November marks the one year birthday, or continuation day, for "The Oxherd Boy" webcomic!
As I look back on this year, I thought I'd share some fun facts:
First Created vs. First Posted
It used to take me up to two days to come up with an idea, a proper dialogue or quote, research and sketch, and finally execute a painting. You can see in the first image that I spent so much more time on rendering details. It was painstaking work and reminiscent of the time I spent developing fine art pieces, but making comics turned out to be a completely different exercise.
I joined Dani DiPirro (IG: @positivelypresent) and her 30-day gratitude challenge in November 2020, and churned out 30 illustrations, one every day to help me paint more quickly and get ideas flowing more rapidly. The quality of art went down, but the creative juices really got flowing and helped me redistribute my time better.
Since the beginning, I wanted to send little love letters to people from time to time. I love getting postcards from far away. There's something about holding a little message that has traveled out of time and space to reach you with its good wishes. In the first six months, I wrote postcards to people I've known for years, but mostly to those I've never met from: Canada, England, France, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Poland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, and Wales.
Unfortunately with the pandemic, mail delivery became increasingly unreliable and by April, you guys helped me narrow down to 8 of the most popular comics to make free postcard and A4 downloadable files for your personal use. They are still available in Freebies if you want to send your own love letters to friends and family! I plan to add more postcard prints and other items for purchase to the store in the coming months, too.
First Translation Attempt
I worked in South America for a few years after college, and I thought it might be fun to brush up on my rusty Spanish by sharing a post in Spanish. I kind of butchered it, and someone volunteered to help edit my translations moving forward. Thus started a community effort, where over 40 volunteers worked on translating many of the posts into multiple languages: Chinese, Dutch, Farsi, Filipino, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese.
I've been a lax about keeping it up lately as my work picked up elsewhere, but it is very important to me. So, I hope to be able to do some more dedicated translation work early next year.
Writing a Book
When Taiwan went into lockdown in May, I thought, "Hey! This is the perfect time to sit down and focus on writing a book... while I try to entertain a five-year-old... at home... yeah..." But we did it! With the help of a writing coach, I put together a decent story book for kids and signed with an agent by the time lockdown had been lifted. Here's a look back at some of the art I created this past summer:
The number 72 is a notable one in Confucian culture, because it is said that of the thousands of students Confucius taught, only 72 mastered his philosophy. I was curious which comic was the 72nd in this series, and here it is:
Thank you to all of you for joining me this last year. I am looking forward to whatever the next year brings to all of us.