Thanks to everyone that came out to play for this week’s #webcomicschat. I started off this week by asking how folks deal with artist or writer’s blocks. This is always a concern for creative types and every artist has there own way of dealing with it. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years about my creative process. Stress for me, is the main cause of creative blocks. Whether it’s a deadline, family concern, or other problem, when I’m stressed out my creativity grinds to a screeching hault. Deadlines can’t wait so I generally have to trick myself to into being more relaxed. Here are some things that always help distract me: 80’s music, video games, figure drawing, reading comics, and exercise. It happens to me all the time where a solution to a problem will come while I’m doing something else entirely different. Let’s say I am having trouble coming up with a punchline. Many times what I’ll do is set the comic aside, turn on some tunes, pull out my sketch book and do some mindless gesture or figure drawing for 15 minutes. Somehow the combination of working with my hands on a drawing and letting my mind wander for a while has a great positive effect on my writing.

@shatteredmyth pointed out that for him he needs absolute silence. He also likes deadlines because they keep him motivated. This reminded me of a quote I heard from Peter Jackson, he said: “I never finish I just run out of time.” Sometimes a deadline is just what we need to let something go and move on. @shatteredmyth also prefers movie scores while working. @dogeatdoug said he’s gotten used to working with distractions. As those of us with kids know, it’s not always easy to have uninterrupted work time so it’s good to learn how to work amidst the chaos. It’s also good to be ready to capture ideas in a sketchbook or with a note pad at any time. I like the voice memo recorder on my phone. It never fails that a good idea will come up while I’m driving or some where out and about and if I don’t capture it at that moment I’ll lose it.

When it comes to writing a regular strip you have be writing all the time. Where ever you go or whatever you’re doing look for things that make you laugh. Keep track of them so that you can work them into your strip in the future.