Sometimes it is necessary to take a break from the rush of the day and relax by taking a break with "light" and calming content. To help you with this task, we bring you the fun, relaxing, and inquisitive comics by Daniel Murrell from Southern California.
This webcomic series named "Danby Draws Comics" was started in August 2020 and is currently updated every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. According to the artist, it is a “gag-a-day” comic book that focuses mainly on life, family, games, and geek culture. The goal of Danby Draws Comics is to deliver lighthearted comics that make people happy.
Fashion Life reached out to Daniel to find out a little bit more.
“I just loved reading comics since I was a kid. And I have been drawing on and off for a long time. I used to post comics and only share with friends, but during the pandemic, I started sharing on social media. With some feedback and practice, they slowly got better. My main inspiration would be comic artists Bill Watterson and Kris Straub. The goal of the comic is to make beautiful comics that make people happy.”
We asked Daniel a few more additional questions. First, we asked the artist if he had any major influences in his life that might've helped her to develop and refine his style.
"Like so many others, I grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes comics by Bill Watterson, and that had a great impact on the kind of comics I like to create. I still use the dark, inky outlines because I loved the way it looked in his work. I wish I could fully emulate the watercolors, but that’s hard to do digitally. Other major influences would be Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade and Kris Straub of Broodhollow. I’m a big fan of their works."
Art, in any kind of form, takes a lot of time not only to practice but also to produce, therefore we asked Daniel how long it takes him to fully finish his comics.
"It can take some time just deciding what comic to make next, because I have maybe too many ideas, and they’re definitely not all good. I usually sketch it out, and show my wife for her approval. Then it might take me three to ten hours to finish the comic. I usually try to keep them simple, but they can get pretty intense art-wise."
Being an artist is not easy, one can easily encounter a lack of inspiration, burnout, etc, so we wanted to ask Danby about his ideas for the comics.
"Generally, I just wait until I find a humorous situation, or observation, and then I try and build on top of that. For example in my comic with the people needing a unicorn’s healing tears, I just ask, what if the unicorn had trouble crying? What would happen then? You take this to its eventual conclusion and try to stick the landing. I usually like it when comics go in a direction you’re not expecting."
As we mentioned before, sometimes creative work can cause quite a burnout, therefore we asked the artist how he dealt with that as well.
"Yeah, sometimes it’s hard when you spend a lot of time on a comic, and it doesn’t turn out well. It’s frustrating, and it’s easy to take it personally. Creating art is also challenging because you’re constantly pushed to put out more and more by your own desire to meet expectations. Sometimes I do have to take a step back and just spend some time on myself. I’ve only been doing this consistently for about a year, so I haven’t experienced anything like what some other creators have dealt with."
We also asked Daniel about how people reacted to his work.
"Positively I hope! I’ve gotten a fair share of nice comments from people on the internet. I really appreciate those. Sometimes I get rude comments, but the healthiest thing is to just ignore them. I’ve also seen a handful of memes and amusing alterations of my art. You never know what’s gonna happen when you put out stuff like that."
The creative process is not easy, but there are many enjoyable parts to it.
"Definitely the art. I wanted my comic to feature humans in a more realistic depiction, even though it’s a challenge to draw. I love it when you can get the picture in your head onto the screen. I would say that’s where I’m the happiest. And sometimes the backgrounds end up too fancy because I just enjoy painting them. With digital art, you have a lot of wiggle room to make that effort to get the work where you want it to be. At the same time, keeping a schedule has given me a healthy amount of acceptance when things aren’t entirely perfect. You have to let it go and move onto the next comic."
We also asked about the inspiration behind the artist's Instagram account.
"Actually, at first I didn’t like Instagram, because you couldn’t really browse without an account. But then I saw that it really is a great place for artists to showcase their work. Twitter’s image restrictions are kind of hard to work around, but Instagram basically acts like a little gallery. Since joining, I’ve also enjoyed communicating with other comic artists, that’s been a big plus."
Digital art and art, in general, is not easy and requires a lot of patience, time, resources, and in most cases even money, therefore we wanted to know how the talented comic artist started his own career in digital art.
"It all started with my first Wacom over ten years ago. Now I just do everything on a humble little Surface Tablet. In the past, I’ve tried my hand at other traditional forms of art such as painting, but I keep on coming back to comics. I have a lot of respect for other artists who can pull so much out of a single image."
Artists tend to get motivated by a lot of things such as curiosity, the search for beauty, or even meaning. Therefore, lastly, we asked Danby about that too.
"I would say that I mostly enjoy telling stories. Even when you have limited space, you still have the opportunity to be poetic in your own way. You can still capture a feeling that resonates with people. Though it’s not present in every comic, I often try to have it feel like my characters occupy a world that is larger than just the four panels you see."