Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pros and Ams

Tony Long, the Wired Luddite, has a great piece up today. It's all about the amateur revolution that has emerged from Web 2.0. I think the article interests me so much because it speaks to all my fears, as I try to break into the comics industry. There are plenty of places to get my work seen, but, with everyone going the same route, it would likely get lost in the noise.

The question was asked at the beginning of the Internet, and is increasingly relevant as YouTubes and Blogspots emerge: What is the standard for legitimacy? I have no doubt that a Garage Kubrick is on its way. Right now, it's hard to say whether the Makers of the future will enter the limelight through a blog template or in some other way that has not yet been conceived. I do know that the Internet is a noisy place.

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1 comment:

colin said...

As linked on the WGB, here is one of the best responses I've seen to The Cult of the Amateur.

The internet is a noisy place, but so is the media in general. Take a look at how many comic book titles there are out there from big established publishers. Hundreds. Thousands. It can get pretty depressing. Even if you got published under a name like Marvel or DC (or Dark Horse or...) that's still just one title in the racks, and the chances of getting noticed are vanishingly small, even then.

If you're serious about "breaking in," keep in mind all the advice I've ever seen from those that have "made it": this is hard work. You have to know what you want and work at it as hard as you can. You have to work hard to get people to notice you, and you have to work hard at getting the kind of education and experience that makes a professional. I don't think a degree or a certificate is a requirement (or a guarantee-- there are plenty of people who do nothing good with their degrees), but I can't think of any really good artist or writer who did it without investing themselves so fully that they could get a degree basically as a side effect.

Most of all, you have to keep pushing yourself to get better. (I think I said the same thing in a critique I gave you.)

There are many Garage Kubricks, and perhaps a few of them will be noticed without trying, but that's like betting on the lottery. There are, I believe, many other talents who will make themselves with a combination of new media and old. They may not be as famous, but they will be doing what they want to do. I think that's the real reward, isn't it?

None of that may be very encouraging, but all I can say is that from what I've read, all professionals have had moments (or decades) of discouragement. It seems to me the difference between the ones that made it and the ones that didn't often comes down to who didn't give up.

That's all from this -ing amateur. Now, go forth and do great work.