State of the Art: Loose Ends

Happy Sunday, all!

I’ve been going through my folders and my piles of sketchbooks, looking for old, unfinished projects. Unsurprisingly, there’s a LOT. Thanks, ADHD! One of the many unfinished projects was this little zine I had started ages ago, based on a journal entry I had written. I had a lot of fun designing each page, painting tiny food, measuring out the little holes for the binding, and anticipating holding the finished product in my hands. 

I then put it on a stack of papers that shifted from desk to bed to chair to other desk to bookshelf time and time again. 

The primary thing that had halted my work on it was something rather boring and mundane: inking the lettering. It’s such a simple task, and yet for some reason it stopped this project in its tracks for months. When I finally sat down and decided to finish it, the inking really didn’t take that long. Figuring out the binding took less than an hour. All this makes me wonder why I take so long to finish these projects. It’s like my brain builds these things up to be monumental tasks that will take ages, and so I put them off in favor of shorter, more immediately-satisfying tasks. 

What I’ve learned from this experience is that when I recognize that I’m putting something off, I  need to examine why I’m doing that. Is it as difficult a task as I perceive it to be? What steps need to be taken to finish it? How can I break those steps down into smaller, more manageable steps? Hopefully once I figure that out, my unfinished projects piles will get smaller and smaller and my portfolio will continue to grow. 

Thanks for reading!

Author: Katie McMahon

Katie is a comic artist and illustrator living in rural New Hampshire in a town mostly populated with elderly folks and roving gangs of sassy turkeys. She enjoys reading comics, playing board games and RPGs, drinking fair trade tea and coffee, discussing feminism and social justice, and cracking the best groan-worthy jokes the internet has to offer.

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