UPDATE: The piece of art previously accompanying this was actaully by Rafael Albuquerque Here’s a legit piece of Murphy art: a variant cover for the upcoming Vertigo monthly Saucer Country. You may enjoy his commentary in the link.
Artist Sean G. Murphy (Joe the Barbarian) has posted a piece on his DA page called
5 Year Plan — it’s about planning for the future — something very few young cartoonists seems to have the courage to do. I recently told a talented young cartoonist “Keep doing what you love until someone pays you for it” — which is pretty basic “follow your bliss” advice. Murphy’s is a little more practical:
If I had to sum up the 5 Year Plan of newer freelancers, it would sound like this: “I’m always working on my craft and trying to get to shows. Maybe I’ll put a sketchbook together. I tweet with a lot of other artists during the day, and I kind of have this story of my own that I’d kind of like to work on someday. Then again, I also have back-end offers from writers who seem like they know what they’re doing. I don’t know yet–mostly I’m just going to hang in there and hope that Marvel or DC will take notice and offer me something good. Then I’ll have a fan base. I don’t know, but I’d like to be the next Jim Lee.”
This kind of ho-hum approach drives me crazy. The sit-around-and-wait-for-opportunity-of-comics has retarded freelancers into submission. But there are other reasons why I think this happens.
There’s much more solid practical advice in the link. Go read it — much of it applies to any vocation. Just in case you are too lazy to click on the link — in which case we’re not certain we should be helping — here are the topics, PowerPoint style:
3 THINGS AT ONCE
CONNECT THE DOTS
There’s a follow up interview with Murphy in the Daily Trojan
“Because of the nature of my work, my vocal reputation and the fact that I’m getting paid to write for myself, I think my position in comics is unusual,” Murphy said. “I owe it to people to describe what I’m seeing from where I stand. My thoughts are worth nothing unless I write them down — even if it upsets a lot of other professionals, which my blogs often do. It’s worth it for me to piss off one professional if it helps 10 students.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.