Monday, June 16, 2014

Make Your Best Work: Don’t Rush the Creative Process

Sometimes I find myself in a situation where the ideas aren’t coming fast enough. Then when the ideas aren’t coming I get anxious because it’s like, “I have no more ideas! Is this the END?!”

Panic only makes it harder to come up with ideas. Also, sometimes my work isn’t as polished as I would like it to be, and I can’t seem to make it any better. It’s frustraiting.

If you can indentify with this situation, it could be that you’re suffering from the same problem that I do:

No Patience.

Recently I’ve started working on a novel and my next manga, and I’ve decided to take my sweet time with both of them. I have to confess, it has been difficult spending so much time thinking and planning, but I’m already seeing some very good results from slowing it down a little.

Turns out, creating stories is more like a marathon than a sprint. It takes endurance, and if you don’t pace yourself you can burn out before getting to the finish line--or at least create stories that are at a lower quality than your best. While taking it slow on both of these new projects, I’ve seen that taking more time not only enables me to avoid burning out, but I also come up with more ideas.

For example, I’ve been working on a new manga, and right now I’m at the stage of creating characters. One of the characters is a young woman with a very innocent, almost childish personality. At first I drew her with loose, wavy hair, and if I was the old me, that is exactly how I would have drawn her in the manga too. However this time around, I let some days pass and then returned to the character sheet. When I looked at it again I decided that the loose wavy hair didn’t fit her character because it made her seem more mature. So instead I drew her hair in a long braid, which definately plays up the innocence of her personality.

Allowing time allows my work to grow, and it amazes me.

Working slowly means that it’s easier for me to see my mistakes, and that I’m less likely to make them.

Working slowly gives me more time to think, and that allows events that happen in the days inbetween to inspire me and give me more ideas.

I still give myself an estimated finish date for when I work, because if I don’t I’ll never finish what I’m working on. My finish dates now are more comfortable than agressive. I’ve made up my mind that if a finish date is causing me to rush too much, it’s okay to push it back a little bit.

By taking my time, the quality of my work improves, and my stories become more of what I want them to be.