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.

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 #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.

Journal Entry #27

Little drawing from the sketchbook.

Little drawing from the sketchbook.

Hello everyone. I hope you are all well. It’s almost the end of January and I’m proud that I’m sticking to my twice a week goal for the comic. Unfortunately, I haven’t been getting up as early as I should and that’s been screwing with my comic schedule. Don’t worry though, I have one coming up Monday!

On top of the comic I have made it a goal to work on illustrations for my online portfolio. I have stuff I did in school but I think I can do better than that now. I have a goal to do a total of 20 illustrations, 10 traditional, 10 digital. I’m debating on showing some of my better sketchbook entries too. Right now, I’m just in the idea stage of my website. I’m still trying to see it in my head and trying to figure out what I really want it to be.

Along with the illustrations I would like to create a children’s book this year. This is something I’ve always wanted to do but never got up the nerve to buckle down and actually do it. I would like to try to do it digitally but it will look a lot different than “Habitat.”

I know, I have a lot on my plate but I’m up for the challenge. My top priority is getting a website up to publicize myself and show my design / illustration portfolio. I feel the website is my first step to being able to freelance more and trying to make a living from my art.

Thanks for reading this little post and I hope you keep tuned in. Thanks! See you Monday!

 

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.