Hi friends. During Phoenix Normand’s goal setting for EAs class, I set 3 goals: a personal goal (weight loss), a professional goal (promotion) and an artistic goal (publish Takashima).

I’ll be honest, all three goals are taking longer to complete, for reasons. I put forth my best effort but hey, timelines change and going with the flow is part of the process. I won’t go into details on the personal and professional goals, other than to say that I’m working on them in 2021.

In Q4 2020, I signed up with a coach and had a great session. She helped me focus my creative energies and we worked together to create a schedule to get Takashima back on track. Between my job and home life, I have only so much to give. My creative schedule is 2 hours per week. That is not a lot of time, but in the past month, it was enough to keep me laser-focused on Takashima, while leaving me time to explore other crafts when the mood strikes.

As you’ve seen in previous posts, I’ve got the cast set, the costumes are finished for the main characters. I have a few props to purchase or make but I have time to line those up.

Last week, I set my publication goal. This morning, I worked backwards and set my monthly goals. Here is my timeline:

  • January – finalize the story; identify the scenes that must be shown; create a storyboard; create the shooting schedule; and create panel templates.
  • February and March – shoot Takashima
  • April – open, but loosely planned for miscellaneous tasks and maybe start editing
  • May through July – edit the photos and plot the graphic novel
  • August – finalize the graphic novel
  • September – publish

I’ve collected inspirational images for the key scenes, which will have references to film noir. I shared the story with Bill, who not only gave great feedback but gave me the hook for the next story. The story is final and I created the thumbnails.

I’ve already put in my 2 hours for this week but have Monday off and I plan to create the storyboard. That will leave me the last weekend of this month to create my shooting schedule and plot out basic panel templates.

The schedule is just scary enough to keep me focused but not so scary that I’m overwhelmed.

I’ve been playing with the revised character photos taken a couple months ago to explore some visual ideas in Procreate. Here is one of the images.

Keaton & Starfall

Procreate is really great for what I would call sketching. It’s quick and easy to layer and mask images. I knocked the image below out in less than an hour. Today, I exported the color photo into Photoshop, converted it to black and white and added a light beams to give it that noir-y feel.

While writing this post, it occurred to me that I have enough images to story board using Procreate. The images don’t have to be perfect or final, just enough to plot the story. As I work on the story board, I will make notes for shots I’ll need to take during the shooting phase.

I don’t know if I’ll get through my schedule as planned, but I’m very excited about this project and am eager to see the finished work and progression of my visual style.