Journal Entry #19

Hey folks! This week I thought I’d talk a little bit about my schedule and how I plan out my day. Not that my days are any more exciting or productive than anyone else’s day. I like finding out how people structure their time so I thought I would share how I try to structure my time as well.

planner

I usually carry around these two books. One is for weekly planning a’la Covey (very simplified). The one under it is for anything and everything, including my “Habitat” scripts and math work.

I try to start my day at 5am. I do about 30-45 minutes of algebra which I call my “morning math” time. Then I go downstairs and practice zen posture and breathing for 5 to 10 minutes. I used to try drawing in the morning but I decided my motor functions didn’t work very well right after waking up. It’s also very hard to be creative at 5am. I like doing algebra in the morning because I think it kinda sharpens up my brain and gets it ready for the rest of the day. After an algebra workout the rest of the day seem pretty easy on my brain. 🙂 Meditation time in the morning  is good for self-awareness and keeping a positive outlook on the day. When I start the day in the moment I try to keep that going throughout the day. Before going to work I also walk Iggy to get at least some exercise. and to just get outdoors…even if it is still dark.

While at work, I don’t do much… just work. I try to think of comic strip ideas during work but most of the time I leave that till later.

After work, I try to catch some nightly news before making dinner and spending time with Sara, usually by watching a movie or a show on Netflix. I try to be in bed by 9:30 to give me time to read and write a script for “Habitat.” Writing the strip is usually the last thing I do in the day. Yes, it is procrastination but i don’t think it harms the writing that much. I’ll usually have a rough idea of what I want to write about before I get into it. Then I try to fall asleep by 11:00 and do the whole thing over the next day.

I also keep a weekly Moleskine planner and journal with me at all times. It definitely helps with knowing when bills and library books are due.  Having a weekly planner keeps my life in order and at least makes me think I’m actually getting things done. I do get crabby when I don’t get things done in my planner and Sara is the one I take it out on, unfortunately. I’m still learning to balance a relationship with what I want to get done in a day and in my lifetime.

The following is a list of stuff that I strive to do everyday… It doesn’t always happen but it is goals I like to keep.

  • Wake up at 5:00 AM.
  • Asleep by 11:00 PM.
  • Meditate for at least 10 minutes.
  • Stay positive.
  • Concentrate on a loving attitude
  • Refrain from anger.
  • Refrain from swearing.
  • Devote time for academic study (math, science, history, etc.)
  • Spend time catching up on current events. (Nightly news)
  • Devote time to exercise.
  • Read at least 10 pages.
  • Drink 2 32oz. bottles of water.
  • Take a vitamin
  • Clean cat boxes
  • Clean dishes
  • Listen to an album in it’s entirety. (weird, I know.)
  • Look for job opportunities.
  • Walk the dog at least 2 times a day.
  • Find time to draw for at least 10 minutes.
  • Write “Habitat” strip.

I try to live a balanced life of mind, body and spirit and I try to plan my day accordingly. I try to put a purpose behind everything I do. I don’t want to waste a moment of my life. I want to be a “renaissance man” of sorts. 🙂

OK, I’m sure I’ve gone on long enough. Maybe some other time I’ll go into my weekly planning stuff. I’m not too sure how interesting any of this is but Sara says there are a lot of people out there interested in how people structure their lives. I hope you found this at least a tad interesting. Thanks for reading. See you Friday!

P.S. This week’s comic will not be color. The color one was just a test.

Journal Entry #6

So, I am now up to two strips a week. I originally wanted to take my time with each strip and maybe do only one or two a month but I’m sort of bending to the will of the Internet. I’ve started worrying more about how many visitors I have than making the comic better which was not my intention. In the heat of the moment, I purchased a domain name for 50¢ which I wasn’t going to do until I reached a certain amount of followers. It’s only 50¢ but I still betrayed my original idea.

I am also fiddling around with the idea of eventually buying a Cintiq Pen Display which was not my original intention. I wanted to keep this comic traditionally inked but I’m starting to wonder if going digital would be easier (and cheaper) in the long run. I’m not married to the idea of using only traditional ink but I do still want the look of a vintage comic strip such as “Pogo.” If I ever do go digital it won’t be until at least next May when I send my comics to syndicates. Right now, I’m better off concentrating on getting better with the brush pen.

I’m still not completely satisfied with the look of the comic but I’m sure that with practice I will begin to like what I’m seeing more. It’s not so much a problem now but I fear that in the future my motivation to do a strip every Wednesday and Saturday will wane. In the past I’ve posted strips to the Internet hoping for more and more viewers and then got disheartened when that didn’t happen. This time around my primary concern is to make a strip that syndicates would pick up and then get my motivation from making a strip I can be proud of. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve gotten there yet but I have to keep trying.

