January has always been a slow month for me as a freelancer, even more so than when I had my own agency or worked as a creative director for someone else. It's cold, it's grey, and nobody has figured out their budget yet. It's a perfect time to look into the details of your personal projects because, try as one may, there is nothing you can do to motivate your client base to send you work they haven't decided on yet.
To that end I've taken the time over the past few weeks to work on the pencil work for the graphic novel as well as spend some time studying up on the conventions of designing a graphic novel. Things like . . . what kind of word balloons are used for what kind of expressions, . . . appropriate font size for final production, . . . color matching throughout the project, . . . how to achieve effective shading, . . . and a host of other little details that you don't think about when you jump into a project.