I love it!” to “Because I’m a psycho and like to torture myself”. Really, I hope the answer was as clear and bright as a beacon in the night, just open my eyes and I wouldn’t ever wander into the darkness. In reality, they are scattered like the stars in the sky and I’m always looking for the brighter one. No matter what it is, here are the reasons I WANT it to be:
It’s a method to express myself, through it I have a voice in the world.
This is the most important one I think, it is who I am. When I was a teenager, I was making comics and publishing on magazines in China. My head was filled with stories and characters all the time. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I wanted to create because I had so much to say. One day when I was 16, I was walking home behind my mom and I looked at her back and one thought came to my mind: ” How could someone live like that?” “That” was my mom’s life: ordinary, mundane and passionless to a 16-year-old. I was curious if there were also so many emotions and urge in her mind but she couldn’t do anything about it. That’s the first time I realized that I was so lucky to have an outlet, a way to put my mind and heart out there so I won’t explode.
Well, the 16-year-old me also didn’t know anything about the reality, let alone the profound grit and meaning of my mom’s life. Over the years, my focus shifted, my mind calmed down, my path changed, I became mute. Once a while, when I took my pen and created something I truly felt myself. But there’s just no big drive for me to persist.
Things changed after the arrival of my children. I panicked, literally. There’s no better reminder of your existence and mortality than your own children. Responsibilities. Oh my god. What can I give them? How do I guide them when I didn’t know where myself is? The scene of the 16-year-old walking behind her mom came to my dream.
I felt I have to do something, something that brings me closer to my heart. I don’t have many fancy skills. I like to tell stories, and it’s easy to start with your own. Well, I thought it’s easy, but I’m not even close to being able to do it well. But through doing it, like finding pieces of a puzzle and put them together, the truth will reveal along the way.
Okay, that’s enough of explaining the “why”. I also enjoy the creative process itself. I love the feeling of complete a little project. And when people give you positive feedback, that feeling of connection is so precious. As an immigrant in the US, connection with people around me is much rarer than in your own country, I really long for that.
I can’t believe I spent my whole morning writing this, worth it tho. I’m gonna stop here and come back later to write about the things I don’t like about making comics( and other things).