Sunday, October 6, 2013

24 Hour Challenge

My hand is sore from drawing.

This is a good thing.

A few weeks back while attending a convention, I received a few suggestions from fellow artists to partake in a very challenging event that was coming up called, “24 Hour Comics Day.”

I’ve included the official website in the link below but 24 Hour Comic Day is basically a challenge to write, draw, and letter a 24 page comic in the span of 24 hours…with no prep time in advance. YES, an original, entire issue of a comic all in a single day’s time.

(To give perspective on the magnitude of the task, note this: An average comic is put together by a team, usually a writer, artist, inker, letterer, and editor, over the span of a month, to produce  22 pages.)

I had to contemplate whether or not to do this event. The longest I have spent in a single sitting on any piece of art was 4 ½ hours. It would certainly go beyond that x6 so, there was that to consider. I also found myself HEAVILY concerned about the fact the story had to be made on the spot. I’ve worked on a few things here and there sequentially (the largest being my 10 page grant proposal) but all of those I had done with at least a few weeks of concept work (staging, character design, etc.) This would be like going in creatively blind and having to sprint full out minus the stretching and practice.

When it came down to it, though, I didn’t really have any reasons to shy away giving it an attempt. At least if I tried and failed, I’d likely learn from it.

BOY was I right.

So, challenge accepted, I went to the link to see how I could go about doing it. My original intent was to go to one of the host locations and do it on a super official capacity…but, the closest one was a state over and I simply couldn’t make the trip due to a local obligation Sunday morning. I found out that you could do it from the comfort of your own studio so, off to the races I went…

…And failed miserably.

It was the greatest experience I’ve had with art this year.

I woke up around seven, showered and got on some clothes to work in and was at the boards from 8am till about 12:30am (breaks for bathroom and two meals) and managed to get 17 ½ pages penciled. (I planned to sleep for 4 hours and then get up and try for the rest but, in classic comedic form, my alarm never went off before my 8am deadline.)

I am glad I did it. It was the perfect challenge to test myself with and I learned so much about ME. Strengths were discovered, weaknesses exposed, and I found that instead succumbing to the feeling of it being difficult or challenging, I relished in the madness of developing a story from nothing, to words, to page.

I think that the take-away (as my friend Mike would say) is that I maybe have more skill and confidence than I rarely allow myself to see. It was nice to work long (and I do mean LONG) and hard, walking away with many things added to myself from the experience.

Including a hand that’s sore and which I’m using to type right now.

I Didn’t get the time to scan/pic the artwork but, as soon as I can this week, I’ll toss up a post with the goods.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to log off, rest my hand, and take this day of rest…and REST.

- Conduct Lionhardt

24 hour comics day