I made these guys for Spring YART 2022. I’ve got a few of them left up in my Etsy shop as 4×6 prints signed and drawn on with metallic copper ink, and otherwise as with all of my creations, you can always find ’em on my Teepublic and Redbubble shops.
In this post I declared my intentions to start uploading a ton of simple designs to my print on demand sites in the year 2022. After the explosion of AI generated images, I already can’t believe that I once wrote that I worried about the ethics of manipulating stock art that I bought the rights to use…what a difference a year makes.
Anyway… I managed to cram a total of 200+ designs into my two most frequently used print-on-demand stores before the year ended, and have been doing my best to shove more in as we enter 2023. So the question becomes: did it help?
All my art life (which is actually all my life now that I think about it) I have worked to become a better and better artist. At some point, this became practicing every day to become a more technically excellent artist. I wanted very much to have a more steady hand, more economy of line, better compositions, superior color combinations, more dynamic movement, a better grasp of anatomy, and a better command of an ever-growing box of tools, including digital tools.
Sometimes, a piece I do won’t be used by my client.
Rejection can be surprising and downright disappointing. If I recall correctly, the two pieces below were actually declined right around the same time. It was very tempting to wallow and mope and decide there was no point in trying anymore because clearly, no one wanted me in their book ever again. Maybe you’ve felt the same if you got a rejection cluster.
Instead of giving up though, I got back up. I certainly allowed myself some wallowing and moping, sure! …But then I took a deep breath and got back to the business of making the next thing I was passionate about.
These were actually completed back in November of 2018, shortly after I finally got permission to post my first couple of rounds of work for Pelgrane Press. I always have trouble keeping track of when publications come out and I can’t post the art until they do, so I frequently end up updating actual professional illustrations waaaaaay after I make them!
C’est la vie. I think these are awesome monsters though. I wouldn’t want to face down any of these fiends!! See them all below: Continue reading →
Commissions of this type start from scratch and involve communication between me and you throughout the process. I charge a flat rate of $500 USD for a front book cover commission. This is based upon my $35/hour freelance rate and the fact that book covers take me 20+ hours to make. The flat rate is a $200 discount.
A sketch, followed by revisions, and then a final piece, followed by one more round of (reasonable) revisions is included in this price, as well as formatting your files to the publisher(s) of your choice and customizing the text on the cover. If you need final revisions in excess of one (1) hour of work, I will begin charging an additional $35/hour in addition to the flat rate.
ADD-ONS: Back cover/wraparound +$70, signed 8×10 prints $10 + shipping.
This was the creepy phrase that a friend’s child recently uttered at the snack table (or something like that). My buddy forthwith wanted to see what a “Goddess of Closed Eyes” would look like. So, I did my best to oblige. I took a more muted and sepia horror magazine illustration I had done years previously and did my best to make it a psychedelic riot of eyes fit for a goddess! Hopefully I did my friends proud. Publishing on Christmas because…this is a Christmas present of course! Can’t you tell by how festive and merry it is?
In the past, I have bared my withered, jaded artistic soul to you all on the subjects of Popularity, Ambition, Commission Work, Spec Work, and ScrewUps. Today, I am going to tackle SELLING OUT. From a PRO SELLOUT STANDPOINT NO LESS! So strap in, sharpen your pitchforks, light those torches …or just scroll to the end for a wealth of tips on how to sell out efficiently so you don’t have to do all the tedious research I did.
Selling Out: An Overview
So first off, what do I mean by “selling out?” For my purposes, I’m not talking about making money from your own art, unless you’re literally making art you hate for money. Actually, I’m talking about completely phoning it in and using all of your painstakingly acquired design skills to quickly make stock art and fonts into designs you can sell. I am talking about the laziest, most money-grubbing (legal!!!!) use of your artist skills imaginable.
WARNING: I’m going to talk about sellout art and sellout artists a LOT until you get over any kneejerk reactions you might have to that phrase. Because I might be a little sick of artists just …never being expected to make any money from their hard-won art and design skills, or only being allowed to make money in a certain way that is sufficiently prestigious or noble.
Generally, when artists decide to “sell out,” it’s a financial decision. Their pleasure from personal expression isn’t enough to offset their monetary needs, so they gloomily resort to selling out in order to survive. I don’t think selling out is automatically a BAD thing, as you might have guessed, but I’m not interested in doing it for survival. I’m interested in doing it for FUN.Continue reading →
I’m sure it’s hard to believe, but even I was a kid once. A very creepy and morbid one, as you may have guessed. And being the very obsessive and painstaking person I am (in some regards), I have preserved almost every scrap of art I have ever made in my entire life. This website in itself can serve as somewhat of a window into my journey as an artist, since I have been updating it since 2010. But even before that, I was making art. And since most of that childhood art is now irreparably damaged, I have been photographing and backing up every single lick of it before burning it in a series of bonfires with my best friends.
