A Bombastic Voyage

I am just getting back into the swing of things, after completing a two-week artists’ residency aboard the R/V Falkor, through the Schmidt Ocean Institute. During my time there, it was my task to create an illustrated map, celebrating the voyage. After a few iterations, this is what I came up with:

I, and others, wrote about the trip and our experiences on the Cruise Log: Read here

This was an incredibly fun journey, and the crew and staff on land make the residency nearly seemless. Even for me, who gets a bit anxious when traveling, and has a ton of mysterious food allergies. Everything was treated as no problem, even though one always feels like a diva when handing over your food list!

I won’t wax on about the trip itself, as you can read all about it in the cruise log posts, but I would encourage all artists to apply. You simply propose the project you would like to create aboard the ship and, if you are accepted, they match you to the cruise that seems to fit best with the goals you’d like to achieve. Everyone is extremely friendly, and as curious about how the work is progressing, as I was about how the cruise objective was progressing!

The application is here, whenever the next year’s submissions open: Artist at Sea Opportunities

Happy New Year’s Eve! A Recap and Why I’m Not setting Goals

Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope this year is wrapping up nicely for you. Mine was, admittedly, a little messy, but all is righting itself and I’m going out with a bang!

I’ve accomplished many things this year, such as:

  • Finishing and funding a full graphic novel
  • Several short stories and comics
  • Going on radio shows and giving a college guest lecture
  • Scoring some freelance pre-press work

The list goes on. But there are a lot of goals that I didn’t meet. And there are a lot of items on that list that I never had on my plan to accomplish in the first place. So even though I accomplished a ton, I wasn’t all that satisfied with my ultimate goal, the graphic novel. That I sunk my life into for 9 months. Looking into my next project strategy… I’m going to have to do things differently.

So let’s talk about goals, shall we?

I’m super goal-oriented. I work best with a reason. If I’m told to just do something, rule-abiding me is absolutely going to do it, but I’ll pick it up the lesson faster if I know why I’m doing the task.

But, this year, I’m ditching goals.

Why?

After being successful with setting goals for myself for the last 20 years, I’ve come across an interesting phenomenon:

Focusing on goals means that I always think about what’s coming next, rather than celebrating what already is. Not to mention, if something takes more (or sometimes less) time than expected, things get derailed.

And who knows where a path could lead? In focusing on a specific goal (if you’re good at achieving goals) you eliminate the possibilities of other fabulous places you could end up.

Blazing the trail.

And so, this year, I’m going to focus on daily habits. I know what steps I need to take to further my career, relationships and health, so all I have to do is take one step each day, and I’ll get somewhere great.

It’s gonna be awesome.

I’m working on a series for February. It compliments last year’s Press-Ready, where I shared everything I go through in order to get my books set up and ready for print (as well as some quick writing and art methods).

PrepWork will outline some best practices for getting your project up and running. The four topics of the month will be:

  • Organization – Why it’s important, even for “messy” creators
  • Notes and research – Tailoring your notes and research to how you work best
  • Design – Putting your research to use n an efficient manner
  • Mapmaking – Laying out your thoughts in a rational way (and how to make cool maps of course)

 

Is all of this sounding good? Do you have any goals or habits that you’d like to implement next year?

Let me know in the comments section, and I’ll talk to you in the new year!

#ThankYouPatrons

I’m not the greatest with expressing my thoughts with words, but my patrons on Patreon are some of the best people around. Kind, generous and ready to support me however they can. Even if it’s just a retweet! Thank you, all!

If you’re not sure what Patreon is, take a look at my site here.

I am actually giving it a complete makeover in the coming months, so let me know what exclusive content you’d like to see there, either via message or by checking a few boxes on this form: Patreon Rehaul Form

So much gratitude to share!

Coming Up This Month at the Trading Post

First off, some news, Press-Ready Days 8-31 have gone poof! They are no longer available, as promised. The ebook is almost entirely put together, just need to do a few more posts and proof reading. There’s a chance of a live Q&A later in the month. I also put together a 5-question quiz to see what kind of publishing you should go for:
 
REWARDS:
 
Apprentices! You’ll be getting 9+ pages of Woolmancy – Silent Edition, breaking down the process, thoughts and Easter eggs behind each page.
 
Journeyers, you’ll get 1+ process videos in addition to that! There are a few really long ones coming up, and I’ll be doing a bit of voice over, talking about painting rain.
 
Colleagues, with all of that, you will also receive a digital download of Press-Ready!
 
Masters, the next print will be out at the end of June!
 
In other news, I may be adding another tier for those who want to do one-on-one mentoring calls with me! News on that later.
Think these rewards are awesome? Join us over on Patreon! You’ll get cool stuff and be responsible for helping my to live a healthier life as a freelancer.

Press-Ready Free Post Roundup

We’ve been chatting about making books and getting them ready for print over on Patreon this month. The first week was totally free to the public and the rest of the month (minus maybe a post or two) will be for patrons. You can access them for just a $1 pledge!

Here are the posts that will be on my page for free as long as Patreon is around:

Day 1 – Why You Should Become a Publisher
Day 2 – Reasons Not to Publish Your Own Books
Day 3 – Branding Your Publishing House
Day 4 – The Legalities of Being Your Own Business
Day 5 – Do you need an editor?
Day 6 – The spreadsheet method of comic writing – Complete with a live demo!
Day 7 – ISBN, UPC, LCCN… What do you really need

Hopefully these posts and resource links will bring you closer to printing your own books!

Press-Ready

Press-Ready Banner

After years of writing and handbookbinding, I knew that my love for creating books would carry on throughout my lifetime. In 2013, I decided to try my hand at having a sketch book printed on demand. It shall not see the light of day. In 2014, I put together a short graphic novel and tried printing again. This book was Style Quest. Riding this success, I produced and crowdfunded the printing of my most recent book Bellmage.

Now, as I prepare for another book release later this year, I’d like to share what I’ve learned about publishing and preparing your book for print. This series will run on Patreon: a space where people who enjoy my work and my brand can help support the creation of more books. I believe in making information available to everyone, so the first week of these posts will be free to the public.

Today’s topic is why: Why producing and publishing your own books is a great idea. Read here.

Feel free to leave comments, questions or request topics for later on in the month!