One year, 50 artists and a website that decided to become patron of the arts dedicated to when shit happens. And shit does happen a lot on FML. Thanks to your stories, your support, a bunch of artists took a look at the website and never declined our proposals.
-"Hey, wanna illustrate something for us based on an FML?"
-"OH GAWD YES"
This was basically their answers. Some of them have already published their 4th book, some of them are not even artists, and just created an illustration for fun, but all of them succeeded along the difficult path of making us laugh. Here's a little retrospective, served up with some of their impressions.
Lois van Baarle: I definitely had a good experience with my FML illustration, although I was disappointed to find out that FML readers are more perceptive than I thought and noticed a character-flipping mistake in my illustration right away. You people are brutal! I also had to explain to a few people that the events in the illustration didn't actually happen to me, but for the rest, it was tons of fun.
Nik Dowman: Having my illustration up on FML was a great experience. In retrospect I probably would havechosen a funnier story. However I have been far too busy to look back. Since publishing the illustration I have concluded my webcomic for now and have had the greatest experience in my life witnessing the birth of, and raising my daughter, Sienna who is now three months old.
Andrew Bargeron: While, personally, I don't think my contribution to FML was the best illustration I’ve ever done, I do think it's a fun image that matches the story. So ultimately I do think it works, so not at all a negative experience.
Philippa Rice: I'm excited for the illustrated FML section's birthday! It's a special occasion indeed. FML is always a joy to read, but the illustrated FMLs are really something else. Such a treat. I enjoyed taking part no end! I spent all morning reading the FMLs, laughing at other people’s misfortunes. As soon as I saw the word 'nuts' I knew I had found the FML for me. I spend the afternoon eating peanuts and collecting the shells. When I had found two perfect peanut shells I was ready to make my collage.
Sang Han: I had a blast working on the illustrated FML. It was an awesome experience to be a part of the FML community. To see some of my other work, check out threepeasoup.com
Henry R. Frew: I thought that my FML experience was great. It's fun to draw something different and to get my particular brand of bull, I mean art, to a new audience. There was a lot of great feedback from the F My Life community and I have to admit, I've been hooked on the website ever since.
Mukpuddy: We had a great time making the piece for FML, was cool to be a part of something so different and we got some cool feedback! We now have a fancy new site so feel free to check it out... www.mukpuddy.com
Jessa Rempel: During that time FMyLife was a big thing at school, and for the next few weeks everybody was coming up to me.... they were all "HEY BRO I SAW YOU ON FML YOU'RE FAMOUS" and I was like "BABY YOU KNOW IT B)" To this day I don't know who was nice enough to colour my comic, so let's assume they are reading this so I can properly thank them! For serious, man, it's much appreciated! (Side note: it was Becky!)
Justin White: FML is full of so many hilarious stories it was quite easy to draw up a fun illustration for the site. It was cooool.
Sara Bloem: As a student, I really loved getting the bluntest, most immediate feedback possible on my work in the comments. Lesson learned: avoid mocking the girlfriend. Thanks for everything, FML!
Brian Brown: Illustrating FML was super fun! The FML crowd are diehard fans and if they don't think your FML is bad enough they will let you know!
Carter Fort: A person I hadn't seen in maybe ten years found our illustrated FML, recognized my name and started reading our comic. They've been reading it ever since.
Tom Brazelton: Regarding my illustrated FML experience, I thought it was great. I actually got to double-dip a little bit (although completely by accident!) Since my comic is about movies, I wanted to find a FML that was movie-related. I decided to submit an illustration about the boy who was dumped because his girlfriend wanted someone more like Edward from the Twilight book series. Unfortunately, that FML was already claimed by another artist. But you were nice enough to let me pick another one! Fortunately, no one had laid claim to the one I chose about the guy who ended up getting a haircut like Spock from Star Trek. What was great about the experience is that FML ran my Twilight comic anyway in my artist profile (http://www.fmylife.com/blog/85!) So it was a double win for me!
Joe Combs: I really enjoyed the opportunity to illustrate another person’s heartache. After throwing so much of my own life and experiences into my webcomic, Business Casual, it was great fun to use someone else’s material as inspiration for once. I appreciated all of the positive feedback that I received, and the extra traffic to my site was a nice bonus.
Shouri: I loved drawing the FML just as much as I love reading them daily... with the plus that I get to share it with a lot of people!
