I decided to put my hoarded stickers to good use with a makeshift October calendar because I’ll be doing a LOT this month. Not only is 24 Hour Comic Day on Saturday, I also have Grand Rapids Comicon coming up in two weeks. Then there’s Inktober and Drawlloween that I’ll also be participating in. Who else is taking these challenges?!
Don’t forget to follow my social media to keep up with everything I’ll be up to this month!!!
I know, I know. This blog was briefly abandoned again and I won’t give you any more excuses aside from being crushed by self inflicted pressure after Cincycon. So I took it really easy for a couple weeks to prepare for the rest of the year.
But to recap, September was a pretty shitty month all around and it’s safe to say I absolutely 100% bombed my NaGraNoWriMo goals. It’s fine–unfortunate, but fine.
Cincycon! It was good, it was bad. Regardless, I’ll be attending again next year~
+ gave sketches to Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart who are well known writers (Cameron’s also an artist) of comic books.
+ at the end of the con both of them visited my table, took my cards, and looked through/complimented Wafflefry
+ as I was voicing my fear of self promotion and ‘not wanting to be annoying’, Cameron Stewart very kindly told me to get over it~
+ talked to other super cool people
+ bought some amaaaazing art!
Overall, it was a good time and legitimately one of the best alleys I’ve been to organisational and treatment wise. We were frequently visited by staff asking if we needed anything and they gave us water and snacks, not to mention the actual set up was REALLY nice and roomy and comfortable. A++ for Cincycon.
Unfortunately the attendance was less than anticipated and down from the previous year so it, of course, affected sales which was enough for me to feel really awful and question myself and career choices for a little while.
Like I said, that got me down but I’m better now. There’s so much more to look forward to in the next couple months!
This. This is the time of year where my productivity skyrockets.
A few months ago I was recommended this through Tumblr: http://nagranowrimo.tumblr.com/
I’m an avid competitor in November’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge, so when I found one that had to do with comics, I was all over it! This year the competition takes place this month (September) and the rules are a little more open than WriMo–sort of like the Camp NaNoWriMo in April (I think?) and July where you get to set your own goals and carry on from there.
I decided to participate to build up a backlog of #Wafflefry so I’m not constantly scrambling to do pages the day before the update, and, as per usual, my goals are rather ambitious.
This month’s goals are:
finish 15+ pages (though I will be please if I get 10+ done)
2+ promotional illustrations
I definitely recommend this challenge if you want to kickstart yourself into the world of comics!
I know I’ve been super flaky and have some splainin’ to do about why I’ve been neglecting this blog so here’s my tl;dr version:
I didn’t participate in the 2nd art jam that I planned because of a nasty, nasty bout of negativity. And I don’t like blogging when I’m not feeling super well like that because I don’t make rational decisions. Plus I was super embarrassed about bailing on the art jam and didn’t know how to explain myself until now.
Luckily I did a lot of soul searching the past couple weeks. I’m actively learning how to improve myself so I can properly improve my ability to be a better artist and business owner.
The most important things during my research are: I’m not lazy, I’m overwhelmed and lack self discipline AND even though I’ve been attempting art professionally for several years, I still haven’t 100% committed.
Learning I’m not lazy was extremely relieving while noticing I haven’t 100% committed myself to this career change slapped me in the face while making soooo much sense. I’m pretty much the queen of changing my mind.
So far things have been pretty good. I’ve been incredibly productive and motivated and learning these things about myself have helped me make a difficult decision about my comics and I even immediately resolved an issue that would have stopped me dead WITHOUT CRYING. That is HUGE for me (I’m terribly emotional).
As things progress, I’ll update more but in the meantime…can I get a high five?!
Super short notice but I’ll be doing another art jam tonight starting at midnight central time. Gonna see how long I can go!
Join me for a little if you can! I’ll be livetweeting and posting progress on Instagram.
It started with me trying to nap for a couple hours before the scheduled time which would have been GREAT if I had actually slept. Unfortunately I was so excited about tackling this jam that I dozed for maybe 20 minutes before my brain woke up and would not shut off again. I eventually gave in, got up, and began pumping myself with caffeine.
Midnight rolled around and it was fun! I got to talk to a friend on his stream while I doodled in my sketchbooks. I did a lot of warm ups and just general doodles of nothing really specific. After the stream ended, I worked on thumbing a couple comic pages and then did some environment studies before taking a nap that got a little out of hand.
4ish hours later I got up, pumped myself with MORE caffeine, and finished an illustration I’ve had sketched since FEBRUARY, then sketched a comic page until I was too tired to go on. This was at around 4:30pm and I had the intentions of finishing my comic page and working on another, then doing some other development things after another quick snooze.
