Dang. Dang, guys. Seriously, dang.

I hit that burn out thing. Many friends and family members have been eye-balling my sanity levels – dwindling between the increased hours of my day job and a few other real life stresses – and for the past month or so they’d been muttering that “Hey, it’s gonna happen. You’re gonna burn out, Meg.” They knew it. I knew it. Still, I’m stubborn. I acknowledged that they were probably right, shrugged, and pressed on.

My goal was to get to the end of this scene and then go on hiatus for a couple of weeks to get my creative energy back. I’m really close to the end here, but I just couldn’t push it any further.  This last week I first found myself unable to get faces drawn correctly, and then my ability to string sentences together disappeared. Then I started questioning even the foundations of my basic plot and getting paranoid that I was an absolute hack with no business telling stories (this is a thing, it happens). On Thursday I realized I was bashing my head into walls and not getting anything accomplished, and in fact probably doing way more damage than good.

So I finally had to take a break before I’d wanted to. Just for this week, though. Next week the comic returns, and I’ll keep rolling until the scene ends. Then, yeah, I’ll still need that hiatus. It was a mistake to not take a break at the end of the last scene. I’ll aim to take better care of myself in the future.

In the meanwhile, I happened to have a doodle that was lying around of Stiggs’ markings on his back, which we never see due to that big black coat of his. I’d meant to post it last week in the Tumblr, but something stopped me. Now I know what. I realized, subconsciously, that in a few days’ time you people would need….

a butt.

Erglebergle ermahgerd. First off, a tiny warning: I’m struggling with getting the comic finished in time for Monday due to personal reasons that are smashing my creativity into dust, so I’ll advise that there’s a fifty-ish percent chance that sketches (maybe stickmen, depending on how bad it is; maybe a photo of my cat being dumb if it’s the worst it can be) will be posted instead of a new page, come the day. As always, I’m trying not to have that happen, but sometimes life just kicks you when you’re down and there’s no getting up. I give a hearty thppth to it all.

Edit: Never mind! Got ‘er done!

Good news is that there’s a new section up for the web to look upon! Check the menubar and there’s now a Fan Art section, with works by a friend,  fan, and fellow comicker to start things off. If any of you have ever done or ever will do art based off of my story, there’s a bunch of handy methods for getting ahold of me, all available on said Fan Art page, and you may  gaze upon those knowing that I will publish artwork everywhere that there are buttons to allow me to do so! Unless you don’t want me to. But if you do, it will be done!

Go take a look-see. 

Been looking forward to this. This page. Yes yes.

First: Tieke City! It’s the place I’ve explored the absolute most in story chunks since I began redesigning this story from it’s original version (from way back when I was in my teenage years).

Even more fun, I finally get to mention one of the collaborators I’ve had over the years: my brother, Liam. We always got along rather well as far as siblings go, and it used to be that we’d design these stories together. Aurorin here is his from long ago, as is the aforementioned Stiggs (although Stiggs’ first name, Jardren, is the only remaining reference to an old character of mine who pretty much lost all usefulness as I got older). They’ve been through major redesigns in the last thirteen years or so, including a whole species change for one of them, but all with my brother’s guidance.

It makes me feel pretty special to get to use them in my story.

So, for the record: thanks, Liam! I hope I do your fellows justice.

And having a little sit-down to breathe.

To begin, have a present. This is music by a friend of mine that’s become very much a staple for writing and drawing Prophecy of the Circle and lately it’s seen frequent rotation on my iTunes. I must share! I must. I shall. Beautiful music for creating to. Take a listen and support a fellow creative type, if you’re so inclined. 🙂

Now, explanation-wise: If you noticed me being slow to respond and scatter-brained to the extreme lately (more so than usual; crazy, I know!) it’s because I’ve spent the last month or so working extra hard each week behind the scenes, and I think I’ve finally achieved a tiny, silly little workaholic’s daydream: I’ve got a comic buffer! I’ve officially bought nearly three weeks worth of time for myself and it means so many things. So many glorious things!

Primarily: I have time to do even more work! AHAHAHAHAHA.




Here’s how it stands, somewhat. Every week I still have to do a comic to maintain that buffer, but I’ve learned a few tricks that make it easier and faster for me to keep on top of things. It’s been a matter of identifying the stages in comic-creation where I stall and procrastinate and making those fewer and further between. Took me a while to figure out a pattern that works and to get it running smoothly, but I’ve finally got one.

When I sit down to sketch or ink or anything except painting, I don’t just do one page like I used to. I write maybe a whole scene in great detail, all in one sitting. I’ll do the pencils for five or six pages in a single evening. I’ll ink all of those pages in another evening. By the time I’m done that over the course of three days, I’ve got almost two months of pages that only need to be painted, scanned, and assembled, so-to-speak, which I can typically do in one day per page. The faster I get that done, the faster I can get to building another batch of pages, and the buffer grows!

And if I need to take a day to do something else it’s now guilt-free. That’s things like building a solid portfolio for career purposes (those who remember my earlier fears about income… I have indeed found some degree of stability, sorta, but things are still precarious and being worked out on my end; ongoing saga but my head’s currently above water), or attend to comic side projects like more merchandise designs or adding a fanart page to the home site, or even just maintaining the encyclopedia. When I get a little further ahead than I am now, it’s going to be an even bigger relief because I can start squeezing in a day or two here and there to do things I want to, rather than need. Prophecy of the Circle is great – it’s my baby, after all – but it’s like if you had to eat the same thing every day. I do come to miss variety. Got art and half-finished novels and project ideas I’d love to toy with and renew that creative spirit of mine.

The first thing I’m doing, though, is taking a pause for a few days. A real complete total pause. We’ve got a long weekend here in Canada, and tomorrow evening I’m off to Vancouver for a quick holiday. Just family, my sketchbook, and a real paper book to read.

And it’s going to be glorious. 😀