Current Chapter: 3 ("Conflict")

Author Info

Laura C. Kajpust
Age (Zodiac) 17 (Gemini)
Interests Drawing, writing, programming, video games, badminton, baseball...
Location Good 'ole Illinois!
Fav Main Characters? Rezen, Zev, Sachi
Fav Minor/Misc Characters? Shate, Edaru, Zaden
The Origins of Fruitful Confusion...

The entire story and all the characters originated from one thing - the cabbage man from Avatar: The Last Airbender. After watching several hours of Avatar straight, I suddenly started thinking about the life of the cabbage man...and, well, slowly the story began to be born.

I assure you that all the original ideas came in randomly and quickly...and only later did I develop them into something a little more logical. ;) Actually, a lot of things have been changed in the story since it was originally thought up. There are more characters now than originally intended and three of them were supposed to be part of a completely different story! (One is only a "misc" character though)

There was also a long debate between whether Zev or Rezen would get a certain girl...I won't say who won. ;)

Meh Comic Making Process
Step 1 : Plot (time: random)
First off I have to know what's going on the page. I have the dialogue and action either written down somewhere or floating in my head, and I try to imagine where everything should go on the page. I try to put flow into how I'm going to set it up, but sometimes it doesn't work out so well.

Tools Used:
I plan in Microsoft Word....because it makes sense...Doing it in something like notepad would be horrendous. o_o

Step 2 : Plan (time: 1-2 hours)
Then I open up my uber Manga Studio program and my beautiful Intuos tablet (whose name is Devin xD)!

I always put the dialog down first because I am absolutely terrible at imagining how much space those stupid bubbles take up. Sometimes I have to extend what I wanted to be one page into two because of it. With those set out, I get a better idea of my drawing space.

And when that's done, with one swift wave of my pen I sketch out the page and box up all the panels! (sometimes not quite that order)

Tools Used:
I use Manga Studio EX for paneling, sketching, inking, and word bubbles. It's a love-it-or-hate-it program. Personally I love it. (Mainly because of the "line correction" tool! Finally, I can make straight lines and smooth curves!! XD)

I have a Wacom Intuos 6x8 tablet, which I love very much~. Used for sketching in this step.

Step 3 : Ink (time: 2-5 hours, depending on amount to be done and how distracted I get XD)
My absolutely least favorite step. I have no idea why I hate this so much, but I do. This is the step that makes pages take so long - because I avoid it and dread it!

But enough of that. Pen pressure of your tablet is completely your friend, but I admit I usually totally ignore it. Instead, I think of "line correction" as my friend since my lines are definitely not straight when I want them to be!

Usually on this step I sometimes go back and resketch parts of a scene or character to see if I can get it just how I want. Sometimes I ignore this and try to wing it. (usually fails) And a lot of time I goof around with the ink tool and undo button as my partners in crime. But I don't recommend you do that if you're a serious worker. :P

Tools Used:
Same as previous step.

Step 4 : COLOR! (time: 4-6 hours)
I love color, and I love coloring! The pain of inking is always temporarily forgotten at this point...(Ha! Only sometimes...) I color in Adobe Photoshop Elements (4.0), for the curious minded.

I usually color in this order (but not always):

  • Base colors on everything (hair, skin, clothes, eyes, etc.) except the backgrounds
  • I color the eyes (I love coloring eyes, but it takes too short a time to do it ;_;)
  • I color the backgrounds (I don't like this one, usually)
  • I shade and highlight the hair (two layers for shading, two for highlighting)
  • I shade and highlight skin, and then shade clothing and...stuff
  • I make random changes that I deem necessary and ignore the ones that really are :D

    Tools Used:
    I use Adobe Photoshop Elements to color. I like this program a lot. Dunno what else to say XP

    I have a Wacom Cintiq 12WX tablet, which I love very much~. Used for sketching in this step. (Ch 2, page 15 was the last to be done with my Intuos tablet; the rest have been created with my Cintiq.)

  • (I had 65 layers for this page!)

    Step 5 : Post (total time taken: 7-13 hours per page)
    ...and then it's posted and I put some really long comment about how I hated the page! What? It's usually true! I like the pages...when they're in my head. :)

    Please comment because it makes me happy...:D