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 #42

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Howdy Folks! This is my first post since getting my new phone. I didn’t really need a new phone but that new iphone 6 was calling my name and so I purchased it. The iphone 4 I had was only 8 Gig and I was running dangerously low on memory so I decided to do an upgrade. I still worry about space on the phone but not nearly as much as with the iphone 4. Unfortunately I was too late for the free phone deal and the Verizon store would only give me $30 for my old phone so I sold it on craigslist for $125. I’m hoping that maybe with all this new technology I can possibly do a few quality video blogs for you guys.

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So Autumn is officially here! Halloween is just around the corner! As you see Iggy Pup is ready for Halloween. About a week ago Sara and I made roses out of fallen leaves. She saw youtube video and wanted to give it a try. It’s a cool idea and they turned out pretty good but they barely last a day before they dry out and need to be tossed out. I gave my  leaf flowers to my mom for her birthday along with some actual flowers.

Well, I’ve been scheduled to teach an actual cartooning class for March 7, 2015! It’s exciting and I’ve already started a Powerpoint presentation for it. I get nervous and excited just thinking about it but it should be pretty fun. My main goal is to have the class complete at least one strip. I just hope they take their time drawing it out and not just rush through it to get it done and out of the way. My attention span was pretty good as a kid and I could spend hours just drawing so I’m hoping I don’t get a bunch of ADHD kids ha-ha. It will be a 3 hour class with a 10 minute “break.” The first 2 hours is actual “teaching” time where I show the class stuff and have them do class exercises. The last hour of class will be individual drawing time for them to actually work on their comic strip. While they are working on their strip I plan to show “Stripped” the documentary on comic strips. I’m basically doing this to see if I can do it. It’s something I alway WANTED to do but was never sure I COULD do it. Now I’ll be given a chance to see if it’s something I’m good at and would ever want to do again.

I’ve gone through the application process for Big Brothers Big Sisters, now I’m just waiting to be matched up. I’m nervous but excited as well. I keep thinking of all the things we could do together and that gets my pretty pysched. It’s scary to think of myself as a “mentor” but I think I can handle it. All I need to do is be myself and be a positive friend to a kid that my not have that in his life. So hopefully I’ll be getting a call within the next week. I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going.

As for the comic. I’m still working about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. I don’t write strips as much as I would like but I’m happy with how most of them turn out and I’m comfortable with my schedule. I’m hoping to get out blogs post at a more normal schedule. It seems that I’m averaging about 1 post a month but I’m hoping to get one out every Monday. I’ve designated Saturday and Sunday as my “Social media” day in which I blog, and post stuff to various social media outlets. Wednesdays I have designated as the day I do the bulk of my comic strip (if not ALL of it.) So hopefully I can keep this schedule up and continue on my road to someday being syndicated.

Thanks for reading. Keep your eyes, ears and minds open!

Journal #41

At Mall of America doing the tourist thing.

At Mall of America doing the tourist thing. Oh and those pictures are made of Lego.

Howdy folks! It’s me again and it’s time for another bloggy post type thing. I just got back from a wonderful little vacation in Rice Lake, WI. It’s not really known as a vacation spot but it is in beautiful northern Wisconsin and the place we were staying was right on Rice Lake which was nice. We were about two and half hours away from Minneapolis so Sara got to visit Mall of America for the first time and I got to see the house Charles Schulz lived in! The motel that we stayed at had paddle boats so Sara, Iggy (our Boston Terrier) and I went paddling around Rice Lake which was fun. We also got to commune with nature, we both saw a bald eagle for the first time in our lives. I guess bald eagles are a common occurrence  up there but we juss city folk and never see nuttin’ in the city. So all and all it was a fun trip. We don’t get to go places very often so we make sure to make the best out of it when we do go someplace.

The Saturday we came back from vacation Sara’s dad invited us to a local comic auction event at our local museum. I went and got drawings from Jeff Keane “Family Circus” and Lincoln Peirce “Big Nate.” I also bid on a Simpsons print signed by Matt Groening with a doodle of Bart Simpson on it as well and it is dated from 1996 which I consider the glory days of the Simpsons. I got for $100 and it’s selling price was $450. I think I got a deal but I still felt guilty for spending that much money on something I can’t do anything with other than hang on the wall. It’s for that reason that I’m on a spending freeze for the rest of the year.

So as usual I’ve changed my mind about the syndication thing. I’m going to try for it again. For those who have been following me know that I started “Habitat” with syndication in mind, then I changed my mind and thought the strip wasn’t good enough for syndication. Now, I’ve changed my mind again and I’m pursuing syndication once more. I’m more comfortable with the strip now that I have a human character in it. I’m getting more used to working digitally as well. I’m making it a goal to have a comic strip “kit” ready to be sent to a syndicate by mid next year. One of the syndicates that I’m looking into wants around 6 to 7 weeks worth of daily comics so I’m trying to make at least two strips a week. I’ve also been attempting to write a comic script everyday so I always have ideas to dip into.

The last bit of news is I just sent in an application to our area’s Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization. I have been thinking of joining for awhile but never really got up the nerve to join but I took the plunge and filled out the paper work, got references, and sent out the application yesterday. I wanted to join because I feel it’s a good way to help the community and give to society. I want to help a kid that doesn’t have a male figure to look up to and hopefully I can be that person. It’s kinda scary that it will force me to be an “adult” but I think it’s good training for fatherhood. So we’ll see how it goes, I’m nervous but I’ll keep you posted.

OK, that’s all I have for now. Keep reading “Habitat” and I’ll keep making them! Until next time, keep you eyes, ears, and minds open.

Journal #40

This is my ALS water bucket challenge comic which I'm sure we are all sick of by now.

This is my ALS water bucket challenge comic which I’m sure we are all sick of by now.

Hey everybody! It’s been awhile but I decided to write a short post just to brush the dust of the ol’ keyboard. I hope you have been enjoying the new Habitat comics. I’m still learning how to master the graphic tablet. I’m already craving a higher end tablet like the Wacom Intuos Pro but I’ll keep practicing with my Monoprice tablet before I spend anymore money on something that isn’t making me any money.

About a month ago I wrote up a proposal for a cartooning class to be taught at the Kenosha Public Museum. The head of education with the museum system got back to me and said he’d mention in the mid-September meeting. So hopefully if everything goes well, I might be teaching a 3 day class to 10-16 year-olds during the Winter semester. It’s a little scary to think of getting up in front of a bunch of youngsters waiting to see something but I’m pretty confident in the subject so I think it will be a good experience. I’ve already started collecting a few materials to be taught in the class. My goal is for the class to have enough info to start their own comic strip series and to finish at least one comic strip in the class.

Well, that’s all for now. Keep reading Habitat and I’ll keep making them.