090: Stay True. Stay Sharp. Stay Ready.
In today's newsletter, I share some personal and exciting news.
In today's newsletter, I want to share some personal and exciting news. Starting January 2nd, I'm returning to my passion as a full-time comic creator, collaborating with Gary Vaynerchuk at VeeFriends.
Welcome to week 90 of the Draw or Die Letter for Visual Storytellers of all kinds. Speaking to artists of all types over the past 630 days has been a true pleasure. And I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. From fine artists, tattoo artists, comic creators, illustrators, teachers, hobbyists and more…. We have so many things in common, the good and the bad.
This new gig…
This opportunity is a dream come true, aligning perfectly with my deep-rooted passion for comic strips, which I've loved since childhood.
This year has been a rollercoaster, starting with my departure from a 10-year corporate job due to integrity issues (read letter #49), followed by a fulfilling stint at a marketing agency which I really enjoyed.
A significant turning point was my introspective experience at VeeCon in May, led by Deepak MotherTrucking Chopra. I wrote about this in letter #62. The experience reminded me to stay true to my core passions, even if they didn’t quite make sense to the outside world.
Then AGAIN at VidSummit, my friends on stage all echoed the secret of success in their talks. That you need to go deep on what you’re truly passionate about. And for me, it’s not just drawing, or drawing comics… it’s COMIC STRIPS.
I've always been fascinated by the power of storytelling through comic strips.
Despite the challenges facing the medium, I believe in its future and have shared my thoughts in my "Future of Comics" video. Which, by the way, is a sneak-peek of what’s about to happen, as I “practice what I preach.”
I’m going to help herald in a new age for comic strips, the likes of which nobody has ever seen before.
The path to this new chapter wasn't easy…
Discussions with my wife, Ally, about balancing passion and practicality, and a sudden opportunity that arose while recovering from Covid, played crucial roles. I talked about this on a livestream in October.
My decision to start drawing comic strips again, even when sick, led to a chance encounter on Twitter, which eventually landed me the role at VeeFriends.
🎲 I wouldn’t do it for just ANYONE…
I’ve actually turned down a lot of jobs “in comics” the past 10 years because I know how BAD things are, and how it usually ends. Had this been anyone else? I wouldn’t have wasted my time submitting.
But it’s Gary Vaynerchuk.
He’s the real deal.
And so am I.
Could it fail? Am I a little scared? Sure.
But I know that in life, the BEST things happen when you roll the dice and take a shot. Not when you sit and play it safe.
This journey reinforces a few key lessons:
#1 Never give up on your dreams, no matter how unrealistic they may seem to others.
Listen, it felt like nobody seems to care or want “comic strips” much anymore. It’s not a sinking ship, it’s a SUNKEN one. Even in “webcomics” there are few and far between who have a full-time job doing it. But…. I think that can change.
And I want to help change that.
#2 Take action and seize opportunities, especially in the attention-driven world economy.
I didn’t wait to take action. I went to work. I went the extra mile. Even when I was beat down with Covid. I had something to prove… to myself. It’s not enough to just send an email or submit, or wait for permissing…. you gotta go get that ATTENTION.
Look, none of this happened overnight. It’s not my first rodeo. I’ve drawn comics before. I had good years and bad years. I’m 47 now. Had I given up a few years ago, this never would have happened. This is why I tell you to STAY SHARP. STAY READY.
Your time might not come right now. Or maybe even in YEARS. Or a decade.
STAY TRUE to your own beliefs and desires, and the universe conspires to make it happen….somehow, some way.
OR NOT. It’s up to you.
What is that thing for you deep down that you’re passionate about?
🔥This Week’s Drawing CHALLENGE!
Draw your favorite comic strip character in your own style.
Be sure to tag #drawordieclub on the platform of your choice so we can all find each other (we’re mostly on instagram) Maybe we’ll feature your art in future livestreams and content!
☠️♣️Join the DAILY ✏️ CLUB!!!
Help support the the Draw or Die brand with five bucks a month and get some nice perks including a quarterly sticker, daily prompts and more. CHECK IT OUT HERE!
Keep on drawing!