If you are an artist interested in creating webcomics, you may be wondering where and how to start. As a beginner, you will face challenges and some of the most common mistakes creators make when they are just starting out.
The following list of common mistakes will help you move forward in the creative process of making a successful webcomic.
The first and possibly biggest mistake beginners tend to make is raising their expectations early on.
To be fair, it can seem quite tempting to drop everything you’re doing and spend all your time making webcomics when you see how much creators can earn from this full-time job.
However, it usually takes years for them to reach this level of success, and that’s something to keep in mind when starting out. It is not an easy road, and you have to have a lot of patience.
It takes a lot of money and time to get to the level of quality and reach the level of fame that will help you make a living doing webcomics.
Some of the best advice to avoid making these beginner mistakes comes from Spike, editor of the 2012 Smut Peddler anthologies, The Sleep of Reason, writer of Proofcraft, and creator of Templar Arizona.
According to Spike, all you have to do at first is be patient. Don’t assume that things will go smoothly from the start and that you’ll be able to pay your bills, groceries, and lifestyle as soon as you start.
With a little patience and persistence in what you do, you will achieve it in a few years.
In addition to the above mistake, webcomic creators who rush early in their career also often make this mistake. As soon as they start working on their webcomic, or even before, they try to market their work.
According to Dave Kellet, creator of Drive and Sheldon, this is how most beginners make the mistake of neglecting their art for business.
These young creators focus all their energy on the design of their website, books, and t-shirts instead of first focusing on the story and characters they are developing for their webcomic.
So if you’re starting your first webcomic, make sure you focus on the story and create the webcomic first. Once your work gains enough attention and fans, that’s when you can start thinking about merchandising and developing your website.
Webcomic artists love to pour all their energy and creativity into drawing because that is their main creative outlet. However, no matter how amazing the characters and scenes are individually, you should also spend your time developing a strong plot.
The mistake most creators make is that they start with a promising idea, but their plot fails somewhere along the way because they prioritized the drawing over the story.
To avoid this error, start working on the plot first. Make sure you flesh it out fully, draft it, go through it again, and make sure there are no plot holes.
Once you’re happy with the story you want to work on, move on to character building and how the scenes will revolve around the main plot.
Another potential mistake is not being able to draw characters and scenes realistically.
Obviously when you start creating webcomics this can be quite challenging. However, it is the most crucial part of creating a webcomic and something you need to work on if you want to become a successful creator.
if you want to learn how to draw comic characters, you need to learn about anatomy and perspective. These are the two most important elements of a well-created comic character.
Start by learning how to draw certain body parts and be sure to practice often. Then, move on to drawing characters as a whole. Once you feel ready, you can start drawing characters in motion as they walk, run, or jump. This will help you better understand human anatomy and what bodies look like when they move.
This one is related to the poorly developed plot. If you don’t work on your argument and make it compelling in the first three pages, most readers won’t read it any further.
One of the most efficient ways to make the beginning of your story interesting so that it grabs the attention of your readers is to create a likeable character. Then, early on, have that character face a big life dilemma.
Create a challenge or obstacle for them that makes the reader wonder, “Hmm, how are they going to get out of this?” Intrigued and searching for the answers, your readers will instantly flip through the pages, eager to find out what happens next.
After taking your time developing the plot and learning how to draw, there are a few additional mistakes to watch out for. One of the most common mistakes includes taking shots that are too close.
By providing enough space in the shot and bringing the character further back in the frame, it allows the reader to get a sense of the location. In the background, you can include the street, some trees, or whatever you want to include in the location.
Only after you’ve laid out the location so the reader can understand where the current scene is taking place can you work on some close-ups of the characters.
Yes, the plot should be well developed, but that doesn’t mean the narrative should completely dominate the webcomic. Although words are really important, how you use them matters too.
You should never allow your words to over explain something that readers can easily see in the pictures you create. You must find a balance between telling the story with words and images.
These are just some of the signs that you are using too many words in your webcomic:
- There are more than 200 words on a page.
- There are huge blocks of text that are hard to read.
- Your characters talk about how they feel instead of showing their emotions.
Lastly, once you are done with the story and drawings, you need to be careful how you color your webcomic. Many creators make the mistake of including too many colors when they start making webcomics.
The easiest way to avoid making this mistake is to pick six or seven colors to use on each page, and then try to maintain continuity and consistency between these colors.
Try not to overdo it and stick to the color palette you chose. This will help readers get used to your colors and themes, and these colors will be something your webcomic will associate with and recognize.
In short, it’s okay to make mistakes when you start creating your own web comics.
Everyone makes those mistakes and then learns from them. If you want your learning and improvement processes to go as smoothly as possible, you can use these common mistakes as a guide.
Knowing where most people tend to go wrong in the beginning will help you solve beginner mistakes much faster. Simply refer to this list whenever you need help.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. He is passionate about marketing, social networks and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Find Digital Agency.