Journal #43

Hey everybody! Happy New Year! First, I must apologize for the lack of comics and blog posts. I got kind of busy towards the end of 2014. I got a few freelance jobs off of Fiverr. For those who don’t know what Fiverr is, it is a website where you can sell your services for $5 a pop. I know that doesn’t sound like a very good deal but it is a good starting point for someone like me trying to break into the professional world of illustration. Through Fiverr I got a much high paying gig to illustrate a whole children’s book! So it does pay (literally) to be on Fiverr. A few other smaller jobs have been piling up as well so I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to work on “Habitat.” I want to start finding time to do the webcomic again and as soon I can, I will.

For Christmas I got a new Wacom Intuos 5 Pro from my parents which couldn’t have come at a better time just when my illustration work is taking off. I love it so far. The touch dial on it is awesome and makes doing things in Photoshop so much easier. I thought I would use the touch aspect of the tablet more but at least in Photoshop it just kind of gets in the way. The pressure sensitivity is great and I like that it detects at what angle you hold the pen at. My Monoprice tablet was great for the price but this new tablet makes working on the computer so much easier. Although with this book project I’m working on, I still pencil and ink the drawing traditionally and then color it on the computer. I’m still not comfortable actually drawing with the tablet. It seems just easier to do it the ol’ fashioned way.

In other news, I’m now officially a “Big Brother.” I had my first meeting with 10 year old, Keith on Dec. 17th. The two times I’ve hung out with him he’s been pretty quiet but that’s really to be expected. He is polite though, and puts up with all my questions. He has trouble reading so it is one of our goals to get better at that. Our 2nd meeting I took him to see Big Hero 6 which I probably wanted to see more than he did. Haha We both had a good time though. I’m hoping this can be a long lasting relationship filled with mutual respect. Only the future holds that answer.

It is now official that I’m teaching a Comicstrip class on March 7th at our local museum. No backing out now! Ha-ha. Yet another thing I have to get ready for but I’m still excited about it.

2015 will be a busy year but that is alright with me. It is good to be busy and not have too much idle time. I just have to make the most of my time and not find excuses for procrastination.

OK, I’ve rambled long enough. Hopefully my next post will come sooner than this one did. Till then, kepp your eyes, ears, and minds open. Peace.

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 #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.