I am baking stone ground mustard bread, and preparing to make a big German feast of suaerkraut in wine, potatoes, and sausages. So very excited and happy. Domestic goodness abounds.
I also just got my first regular page rate check since early November. Boy oh, boy, the excitement of living between royalties, and budgeting the dreaded advance against royalty check to last four months longer than the assignment originally called for. Fun times. I’ve been very grateful for all the mail order sales. Between your generous patronage and my royalty checks, the fridge remained full and the farm was saved! Huzzah!
I’ve also given up web surfing for Lent, so let’s see how much more productive I am over the coming weeks.
I went out this week for only the second time since December, frantic to get more packing material to ship orders. Ran out. Again. Which is a good thing.
Not too long ago, I read comments from the You Should Just People about how easy and cheap it is to do business online. Why, these people simply could not believe that there were any serious costs associated with a self employed and marketed artist!
Think again. Shipping costs ran about $1000 over the last couple of months. The A Distant Soil graphic novel sets weigh in at just over 4lbs, punching them over the weight limit for cheap international shipping. Every single package costs more than $40 to ship! 80 graphic novels went out at a cost of $800 in postage alone. Naturally, I fold that cost in to the orders, but I give my foreign customers a fairly large discount on the books to make up for it. Otherwise, we’d have to add another $800 to the cost of those books, and most fans wouldn’t be able to afford them.
The big plus of my new digs is the expansive space: there are no longer any storage costs for my inventory, which used to devour up to $240 a month. Now I can pass that savings on to my readers! Since I am no longer in a little condo, I have a lot of space to put things away, sort them and properly care for them.
While I haven’t finished sorting my huge pile of original art, the work room is now tidy and organized, with plenty of space for everything I need. I should post more pictures. You will all be terribly impressed at my progress, and I await your squeals of approval. Now that my shelving isn’t surrounded by clutter, I can get to all my art tools. I must say, I won’t need to buy any. For a long time. I have a hoard.
I gathered some up stuff up and gave it away, including a mint in box high end airbrush compressor and three different airbrushes, none of which I have ever made much use. I bought them years ago when I was flush, and meant to get the hang of it, but I simply never cared for the airbrush thingy. Since so much of my work is painterly, or hybrid Photoshop, I decided the airbrushes should go to a good home.
I also dug up my incredible stash of antique art supplies, some more than 100 years old. Many of them came from artists like Frank Kelly Freas. They are packaged so beautifully, I have not been able to bring myself to part with them. They are extraordinary reminders of what real draughstman are: so much of “drawing” today is just faking it – tracing in Photoshop and whatnot.
Some illustrators used navigation tools to draw properly. They could have piloted their way to the moon on a slide rule. I also inherited beautiful brass tools whose use I can’t make out. I think I will try to frame them.
As for the rest, I am going to contact an illustration museum and see if they would like these things for an exhibit. There are old crosshairs, and rubylith here: I am sure the Photoshop crowd has no idea what this stuff is.
Speaking of people who actually know how to draw, this week’s art crush is Robert Liberace. A classicist. And how. He has outstanding videos you may purchase. They are pricey, but worth every penny.
Here’s a taste: