One of the most common questions I get from new or unsure comic creators is, “Which method is better?” There’s always going to be one group going on about how digital is the wave of the future and always a counter-group claiming that digital is ruining the artistic process and that traditional hands-on work with pencil, paper and ink is the best. There’s also a group that utilize what works for them in both disciplines in a hybrid format. I fall into the latter category. I do all of my lettering and coloring digitally 100%. And currently 80% of my inking is digital while 80% of my pencils are still done traditionally with graphite on paper. The majority of my script writing, undoubtedly, has to be digital, but I do still scribble lots of notes and reminders for myself by hand in a notebook.
To answer the question about which approach is best, I will tell you this: None of them. There is no one-option that is always the best to be applied in every situation with every artist. That’s why I enjoy the flexibility of my hybrid approach where I use my digital skills or traditional skills as conveniently and as needed as I feel for the scene, the setting or the project. Some artists will do their best work traditionally, some will do it digitally. What’s more important is not “What is the best way to create your work?” but “What is the best way for you to create your work?” Experiment with all of the options available and find out what you prefer. What do you feel more comfortable doing? What feels more straightforward and easy to your work style? What’s more convenient? What is the best way for you to get work done? Telling you that the best way to draw is by drawing tight, detailed intricate pencils by hand with a pencil on Bristol board does nobody any good if you’re not comfortable or secure in your skills of creating art in that manner. If you’ve been using computer software since you were knee-high to a grasshopper, trying to force you to work in a traditional manner might be a waste of time. Meanwhile, if someone has been drawing and painting and getting their hands dirty for decades, the idea of trying to force a graphic tablet on them is essentially pointless. If you’re not sure, explore, practice and learn—see what you like. The best way to make comics is whatever way works best for you.
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