Friday 29th May 2020

It’s been a busy week.  There’s a reason I’ve started doing my images for The Climb in batches and then find myself writing up several issues of The Climb based on notes at once.

I’ve always thought about my writing in terms of career.  There’s times when that feels a bit preposterous.  Like everyone, I doubt myself at times.  I can take one disappointment (and believe me, publishing is filled with disappointment) and spin it out in my own head into major doubt in my own abilities.

I have plenty of validation to say that I’m a good writer, but there are times when I don’t believe it.

After all, I’m trying to say that I’m good enough at this that people should pay me.

There are plenty of writers who are purely art.  They write books that only few love but most can respect.  And there are those who are purely commercial, writing to order.  I’ve always felt the best pieces of art are a little of both.  Original but yet accessible to the masses.

I spent years doing pop culture journalism.  It brought me into contact with all sorts of different artists: from commercial pop artists and Hollywood actors to comic book artists and writers.   I love all those geeky things.  But it taught me early on to respect that balance between the art and the commercial.

An action figure is just a toy, and in many ways it’s purely commercial.  It’s a 3D representation of a character from pop culture.  You could argue there’s no art there.  But I got to see the amazing work of the sculptors and painters up close.  It was undeniably art… commercial art but art none the less.

Action figures would often need articulation.  You could see it done badly, where someone literally added a bunch of swivel joints to what was essentially a statue.  Or you could see it where through feats of engineering, the art was such that it could accommodate a lot of moving parts so you could take your action figure and put them in just about any pose and have them look just like the character.

I learnt to appreciate the symbiosis between art and commerce that went into the items I loved most.  And I think that’s probably the most important thing I brought with me when I stepped away from that world and ventured into publishing,

It’s for that reason I’ve always looked at writing in terms of career.  It’s looking at the market (both publishing and wider) and making strategic choices in what I create.  It’s deciding where I put the joints in my metaphorical action figure of a career.

This isn’t about getting rich or thinking I’m better than my peers.  It’s about walking that fine line between originality and accessibility where I personally feel great art is created.

Maybe because it uses both sides of my brain is why it attracts me so.  But it requires me to plan, to think about what I want to do in terms of an ever changing publishing career.

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Past Years: 2019 – The Year of Soldiering Through | 2018 – The Year of Priorities | 2017 – The Year Of The Offensive