Comic Strip and Space Art Update

With Fall now fully on us here in 2014 I felt overdue for an update on my own art projects. Balancing my work as a professional artist with the practical needs of providing a solid income as a user experience designer has been challenging in many ways, and far more rewarding than I ever expected. I’ve recently taken on a full time role at a reputable online travel company, which has impacted my daily output as expected. Weekends and evenings are now the only time I can reasonably devote to my various projects.

Breaking Fitts’s Law

My comic strip, Breaking Fitts’s Law, has been running regularly since going live early September and the response has exceeded my expectations. A new comic strip has a tough, uphill battle in a field that is filled with so many other comics online and yet I seem to be finding my way into an audience of people beyond my supportive circle of friends and family.

A Designer's Weapons
“Lipstick on a pig”

I’ve enjoyed revisiting and exploring characters that I originally created over 20 years ago during my own college years. Now they are cogs in the machine at Abattoir Tech – a fictional company with deeply disturbing software and other office products. This reflects my own experience within a number of high profile software companies, a vast reserve of situations and ideas to fuel this insane adventure.

Dani's Coffee
Dani shares her secret to surviving at Abattoir Tech with Martin

If you’re wondering what this comic strip has to do with space art, I’ll give you a little hint: In the strip above, note the vehicle flying in the sky above Dani and Martin in the middle panel. Not the jet plane, the other one. The world I’ve been crafting for Breaking Fitts’s Law might not exist exactly in our current timeline, and some of my upcoming storylines will make use of these elements.

After putting a lot of thought into the overall concept, the characters, and the world of Abattoir Tech, I spent several months roughing out ideas for the characters and situations. It surprised me how much material I had just off the top of my head for possible design-related situations. As I dove deeper into any one thread it would often branch into multiple ideas. Most recently I released a series based on one initial thought exercise: a portable office cubicle that becomes a standing privacy tube for each employee.

Terrible Open Office Concept
Our characters, stuck in their poorly designed “Privacy Chutes”

After giggling to myself over a couple of sketches of this ridiculous contraption, I realized there was a lot of fun to be had over several comic strips. This has become my first sub-story within the strip, which you can read starting from here.

It takes a significant effort to produce each comic strip, and I’m learning more and more along the way. New comics are only posted twice a week for now (Mondays and Thursdays). This gives me the time I need to make sure I have an adequate backlog for timely releases. I’m approaching this comic strip as a serious effort, honing my skills with both the art and story telling, to make it fun, funny, and approachable for everyone (not just those of us who work in the User Experience Design field).

Honestly I do not know how far Breaking Fitts’s Law will go, but I’m trending up in followers and exposure. For me it shows promise and I’m taking on this challenging project so I can tell some of my own stories in a fashion that fits well with my skills. There’s a lot more to come with Breaking Fitts’s Law, and I hope you drop by and take a look.

 

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