Does your Comic Book Creator have Dog Fleas Attitude?

Running With Comics FAIL!

Still no marathon under my belt. Ran out of time yesterday and had to come back early–ill preparation. I’ll have to try again in a few days with better planning. Ever just plunge headlong into something because you want to do it, even though everything sensible tells you “no”? Seems like today would be a good time to reflect on why so many artists fail at their goals as well.

The reason most creators fail is not for something they do, the talent have, or the people they know, but the attitudes they possess.

Knowing what attitude you have been trained to have and working within that realm or changing it is critical to making your way in this business. I wanted to share the story of 5 dogs to illustrate my point. Every time I run, there are a multitude of dogs around every corner. A lot of comic creators aren’t so different from them.

The first dog is the CAGED DOG. Their owner has them in the back yard, they can run and play do whatever they want, but they can’t get very far, have no new interaction with anything except those that pass by. They are content in their cage, they get their food and they live their life. The world goes on and they are fine with that. Even if they want to get out they can’t because they are happy. This dog is like the creator who is in the job and is happy being fed by the boss. They have a comfortable life, but everything outside the walls are elusive to them.

The second dog is the DEFENSIVE DOG. I pass these 3 huge dogs every time I go out. They make a big fuss, bark up a storm, and when I run pass me they chase me out of the way. This is their territory. Sometimes the back of my heels touch their underbelly as I’m running by. They weigh almost as much as I do, with slobbering teeth and hot breath. I ignore them, but I’m pretty sure my fight or flight response kick in when I pass. This dog is like the creator who, even though free, will only bark, criticize, undermine, and push other creators and instructors away. They won’t let many new influences in their life without driving them away. They will protect their property, their rights, and enjoy their small group of friends.

The third dog is the PASSING DOG. This dog I’ll go right past on my journey. He’ll look at me and I’ll look at him. He’ll watch me and go on his way. I’ll watch him and I’ll go on my way. A passing hello. A passing gesture. Maybe we’ll meet again. Maybe we won’t. Our paths are different and unique. This dog is like the creator who is trying to find their voice. Sometimes they know what they are searching for something and hopefully they will find it. Sometimes they are completely lost and view things from a distance. Either way, our journey together is a blip on the screen of life. (Isn’t it funny how much an impact one tiny moment of a “blip” can make on your life.)

The fourth dog is the SNEAKY DOG. Walking along yesterday after finishing an 18 mile run, my thoughts were elsewhere, and thinking about some good blog posts then all the sudden, this little yellow puppy came running under my feet and I almost tripped over him. These creators are fun! This dog is like the creator you never even know is out there, until you just stumble upon them! This can have both a positive or a negative effect. Some of the best talent I have found was by sneaky artists being out there and me finding them. Albeit, I have stumbled upon some pretty lousy artists too. This is kind of like the passing dog, except this one will come in for a closer look and actually risk getting hurt.

The fifth dog is the COMPANION DOG. This is my favorite. Of the probably 100 dogs I have passed over the last 4 months of running, I have had 3 companion dogs. These are dogs I found along the journey. They follow me and we run together for several miles. We enjoy each other and we get to know each other a bit. But most importantly we EXPERIENCE our journey together. This dog is like the creator who wants something more than they are currently getting. This is a creator who wants to learn and who want to experience all they can, so that when they go on their own journey, this creator has more experience to pull from, and are constantly wanting to improve themself and those around them.

I started this post as a way to see our failures, but as you look at each of these types of creators, or dogs, you’ll notice that these are also ways to be successful.

Not everyone is at the same place in their journey. There are negative things about each type and there are positive things about each type. It would seem to me that I have all of these types passing through me at any particular time. From the creators that have had the most positive impact on my life, were those COMPANIONS even for a small time. I hope you will surround yourself with COMPANION creators. It has made an abounding influence in my life and I think it will yours as well.

The question is which are you? And which do you want to be?