Journal #35

Hey everyone! I’m back! The reason for my absence is my macbook refusing to work anymore. It was old and I figured it was time to get a new computer. I tried to restore the hard drive with no luck. I could have brought it into an Apple store to see if they could fix it but I think I just wanted a new computer anyway. I now have a new iMac running OS Mavericks. It’s nice and speedy and has plenty of hard drive space.

Along with the new computer I bought Adobe CS6. That has yet to arrive in the mail. It is a lot of money to be dumping into a computer but I see it as an investment in a possible career.

Unfortunately, when my computer crashed it took my children’s book illustration I had just finished the week before. I’ll check my external hard drive to see if I was smart enough to back it up but I don’t think I did. So I’ll probably have to start from scratch on the spread.

While my computer was down I had some time to think about the direction I want to take the comic. I’m unsure I want to continue “Habitat.” It has kind of turned into something I’m not really pleased with. The art is bad, the writing isn’t really that good, It wasn’t really taking advantage of being on the web and I’m not really feeling the characters anymore. I guess it’s not that rare for cartoonists to go through several different strips until they find one that they’re pleased with. I think I’m still going through that process. “Habitat” was getting to be a chore to do and I always disliked the outcome. I will be doing another comic but it will not be a weekly. This next strip will probably come out every other week because I don’t want to burn myself out trying to think up a new strip every week and just rush through the art like I was doing with “Habitat.” New computer, new strip.

One of the things that made me rethink my comic was watching “Dear Mister Watterson.” That movie made me remember how fun “Calvin and Hobbes” was to read and I want to create a comic like that. I want my strip to be the perfect marriage of art and writing.

Well, I think I’ve gone on long enough here. I do have more to say, but i’ll save that for another post. It’s good to be back. Thanks for reading. Until next time, keep your eyes, ears and minds open.

Journal Entry #33

Hello folks! I’m back for another journal entry. As you’ll probably notice, there will be no comic today. That is because I’ve decided to cut back to one comic a week for now. Instead of Mondays and Fridays, “Habitat” will come out just on Fridays now. This isn’t a permanent thing. I would just like more time to do the children’s book. I would also like to make some changes to the webcomic too. Right now it looks a little too “hand drawn.” I would like it to be a bit more polished. I’m tinkering with the idea of adding a human character as well. Weather jokes can only go so far, so I thought adding a human character would add some pop-culture reference to the comic. The idea of what the comic should be has changed so much since I started it but I think that that is a good thing. It’s better for the comic to change than to just say “oh, the hell with it, I don’t want to do this anymore.” I also would like to create a Facebook page for “Habitat” but I need to get a domain name and switch habitat one to a .com first. To be truthful, I really don’t want to spend the money and go through the hassle of switching sites. I’m thinking that I’ll make the switch maybe when I hit 100 comics but I’m not sure yet.

I’ve set a deadline of May 31 for the completion of the first children’s book spread. I would like to have one completed spread ready by then so I know what the look of the rest of the book will be.

Not too much else to say. I’ll talk to you all later . Thanks for stopping by. Keep your eyes, ears, and minds open.

Journal Entry #32

Hello everyone. I must apologize for my laziness lately. This is the second week without any new webcomics. I totally understand that I don’t gain more readership by having a  sporadic webcomic schedule. I have been kinda not-so-proud of the comic lately. It feels and looks rushed which I also apologize for. I really need to learn to control the digital tablet better. I’ve been doing the whole comic about two hours before i have to go to work in the morning so that is why it looks the way it does. I will admit that the comic has been on the back burners since I started working on the children’s book. All I can do is hope that my laziness hasn’t affect any followers of “Habitat.” I’ll return to my Monday and Friday Hello everyone. I must apologize for my laziness lately. This is the second week without any new webcomics. I totally understand that I don’t gain more readership by have a  sporadic webcomic schedule. I have been kinda not-so-proud of the comic lately. It feels and looks rushed which I also apologize for. I really need to learn to control the digital tablet better. I’ve been doing the whole comic about two hours before i have to go to work in the morning so that is why it looks the way it does. I will admit that the comic has been on the back burners since I started working on the children’s book. All I can do is hope that my laziness hasn’t affect any followers of “Habitat.” I’ll return to my Monday and Friday schedule this coming week. Thank you to everyone who’s been patient with the comic.

Some good news is that I have finished the book dummy for my children’s book! I just finished putting the text with the drawings this morning. It feels good to have that part of the process completed. It is also nice to have a rough version of the book to hold and look at. It makes it more believable that I can really complete this thing and get it published somehow. The next step is experimenting with media to see how I want to create the finished illustrations. It will probably be the most fun step and hopefully I won’t stall out.

