Agitation & Perturbation
Worry Time could be the most important time of the week for you if you’re a typically anxious person. The idea is that instead of worrying all the time, you set aside a time to worry. This has a hugely positive impact on your life, and if you’re not doing it, you probably should start.
When you set a time to worry, you worry less.
Because you limit the amount of worry time in your life, you tend to have less of your time taken up by it, which reduces stress substantially. Worrying at most 20% of the time is healthy. It allows for you to address actual issues, forget about non-issues that can be perceived as issues on the spot, and to give you peace of mind the other 80% of the time.
Here’s how it works: your goal is to set to 30 minutes of Worry Time per week. You can start with 30 minutes per day if you have to, with the idea that you’ll slowly transition over to the final goal. You separate your time in two parts: Worry Write, and Worry Do.
In Worry Write, you write down everything that worries you, and you give it priorities. I like to color-code (yellow for semi-important and red for very important). Everything you can think of that worries you, you write it down. You look at every point and think “how likely is this to go wrong” “what’s the worst that can happen” and “what can I do to make it better”. Make a plan.
Important point here: if you think about something you worry about, tell yourself you’ll write it down during Worry Time. This is to trick your brain into feeling like it’s listened to and valued. If you forget your worry when you get to worry time, you’ll know it’s a sign that you were worrying about something not important at all, and that things got better by themselves- you’re learning to dedramatize. If, however, you can’t get that worry out of your mind after a reasonable amount of time and that it’s affecting your functionality, and you realize that you’ll remove the worry just by writing it down, just go ahead and write it down. You’re allowed to cheat if it’s to help improve your well-being.
In Worry Do, this is when you look at your list, revise if all the worries are still valid, and get into action. Whatever plan you had made, you just do it, from the most important to the least important. Put yourself on a timer if it helps, but no matter what you do, stop as soon as your Worry Time is over. Whatever isn’t done, you can put on your Worry Write list and do next time you have time. This seems counter-intuitive, as if leaving a worry on the table and not addressed is a bad thing, but it’s important to note that not only will you have done the most important things first so the others will seem more attainable, but also you’ll realize that even if you don’t address certain things, life goes on. The world will not stop turning just because you can’t do everything on your list of things to do.
I used to think I carried the weight of the world on my shoulder. When I started looking at is as a tree full of fruit - where fruits are worries- growing next to me rather than on my back, I saw that I could pick each fruit at my leisure and leave them on the tree with no further consequences. Sometimes, you don’t pick the fruit before it falls out of the tree, but you can certainly learn to make something sweet from them!
Relations & Maths
I’m not going to pretend like I have a perfect relationship with a perfect partner. I simply feel like I have a good theory good because it seems to work out nicely. Everyone deserves to be happy, and if I can help someone do that, then I have done my job, and my life has more meaning because of it. I’m just happy to help.
I’ll start by saying that it’s all about math. More precisely, it’s about percentages. You’d think that math has no place in relationships, but you could be wrong.
We all have days where things seem to be going perfectly-or almost, regardless of how long ago the last time you felt that way is. We also all have days where everything seems to go wrong, and those can stretch to seemingly interminable lengths. But when it comes to relationships, you’ve got to watch the ratio between the two.
The easy part: If you have a relationship in which you feel like you’re giving 75% and your partner feels like they’re giving 75%, then you’re very likely both giving 50%. I’d say your relationship is fair. Think about what the percentages would be in your relationship. You may not want to assume what their answer is here, because differences in perception make it so that the truth for one person isn’t always what it seems like from our perspective. It’s also unfair to assume that you have the same amount of energy or the same values about this. That said, If the answer for your partner seems close to yours, then that’s cool. But if it’s grossly out of range, then you need to reevaluate how you feel about this person, and how much work you’re realistically putting in. Sometimes it’s not fun to look at your mistakes, but letting go of our ego can go a long way to making ourselves and our relationships better in the long term.
If your percentage of happiness versus unhappiness in your relationship seems disproportionate, think about whether that seems worth it for you. You might be giving more than you think is fair on a regular basis compared to your partner, or not enough. Think about whether you need to change your expectations, and especially think about what you think you deserve, and stay as realistic as possible. It’s normal to give more than your partner for a period of time as long as the roles get reversed at some point to balance it out. Also note that if you expect someone to care for you all the time, then you’re forgetting that the person you’re dating is not a robot, but someone who also has needs and moments of weakness. There’s also people who’ll notice they have a superhero syndrome, where they’re devoting all of themselves to taking care of someone long enough that they get dragged down and burned out. That is also unhealthy, and that’s why, if the relationship still seems worth it to you even after having thought all of this through, then you need to develop coping methods.
