Planning for the Possible

August 21, 2012
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My friend Michael’s work can be found here. Please cheer him on as he chases his dreams!

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33 Responses to Planning for the Possible

  1. Josh on August 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    LOVE this – great thoughts (and work).

    • stephen on August 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks!

  2. Michael Regina on August 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    LOL. Love it my friend. It’s scary how much I think you got me right! Great comic :-)

    • stephen on August 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks Michael!

  3. birdie on August 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Wonderful advice. I’m going to keep it to heart each time I make goals.

  4. Kev Brett on August 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Awesome! a difficult practise but a valuable and beneficial one. One that you need to constantly remind yourself to do (especially if your like me – can be very negative). Thanks, love it!!

  5. Tony C. on August 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    This one has a very strong Scott McCloud feeling to me. Great thoughts brilliantly rendered as always.

  6. Stephanie L on August 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I’ve really missed these posts! This is well drawn, well said and perfectly timed. Definitely needed to read this today.

  7. Mandy on August 23, 2012 at 1:49 am

    I like this!

    Buuuuut. I think it’s terrible to be having a conversation while driving a car! I don’t know about where your friend lives, but here in Japan it’s illegal to use the cell phone and drive!

  8. Paolo on August 23, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Stephen, Great job. Great thoughts and concepts put to art. Keep up the great work.

  9. Dave Roman on August 23, 2012 at 3:05 am

    This is a great one! Right on!

    • stephen on August 25, 2012 at 4:22 am

      Thanks Dave!

  10. Laura on August 23, 2012 at 3:17 am

    this is encouraging to me– thanks!

  11. Keith Burns on August 23, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Super!

  12. kathryn on August 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Great job! I love your art work and your message! Keep it up! :)

  13. Andrew McPherson on August 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    This makes me think; and I love it for that! :D

  14. Kim on August 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Oh Stephen, I am loving all of these posts :) They’ve been so incredibly inspirational. Whenever a fellow-comic-drawing friend feels down, I send them your way (to your website) and it’s that great commonality that really uplifts them!

    • stephen on August 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks Kim! I’m glad!

  15. [...] This may sound strange, but I wanted to give this book it’s best chance to succeed by finishing it first, making it absolutely the best book I think I could have made and then letting the world do with it what it pleases.  My first goal though is make a book that’s hard  for it not to find an audience. [...]

  16. DonnaAnna on October 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Oh. Ooh. Though I’m not an aspiring comic artist but an aspiring opera singer, all of this applies to what I do as well… Because I’ve had those thoughts. “I will become an opera singer. I will have a career.” And it’s really been killing the joy from my music, because it’s hard, and sometimes it seems even impossible. D: Damn.

    Your whole blog is really encouraging. Just found it through tumblr. Uh. I’m being very inarticulate right now. But thank you for sharing these thoughts. <3

    • stephen on October 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      You’re welcome! It’s neat to know we have so much in common even though we’re in such different fields of creative expression!

  17. Cellot on October 11, 2012 at 5:08 am

    I have a quick question if you don’t mind. While I do find your advice helpful, I’m having a few problems reconciling it with everything else. While I can make my work easy to publish, at some point I need to eat and pay rent whether that’s through my (hypothetical) comic or not. However, even something as basic as “provide room and board for myself” is something I can’t fully control (job market, raises, etc.). Any advice on that front?

    • stephen on October 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      I know what that’s like– I’m currently looking for work and the idea that I really don’t have control of the market or work or freelance opportunities– I can only put myself out there and try everything in my power to get more work. But maintaining the illusion that I am in control, no matter how much I want to be, leads only to fear and paralysis, I think.

      As far as paying for rent– sometimes art doesn’t make enough money to do so. That’s okay– it just means you need to hone the skills and keep making art, but think about finding a part time job.

      Here’s what I realized when I “broke in” to publishing: you never really break in. You break in so that the next time you want to break in it’s a little bit easier. There’s no final success, you just use small successes as jumping platforms to reach bigger and better successes. Right now I have a chance to look for work because I’ve saved a lot of the money I earned in my comics job.

      That’s the best I got– does that help? Let me know if you have any more questions. :)

  18. Lucas on October 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    So beautiful! Congratulations, man!

  19. Arel Avellino on May 8, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Hey man! Great post! I use to come to your site pretty frequently, but didn’t see updates for awhile. Made my first stop-in in awhile. So, glad you are keeping this up. I’m a filmmaker on the east coast and definitely appreciate your insight. I started my first film company keeping in mind these subjects you are writing about. Keep it up! Love it.

  20. nikhita on August 22, 2013 at 7:01 am

    thanks so much for this wonderful advice. I’ve been doing my hsortfilm for a year and a half, and I realise now the number of things I pushed at which were out of my control.

  21. Bruno Sanches on December 13, 2013 at 8:15 am

    That’s so awesome, man! Your work is really inspiring :)

  22. Rachel on January 13, 2014 at 1:34 am

    I think of this comic every time I create goals in my life, especially the part about rephrasing your goals to shift your focus to what you can control. You have a real gift for this!

    • stephen on January 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks Rachel!

  23. Robin Smith on February 2, 2014 at 1:15 am

    love this!

    I don’t have a publisher, yet, but I have lots of children’s books for my publisher when he or she,like opportunity, knocks.

    I don’t have a producer, yet, for my TV animated series, but I’m creating a killer story, characters, pitch bible, storyboards and episodes — all ready when my producer shows up!

    In art as in the kitchen, nobody can eat the idea of a cake… get baking!
    :)
    Robin

    • stephen on February 21, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      That’s right! Good luck to you!

  24. Jasin on July 25, 2015 at 10:01 am

    க மத ன வ ய ன ல ம பச த தன ம ப க த ! OBCs will also behave tlevsehmes in relationship with SCs and STs in future when life in villages gets more and more urbanised, meaning the worth and importance of the individual as against the group begin to be valued. The labels ‘SCs’ and ‘STs’, too, will fall off. Improvement in social conditions in the lives of OBCs/ SCs/ STs will render caste identities imposed by Brahmins redundant and otiose. I mean, no religion will be contexulaised with castes. The orthodox Brahmins and their lickers’ will have to revamp the core values of their religion in order to survive in the new world. The writings of Tilak, Hegdewar and Savarkar for brahminical glory will become a laughing stock. As Arul has pointed out time and again, our society should liberate itself from the brahminical values first. His is not a original idea: it is Periyaar’s. If you conduct rig vedic yaga in your temple, no one but your relations and your lickers, is going to mind you. You and your lickers can do any thing : it wont impact the general society as a whole, unlike in the past when yours was the only religion and the Hindu social philosophy was to be observed by one and all.If at all there are quarrels between people, it wont be on the bases of castes from religion, but for the scramble for the scant resources and due to inequal distribution of such resources only. Such a scramble is a perennial and bitter reality of human life, as you know.

  25. Micha on March 10, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I started to read this cartoon and thought.. “Oh wow. This is EXACTLY what I am struggling with.” I literally held my breath to read your answer to this dilemma. And it was such a beautiful and true answer. I feel relieved and excited. Thank you.

    ps. It is almost creepy that I have the same name, look and profession than your friend

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