So I’ve decided to write a series of posts about making comics, my way. Let’s get started with Step 1 by talking about… ideas!

Everything starts from an idea

Anything man-made came from an idea, and of course that includes drawing, writing, and making comics. It’s important to collect as much of them as possible whenever they “pop” in to your head, but the problem is that ideas are just as quick to disappear even with the slightest distraction. Trust me when I say that it is extremely frustrating if you forgot a great idea! Thankfully there’s an easy solution.

Get a notepad + pen, or use your phone/computer/whatever

A notepad helps a lot in making comics!Yup, carrying a small and simple notepad/sketchpad and a pen/pencil everywhere with you can solve this dilemma (you can stop reading if you want). Or if you’re like me, just use your phone; even the most basic note app will do, and you can take pictures, audio, and videos as well! If you’re an artist, a sketchpad and pencil (a mechanical pencil maybe) might be better for sketching, unless you can draw well on your phone with just your fingers or if your fancy-schmancy phone has a stylus (like the Samsung Note). Heck, just carry both if you have the space or take a real camera with you. At least now you have another excuse to wear a jacket during hot days without looking too stupid (no guarantees).

If it’s raining/snowing, ziplocs are a thing. And bags. And jackets. And umbrellas. And waterproof phones. And finding shelter. You get the idea.

Let’s go shopping:

  • Notepads/sketchpads: Anything simple and light is enough, but if you have the budget, get one that’s acid-free so the paper won’t degrade as it ages. Choose paper that’s rough enough for pencils if you’re using them. Paperback covers are cheaper and lighter, hardcovers are heavier and will protect the paper. And apparently waterproof notepads are available if you really want to splurge (ziplocs though!).
  • Pencils and pens: 2B pencils are suitable, but adjust according to your needs. For pens, well, just make sure that they work and you have enough ink.
  • Phones: Larger phones are easier to draw/type and vice versa. Get one with a decent camera if you plan to take videos and pictures (or get an actual camera). Styluses are great if you really want to sketch.
  • Apps: You don’t need to buy apps unless you want to. I personally use Evernote (free) so I can access my notes in my phone and computer.
  • Attire: Whatever floats your boat, but a jacket when it’s cold out is nice. Bags/purses if you don’t like jackets (man-purses represent!). Pants with actual pockets if you’re a woman. Belt pouches are also a thing.

Carry them everywhere

What’s that? Don’t have a notepad or a note app yet? Stop reading and get one right now! Seriously, you’re bleeding ideas at this very moment!

Ideas are everywhere so it only makes sense to carry your notepad/phone everywhere and in any situation, not that I need to tell you that since most of you will be carrying your phones everywhere anyways…

  • Carry them while you’re commuting (if you’re driving, please stop first or record your voice).
  • Carry them to the bathroom (do not drop into toilet).
  • Keep them beside you when you sleep (write quickly if you can remember your dreams).
  • If you’re a surgeon, keep it beside you while you’re operating on someone (do not drop into patient)
  • Netflix and ch


A wild idea appears!

Perhaps you saw an interesting gentleman. Say, did something happen across the street? Oh my, that bit of office gossip is scandalous! Whatever it is, it stirred something in your mind. Did you carry your notepad with you?

Write. Draw. Take pictures. Take videos.

[replace Write with any of the actions above]

“OH NO WHAT DO I-“ Keep Calm and Write. (Sorry, I just wanted to write this just once in my life.)

But-“ Write it down. Write it all down. Ideas begets ideas, but don’t force yourself if you’re feeling drained. Hopefully you have enough space on your notepad!

“W-where do I write?” If you want to be organized, you can divide your notepad into sections or carry another one with you. In certain apps (like Evernote), you can make separate documents or notebooks.

“This idea sucks!” Write it down even if you think it’s a bad idea. You can always refine them later, and who knows, that one bad idea could’ve been a great idea in another project, or it could be combined/refined with other bad ideas to form a better one.

The moment has passed, ideas recorded!

Whew that was intense, aaand that’s it for this step. Congratulations on recording your ideas! Remember, more ideas will create even more ideas, meaning there’s a better chance that some of them will be actually good!

To summarize:

  • Carry a notepad, pencil, or phone with you always
  • Write, draw, take pictures as much as you can
  • No need for fancy stuff!
  • Ugly ideas can grow up into beautiful swans

On the next episode of Making Comics: Fantastic Ideas and Where to Find Them (more about the “where” though).