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017: The Great Escape
If you consider yourself an artist of visual storyteller, the world needs you now more than ever. Will you show up?
This is week 17 of the Draw or Die newsletter. We’ve had our busiest signup week yet, so welcome to all the new members. As of this writing, our list is 1443 strong. Reminder to all you can re-visit the archived posts anytime. Now on to this week’s topic…
In a world where many have been locked down for years and living in fear of disease, environmental catastrophe, threats of nuclear war, inflation & recession…. people want, no, they NEED, an escape.
If you consider yourself an artist of visual storyteller, the world needs you now more than ever.
First you must show up.
Artists can be pretty bad at marketing themselves or their work. Especially on social media.
We tend to worry what people might think, or that it takes too much work to maintain all these channels, conversations. Maybe you worry you won’t have time to actually be an artist.
I was kinda like that too.
I hated the way I looked. I felt too fat. I didn’t like the sound of my own voice. Was my art even good enough to show? I worried about what my friends or colleagues might say about me. All of those things held me back… and they’re probably holding you back too.
Over time I gained the wisdom that most of what we worry about is just in our own mind.
People don’t really care.
They care about themselves first and foremost. It’s a baked in part of being a human. Survival instinct.
What value are you bringing them?
What value do you get from this very newsletter? You’re not here for me. And that’s totally okay.
Some artists and writers confuse the words “BRING VALUE” as if you have to teach something or or sell something. No, no, no.
Your art brings more value beyond money.
What do I mean by that? Your art, your storytelling, is someone else’s ESCAPE.
It can bring them JOY.
It makes them THINK.
It helps them…. FEEL BETTER.
Everyone has something they escape off into. You do too. And for many it’s some form of entertainment — and there seems to be an awful lot of mindless entertainment out there.
We’re in a new age of escapism. The next level of escapism.
It’s not just movies, streaming shows and video games.
A Fourth Turning?
The “Fourth turning” theory, is basically that about every 85 years or so, history repeats. Let Van Niestat explain it for you…
Frighteningly similar, right? I tend to agree. And I have a theory for comics.
In 1937, people were afraid. Germany invaded Poland and it kicked off World War II. It was an age of escapism and patriotism. One of the most popular forms of entertainment were the daily adventure comic strips. The public liked it’s stories in shorts, a daily little escape from the bad news.
In 2022, people are weary in a beat up world. Russia is battering Ukraine, threatening Poland, and it feels like we’re watching the beginning of WW3. It’s a new age of escapism and a different flavor of patriotism. People turn to social media for their daily escape. They find their escape In stories and shorts.
What am I getting at here?
I personally think the time is ripe for the return of the daily adventure comic. Short bursts of action, mystery and escape. I don’t know what the delivery method looks like. In 1937 the eyeballs were on the daily newspapers. In 2022, they’re on TikTok, Youtube and Instagram. Daily comics were the SHORTS and STORIES of their time. Artists were the “influencers.”
I guess the real question is, who’s going to do the work
Who’s going to show up? Could it be you?
Will it be me?
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Until next time, or the time before… back to the drawing board!