The size of my commission queue from the Kickstarter campaign was daunting. It took up most of my week-long summer break after only chipping away at it for months. Working on it exclusively, all day from sunrise to sunset, nearly drove me to burnout. I don’t know if I’m built to deal with a commission queue this big.
On the other hand, it provided a massive boost to my confidence, which is something I still need after twenty years of making comics.
Since day one of my journey into webcomics I have been self-conscious about my art. Drawing does not come easily to me, even though I love it. I don’t have a natural talent or an effortless gift. I have to work really hard to be at the level I’m at, and even then I feel like I’m leagues behind other artists. Even when I’m looking directly at a reference photo my brain has trouble translating what I’m seeing with my eyes into what my hand should be drawing. (Tracing over reference photos of myself has been a huge help since going digital.) I even took several years away from drawing to focus on writing Star Power, because I didn’t feel like I measured up any more.
So to have a huge commission list where people not only requested art from me, but willingly paid extra on top of that for even more art in my style, was a huge and much-needed boost to my confidence. For a guy like me who feels like I’m constantly fighting an uphill battle to improve or even play catch-up to where I “should be,” working so hard that I was skirting burnout was like that anime trope of the beaten hero getting their inspirational second wind and pushing themselves to their very limit.
The Legacy of Dominic Deegan has been one big uphill battle to improve and focus on my art. By doing away with spoken dialogue I have to regularly leave my comfort zone and work those artistic muscles. It’s hard work for me every single time I sit down at my drawing desk, but because of you fine folks I have a great cheering section.