Time Management Tips for Artists

(the following is a snippit from my recent e-mail to the “AWESOME LIST” which is for Coaching Clients of “Cash For Cartoonists” If you’d like to get on the Awesome List see the directions after article!) For those that are pressed for time, this is for you! I know several artists who tell me they’d LOVE to launch a comic strip but feel they don’t have the time.  I’m pretty much doing Trader Dons in my “spare” time. I already have enough other projects taking up time and produce the two day a week comic, Bigfoot and Tiki. While I’m lucky enough now to work at home, home life is extremely busy! We have three boys, ages 10,13,14– a dog, three cats and bills to pay and a bunch of busy responsibilities. It occured to me that sharing how I manage my schedule with you, or giving you tips on how I’m fitting this in might shed some light on how you can fit something into your busy schedules. For now, here are two ways you can fit something new into your schedule if you’re really serious about making this a career. Start off slow and at least pen in 3 hours a day into your M-F or move some of those hours to the weekend or your days off….. 1. WAKE UP EARLY! Yeah, its going to SUCK at first. But trust me, you can get SO much done in the early AM before the rest of the world is awake. Let’s say you work a 9-5 shift at your full time job, and you leave your house...

Fans N’at : Experimenting with a Micro-Niche Comics

I started a new side webcomic called FANS N’at, which centers around Steelers Football from a fan’s perspective. Even though I’m pretty busy with other projects, I decided to practice what I preach to other cartoonists about “niche comics”. I consider this a “micro-niche”- I haven’t done a whole lot of promoting of this and wanted to see how viral it could go during the two week Super Bowl excitement and give Steelers fans something to laugh at in the off season. Then during the season I will do pre-game and post game strips full of inside jokes Steeler fans love. You can take a look at http://fansnat.com or http://steelercomics.com If you’re a cartoonist and want to learn about experimenting with niche comics of your own read on… Early Results & Reception The first week of Fans N’at I did 3 comics. The traffic hasn’t been HUGE, but it has been receptive and passionate. Our page on facebook racked up 173 “likes” and the strips being passed around on people’s walls brought in over 4000 Pageviews this week from Facebook alone. That probably means a passionate fan linked it on their wall, and then friends of theirs checked out the links.I’m not technically allowed to say how much I made from Google ads there, but let’s just say it was enough to buy a Golds Gym workout bench at walmart. – Now, I’m not really doing this comic to make money, I’m first and foremost doing it because I’m overly excited that my team is going to the super bowl and may walk away with its 7th ring! But...

CREATORS FRONT FOR DIVERSITY IN COMICS

Comic creators, and aspiring comic creators, Eric Powell of THE GOON fame lays it all out for you… You know, I’ve been telling all my friends and colleagues this stuff for years. I get asked the question a lot… DJ, why didn’t you take your quick 15 minutes of “Hero By Night” fame and go run and try to work for Marvel or DC? Or Why don’t you just self publish it on your own? The message in that video really strikes home my feelings on the whole matter. But here’s another element… even if you DO decide to publish  your own comics, the numbers Eric states in the video are 1000% accurate. You will likely end up spending your own money and not making ANY when you self publish a comic through the direct market system. I’ve been saying this for years in my own goofy publications like YIRMUMAH… That whole comic book industry market is BROKEN. I make more money drawing a comic strip twice a week for a ukulele company than I would if I were to self publish through the direct market comic book industry system. It’s just plain DUMB. All of the shitty numbers Eric states are the direct result of the broken system. You should do it because you love it… DUH! Yeah, of course you draw comics because you love it… but you’ll love it even more when it’s paying your mortgage or feeding your kids. When it’s a REAL profession and not some pipe dreamy hobby you do at your kitchen table after you work a 9-5 or ruin your personal...

2010 Recap and state of my union

Only a couple days left in 2010. Every year around this time for the past 12 years I’ve written a blog recap of the years highlights and low lights. It’s hard for me to go month to month, so I’ll just randomly blabber about things that stick out to me… My life… I’ve stayed pretty private this year. Haven’t blogged as much as I used to. Family first… My wife: She’s an awesome lady. Maybe in just about every way. This year was her “rookie” year on the roller derby team and her team only lost ONE bout. It was a pleasure watching her transform into Atomic Bombino on a regular basis. The road trips were fun excursions from the daily grind of things. I’m really happy that she has HER thing now, just like I’ve always had my thing. I believe she also may be addicted to tattoos…I can’t even count how many she’s had this year, but I don’t mind. She’ll make a rad old grandma some day. She also has a knack for finding me awesome gifts. This year I got a giant bigfoot statue for the office and a Harry Henderson plush doll. I look forward to growing old together and being known as that unique couple…. man, when the grandkids go through our crap when we’re long dead, they are going to find some AWESOME things left behind. My kids: 3 growing boys. Our oldest, 13, is quite the reader and history buff. He can rattle off facts that stun his teachers. This is the first year he’s brought out his sarcasm and wit,...

Cash 4 Cartoonists Update

It’s been awhile since I talked about my Cash For Cartoonists ebook/coaching. I kinda fell out of promotion mode and just enjoyed spending the coaching time with actual buyers. Between that and juggling my other freelance projects it doesn’t leave me with a whole lot of time for blogging! I gotta say it has been a really refreshing and positive experience helping other creators get on the right track. I’m really glad I kept the price at around 40 bucks instead of raising it. I have other people who tell me I should be charging a lot more for my time on the coaching side– If I were doing this as a full time business, maybe… but really this is just a great way to share the things I know and get paid a little entrance fee for access to knowledge or contacts I’ve accumulated being a full time illustrator for the past 13 years. For those who have asked for a “cheaper” version, I’m still considering a different version of this without coaching and a few advanced things taken out. BUT… Don’t hold your breath. For the foreseeable future, I’m just going to keep offering the $47 version with unlimited coaching which I think is the best deal. Not to mention the best use of my time right now. I just want to say again BIG thanks to all of my clients. In talking so much to you, it’s actually inspired me to start a new project I’ll hopefully be launching in January… and if you’re on the AWESOME list I’ll be sharing the behind the scenes process...

Cash For Cartoonists Coaching Program

GOOD NEWS! After a month of many conversations, one-on-one coaching and consulting with other cartoonists and illustrators, I’ve decided NOT to to increase the price for Cash For Cartoonists Coaching program. For the foreseeable future I’m keeping the unlimited coaching + ebook at only $47 bucks. Why? Originally the plan was to raise the price to cover the time and scaling costs involved with doing one-on-one critiques, coaching and consultation, but honestly, I’ve now corresponded with over 150 individual creators and the process isn’t as time consuming as I originally had thought! In fact I’m finding it a greatly rewarding personal experience. To that end, I want to be able to help as many cartoonists and illustrators as possible without a price barrier or monthly or annual fees.  Why not just keep it as simple as possible. One price… you get the unlimited coaching+ebook. It worked GREAT for the first month, so why mess with a good thing? I’ve also had conversations with a ton of artists and cartoonists who REALLY want to try this program but didn’t have the money that month to snag it. My whole purpose for doing this is to help other cartoonists and illustrators earn more money with their work… so charging them even MORE because they couldn’t make the deadline didn’t make much sense with my overall purpose. This is coaching More than just an ebook, this is coaching. Originally I was just  marketing the ebook along with the coaching as a bonus…. but over the past month this project has really morphed into the coaching being the main product and the ebook...

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