The key to any good relationship is communication. It sounds cliche, but it is the most important thing because we are unfortunately not a telepathic species, so we have to use our heads and our ears and our mouths to learn from each other and adapt to each other. This is how good communication goes: “I feel this” said with an understanding that the other person is a sentient being and will have feelings and thoughts about that very subject. “You may feel this”, “I interpret it as that” because you never know when you’re assuming things or blowing them out of proportion in your head (artists, I blame our overactive imaginations on this). “I would like this” in order to propose a solution to the problem “What do you think about that” and be prepared for some disagreement. If your partner shoots down your proposal, then ask for them to propose one. It may take time. It definitely takes commitment to those proposals. And it should include a revision at a later point to see if the solution needs tweaking or to confirm its effectiveness. Again, as non-telepathic people, we need feedback to know if we’re on the right track.
If the solutions you agree on work less than 50% of the time, you have a problem. If the same problem comes back more than 50% of the time, there’s a problem. If you’re doing 100% of the work, there’s a problem. Adjust those percentages to what you feel is worth it, then evaluate again. Be aware that sometimes, you just need to get away, or take a breather, or do your own thing, and that’s fine too. Even when you’re a relationship, you’re still two separate complete people. Sometimes you need to be selfish. It’s just important to keep the other person informed and meet back up every now and then to share your separate experiences. The second key to a good relationship is respecting that there are differences between each of you and that neither is actually better or worse (most of the time).
That said, if it’s not working out for you, the odds of finding someone that you are satisfied with on this planet are huge. Think of it this way: if you know a lot of good people, then there’s gonna be better ones out there. If you know a few very good people, then there’s inevitably going to be better ones out there too. If you decide that you are too unhappy for too long, then go look for that person that’s going to be better for you. There’s no shame in dating yourself for a while, and there should be no guilt in leaving someone that’s not right for you, especially because, considering the odds, there’s also someone out there better for your partner.
Once you have found the person that gives you what you deserve, that respects you as much as you respect them, that’s willing to work as hard as you and as often as you, that’s great. Just be aware that life can change, life changes people, and people can no longer be right for each other. It is difficult to make a move to change things when they seem to have worked out well for you for so long, but it’s always for the better. For both people. You don’t want to be the one being held back because you could be getting something better, and you don’t want the person you love to be held back either.
You deserve to be at least 80% happy. No matter how much change that means you need to make happen. You can do it, because it’s right, and because it’s good for you!
So here's the dealio:
Just like some vegetarians will not spit at you for eating meat in front of them, some people who become parents will NOT pester you about having children of your own.
Just because this totally weird experience is happening to me and I want to share its weirdness, doesn't mean you have to feel pressured into having one yourself. YOU DO YOU.
Yes, having a kid is magical, and beautiful, and everything nice. I haven't had a period in 5 months and it's considered normal. I am making a living being out of my own flesh and blood, and it happens to have DNA from my favorite people on this planet. It is the cutest and loveliest thing I've ever seen (though I suspect a lot of that comes from hormones my body is producing out of a subconscious survival mechanism).
BUT. I also realize that it is selfish, among other things. I am creating a being that will most likely help us to destroy the environment a little more: creating heaps of garbage, adding to the overpopulation, emitting methane, etc. I am creating someone who will have to live in a world full of misery, sadness, unfairness, difficulty. It will most certainly contribute to lowering my life expectancy through giving birth to it, not sleeping properly, and stressing out over its general well-being.
The thing is, it is here, now, and I will not get rid of it. As much as I hate what it means, I also love it, and I have hope that I can help it become someone who will better the planet, its people, and its social constructs, and be able to realize how beautiful life can be sometimes.
This is my decision, and that of my partner.
When we started trying having children, I became obsessed with the idea that I was not a worthy human being if I did not create an heir for humanity. I felt like I would fail my partner, our families, and society as a whole. I put my entire life's meaning into making this one thing. It was an immense pressure that I felt was imposed on me subconsciously through my experiences as a woman. It sometimes even came from conscious pressure put forth by those around me. It was unhealthy. I don't wish this feeling on anyone.
I wish for everyone to be free of social pressures and to be brave enough to follow their own path, whatever that may be. If you want to have kids, do it in the most informed and clear-minded way possible. If you want kids but don't want to go through the physical trauma of carrying your own, there's plenty out there who needs parents who care. If you don't want kids at all, do that. And if you want to change your mind later, that's fine too, but know that you don't have to. Lastly, if you wanted kids and feel like you missed the opportunity, don't be bitter about it: get involved in schools or daycares or camps.
