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The Making of Sunkissed: First Launch

From initial concept to chapter one, it took about five years to get Sunkissed post-worthy. (More than half of that time was spent debating whether or not I was ready, but that’s a discussion for another day.) The boys went through a number of makeovers and iterations until around 2016 when I started making real progress towards launching their webcomic.

I always start my stories with an outline, but unlike a brand new story that you’re trying to fill it up with scenes I had to condense years worth of ideas into a manageable plot. Once that was (mostly) done, I got started on scripting which turned into thumbnailing, laying out panels, sketching, lining, coloring, and shading. Rinse and repeat one thousand times over.

Being a very Type A person meant my preparation process was intense. I announced the launch six months in advance and had almost fifty pages finished before a single one was posted. This definitely isn’t a requirement, but I will say that having a safety net significantly reduces stress when pages start going live!

In addition to creating a very large queue, I had to research websites to host webcomics on, set up new social media accounts to promote the story, and post promo after promo after promo. As it turns out, the pages themselves are only half the work.

The results? All of a sudden people cared about my original characters! The interest warmed my heart. For years, I would post one-off comics, little blurbs about their story, and illustrations that received lackluster engagement. Suddenly, people were liking, sharing, and commenting on my babies. It made me so excited to share the queue I had built up in 2016!

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a safety net large enough in the world to cover for the next big step in my life: one year into posting pages, I graduated college and was hired at my first full-time job at a local, non-profit animal shelter. I couldn’t make a single page during that time, and once the queue ran out I decided to take a brief hiatus to work on pages in the summer of 2018.

That brief hiatus went from a few weeks to a few months to well over a year much quicker than I expected. Life was hectic! I had a new job, old equipment, and a couple of nasty car accidents which basically killed my motivation. I knew for a fact I wasn’t throwing in the towel for good, but I had zero intentions of getting off that bench until something big happened to change the course of my life.

And then 2020 happened :)

Read Sunkissed on Tapas, Webtoons, or Twitter.

Part three coming in two days! Stick around to hear about my thoughts behind revamping and relaunching Sunkissed.


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