Trying to stall a dying earth

Because doing cons has basically become my actual job now instead of just a thing I do sometimes, I’ve become more aware of how much waste I create and I’m trying to be more conscious about it.

Yeah, the earth is dying. Yeah, it’s arrogant to assume that anything that I, a single person, does is having a grand effect. Yeah, it seems pointless. But humans are creatures of anxiety, and if it clears my conscious to do it then I will live my life in this way instead of feeling guilty, pointless or not.

As much as I love creating cute packaging in cellophane plastic bags, I researched some alternatives to such things after reading some starting points from this twitter thread.

Other useful thing that was posted in the thread of what’s the difference between biodegradable vs compostable. Basically compostable > biodegradable because if it’s compostable it leaves no residue behind (only good stuff for plants); biodegradable sometimes leaves toxic waste behind.

This post is mostly detailing different types of packaging to use.

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The Power of Not Giving a Fucking Shit

For a long, long time I’ve been deeply disturbed at how long it takes me to make comics. And somehow after five years of making comics I’m still crawling at a snail’s page to crank out a page. Meanwhile comics like Stand Still, Stay Silent update four times a week and continue looking beautiful and I’m like ????????? The fuck kind of alien sorcery is this?????? huh????? how???????

I remember crying about it to other webcomickers on a webcomic FB group several years ago, I didn’t get too much advice on it and I just had to figure it out on my own. That seems to be a common theme. I never seem to absorb anything that anyone says to me. I just have to learn it by myself, even if someone already told me it, I have to be the one to discover it. Anyway, that was the first step I took of not detailing every single fucking rivet in an armour piece, but of course that was just one very teeny tiny step.

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Something Positive

So Anime Midwest is over and it blew every other con I’ve ever done out of the water. This is the first con where I figured out how to display my pillows prominently, and I also debuted my very soft pillows, which sold exceptionally well.

It made me realize that I think I found my niche, which is doing pillows. It’s both something that I love to do and make profit off of so I want to hang on to this tightly.

I mean, weirdly enough, unlike everything else I do for cons, I don’t hate making pillows! Yeah it’s a pain and there’s always hiccups because I’m still learning, but in the end it’s very rewarding!

That being said, I’ve long despised being a print artist because of many reasons.

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Boys Outta Luck is now live!

It’s been a month since I got back from ACEN and steeled myself to creating my new webcomic and I finally publicly released it today.

That might’ve been the fastest thing I’ve ever output from start to finish in the history of EVER.

I uploaded it to Webtoons since I was told this is the in-thing to do nowadays and all the cool kids use Webtoons. I was gonna do it on Tapas too but even though I have 2k subscribers it feels dead to the world and I don’t wanna update in three places so…sorry Tapas?

I’m going to strive to avoid reading comments because they sometimes make me uncomfortable and I’m really susceptible to depression when my work is insulted, because my work is an extension of myself, obviously. And I already have low self-esteem so when people say mean comments I can’t really slick it off my back easily. My impulse reaction is to delete everything when that happens and I don’t want that…

So I thought the best way would be to just… not look at them! what a novel concept. My adblockers already block comments anyway on webtoons so I dont have to do any work!

I really hope people like them… I was able to combine both my love of cute and gore into this comic so I’m really happy with how it’s turned out so far.

Role Models

A long time ago I read some advice that was along the lines of “You shouldn’t publicly self-deprecate yourself because the people who look up to you will see it and it will affect them, too.”

I thought it was sound advice, me being the self-hating amoeba that I am, but then the other thought occurred to me: it was downright arrogant to assume anyone actually looked up to me. So the cycle continued.

That was many years ago. I am older now and this year I’ll be 30. In addition, this year has had a lot of changes and in particular I feel that I’ve become more comfortable in my art shoes, comfortable enough to even post my art process for patrons in addition to start streaming too.

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Shame

For a long time I was afraid to show how I draw pictures cause for most poses I use 3d models. I will throw away a picture if I draw the angle of something slightly off so using 3d to draw complex objects or poses has helped me make art that I couldn’t do before.

I was afraid that people would say, “You’re not a real artist if you have to rely on 3d! Real artists know how to draw X object from any perspective and angle!!!!!!!!” Sure, I agree that knowing how to construct an object at any perspective is an important skill for an artist but… that’s the thing, I’m not that skilled.

So that kept feeding into itself and I told myself that I’m not a “real” artist and etc etc… Even though I saw professional manga artists show their methods of using 3d (like the creator of Gantz to name one) I still felt like I was a failure because I’m incapable of coming up with X pose by myself without the help of 3d, or I can’t draw Y object at some extreme angle.

However after coming upon a comic that very, very clearly traces over 3d, I started feeling like it was okay to do it, to be able to tell your story. After all we all can’t be Kim Jung Gi so we make do with the tools we have. Sometimes though… it’s a bit too much… so much that it’s jarring… I won’t post a picture of the comic out of courtesy, but it’s basically as if I had traced the model down to the point.

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High off Fumes

Even though it’s been a little over a week since ACEN I feel like it’s been an entire month. Since then I’ve been working extra hard to shit out comics for my new series Boys Outta Luck!, I was thinking I’d been in an after-con slump for at least a month (as it usually is) but I’ve been very productive and have only had lulls in days when my wrist was hurting.