You do you, people. YOU DO YOU.
Revision & Correction
Ce qui est drôle à propos des révisions et des corrections, c’est que peu importe combien de fois et avec quelle intensité on le fait, il y en aura toujours qu’on verra pas avant qu'il ne soit trop tard. Mais ça devrait pas empêcher le monde d'essayer de minimiser leur présence dans une bande dessinée ...
Faut jamais supposer que juste parce qu’on a terminé une bande dessinée, que c’est prêt à mettre sur le marché. Faut d'abord tester la durabilité et la qualité du produit, alors imaginez qu’on est des scientifiques. On a un produit qu’on doit tester sur des cobayes. On peut pas utiliser un seul cochon d'Inde (et/ou rat de labo) et on doit absolument pas choisir le même type pour chaque sujet. On va également vouloir varier le dosage de ce produit sur différents cochons d'Inde… (et/ou rats de labo).
De même, lorsqu’on fait des bandes dessinées, on veut que le livre soit lu par plus d'une personne/cobaye. Idéalement, il y en aura qui auront peu ou pas d'expérience avec des bandes dessinées, des lecteurs de bandes dessinées réguliers, ainsi que des experts en bandes dessinées qui savent tout. On veut également qu'ils se concentrent sur une chose en particulier, soit l'orthographe, la clarté du message, le flow de l'histoire, ou un qui cherche de la saleté. On bénéficie de ceux qui n'ont aucune expérience, car leurs commentaires aident à rendre une histoire plus claire et plus facile à lire. On apprécie ceux qui lisent un peu de BD, parce qu’ils sont en mesure de dire ce qu'ils aiment ou pas, en les comparant à leurs connaissances antérieures. Finalement, on aura probablement une relation amour / haine très intéressante avec les experts de BD, parce qu’ils peuvent détruire une oeuvre de façon très cruelle, mais peuvent également trouver des choses spécifiques à améliorer, et peut-être même donner leur avis sur comment sortir de l’ordinaire.
Des BDs sont faites tous les jours, tout autour de la planète. C’est super populaire, suffit d'une minute de recherche sur Internet pour réaliser que c’est vrai. Comment le nôtre peut se démarquer? Ça arrivera probablement jamais. Cependant, c’est possible de lui donner de meilleures chances de survie en s’assurant que le produit est solide sur le plan grammatical et moral, et dans sa composition, avant de le sortir au grand public. En essayant de pousser un peu plus loin, en étant à l’écoute de ses bizarreries, et en voyant les choses sous un nouveau jour (grâce à nos cobayes), on peut commencer à créer un produit unique avec quelque chose qui pourrait très bien capter le cœur des gens et, qui sait, changer l'histoire de la BD pour toujours.
The funny thing about revisions and corrections is that no matter how much and how thoroughly you do them, there’s always going to be some that you don’t see until it’s too late. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to minimize their presence in your comic....
You should never assume that just because you’ve finished a comic, it’s ready to be put out onto the market. You need to test the durability and quality of your product beforehand, so, imagine you’re a scientist. You’ve got a product that you need to test out on guinea pigs. You can’t use only one guinea pig, and you definitely shouldn’t choose the same type of guinea pig for each test subject. You’re also going to want to vary the dosage of this product on different guinea pigs.
Similarly, when making comics, you’re going to want to have it read by more than one person. Ideally, there will be some who have little to no experience with comics, some regular comics readers, and some know-it-all comics experts. You’ll want them to focus on one particular thing, either spelling, clarity of message, story flow, or dirt-finder. You’ll benefit from the ones who have no experience because their comments will help you make a clearer and easier story to read an understand. You’ll enjoy the ones who read a bit of comics because they’ll be able to tell you what they liked and didn’t like by comparing them with their previous knowledge, and you’ll likely entertain a very interesting love/hate relationship with those comics experts because as much as they can destroy your baby, they’ll also be able to point out specific things that you can improve on, and maybe even give you input on how to think out-of-the-box.
Comics are being made all day every day all around the planet. They’re just that popular, and it only takes a minute of internet research to realize this statement is true. How can yours stand out? It most likely won’t. However, you can give it better chances of survival by ensuring your product is solid grammatically, compositionally, and morally before it reaches people’s hands. By trying to push it just a bit further, by listening to your quirks, and by seeing things from a new perspective (thanks to your guinea pigs), then you can begin to create a unique comic with a special something that could very well capture people’s hearts, and change the history of comics forever.
To be continued...