In more news, I went to C2E2 yesterday. For those who are unfamiliar, C2E2 is a comic convention that takes place in Chicago. I’ve been going with my fiancé and her dad for about the past 5 years now. It’s always fun and inspiring to see everyone in artist alley doing their thing. It has been kinda a dream of mine to be able to get a table in artist alley but that will be awhile yet. Maybe someday I’ll be able to promote my comic and books there but I’m not even close to being ready for that step yet.

Well, thanks for reading! I hope to see you Monday when I’ll have a fresh comic for you! Remember, keep your eyes, ears and minds open.

Journal Entry #31

 

Proof that I'm really working on a children's book. This is the unfinished book dummy and the thumbnail pages… the script is buried under the thumbnails.

Proof that I’m really working on a children’s book. This is the unfinished book dummy and the thumbnail pages… the script is buried under the thumbnails.

Hey everybody! Yes, I’m still alive. I must apologize for the lack of comics this week. I could give you excuses as to why this was a comic-less week but I’ll just re-assure you that next week I’ll be back on track with “Habitat.”

The good news is that I’m almost done with the dummy version of my children’s book. I’m sure dummy books shouldn’t take as long as I’m taking to do one but I’m feeling pretty good about it. The drawing is REALLY rough but I’m liking how it’s turning out. Some of the pages have changed since the thumbnail version of them. I changed the look of the “zoo page” because I was having trouble finding a way of having the page make visual sense. Once all the pages are drawn I’ll paste in the text. From there, I’ll make small changes on the script. After the dummy is done I’ll move on to the making the finished art for each page.

One more bit of news… I was finally able to pay off all of my student loans! So long student loan interest. I’ll finally be able to save some money now. Needless to say, it is a complete weight off my shoulders.

OK, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading! Stop by again on Monday for a new comic! Til then, keep your eyes, ears and minds open.

 

Journal Entry #29

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Just some doodles.

Hello guys! Back for another blog post. Lately I’ve been doing the comic kinda at the last minute. For instance, the last comic about the pen knife I came up with as I was waking up that morning. So if it seems stupid or isn’t funny to you it’s probably because I made it up on the fly. I know I shouldn’t be admitting this but I thought you should know. That’s what these journal entries are all about… admitting my faults. ha-ha

I’m still working on the children’s book. I have a script typed up and thumbnail sketches of each page spread done. My next step is to experiment with media and see what I want to use and what style is appropriate for the book. I’m thinking I’ll probably use ink and watercolor. The experimenting stage is where I really run out of steam on projects and they never get finished so I really need to push through and just get it done. I really want this book to exist so I’m going to make sure that happens.

Well, thats all the blabbing for now. Thanks for reading!

 

Journal Entry #28

From the sketchbook.

From the sketchbook.

Hey folks, back to just typing out these blog entries. I might post occasional videos still but I think this is probably the fastest and easiest way to get my point across.

So March is soon approaching and the days are getting longer. I am so ready for Spring. I get my exercise shoveling snow but it is also such a drag. Since the sun comes up earlier now, it is slightly easier to get my ass out of bed and try and be creative at 5 am. I’m going to start treating my morning 5am-7am hours almost as business hours for my creative self. On weekends I’ll set aside 5:30am-9:00am to get creative work done. I’ve struggled with keeping a set time to work on projects but I’m going to stick to this schedule to get sh!t done.

This past week I made it a goal to draw in my sketchbook every day for at least 10 minutes which I pretty much stuck to. I’m sure some days I didn’t draw a full 10 minutes but the point was just to draw SOMETHING. I’m going to try to keep that up because the more I do it the more comfortable I get with actually putting my mark on the paper.

I have an idea for a children’s book brewing in my head and I really would like to get that started (and perhaps finished) this year. I don’t want to get into the story now but I have an idea that I think is great… so great that I hope it hasn’t been done before. In future posts I’ll get into the book more.

I’m trying to pare down my goals for this year. I for sure want to keep creating Habitat comics every Monday and Friday. The process of making them is going much faster, I just need to bring the quality of drawing up more. Another goal is to be well on my way to finishing a children’s book. If I stick to a schedule I should be able to work on it almost everyday. I also wanted to set up a promotional portfolio website for myself but that might have to be put on the back burner. Right now, I don’t have many illustrations I would want on the site so hopefully as I work on the book I will start creating more illustrations that I think are worthy of the website.

So that’s my life for now. Thanks for reading it. Peace.

