Creative Side Hu$tle: How to use Spreadshirt in TWO ways to make money

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My “BatFleck” shirts sold out a few years ago.

I talk to creative professionals on a daily basis, whether it’s at my day job at Spreadshirt or my work in and around the comic book world. I love talking shop with them and sharing as many resources as I can to help them with their creative endeavors. One big key to being a successful maker is having multiple streams of revenue. For many it’s website ads on their youtube channel, merch and consulting fees and of course freelance contract work. Today I’m talking about the MERCH game. Right off the top, for full disclosure, I work at Spreadshirt, but this is not an official post by them or on their behalf and they’re not paying me to say this. (Although HEY GUYS IF YOU’RE READING THIS, I ENJOY MONEY…and craft beers or coffee). I write about it because I know that it works for many creatives especially those just starting out on youtube or webcomics.  And stuff that helps creatives always excites me so I wanted to share it with my audience, especially those who have read Cash4Cartoonists. It’s kinda funny because even before I worked at the company I wrote about them in the ebook 6 years ago because I used them then for many things from my webcomic work to jerseys for the local roller derby team.

For the past year when I’m at comic shows and talking with professionals who find out I work at Spreadshirt, they pepper me with questions about the print quality, is it easy to setup? Can they use it too? The answer is YES, you can do it. And YES it’s very easy to setup yourself, go see this link.

Basically as a creative person, whether you’re making content with comics or youtube videos or whatever floats your boat, you can use Spreadshirt in TWO ways to earn more cash. Let me break them down from my perspective and experience as a working cartoonist. read more…

Make more money with Spot Illustration

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Recent spot illustration for CityPaper by me.

Today I’m going to revisit the topic of making money with “Spot Illustration”, how much to charge, where this type of work can be found or how it may even go about finding you. I suggest downloading a copy of the original ebook over yonder to familiarize yourself with the topic even more.

DISCLAIMER: Before we get too deep here, I want to re-emphasize that this information is not for beginners. See? I even put in bold. While your art doesn’t need to be super perfect to get paying jobs, you do have to be polished and professional enough and know how to perfect your own style or shift between styles. You can only do that by drawing every single day. Some days, draw ALL day even. But maybe you’ve never had a paying gig before in your life? That shouldn’t stop you either. You have to start somewhere, so don’t just sit on the fence forever, and don’t undervalue your artwork or yourself when it’s time to give a quote. This is by no means a guarantee you’ll find this type of work or make money doing it, only that it does indeed exist, and how you may go about pursuing this avenue for  your cartooning, etc. read more…

More Cash for Cartoonists

CASHCartoonIn an effort to get back into regular blogging again, I’ve decided to do a series over the summer revisiting the topic of helping cartoonists artists make more money with their work. Going on six years ago now,  I put just about everything I know into an ebook  “Cash For Cartoonists”. (link, it’s now “pay what you want”) I also offered one on one coaching to go with it, and boy did I get busy with that. I still offer some creative coaching on the side on a case by case basis, but I didn’t really set out to be the “Life Coach” for cartoonists. My ebook garnered some criticism from some of my webcomic contemporaries at the time as the title seemed like “GET RICH QUICK!” scheme. Of course the name itself was designed to catch your attention, and a little tongue in cheek, but it’s hardly a “get rich quick” or promise you can make money with your artwork. The bottom line is you have to have the HUSTLE first and put the work in.

Over the past six years I’m proud to say that the Cash For Cartoonists has helped hundreds of creators and cartoonists. (some testimonials on that link back there) Many even went full time freelance after being inspired and using the methods to start earning more with their artwork. I still get messages and Facebook tags to this day from artists who were struggling and then found the ebook inspirational or a good kick in the pants to get moving!

I’m also asked if I’ll be updating the ebook with new information. Lots of things have changed in six years since “Cash For Cartoonists”, there are definitely some things to add to each of the methods, which leads me back to this blog series. I plan on featuring each of the methods in the book in future blog posts right here (bookmark this!) And I’ll do my best to add as much new info and value as I can. And it’s all free. I love being able to share what I’ve learned from experience with other creators of all levels. Some creators are brand new, but others have been at this for a long time and maybe have overlooked a few avenues or should revisit some. Like many readers before, you’ll probably end up being surprised by how well some of these methods work, and things you never really thought of doing.

Okay, so look for the first blog very soon, where I’ll tackle the first method “#1 SPOT ILLUSTRATION” – In the meantime, you can brush up on the old ebook and all 15 methods by downloading it now.

If you have any questions, feel free to post and we can have a conversation in the comments. – DJC

Comic Drawing Toolkit for Photoshop

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This is my project for the Gumroad Small Product Lab challenge, wherein you produce and launch a product in just 10 days! It launches on Wednesday June 24th but can be pre-ordered now at https://gumroad.com/l/comictoolkit#

Like the graphic says, it includes my personal 11×17 comic page template for Photoshop which is packed with layer groups and layers you can turn off and on to see my notes. You can customize the overall layout adding your logo to make it your own branding, and it’s printable if you want to print it out on traditional drawing board for finishing. I prefer to do all of my comic drawing in one Photoshop file, utlizing layers groups. Roughs, pencils, inks, colors and any other major step gets it’s own grouping so that everything is organized. There’s even a built in perspective path tool and extra composition guides.

As an added bonus, I included 6 of my custom comic brushes that I created and personally use in all of my freelance work. Check out the link for more.

This isn’t for complete beginners. Some basic knowledge of Photoshop and a graphics tablet to draw on are required. For the launch special it’s a special price of only $5 for the kit.

Using Creative Cloud for Making Comics

bck3So, I’m creating a new small product to launch of Gumroad as part of their #SmallProductLab Challenge. It will be a “Digital Comics Drawing Toolkit for Photoshop” which will include my 11×17 master template a bunch of other stuff. That’s launching June 24th.

It occurred to me that I talk with many creators who believe Photoshop still costs $600+ to get started. Or they illegally pirate the software and run the risk of jail and fines. UGH! Don’t do that.

How I use Adobe Creative Cloud for making my comics & more

Hey everyone! So I’m working on my new toolkit for Photoshop (June 24th!) and I was thinking about the people who may not have Photoshop or think it’s unattainably expensive. It certainly used to be. Now they have “Creative Cloud” and offer individual or the entire suite for a monthly fee, as low as 9.99 to start for Photoshop.
read more…

Web Head

Here’s a quick process art of Spider-Man (Miles Morales). I’m playing around with a new master template in Photoshop. I keep the pencil layer pretty rough and loose if I know I’m inking my own work. These days “inking” is pretty much the process we’d use back in the day for super tight penciling anyways. read more…

Special Edition NYC Recap: “Rule 1: Look em in the eye and speak from the heart”

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 4.38.50 PMHere is my re-cap of the 2015 Special Edition NYC comic show.

First up, I always enjoy the drive up to New York City. I enjoy the city too, as an artist there’s so much to take in visually, it’s pretty damn awesome. I also find myself thinking “Wow, no wonder this is where comics were born.” in the sense that you can just look around an imagine these epic things taking place up in the sky, or smashing through buildings. NYC is escapism at it’s finest hour. In another life, I would have moved there in a heartbeat if given the opportunity to do so. read more…

Need something drawn? Freelance spots now open. E-Mail me.

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