An artist is above all a human being, profoundly human to the core. If the artist can't feel everything that humanity feels, if the artist isn't capable of loving until he forgets himself and sacrifices himself if necessary, if he won't put down his magic brush and head the fight against the oppressor, then he isn't a great artist.
There's no "correct path"ť to becoming a real artist. You might think you'll gain legitimacy by going to university, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it's all bullshit, and it's all in your head. You're an artist when you say you are. And you're a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.
I think a 23-page ordinary comic is an investment for the artist, but if you're doing something 60 to 104 pages, that's a really big investment for an artist. So unless you've got someone who wants to pay you while you're doing it or up front, it's kind hard to get someone to do that with you, unless you're the artist yourself.
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