There are many reasons why you might decide to create your own graphic novel and determining your motivation is the first step in getting started. Do you want to create a graphic novel with the intent of making money or do you simply wish to express yourself through sequential art? Choosing one reason over another will have a profound effect on how you go about making your graphic novel dreams become a tangible reality.
If you want to make a graphic novel for next week that illustrates how your grandparents met for their 50th wedding anniversary party, for example, you have to choose a drawing style that is quick and expressive in order to finish on time.
If you are creating an autobiographical graphic novel that spans decades of your life for the purpose of passing it down to your children and their children’s children, a quick drawing style isn’t important; the longevity of your materials is important.
If you are creating a graphic novel with the intent of getting it published, consider a storyline that will capture as much of your target audience as possible. You won’t sell many copies of your graphic novel if you are dryly depicting microbiological research through sequential art when your target audience is tween girls wearing “I heart Justin Bieber” t-shirts.
If you are creating a graphic novel purely in the pursuit of artistic self-expression, write about what ever you want.
So What’s Your Motivation?
Check you this list of further reading options to help you determine your motivation:
1. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel by Nat Gertler and Steve Lieber
Chapter 2, What’s Your Goal?, outlines some important aspects to consider when determining your motivation to create a graphic novel. Included is information to think about when considering making a graphic novel for commercial or artistic reasons such as time constraints, audience, knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and more.
2. (more resources coming soon!)