As we just received our first block of questions, KS and I will take some time to answer each one by one! I have a feeling others might be curious about these very same things as well, so it's a good opportunity to address all at once!
1. How long does it take you to complete one page? How long does it take you to make the initial drawing (draft to ink)?
Kitsy: For me, it varies, depending on what is going on in each panel. I've sort of learned over time that rushing things did absolutely no good for the finished results, so I work in many stages.
My first stage is to plot out all of the chapter's strips at once (roughly 12 strips per chapter) in pencil or ink in a notebook. This can take as little as a day to almost a week or two because once that part is done, I can just transfer the sketchy idea into the actual panel.
Second, I sketch the layout in light blue lead (usually in increments of 3 strips at a time) and put it down for a little while to give my eyes a break. Coming back a day or two later allows me to check for mistakes, inconsistencies, or to just plain clean up the panels. (There have been a few occasions when I redid entire panels or entire strips because the roughs didn't work. X_X;)
Third, I only ink on days I really feel up to it. Early on in Chapter 1 and partway through Chapter 2, I rushed some things and made KS's clean-up experience miserable. ^^; Ink is kinda permanent and I admit, I'm not the world's best inker by a long-shot~
So to make a long answer somewhat shorter - a single strip takes me about an hour to sketch, a day or two to adjust, a hour or two to ink - but it varies by strip content~ :D
2. Do you only draw one page, take a break, and then draw another page or do you draw as many pages as you want and since you're ahead, you can take a break whenever?
Kitsy: As I sort of mentioned above, I usually work in batches of 12 (or a chapter). I fit 3 strips on a page, so it's comfortable for me to work 3 at a time. I think the most I've done in a single sitting was 9 strips in a day.. but then again, I was behind schedule and busy times were to be had. ^_^
I could probably be a bit more productive if I kept to my own set schedule, but sometimes life, work, and just plain exhaustion (read: laziness) gets in the way. ^_^;
3. When do you find time between that to draw special illustrations for your gallery or other bits (such as the "Ask Away" pic)?
Kitsy: The "Ask Away" sketch was actually done on scratch paper at work. (Those sort of doodles are the quick-and-easy stuff that fills up my sketchbook, really.) I sort of like to have something interesting to look at on the posts - words are easy to glance over, but a simple sketch draws people's attention! (It caught yours, didn't it? :D)
Special illustrations or site events (like Easter) are often planned in advance. Some holidays and special events slip through the cracks, so sometimes we have to wing it. (Like Memorial Day.)
4. I noticed you used a copyright disclaimer. I was wondering if it was illegal if a person just put that copyright thing on their webcomic even though they did not pay for it? ^^" You know, just to scare away thieves...
Kitsy: KS is much better versed in the ways of the copyright, so I default to his answer~
KimonoStereo: In the United States you can copyright all of your ideas as long as they are in tangible form such as a drawing, manuscript, photograph, etc. There isn't a need to go through a registration process with any Government office. Once you have your ideas in a tangible form you can copyright it by placing your name on it and a disclaimer stating who the medium belongs to. At this point you are entitled to enforce your rights on the work. Although you don't need to register your works, there is a benefit to registering with the copyright office in that you can seek statutory damages and attorney's fees in case you end up in litigation.
A good way to ensure you can prove ownership of your ideas without registration is to get your ideas in tangible form, put them in an envelope and seal it with tape. Sign your name across the tape and mail it to yourself but never open the envelope when you get receive it. While I'm not an attorney, I think this is a great way to prove via a sealed document that has a date stamp from a federal office (post office) that the work within the envelope was created by you on or before that date on the envelope.
5. Would you say art/webdesign/graphics design is a successful major?
Kitsy: I honestly believe that it's the artist that makes the tool. School is great to teach you the basics, but there are a lot of things one must learn and do on their own free time to really generate success. If you have a real desire for art/webdesign/graphic design, I say you should follow your gut! But also know that it's a constant battle to learn more, keep up-to-date with the trends, and really buckle down to work hard. There are a lot of other artists and designers out there vying for the same jobs - your major won't necessarily get you that job, but your portolio will~!
But anything you feel so passionate about is worth doing!
I think KS has a few words to say on this particular question as well~
KimonoStereo: I know of many graphic designers who didn't graduate from college but are working for large ad agencies or doing very well. This is a very subjective question which I could probably write an entire book about. Art and being an artist is really in the eye of the beholder I suppose. One mans masterpiece is someone else's trash right? Let's just put it this way: Your portfolio and your friends will tell you whether or not you should pursue art as a career. If you have a portfolio that is impressive and your friends rave about your artwork then you just might have a chance at it.
Caveat: Most people don't have what it takes to be an artist for a living. It's a very tough and sometimes unrewarding job. When you mix money in with something you do for pleasure, be it painting, drawing, photography etc, it becomes a job and with a job comes responsibilities. It can be a joy or it can be a pain. When I was younger, I freelanced a lot and gained a lot of experience doing business cards, letterheads, paste-up work (what the heck is that?), brochures, t-shirt designs for various companies and clients. Without going into too much detail, lets just say that 70% of the time the work was just that: work. It wasn't fun because i was doing someone else's ideas and not my own. But this is the reality that any artist will face because the person paying your bills is the client that asked you to do the job.
Web design is the same way. I learned everything on my own or from lots of reading but nothing takes the place or real world experience in building a website. What you learn in school will probably be old news by the time you get out. Instead I'd say read everything you can and build, run and manage your own website. Look at standards based design as well as all the hot buzz words like "web 2.0", " AJAX", "Flash", "CSS" and "XHTML". And just like art, web design is a never ending battle to keep up with the times. Always remember that you now have to compete with just about everyone when building web pages since software now makes it easy to churn out professional looking pages with relatively no work and there are also a million templates for web stuff all over the place.
To wrap it up: If you have talent and you know it, you have to LOVE it to make it your living. If you don't LOVE it, you'll never be happy and in the end your career becomes "work". No one wants a humdrum job right? Also have a backup plan. If art / web design doesn't work out, then what?
6. Are there any new characters coming out soon?
Kitsy: Hee! We have some new characters up our proverbial sleeves~ But it might be a little bit longer before they are introduced~
Thanks for the questions! If there are any others, feel free to contact us! Heck - we can even make this a regular "Friday Five" meme. ^_-