I usually have after-con slumps because I go there and proceed to psyche myself out saying I don’t belong there, I suck, etc. compared to the other artists, then after it’s done I feel like I’ve robbed everyone of their money with their shitty artwork and continue holing up in my house.

However, as I mentioned in my previous post, I got positive reinforcement for my original stuff so now I’m high as a kite on little tidbits of praise and I’m in overdrive mode.

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Impulsive Decisions

This is a long-ass post with some thoughts. I put a TL;DR at the end for ppl who don’t want to read my WALL OF TEXT.

When I first started tabling at cons in 2016 the purpose was to sell my comic and only my comic. I did not have any fanart. Unsurprisingly, I did not break even. I thought to myself, “well maybe if I make some fanart it’ll help pay for the booth while I sell the comic.” I did so and churned my first profit. I made more and more fanart until it was my entire table except the small stand that held my comic. Less and less people bought my comic or even gave it so much as a glance as I continued to decorate my table with various fanart pieces, even though I always made the effort to mention it was there for reading to customers. I started losing faith as those people always flocked to the fanart I had created, ignoring the thing that was the centrepiece of my table. I became embarrassed and too ashamed to even mention it now. It felt like a mockery. “Ha ha, look at this loser trying to sell original stuff at his table. Who cares? What a moron.” A dogma grew on me, one that stated that original art was impossible to sell at cons. After all, I only table at anime cons, of course those people want to see anime, how foolish of me. I lost hope and removed more and more original work from my table, even started marking it as free, after all who cared?

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[screaming internally about ACEN and con stuff]

ACEN 2019 is in 4 days and I seem to be suppressing my anxiety pretty well. I have no idea how much stock to bring to an event this big but I’m not going to bring my button maker and I’m not sure if it’s a good idea or not. It takes up a lot of room in my luggage and on the table, it also means I have to print sheets of buttons beforehand and -HOPE- they’re used and not a waste of ink.

I made 12 of each of my popular designs and 6 of my not-so-popular designs so I’m hoping this is enough per day. We decided we’re just going to drive the hour back and forth each day instead of getting a hotel. No idea if this is a good move or not but we’ll see. The plus side is that if I run out of something at the con I can simply go home and restock the next day.

At Anime ZAP, I released 4 of my new meme buttons which were an insane hit and I sold out of all the ones I made (about ~10) of them in a single day. This is the only anomaly I’ve had where I’ve sold out of so many in one day. For comparison, at 2018 Anime Midwest, the highest selling button design was bought 10 times through the entire con.

I’ve also bought a new flipbook display for my prints and sticker sheets. At my last con, I had a rotating stand with prints clipped to the top and the idea was you could spin it and take the prints that you wanted to buy off of it. Well, that didn’t work because people were scared to touch it.

With this one, I hope that because it’s an open book, it’s more inviting for people to flip through and look at. The only problem is it does not show holographic prints very well because of the protective cover, so I think I should make a little sign that says “flip up the cover to see the holographic film” but it will probably be a waste of time because no one at cons ever knows how to read and everyone is afraid to touch anything on tables.

Another change of my booth is that I’ve upgraded from a 2-cube high display to a 3-cube high display. This does get in the way of prints on a 6-ft table but if it’s an 8 ft table (most of them tend to be) then it’s all right. But the rest of my table’s setup is just me going “?????? hmm will this fit?????? where will I put this??????” on Thursday and praying that everything will turn out alright.

Cons are scary and I have no idea how I continue doing this shit.

The State Of: A Petal Between

Yeah, so, those anime elf boys I always draw and post with no context? You know the ones. Yeah, they’re from my other project, dark fantasy/psychological horror comic APB.

This is a comic I’ve been working towards since the end of 2017, I have not really spoken much about it because of my anxiety but this project means a lot to me because it’s the first one that is based on me and has a really personal message I want to convey.

When 2019 started my goal was to get the first 10 chapters of APB written and if I succeeded then the next step would be to have the first 10 pages of chapter 1 done.

At this moment I have 7 chapters completed but they need to be looked over/revised because I’m a bad writer. I am hoping to have the comic out by early 2020 at the latest, late 2019 if I’m feeling really bold.

Currently I’m having a tantrum about having to draw the website graphics (and just coding the website in general) so when I get off my ass I will have a huge burden off my shoulder cause the website is always the hardest dang part.

I’m still trying to figure out what kind of style I want for APB, trying to show a moody/bleak atmosphere so maybe a little painterly and less colours. I dunno yet.

Surprisingly, I actually have most of the middle and the end already plotted out. It’s just polishing the events.

Also, this is the first (probably the only one? ha ha) comic that I’m thinking of releasing R-18 doujins for, having a little cold feet about the idea but we’ll see how I feel about it when the time comes. I feel more comfortable about it than my other comics because this comic focuses more in internal struggles, and sex is just one avenue to show what kind of inner demons they’re facing? Meanwhile yes characters in my other comics also struggle internally but for something like Wingless I’m more focused on the adventurey/fantasy parts rather than how much the characters hate themselves, if that makes sense. … But yeah, other than that I just wanna draw porn. Thought about it more, the reason I’m more ok with it is because it’s explicitly stated they engage in sexual activity so it doesn’t come out of left field to make a doujin, in Wingless there’s nothing romantic or sexual in nature in the whole comic so that just feels weird and out of place.