Sadly none of that happened because I woke up an hour later feeling AWFUL. A caffeine crash took a terrible, terrible self loathing toll and I spent the rest of the night with negativity swirling around me. I have no problem blaming my messed up sleep schedule prior to the jam in addition to the bucketloads of caffeination consumed for those awful couple hours. But even though it was cut short and ended on a downer note, I was still extremely productive AND fixed my sleep–that was the whole point of this exercise.
I was really surprised how many people decided to join along for shot periods of time! I hope you guys were just as productive and accomplished tons!
The concept of the 24 hour art jam is something I definitely want to explore further…after the proper amounts of sleep and much less caffeine, of course. I’ll plan another one soon!
It’s been a weird week. I can’t even begin to describe how I’ve been feeling because I don’t actually know. I haven’t been productive with my artwork (or at least not as much as I’d have liked the past couple days) so I’m stressing myself out with unnecessary self sabotaging pressure which has now begun affecting my sleep schedule rendering me fairly useless lately.
In attempts to both fix my sleep schedule and jump start my creativity, I’m going to do a 24 hour art jam with myself! I’ll be live tweeting and posting progress shots on various social media (though Instagram will be most popular!). Feel free to join me for the entire 24 hours or just a little bit! I’ll be starting between midnight and 1am (central) tonight.
I’ll absolutely blog my results afterward!
Lately I’ve had a pretty hard time trying to pick the next topic to write about. A lot of things have come up heated only to fizzle out before I get to write about them–so instead of some highly opinionated segment, I shall tell you what I’ve been attempting the past couple days.
As any creative mind experiences, I occasionally have bouts of negativity (to put it lightly!). It’s that nasty feeling that sticks to you like tar, dragging you down into a pit of insane self criticism until you feel like a failure. And of course that lovely attitude is normally coupled with sob inducing envy for every pretty picture you come across on your social media dash. Trust me, I know. And I’m still plagued from time to time but not as severely as I used to be since I’ve learned how to give those feelings a big middle finger.
I’m currently giving the bird to a gnawing “I need to improve EVERYTHING about my art ALL AT ONCE” feeling in the form of a list. Instead of stagnating like I would have done in the past, I actively wrote down the things I wanted to improve then took it a step further by creating a tentative schedule for the list. And it looks like this:
I know, it’s totally not as glamorous as one would think, but it helps me because it’s a concrete goal that I can see and work at. And to tell you the truth, I’ve actually been doing a pretty lousy job of fitting all the things in one day but I like to look at the positive: I’m still doing more than I was five days ago. Even more importantly? I can see legitimate improvement from three days ago so that right there is crystal clear incentive to keep going.
I can appreciate the work that I do and acknowledge that I’m a pretty good artist but I still talk to much and do too little. I don’t want to keep being that person pining after another artist’s productivity. I’m tired of being envious so I’m stopping now and taking the appropriate measures to become a more productive artist.
The topic of commissions will definitely be revisited in the future because there’s so much more to say~
One of my lesser known struggles while transitioning into a creative career is establishing commission prices.
For example, when I started working artist alleys I only offered sketches–$5 for a chibi, $10 for a full body. And I kept that pricing for several conventions until I met another artist who recommended I raise my prices because my work was worth way more than what I was charging. Although I was beyond flattered, I was super hesitant about this because I grew up on the deviantART scene where people offer commissions for mere pennies so I was always under the impression that the cheaper your prices, the more commissions you’ll get. Which now I know isn’t necessarily the case.
Regardless, I took the advice and started charging $10 for chibs and $15 for full bodies. I expected not to really sell many after that which was pretty much the exact opposite of what happened. There were zero complaints and more people coming my way! Apparently a higher price suggested confidence in my ability and I became more desirable.
When I added inks to my at-convention commission list, I sold chibs for $20 and full bodies for $25. That convention I found out I use a LOT of ink and spend a lot of time on those specific commissions. It’s also when I realised that full bodies and chibis basically use the same amount of materials, they’re just different proportions and after I simplified everything down to sketches for $15 and inks for $30, I could definitely feel a difference in my confidence when promoting commissions. I was finally comfortable.
Of course I still make mistakes, which is actually the inspiration for this post–
I’ll admit I still battle with the “if I charge too much, nobody will buy it”. I also tend to get a little over excited when I’m going to offer new things because my brain darts around thinking about other things like what the composition of the commission info should be, ect. Last night was a prime example! My brain was so busy with other things that I forgot an important factor when pricing my current online exclusive commission info.
When I came up with the $15/18 knee up ink sketch/+wash commissions I was only thinking about materials, dropping the price drastically from my normal inks offered at conventions. I completely disregarded the time I’m putting into these pieces and now I’m left with an excited advertisement completely undercharging myself.
And you know what? Even with “cheap” prices, I still didn’t get a lot of interest.
The moral of the story is: charge what you’re worth, not what you THINK people would rather pay. Take time, effort, and supplies into account when calculating prices. No matter what anybody else tells you (especially that gnawing little voice in the back of your head that whispers you’re not worth it) artists deserve a living wage too.