Now that I can proudly say I have my feet wet in this whole web comic thing, I would like to start sharing the lessons I’ve learned from my first year making FTGF and try to give back to this amazing art community. I’ve had the pleasure of networking with so many creators and have gotten to know them through reading their books. One of the main questions I see that frequently shows up in forums and web comic social media groups typically has to do with some sort of time management. “How do you get your work done when you have so many other obligations?” “But Aaron, I have children. You don’t understand how difficult it is to find any time in your day!” “How can I fight deadlines and make sure I have enough time to complete my art?”

Well, the first thing you do is decide how much of your own time you can steal on a regular basis. Oh, and try to be realistic here. Don’t think you’ll wait to work on something when you have an entire day to dedicate to your art. Rarely—if never, is that ever going to happen. We all know that as we get older and we start developing our own lives, take on more responsibilities, build a family and what not, that time is getting more and more scarce. Hell, we also all know that we lack the discipline for this concept to begin with (Or at least I do. Ever tried to shut yourself away in a room, turn off all contact with the outside world, and just draw? It’s tough.) But I digress. Try this. Make it a point to make art for a half hour every single day. Even if you don’t scribble or sketch anything. Make some word bubbles or play around with placing dialogue on your pages—something productive. Most folks have a creative process down pat and know what they need to do to produce a page and once you figure out how much time it takes to do so-and-so, then you can start to apply the math. Most web comic artists produce a page every week, right? Well, a standard comic book is 22 pages. So, if there are 52 weeks in a year, then that just means you’ll have a finished graphic novel’s worth of content in just under two years. Now imagine what you could do if you doubled your time. Eventually make it an hour each day, or even steal back an hour and a half to triple it. You get the picture here.

So that’s my answer to a question I’ve personally had to figure out as I started this big ole art journey. Set aside time to do this every single day—no matter what and no matter how little time you can spend. Yes, you already know how difficult that is, but isn’t that the point? You’ll have to fight for that time tooth and nail because there will always be outside forces trying to wrestle it away, but if you manage to apply it to your routine and iterate it regularly? Oh dude, the sky’s the limit on how much you can get done when you’re allowed to focus on your art. I was impressed when I finally figured it out. I know you will be too when you master that grip over your own time as well.

I think I’ll do a couple more of these regularly. I’m still learning lessons as I go along and want to experiment with more things as I grow and advance in my art quest. Please if you have anything to add or share, feel free to fire up the comments sections below! We also have a discord channel where artists that thirst to become better at their crafts frequent and share for critiques, so let me know if you want that information too.

Share FTGF: