PK 112: Creating a Graphic Novel and Finding Time for Art – Interview With Patricio Clarey

Creating a graphic novel can take years, but this interview with Patricio Clarey will help you get started.

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You start to feel like you’ve failed if you don’t have success. And that’s a complete lie.

Patricio Clarey

Creating a graphic novel is a number one goal for many artists, but it’s also one of the hardest things you can possibly do.

Not only does it take a long time to develop a good concept and storyline (and that’s before you’ve even started thinking about drawing), it’s also incredibly tough to fit this in around your other commitments, such as work or family.

So how does anyone actually manage to do it?

In this week’s interview, artist Patricio Clarey reveals the graft and grit that went into creating his first, second, and third graphic novels, and why he’s determined to keep going and produce even more.

Creating a Graphic Novel – What You Really Need to Know

Patricio Clarey currently works as a CG artist, but he was a graphic designer and illustrator in his native Argentina before deciding to move to Barcelona in Spain with his wife and start work on his first graphic novel, Archeologists of Shadows.

The first one took five years (yup, five years!) and, since then, Patricio has finished two more before taking a break to work on other personal projects. So how did he ever find time to fit it all into his schedule?

He says: “It was hard. It became a battle every day. It’s like leading a double life – you need to work, but you also need to be working on your personal projects.”

“You need to have the desire and the passion to do it, because it can get insane. But you also need to realize that not every single moment has to be a creative one.”

archeologists-of -shadows
Some of the art from Archeologists of Shadows, illustrated by Patricio Clarey

So, creating a graphic novel is tough. Super tough. But, if you’re determined to do it, how on earth do you balance your work and family commitments?

Patricio laughs: “At the beginning, I didn’t really have a planned schedule. It was mayhem. I was using all my holidays and weekends putting everything together.

“But it was an adventure doing that first graphic novel and it was a great experience! The second and third ones took less time, but I still think it takes about a year to create something decent.”

So that’s the deal. If you’re serious about creating a graphic novel, then you need to realize just how much work goes into it. You need to forget about holidays or going out with your friends for a while, and concentrate on putting in the hours on your art instead.

But you also need to find the strength to keep going – even when you’re not getting any recognition for the work you’re doing on your personal projects.

Because it’s not just about success and publishing deals etc. It’s about making a lifestyle choice and choosing to create – no matter what.

As Patricio says: “All the work I’ve done was for me – not for a certain market or whatever. I know I’m going to be an artist for the rest of my life, so I wanted to have a lot of work to reflect that.”Here are some of the questions we asked Patricio about creating a graphic novel

  1. How long did his first graphic novel take? (05:27 – 08:40)
  2. How can you balance work and personal projects? (09:50 – 13:17) 
  3. How should you manage your time? (21:24 – 24:33)
  4. If you don’t have the time to create one, how else can you get involved with graphic novels? (26:28 – 28:54)

We hope this week’s podcast interview helps you understand what really goes into creating a graphic novel.

And – if after hearing this – you decide it’s not for you, then that’s fine too! Just move onto something else and, most importantly, have fun with your art  🙂

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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Wednesday morning 8AM EST.

Cheers,

Mitch

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