I'm finally back from hiatus and with a cool announcement:
2018 is the year that I start making Witchy full time!
This may not necessarily be a permanent status — I'll talk about that in a bit — but first I wanted to talk about why I'm trying to make it in the webcomics business.
OR: How I realised making webcomics alongside full time work was not a sustainable lifestyle (for me).
(you can skip to the bottom for the TL;DR)
I've been making Witchy for a little over four years now, and for three and a half of those years I was either studying or working full time. The first two years of making Witchy were great, even if it meant ditching friends a few times to finish work. I was full of creative energy, and was spurred on both by the things I was learning in class and the amazing reception Witchy received online.
By year three however, I really started to feel the strain of essentially working 7 days a week, both on my body and my mind. Witchy's 3rd year also coincided with my entering the final year of my animation degree; the one where I decided* to put together a storyboard portfolio from scratch, AND make an entire animated film.
I was doing the workload equivalent of two full-time jobs and let me tell you: It burnt me out HARDCORE!
During this time, I used the two month break between my second and third year of university to work on my portfolio and work on Witchy. By the time Witchy's fourth year rolled around I'd basically been working non-stop without a proper vacation or weekend for two years.
I was in chronic pain from my back, shoulder, and hips, and I didn't have the time to properly treat the issues. I'm only now taking the steps to actually get my body fixed up; despite doing yoga, pilates, and other exercises ~5 times a week I'm still dealing with the pain.
In the last few months of my grad film (this time last year) I took a hiatus from Witchy so I could focus on our film, but we were still under the gun animating from 9am till 9pm every day of the week to meet our deadline. Then, once our film was finally complete, I had 3 weeks before starting a 12 week, full-time internship in Ireland (during which I had to move all of my belongings from Denmark to Australia) to take a "break." I did not feel rested, to say the least.
After Ireland, I moved back to Australia, wrote a thesis paper, did another 6 week internship (interstate, of course, because I’m an idiot.) and then finally, finally, had a month off to collapse in a puddle of exhaustion.
It was while I was in Ireland, despairing in bed, that I realised that maybe… This incredibly fatiguing way of living my life was not, in fact, the only option. When you’ve had to turn down a request to hangout for the 100th time because you’re in a hell of your own creation — that’s when it’s time to reconsider your options.
And, despite working on some truly exciting and cool projects during my internships, nothing quite made me feel fulfilled like working on my own stories.
So, I did some math, and, hypothetically, I should be able to make a living off webcomics. So that’s what I’m going try and do.
This brings me back to that earlier point — about this not necessarily being a permanent situation. I’m in the fortunate position where my parents are tolerating my living in their house while I try to get this whole enterprise off the ground, but by 2019 I’ll definitely be entering “burden” territory. (and if I’m honest — I might lose my mind if I have to live with them for more than a year.)
Essentially, I’m giving myself until the end of the year to make full-time webcomic-ing a financially feasible venture. Ideally, even if I fail, I’ll still be able to dedicate a few days of the week to comics by balancing my projects with part-time freelance work. If that fails, then… let’s just say it might be a long time before Witchy is finished.
I’ve got some things in the works right now that will definitely increase my chances at being able to afford to live, but until then, Patreon really is my bread and butter.
With that said, I’ve introduced some new rewards that I hope will make your patronage worthwhile — I’ll also be posting here a lot more frequently to keep y’all updated on what I’m doing! The new rewards are detailed below:
For this March only, all patrons will have access to the development PDF, mini-sketchbook, and a special process video (in place of a stream recording, because hey, haven’t started those yet.) for free! You can grab them here now.
There will still be a stream for $10 patrons later this month and a mini-sketchbook next month, but due to time restraints I will not be able to put out another development PDF until next month. $5 patrons, if you would like a refund for this month, please let me know and I will happily return your payment.
Ok, I think I’ve covered everything, but if there’s anything you’re unsure about, make sure to double check my patreon page, as I’ve updated the description there.
Obviously, if you have even a dollar a month to spare, I’d love if you could donate to my patreon, but if you like what I make, the most important thing you can do is to share my work with your friends, and to tell them to share it with theirs! The community around Witchy is an amazing and supportive one, and I love to see it grow!
Thank you so much for supporting me in my new endeavour!