Here are a few of the pieces I have documented (there are hundreds, if not thousands, in total). Hover over each image to see the story behind it, or click for a bigger view with the description.
And here is the first time I attempted to draw the story, back in 2012. At that time, I did a “down the well” view instead of the squirming mass of colors beneath, before all Hell broke loose and the alien evil emerged.
I took more of a “vexel” approach with the 2012 one, although I wanted to use strange colors and inorganic shapes in the new one too. Overall, when I went back to look at my old work, I enjoyed seeing the differences between the two approaches! I definitely think I’ve branched out more in the years since 2012.
So, it’s 2021. The world is in flames. Millions are dead. What are we all up to?
I’ll go first. I’m working on a book cover for a cool novel.
The novel, called Blue Feathers, Bright Flames, is one of three projects I’m really excited about at the moment. The second is illustrations for my own book, and the third is a bunch of leggings ideas I want to make for Whimsies Leggings. So that will all be a lot of fun, I expect. Truthfully though, I’m even more excited about watching my children flop around, so that’s what I’m doing most of the time. But this is an art blog so
I’ve also adjusted my expectations…a LOT.
For one, my novel needs a lot more work! It’s been stuck in Development Hell since April 2020, as the pandemic wreaked havoc on different plans I had for it involving collaborators. That has all had to be scrapped. No one is coming. But, I’m ready. Let’s do this, Me.
I’ve also recently realized that clients change over time just like I do. This was the year that I learned that a client who has needed my help in the past won’t necessarily need it going forward. I had to grieve for an old business relationship or two, but ultimately it just meant I had more time to help other people.
As a part-time freelance artist, I’ve raised money for day trips and dates, medical help for family members and friends, art supplies, booth rentals, and presents. I even managed to raise some money for charity. I’ve had a pretty good run! I’ve been able to do many things I could not have otherwise done.
It is with these things in mind that I will now proceed to destroy my artistic reputation forever.
I’ve been a jerk more times than I can count, although I will attempt to count them for this article. But one common thread has united virtually all of my artistic knavery.
I speak of AMBITION.
Almost every (art related) act I’m ashamed of stemmed from my artistic ambitions. It’s not pretty! But if you’ve seen my gallery, you already know that “pretty” is not the goal here, so let’s get started.
For whatever reason, on Thanksgiving (after tearing apart an unfortunate bird carcass with my bare hands and feeding the results to my family and myself) I decided it was time to make the SASS COLLECTION. Here’s what I’ve got so far: Continue reading →
I’d like to help a friend with some medical bills and I feel like tarot card art might be a nice Christmas gift for someone out there. If you’d like one, they’re $10 in the style you see below. Your art file will NOT be watermarked but I will happily share a small watermarked version online with your links in the description.
I stayed up entirely too late last night making this. The funny thing was, I didn’t plan to make it beforehand at all. Not even earlier that day.
…I just up and made it. (While watching Pink Floyd’s The Wall.)
But, I think I can point to the reason I felt so compelled to create this piece in particular. I had an incredibly stressful weekend, coupled with an ever-sharpening sense of my own mortality. Locally, covid-19 cases and deaths continue to break daily and monthly records and yesterday was no exception. People got sick yesterday, plans were cancelled…and then I surprised myself by making a painting based upon Arthur Machen’s story of a deadly force of nature killing a family isolated in their house.
Let me start out by saying WE ARE IN AN EXPERIMENT TOGETHER.
I’m a prolific and modestly successful obscure artist. At the time of this writing, 251 people have a passing awareness of me on Twitter, 252 on Facebook, and 5 on Patreon. I think most of them overlap, so let’s call that 252 fans total. Weed out the bots and people who have abandoned the platforms and let’s call it 200.
I have been active as an artist online since 1995. This should tell you that I am not an authority on building a fanbase. You’re not here to listen to my expert advice, you’re here to observe me succeed or fail, and try some of the same things if you’re interested.
Hey guys! I’ll be donating any art revenue I make in June to help out with #BlackLivesMatter. I’ll be making my decision(s) closer to when I have a more sizable donation pool, but I welcome any input on good organizations to throw money at!
Currently, I’ve gathered money from my patreon, society6 and a recent freelance job, and I’ll also be donating the sales of these two pieces at the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana‘s upcoming Unsheltered show (assuming they make it in).
And if I make any other print on demand sales, any of you guys email me for a print, or I do any more freelance work in the month of June, that money will be donated as well. I may or may not do commissions to reward people for making donations of their own, but that’s more “iffy” since I’ve been having some humorously strong headaches recently.
Either way, feel free to drop any links of deserving organizations in the comments below! And I hope you all have a very safe month of June, filled with love and unity.