Karrie Fransman is a BCre8ive Creative Champion1, author of ‘The House That Groaned’ and creates comic strips for The Guardian, Telegraph and The Times. Here she writes about her top tips on how to become a great graphic novelist – and actually how to be creative generally!
5 Tips for Success
1. It’s not the most talented people who are the most successful. It’s those who are entrepreneurial. Knowing this keeps you from beating yourself up when you’re behind and from bigging yourself up when you’re ahead.
Importance of Meeting People
2. Get out of your bedroom and go and meet people. Comic artists are notoriously shy, as we spend our time drawing fictional worlds to hide in. But the creative industry is full of geeky folk just like me and you. Spend 1/3 of your time creating your work and 2/3 of your time trying to get it ‘out-there’. Go to conventions, get tables, visit galleries and meet editors. When pitching your work to people remember that you don’t have to ‘sell yourself’. Just talk passionately about why you love your medium and your enthusiasm will become infectious.
3.Up the amount of submissions you send out. Art is so subjective and all you need is one person to say ‘yes’. Send your submissions to 10 people. If 8 of them make the same criticism about your work then change it. Don’t change for each person.
4. Grow a very thick skin. Especially on the web, everyone is subjected to abuse about their work. Suck it up and think of all the times you’ve casually bitched about someone who’s work you don’t like in the media. It’s karma, Baby.
5. But most importantly, remember to relax and enjoy the process. Sometimes I get there when I’m alone with pen, paper and my characters – and am absorbed in the joy of the moment. But often I’m drawing while surfing the web, worrying about deadlines and if I’m good enough… so I still struggle with that, too!
Phil adds the following links to help you on your way
You can watch Karrie give a TED talk on Taking Graphic Novels Seriously here.
Check out this wiki for a professional approach to creating a graphic novel/comic
for a more DIY approach see this article