I am a very creative individual by nature. When I was a child, I had all sorts of crazy, but creative ideas. I drew pictures, made toys out of paper, acted out several character roles of my own creation – and recorded it to audio tape. I was like a little radio producer! I eventually got my friends into my productions as well. I remember getting a friend to do a musical beat with his mouth while I sang a crazy but funny song. As I got older, I continued my “productions” with video game footage recorded to VHS tape, complete with intro screens with mixed in music! Being quite poor all the while, it took quite a bit of creativity just to accomplish my projects without proper, *expensive* production equipment. One of my greatest achievements was getting my voice on a VHS tape intro after many unsuccessful attempts including plugging a cheap microphone into the audio input of the VHS deck, I ended up recording my voice on an audio tape, then plugged the audio tape player to the VHS deck’s audio input, and viola! I remember playing back the tape for a friend and I’ll always remember his reaction when he heard my voice: “How’d you get your voice on tape?!?” It was such a great feeling.

One of my common mistakes in producing the video game footage tapes was making them too long. My friends never finished watching any of my tapes, as they were regularly six hours long each, and I had many sequels. Super Video, Super Video 2, Amazing Visions, Super Amazing Visions, etc. My gaming tapes were more like gaming documentaries. I eventually learned that to keep an audience, you need to keep them wanting more. Never give an audience too much of what they want, or they will bore quickly. I actually tried that technique on a game music audio tape I made for myself, and boy did it work! As I heard my favorite tunes fade out after only 3-4 minutes, instead of 6-10 minutes, I wanted to hear them again! But that would have to wait until the tape finished playing and started over.

With all the creative ideas I’ve had, one might think that being creative comes easy to me.

Not always.

Sometimes, like with my current projects, I run into what I call a “creative block”. Think of it as writers block for any creative undertaking other than writing. This creative block has slowed down my current projects quite a bit. (Thank goodness I’m not on a deadline!) It actually started not too long after I started my main website (link). I started working on the first pages of my comic, Titanium Knights Episode 3, when I discovered that even though I already had the story and main plot events, I didn’t have much else, like character development, conversations, detailed enemy equipment (other than just some soldiers). I thought to myself, “I need more material!” So I decided to do some fun research…

I read other creators’ webcomics. I checked out other artists’ work. I watched a crapload of anime. I read art and comic tutorials. I played fantasy role-playing games. I looked at my old drawings and comics. Rinse, repeat! I also had a blast doing it. Yes, it delayed work on my actual comic, but I want my comic to be great. Not just another web comic, but an epic online graphic novel that will eventually be printed. I have big plans for this comic, and I want it to be the best it can possibly be. Enjoying other people’s creative work, even my old work, inspires me, gives me new ideas, and sets creative examples. Even listening to music while I work gets the creative juices flowing!

So, next time you find yourself in some kind of creative block, take a break, and enjoy the creative works of others. Then try resuming your own work. Remember…

Creativity begets creativity.

Until next time!

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