Formatting a book is my favorite part of the comics-creation process other than the actual drawing part. This is where it all starts to come together! The cover pages that will wrap up your treasured story, the way each page will flow into the next, all the other important tid-bits like ISBN, legal deposit, credits, etc… When you have all that together, that’s when you know it’s real.
The cover is actually a sleeve that holds the inside pages together, and comes in 5 parts, usually referred to as the spine, and cover 1/4 to 4/4. The spine is a tiny bit larger than the signatures all put together, and if you’re lucky enough to have enough pages, can hold a title. I’ve noticed that the French tend to put titles on one side, and the English usually pick the other side. Industry standard or coincidence? I’m not sure…
In any case, the front cover is referred to as 1/4, while back cover is called the 4/4, and either of these, though typically on the back cover, is the best place to put an ISBN( International Standard Book Number), which is a code assigned to you by the officials that represents you as a publisher, your book, and the edition of the book. Thus, for the same publisher, the only numbers that will change are those at the very end. Using this number, you can generate a unique barcode, which you can toy with and make into another artsy part of your comic!
The inside covers, 2/4 for the front and 3/4 for the back, can be simple patterns, places for story credits or advertisement. They can be color or black & white, independently of the outside cover.
The inside of the book is made with either signatures (folded booklets of 8 papers), or all cut flush and glued with archival glue and called “perfect binding”. Using InDesign (another Adobe product) helps to put the inside together and generate a preview for it. You can add text in Photoshop, then import the whole document in InDesign, or import the image directly into InDesign and add all the text from there. You can add page numbers as well, and give your document whatever parameters you want for printing: it’ll set the bleed, margins, and slug for you at whatever dimensions you want. (PS: a slug is the space between the spine and the page, usually gets swallowed up the more there are pages in a book, so it gets bigger and bigger accordingly).
To think that all this used to be done by hand… To be continued...
Le formatage d'un livre, c’est ma partie préférée du processus de création de BD (à part la partie de dessin). C'est là que tout commence à se placer! Les pages de couverture qui contiennent nos histoires précieuses, la façon dont chaque page découle dans la prochaine, tous les autres éléments importants comme l’ISBN, le dépôt légal, le générique, etc ... Lorsque on a tout ça ensemble, c'est quand on sait que c’est pas juste un rêve.
La couverture est en fait une enveloppe qui maintient les pages intérieures ensemble, et vient en 5 parties, dont la première est généralement appelée l’épine, et les autres sont les parties de la couverture, de 1/4 à 4/4. L’épine est un peu plus grande que les signatures toutes réunies, et si on a la chance d'avoir assez de pages, on peut y inscrire un titre. J'ai remarqué que les français ont tendance à pencher le titre sur un côté, et les anglais le font généralement de l'autre côté. Norme de l'industrie ou coïncidence? Je sais pas…
Anyway, la couverture avant est appelée 1/4, tandis qu’on appelle la couverture arrière 4/4, et l'une ou l'autre, bien que généralement sur la couverture arrière, est le meilleur endroit pour mettre un ISBN (Numéro international normalisé du livre), qui est un code attribué par les fonctionnaires qui représentent l’éditeur, le livre et l'édition du livre. Ainsi, pour un même éditeur, les seuls chiffres qui changent sont ceux qui sont à la toute fin. En utilisant ce numéro, on peut générer un code à barres unique, qu’on peut transformer en une autre oeuvre d’art sur la BD!
Les couvertures intérieures, 2/4 pour l'avant et 3/4 pour le dos, peuvent être des motifs simples, un endroit pour le générique, ou de la publicité. Ils peuvent être en couleur ou en noir et blanc, indépendamment de la couverture extérieure.
L'intérieur du livre est fait avec soit des signatures (livrets pliés de 8 papiers), soit tous coupés et collés avec de la colle d'archivage et appelés "reliure allemande". L'utilisation d'InDesign (un autre produit Adobe) permet de rassembler l'intérieur et d'en générer un aperçu. On peut ajouter du texte dans Photoshop, puis importer le document entier dans InDesign, ou importer les images directement dans InDesign et y ajouter tout le texte. On peut également ajouter des numéros de page, et donner au document les paramètres qu’on souhaite imprimer: le programme prend en compte les fonds perdus, les marges et le “slug”, et sont ajustables. (PS: le “slug”, c’est l'espace entre l’épine et la page, englouti au fur et à mesure qu'on ajoute des pages dans un livre, donc ça devient de plus en plus grand en conséquence).
C’est fou de penser que tout ça était fait à la main y’a pas si longtemps... A suivre ...