Video blog #1 Reboot

OK, turns out it takes a REALLY long time (about 2 hours) to upload a 10 minute video to youtube so I’m not saving much time but I still think i like posting video blogs anyway. There is something voyeuristic about personal video blogs that I like so I’ll try to keep posting them every Saturday. Thanks for tuning in!

 

Journal Entry #26

About a 2 hour sketch from my sketchbook.

About a 2 hour sketch from my sketchbook..

Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing great this year. So far this year has been pretty good. I have been trying to stay productive. Part of my productivity includes working more in my sketchbooks. I have plenty of empty or half filled books laying around that are just begging to be filled. So I told myself that I’m not buying another sketchbook until all of the ones i have are filled. I’ve been working on the human form a lot because I have trouble drawing it and I’m never satisfied with the way I draw it. I’m trying to make my drawings a little less stiff and more life-like, especially with body movement. I want this to be the year that I really get involved in drawing and hopefully I can track my progress.  I’ve been watching a lot of youtube videos of people showing off their sketchbooks and that has inspired me… and discourages me sometimes. I see all these art school animators showing their sketchbooks and there doesn’t seem to be a stinker in the bunch… even when they point one out that they don’t like.

So yeah, not much else to say. I hope you’re all liking the comic. I really need to get more used to the graphic tablet though. I like drawing toward myself and it’s hard to get used to a stationary tablet that doesn’t have much movement. That is probably the biggest challenge, I think I’m pretty used to not seeing my hand drawing it’s just not being able to turn the virtual paper that is weird to me. If there is anyone that has advice please let me know. Thanks for reading and I hope you come back for the new comic on Monday!

Journal Entry # 25

sketch layerHey everyone! It’s time for another quick journal entry! First, I want to say thanks for all the views and likes. It’s always nice to know that someone is out there reading this stuff.

I feel a little bit like I’m betraying the comic strip by going digital but it is so much easier and I feel I get better results. Going digital makes it much easier to look professional. One example of that is the lettering of the comic. My hand lettering was horrible but now I use a typeface that is much more attractive to look at. Yes, it is cheating but I feel that if it makes the comic better, why not? Drawing is still involved and I still go through the same process of sketching out in blue first and then going over with the black “inked level.” It’s just way easier to fix a mistake. The comic is still not perfect but I hope that as i go along the character design will solidify and I will be more courageous with the posing of the characters.

2014 is going to be my year of “creation not consumption.” I want to be way more artistically productive. That means more sketchbook work and less television and internet (unless it is productive.) I’m going to save my money and create instead of consume. I believe we are creative animals and it is more natural for us to create something than it is to spend money on something. I don’t want shopping to become my pastime which it seems has become the national pastime. So my new motto is consume less and create more.

Alright, that’s all I have to jabber about for now. Thanks for visiting and I hope you keep on visiting. See you Monday when a NEW comic is posted! Peace.

 

Journal Entry #24

Hey y’all! Just so you all know, I’m back doing “Habitat” as a twice a week comic! I’ve made it my goal to keep pumping out comics twice week. They’ll post on Mondays and Fridays at 10:30am CST. If you haven’t already guessed, the comics are completely digital now and IN COLOR! I’m still getting used to the tablet but I’m sure it will become second nature to me as I keep doing the comic.  The new designs of Finn and Morton are still pretty rough but I do feel more comfortable drawing the more simplified forms.

So, I do have a few New Year’s resolutions. I’ll share my 3 main goals of 2014.

  1. Lose 20 lbs. Yes, it is the obvious “lose weight resolution” but this is actually the first time I’ve resolved to lose weight. I started tracking my calories on a handy dandy app (which will remain nameless.) I’m hoping by summer I’ll be down to my ideal weight and I can start working my on shaping up my abs. I’ve alway admired guys with defined stomachs and I’m sure my fiancé wouldn’t mind it either.
  2. Find a better paying job. Yet another pretty popular resolution but I really need to get out of the place that I’m at now. Right now, I feel that to move on in life I need to find a better job because I’m stuck at a dead-end job now. It’s great that I’m doing something that is in my field but I feel if I stay there much longer I will become obsolete.
  3. Create my own website to promote myself and my work. This year I would like to get more freelance design and illustration work and having a working site would help promote that. I’ve been researching web design and I think I’ll be able to make a pretty good site once I set some time aside to actually do it.

This year I have also told myself that every morning I will keep in mind three things. To be fitter, happier, and more productive. If that sounds familiar, it’s from a radiohead song. 🙂 It’s kinda silly but those three things are what I’m really concerned with in life.

OK that’s all for now, thanks for stopping in and reading. NEW COMIC MONDAY!

PS… Eventually I will have to re-design the header image but for now it will have to be the old character design.