Journal Entry: Mon Mar 2, 2015, 8:34 AM
Listening to: music
Watching: Grimm / Sleepy Hollow / Gotham
Playing: GTA Online
Drinking: Malt Soda (lemon mint)
I just received an interview request about my previous experiences with AatR... and after sending my reply, I felt it was well worth sharing here in my journal.
1. How did you feel about your own artistic growth during and after the tournament?
when I first auditioned for the first AatR, I felt completely in over my head. I wasn't sure if I was anything up to par to compete with so many other more talented and artistically inclined artists and writers who were either way more skilled or experienced than me. I felt like a child with a sketch book walking into a boardroom of masters and hoping to get noticed without getting stepped on first. and lo and behold... in a sea of nearly 800 or so auditions, "I" was picked among the initial 64... I was both surprised, impressed and immensely humbled that I was deemed worthy of such an honer to compete with many other great names. and I won't deny that it was a huge confidence booster. even though my writing and comic making skills were still trash due to lack of experience, my journey in this tournament was its own teacher.
2. How did you find Artist at the Ready and did you have any specific expectations for it?
it was linked to me by a friend who was linked by other friends, and soon rumor was spread far and wide. as for my expectations, I honestly had none, mostly because I didn't know what an OCT was or what TO expect from one. so I went with virtually a clean slate and an open mind to simply enjoy the ride as we went and learn what I could along the way.
3. How did you feel about getting in or winning rounds?
every win was an excited sense of euphoria. and even the losses had their high points. having entered both AatR1 and AatR2, every round I managed to make was an honor and equally a fun experience.
4. What was it like having to choose specific characters and a fitting story for the setting of AatR?
daunting. in both cases I had a rough idea where I wanted to go, but with each opponent dealing me wild-cards, I found myself swerving all over the place and losing sight of my overall goals. but this is more due to the fact that I have limited writing experience and extremely poor time management. my initial cast was just a random collection of "let's use this OC because I want to!" which was closely followed by, "better make sure to include a little of everything in this cast." hence, a serious warrior, a pure cartoon character and fluffy animal. it seemed like a good idea at the time, anyway.
5. Was there anything scary about having to make choices for your storyline? and related - how was it like reading your opponents - or other contestants'- comics that each differed so much from one another and from your own?
it was a rough learning experience. being pressed for time, I was forced to either expand or constrain myself with content, plot, workload. sacrificing one thing in favor of the other. the pressure of dishing out what was my current level of quality was hellish, and yet, overall enjoyable. because I'd never experienced the concept of a deadline before then.
as for seeing other contestants' works, it was always enjoyable as well as a learning experience in and of itself. seeing into the different minds and storytelling of so many other individuals coming to life and learning their methods or techniques. there wasn't a single entry I loathed. and everyone of them to admire in their own rights.
6. Taking part in a tourney can eat up a lot of time, energy and other resources. Do you feel like you’ve gotten anything in return from this?
I've learned many things. writing, comicing, time management. the hassle of a deadline in itself improved my productivity dramatically. and seeing so many moods of story telling really helped me level up in terms of writing. and to top that off, I walked away from the OCT gaining a few extremely good friends.
7. And finally, do you feel like the tourney has had any lasting effect on you or your art as a comic artist?
a lasting effect? hrmm, hard to say. with the exception of artistic improvement, I'm not sure how else to answer this question. but having participated in AatR as both a player and a judge, I can honestly say that I gained a huge amount of respect for anyone involved in any sort of OCT. the players and hosts create such an amazing experience for all parties involved, including the spectators. if nothing else, I would suggest for anyone becoming a new comic artist for the first time to join an OCT and get their feet wet. the rewards gained in the experience alone is well worth it.