January Recap – Winter blues, grants, Nuclear Winter 2 release

Category : Monthly recap

Winter, amirite…

So the start of the year has been… hard. Not having a project to work on per say has given me way too much time to think, which, for me, translates into overthink. It coincides with me being in the middle of writing Utown, my next comic, so I am really up in my brain right now. And it’s intense.

Speaking of which, I’m applying for a grant for Utown. Without going into details, just putting into words the core and soul of this project into well-formatted sentences has proven to be quite a challenge. Utown is the long-time project that I’ve been putting off until I was certain I was ready, so I easily get overwhelmed and emotional when I talk, or write about it. I know, I’m putting all this unnecessary pressure on myself but I can’t help it! On the bright side, writing the grant application has really helped me ground the story and find a good, solid intrigue. I’m having a lot of fun with where it’s going and I honestly can’t wait to start.

Nuclear Winter 2 came out this month! I got my copies and read through the book cover to cover in one sitting. There’s something very thrilling about reading your own book, in another language. It’s familiar, yet very different! I’m always impressed by the amazing translation work the guys at Boom! Studios did. The book itself came out amazing and got a good feedback on Twitter. Here are the few cover sketches I did before we settled on the final cover

 

I also decided to give my Etsy page a big boost, by adding a few original artwork. Having original line art and marker drawings just sitting in a dusty portfolio drives me insane. Moreover, I don’t do half has much conventions that allow to just display my originals, so they just end up being dead weight. So a little photo shoot and many, many unsuccessful keyword attempts later, I now have a nice selection on Etsy. I already made a few sells, which convinced me to keep maintaining and putting time and effort into my shop. One of my 2019 goals is to make enough passive income to at least pay for my studio space, and Etsy is on its way to become a big player in that. Plus… I really like managing a print shop. Go figure!

January is the longest month ever but… here’s what got me excited this month:

Series: I absolutely loved Sex Education. It’s funny and endearing, it’s bold without being raunchy and it’s a master class in character writing. I can’t wait for season 2.

Stuff: The Baron Fig line of products. What can I say, I’m a sucker for nice stationary and analog journaling/planning systems. I try to steer away from gimmicky bullet journal-y notebooks in favor of cheap, customizable ones but damn, their Clear Habit planner looks gorgeous.

Artist: Lee Gatlin. If “bleeding pen on a napkin” were a style, this guy would’ve invented it. He makes it look so easy. Plus, his little comics and captions are super clever.

 

 


December Recap – Hiver Nucléaire 3 launch, between projects, the future

Category : Monthly recap

Last recap of the year! Turns out I really enjoy doing those, so I guess I’ll keep going!

The few days after I got back from Japan, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I went back to the studio regardless, partly to get a sort of routine back, but mostly to work on some last minute jobs. After at least 3 weeks of not drawing, it was fun to get back into it, especially when working on the Scouts Christmas card.

The one thing I was most excited about was the launch of Hiver Nucléaire 3 at Planète BD. It was my first time launching my own book in a bookstore and it did not disappoint. I was super happy with the turnout and I finally got to pop open the bottle of bubbly wine that had been sitting in my fridge since my birthday. Finishing the Hiver Nucléaire series is a huge milestone for me. It never occurred to me when I started, that a silly webcomic project would end up being a 3-book series. It’s very hard to leave those characters behind, but I’m ready to move on to another comic project, and fast.

Photo credit: Francis Gauthier

So even though I was technically “jobless” in the sense that I had no actual comics to draw, I had plenty of things to fill my time, like comic improv, the Mystérieux Étonnants Christmas special and of course, the holidays. I stayed home after Christmas and I took the time to write about everything that happened this year, and think about what the future has in store for me. I’m not gonna do a long 2018 recap but I can safely say that it’s been a BIG year, in every aspect. I finished working on Hiver Nucléaire as well as l’Esprit du Camp, the two books that were my almost-full-time job for the past 2-3 years, and did the Scout calendar in between, as well as a few other freelance gigs. Nuclear Winter came out in May, which might be the start of a whole new chapter (I hope!) I’m incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I had, I truly am. But I also learned the hard way what it’s like to come close to burning out. in 2019, my goal is to work smarter, not harder. My brain is wired for multi-tasking and it just feeds on distractions, a bad habit that’s getting harder and harder to tame. I know what I need to do to get better… the whole challenge is actually taking the first few steps.

I’m looking forward to next year, I’m (frighteningly) excited about Utown and absolutely terrified by the amount of work it represents. In the process, I hope I can manage to stay sane and healthy, which is really only up to me. So, I wish you all a wonderful 2019 and I’ll leave you with the usual end of the month list 🙂

I was excited for this in December:

Podcast: It’s a shameless plug because I’ve been on the show a few times, but Les Mystérieux Étonnants is still one of my favorite podcasts and one of the few French-language ones I listen to. These guys make you feel like you’re a part of the gang!

Artist: Warwick Johnson Cadwel is an amazing artist with an impressive output. His lines are sharp, he warps and bends backgrounds in a masterful way. He’s a magician with a pencil. His website has a few drawings but he’s really active on Twitter.

Movie: Go see Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. Go now. I never draw Marvel fanart but I did this the morning after seeing the movie. People liked it so much I had to make a print out of it!

Food for thoughts: Like each year for the past 5 years now, January means I start a new paper planner based loosely on the super overhyped Bullet Journal system. I’m definitely not the type to decorate and embellish the damn notebook, but I do enjoy taking the time to plan sections and calendars and such. My brain is constantly on the verge of overspilling so having a place where I can just dump whatever’s causing me anxiety or stress (meaning: everything), is really important. I barely ever leave the house without it. If I had Horcruxes, this would definitely be the last one, and the hardest to destroy.

 


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