Evan Diaz: Congrats on the birthday coming up, that's awesome! My experience with FML was a tenuous one, it took a few tries to get "the one" but when we finally did I think it was worth it 'cause vending machines are rad. All in all, a good experience for everyone involved thanks for giving me the opportunity! I have just released an iPhone game loosely based on my webcomic if you want to plug that :D http://pajamaforest.com/super-awesome-kite-flyer-extreme-to-the-max/
Dennis Liu: Creating the FML comic was an interesting experience. My inspiration came from reading the many hilarious entries posted on the website, as well as thinking about being in the author's shoes. The process was fun, the outcome was satisfying, and I hope others get a kick out of it as well.
Sharlene Leong: Um, well I'd have to say the illustrated FML experience has been a blast. A few of my friends read FML and were looking through the illustrated ones and were like, holy crap that's you! It was great to contribute to this project of communal catharsis and judgment :). I know it's all in good fun. I'm currently trying to show up at a couple conventions with my art and my poster about pop culture (Final Fantasy 13 is LOST), but other than that, still pluggin away at the comics! Thank you very much FML!
Marie Levesque: Illustrating one FML for the website was a cool experience, and illustrating 30 FML for the book was a really exciting experience but a little difficult because the american's sense of humor is very different from the french one.
Paul Westover: Doing an illustrated FML was a fabulous experience! The FML's are such a great source for humorous storytelling in illustrated form. The piece I did was so positively received that, given a chance, I'd drop everything to do another.
Dan Long: Of course I liked the FML experience. I had several people who are now regular readers tell me that they found my comic on FMyLife, and I forced myself (at my own risk) to read the comments on the illustration, which turned out to be mostly positive, luckily for my easily-bruised ego. I would definitely do it again if I were asked!
And guess what? You English-speaking people are not the only ones lucky enough to get to discover a new illustration every Saturday. Overseas, in France, Julien is the one in charge of the illustrated section. Thanks to his amazing job, French-speaking VDM readers have their bunch of laughs too. Here is a sample of what is featured on VDM:
Illustration by Ciia
Those were the published artists. But guys, do you really think Alice (you know, the girl who pokes you at the end of every article to send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to become the next published artist on FML) didn't receive some… odd comics? To celebrate FML’s illustrated section’s first year of existence, we decided to share two of those... odd (yes, we think this word explains it properly) things that were sent in :
Now, do you understand what you were lucky enough to avoid? Here at FML, we raise our budding artists in the best farm available, they are only fed with pencils, graphic tablets and of course humor, that's how each Saturday we're able to present you a brand new recruit who's got nothing to hide. That's our part.
Now, let's talk about YOUR part in FML’s illustrated section. All through the year, comments were posted all over the website, from the very beginning when it was a brand new concept that you probably weren't prepared for, up until today, where you don't hesitate to spread the love about what you see. As we’ve talked about the illustrations, it's completely normal to now talk about your best and worst comments. The nominees in the "WTF" category are …
"I agree I think the person who sumbitted the fml should submit a picture :)" by A. : yes, and we think the teacher who teaches kids to read should have to create the book they're using, should have to cut the trees, make the paper, print it, etc...
"i dont get" by B. : we nei
"Why is the guy in the picture black? It kinda makes the FML make no sense, since Edward Cullen is white and the girl would be blatantly racist..." by H: about this illustration. Yeah. Right.
"The headline "FML meets your parents" is sort of misleading. The article itself details a short biography of the artist who drew the cartoon at the bottom, and only briefly touches on why he chose the FML that he chose to draw. I was expecting the article to be something like, say, a list of ways to avoid certain meet-the-parents FMLs.": by S. who thought FML was her psychoanalyst.
Sadly, there's much more comments that we could add, but thanks to you, there's also the category "best love-spreading comment" but there's too many of them to make a selection. So keep commenting guys, that's why each Saturday for the past year we’ve been presenting you great artists, to try and make you laugh, to get you to discover brand new talents, to try and please you all. What is that? Oh right, we didn't interview the Cyanide&Happiness guys because May will be a C&H month here on FML !
NOW SPREAD THE LOVE, COMMENT, DANCE, GET DOWN, MAKE LOVE !
SEE YOU NEXT WEEK !
Alice would also like to thank her very unique and sexy Alan, who's brave enough to read over and over her articles to be sure she didn't write "ilusstrasion", but also Guillaume who gave her the chance to be the lucky one who gets to write the articles, the FML crew because you guys are awesome, the FML audience *bows*, but also Christophe for his support, and Yousra, just because she's love.