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Malin Falch Art Blog

A blog to show my art and thoughts about art.

My comic series Nordlys started out as a school project all the way back in 2014, then as a webcomic in 2016, and in 2018 started coming out in book form under a major publishing company in Norway. There are now 6 books in the main series with around 130 comic pages each, and 2 spin offs that are shorter stories that tie in to the main series. I think i counted that there are around 850 comic book pages to Nordlys now.

Nordlys is a sort of Peter Pan inspired story with a nordic twist, and my initial idea for the comic was that it was gonna be as long as a movie, so that when you finished reading it it really felt like you had watched a movie, since animated movies were my biggest inspiration at the time. That was the time when Nordlys was still a webcomic and I was still in art school. I look back at this time and think that that was pretty smart, having a pre set length to the comic before I started. I should have probably gone with my original modest vision.

When Nordlys was picked up by the publishing company and it was gonna be in book form instead of a webcomic, I had to think how many books it would take to finish the story. At first I thought that 3 was the perfect number, but as I finished book #1 I noticed that I didn't get to include all the plot points and events I planned, so they would have to be put into book 2.

Then, when I made book 2 I also didn't get to put in everything I wanted, so I had to leave it for book 3, and I wasn't even halfway in my original plot course for the series.

At the same time I was spending a lot of time thinking about things that were going to happen in the comic, and the more pages I made the more ideas blossomed for future plot turns and events that I couldn't wait to start writing and drawing, even if it was 2-3 years away. That's usually how it went, if I came up with an idea for the story further down the line it could take many years until I got to bring it to creation. But that didn't stop me from coming up with new twists and turns to the story constantly.

So now the plan is suddenly to make 10 books, as well as several more spin offs. My original plan for the comic is entirely replaced by new ideas.

Honestly, a few years ago I really thought I could work on this project for many many years to come, after all it's selling well and I enjoyed making it. But like everything, if you have to do something often enough and without any change, it becomes just another job you can do on autopilot. That mindset isn't really a recipe for good art.

It's really hard to admit it out loud, but I'm tired of making this series now. I'm not the same person as when I started, I have different tastes, I have different priorities, I like different art. Nordlys has developed a little bit together with me, but I can't help feeling like it represents my old self, and that I can't bring any new artistic visions to life as long as I have to make Nordlys.

Does that mean I'm quitting? No, just that I'm making 8 books instead of 10, and scaling back my vision. That means dropping A LOT of ideas that I was planning to draw, some that I really really looked forward to. But I don't look forward to drawing those ideas anymore, it's all just noise behind what Nordlys was supposed to be. Just a silly little webcomic with things I liked to draw.

It might not seem like a big deal, making less books than I planned, but for many years this series is all I've been thinking about, and making those ideas happen seemed like the most important thing in the world to me. Admitting that this book series that has saved me in so many ways is just another project I will end so I can make something new, hurts a little bit.

It's not as special as I thought. It's not my "baby" anymore.

It feels like a defeat to even write this out, but also a victory. That I'm growing as an artist, and that life is about more than my comic book series.

Bottom line, plan out the length of your comics BEFORE you make them, and have an ending planned! We all wanna make manga length comics that spans over 30 volumes like we read when we were young (or probably still do) but we are also human. We change and we grow, and the artistic souls need variety and new challenges to keep things interesting. What you think might be your Magnum Opus might be just your warm up, and you will never know what your greatest project will be if you end up doing the same thing forever.

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  • Writer's pictureMalin Falch

Some time ago I started a Patreon, and after updating it with a few tutorials and videos I realised that I didn't enjoy running it, and I don't enjoy charging money for that kind of content. So I'm going to share it here for free, and I'm shutting down my Patreon.

For those who have paid to see these, thank you so much! You can enjoy future content for free.

Lucifer process

Water guardian process

Knight process

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  • Writer's pictureMalin Falch

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

I know people often struggle to find my Zelda fan art collected in one place, so here are most of them, except the ones I don't like!

Feel free to use these as wallpapers, tattoos, or even print them out. No need to ask, just credit if you're gonna repost it anywhere.

(psst, use open image in new tab for the best quality!)

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