When May 2014 comes around and I send my stuff out and get no reply I will still keep up with the web comic. Every year I plan on sending out the comic to see if a syndicate will pick it up. Will I become rich and famous when I get picked up by a syndicate? No, but it will be accomplishing a dream I’ve had since I has a little kid reading the Sunday funnies.

Thanks for reading! New comic next Monday!

Journal Entry #4

Mortoncomic

Greetings true believers! No, this is not Stan Lee. This is M. Gonya with another blog post! Not quite as exciting, I know. I try to make these posts as interesting as possible but I’m probably the only one that gets a sick joy from them.

Last Saturday I went to a local pop-up gallery here in Kenosha to see the work of local cartoonists John Hambrock (The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee), Dan Pavelich (Just Say Uncle), and Ryan Pagelow (Buni). The thing that I was most struck with is the tightness of Hambrock’s inking. It’s not until you see a comic in it’s raw form that you start to see that “oh, yeah… this is all done by hand.” Just seeing how careful his marks were gave me a new appreciation for the inking process. After going to that gallery showing I now know I have to step up my game.

Mortonsnackmachine

Since going to the gallery showing, I’ve been trying to draw everyday but it doesn’t always pan out. As you can see I’ve been experimenting with the look of the characters. The drawing of Morton at the top looks more like a yeti so I don’t think I’ll be adding fur lines to him in the actual strip.

I just finished reading the book “Mastery” by Robert Greene. Greene mentions that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master. If that is the case I think I’ll become a master of my craft just about the time my bones turn to dust. Since reading the book, I’ve been trying to not waste a moment of my life by seeing the benefits in everything I do. Instead of being annoyed that I have to clean dishes I now see it as a way of getting chores out of the way to free up time for better things. I’ve also tried to make my trips to and from work brainstorming sessions for the comic so I’m not wasting time in the car.

My last topic of conversation is the website. I’ve been thinking a lot about this wordpress site. My idea is that I would like to have at least 200 followers before I start paying for a domain and host. I just hope that most of the traffic to this site will carry over. I want to get I nice, firm fan base before I start paying for stuff though. (Kinda like the Beatles having a #1 Hit in the U.S. before touring here.) Another issue I will be handling soon is the design of this site. I will probably be changing the theme to the “Panel” theme for the #11 strip. I hate to lose my header but I think the readability of the strip is more important.

Well, thank you for reading and i hope to see you all here on Friday! Peace.

A Case Of The Mondays

Dog Days

OK, I lied. I’ve decided it is smarter to post Mondays and Fridays. So The plan is a blog post every Monday and my comic will post every Friday. Both at 10am CST. Sorry for any confusion.  Posting on Wednesdays just seemed too close to Friday.

In an attempt to stay motivated about “Habitat” I’ve been writing a strip a day. I think just writing out a rough script every day has kind of helped me shape the character’s personalities a bit more. It has also given me a little deeper well to go to when I have to decide what strip I’m going to do next. I haven’t written anything with more than just Morton and Finn in it yet. I would like those two to be perfected before I add more characters to the mix. I’m not lacking in strip ideas yet. I’ll usually have a general idea of what I want the strip to be about (examples: rain, the softness of grass, traffic patterns) and then I’ll brainstorm from there on what the characters will do and say. I usually have the idea while I’m working so I’ll just have to quickly write the idea down and then write the script during lunch or after work…. and sometimes during work. 🙂

I must admit that I got a little discouraged when I discovered the comic “Over The Hedge.” I thought it was just a animated movie but it is actually a comic strip as well. It is a very well done strip that is set in the outdoors as well which made me wonder if I should rethink my strip. I wanted to be more original and I was bummed that there was another strip doing it better than I was. Then I thought about it and figured that my strip is different enough that no one is going to accuse me of ripping off “Over The Hedge.” I even think my strip can be just as good, if not better than “Over The Hedge” if I keep working at it and sharpening my drawing and writing skills. It may seem like I have a big head but, at times you need that ego to keep yourself motivated.

Well, that’s all for now. I want to thank all of you for reading “Habitat.” It means so much to me when I see that someone “liked” a strip… yes, I sit and stare at my dashboard for hours on end waiting for the likes to come in. lol I really do appreciate your viewership though. Feel free to drop me a comment now and then. I would love to here from you! Thanks for reading! See you FRIDAY!!