001: Create Because You Have to with Stephen McCranie

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Stephen is the creator of the comic series Mal and Chad and the award-winning webtoons hit series, Space Boy. He also launched and successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign that raised over 39,000 dollars to MANIFEST his book “Brick by Brick: Principles for Achieving Artistic Mastery” into REALITY


It was an absolute pleasure to have Stephen on the show. Stephen is full of so much insight and wisdom, his passion for the craft is so apparent when you look at his work. During the pre-interview chat Stephen and I had an immediate rapport and he was kind enough to tell us his journey, what he has learned, and what he looks forward to.


Episode Outline


“The key is focusing on what you do have control over and those things being whether you’re creating work or not”


The Deep Dive


    • The myth of the overnight success
    • Are you making comics for success? Create because you have to.
    • How Stephen broke into comics
    • Why speed is the cartoonist’s greatest ally
    • Stephen gets vulnerable and shares his worst moment.
    • How to overcome imposter syndrome
    • Why you should separate your art from your identity
    • The illusion of the climb towards happiness
    • Why you should be excited about the Webtoons model


The Quick Round


  • The best advice Stephen has ever been given: Be friends with failure
  • Biggest weakness: Lack of faith
  • Greatest strength: Learning how to learn
  • App/Program/Tool recommendation: Manga Studio
  • Book recommendation: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind – Hayao Miyazaki


3 Major Themes


    • Where do you put your value?
    • The transition from hobby to career
    • The separation of your art from your identity


Links and Resources



Connect with Stephen


Twitter | Website | YouTube | Space Boy


Thanks for listening


Thank you for joining me today. Any feedback that you would like to share? Leave a message in the comments section down below.


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Thank you, Stephen, for joining me on this episode of Comics Manifest


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