2017 VS 2018 by the Numbers
I counted up the artwork from 2018 a few days ago and was disappointed to find that I only created 35 pieces and complained about myself to my wife. She said that sounds like quite a bit of art to her. I wanted to refute this claim by pointing out how many more pieces I did in 2017 so I added those up…it was 35. Here are the images from 2017 and 2018 with some pie charts breaking them down. Ofcourse neither include sketches, Inktobers, and artist proofs.
Now to break the years down more.
Particularly ambitious pieces in 2017=8 *that Fae Court one was particularly insane to tackle
Ambitious/tricky pieces in 2018=6 *none that were incredibly hard
Popular pieces from 2017=3
Popular pieces from 2018=2
Conventions in 2017=2
Conventions in 2018=6
Convention Prints Sales in 2018=5.5x what I made in 2017
Appearances/Talks in 2017=0
Appearances/Talks in 2018=4
Process videos recorded and edited in 2017=0
Process videos recorded and edited in 2018=21
Work I shouldn’t have done in 2017=6
Work I shouldn’t have done in 2018=3
So I was being a bit a grumpy pessimist. The numbers reveal that I was working plenty having produced just as much art while doing probably 18 more days of conventions/talks, recording 21 videos,embellishing canvas prints and switching to pencil sketches for Magic cards.
Thanks to this handy-dandy blog, that I use like a notebook, I can also look at what I had in mind for goals for 2018 and see how I did/what happened.
2018 Plans Post Mortem
Limited Edition Prints! Starting to offer a more archival limited edition run of prints.
I did this! And it proved silly. Nobody seems to care about the paper an image is on or whether it’s limited edition. It’s still viewed as a print. You could go through the DragonCon art show and see all the limited edition prints not selling unless they were bargain basement prices. I don’t plan to ever sell limited editions again unless I am selling them at normal print prices somehow.
Signed up for 5 conventions with another 2 or 3 possible plus I'll be setting up at several local Magic tournaments. Bigger booths at conventions. That will be the most conventions for me in a single year. All of these conventions mean it will be another year of insane expenses which has me real nervous. It's a risky year.
I did this too! The expenses worked out fine. Some conventions were definitely a bust for sales like GeekOUT but I was a GOH so that was nice. I spoke at Imaginarium which was a bust as it was just smaller than I expected and the talk was kind of a disaster. DragonCon and GenCon were really good despite me doing the print shop wrong at DragonCon so lots of promise there. Origins was also kind of a bust for sales but I loved it because of all the new friends I made there. The AAC and library talks went super well so I was happy with that.
Youtube! I've started recording my process on some Magic cards and plan to release some videos. They are super sped up walkthroughs that are...more comedic than helpful. The goal is to keep each at about 2 minutes long.
So I DID make a bunch of videos but I decided not to do anything comedic with them. Making fun of yourself/being comedic is risky. The failure state of that sort of thing is looking like an asshole or legit bad artist so I played it safe.
I'll be launching a Patreon page for a collaboration project in mid-March with three or so entries posted at the start. It will be short stories accompanied by a piece or two of art. The Patreon page will mostly serve as a way to encourage us to increase production rather than to serve as any sort of pay wall. I'll be promoting this as much as possible at all convention appearances,etc. I really want to build something larger than what my individual prints were and am excited to work on this IP.
Doing it. And plan on continuing until we’ve told the whole story. The prints haven’t been very popular so I’ve had to really cut back on promoting it at conventions with a large print presence.
I have to wrap up some freelance work but I'm hoping to narrow freelance down to Magic the Gathering and book covers. That will leave me with some dead schedule time which I can spend on the Patreon project. Hopefully conventions can help fill the gap in income but if not, I've found that artist proofs are a pretty good way to make money. Obviously those proofs do not help build prints or portfolio but I can do them nearly any time and any place which is nice.
Happened but not much in the ways of cover art.
Should be able to show a LOT more Magic cards so that will be exciting!
This is a weird one...but I tend to get into something I can get a bit obsessive. So when I decided to start reading more books in 2017 I think I went a bit overboard having read between 45-60 books. Books take time...so yeah I'm hoping to cut down to just 30 in 2018.”
I did it! Changed the habit and reduced that book reading to 29 (not counting the 11 books I read to my son) . More importantly there were about 6 or 7 books that I did not finish! I am a completionist and I am one of those people that won’t quit because I think of it as a lost investment of time. Beginning to see and act on treating my time as something more valuable.
1.Continue with Conventions,Tournaments (non-GPs)and Appearances. Try to shoot for more guest statuses for shows. Put myself out there more. I have unfortunately missed out on Lexington Comic and Toy signup and Ohayocon but maybe I can make up for that down the road.
2.Make time for ambitious pieces. I think this is part of why 2017 felt like I didn’t do as much. I didn’t do as many pieces where I shot for something beyond my past. This is really vague as I don’t want to become the next Donato or Ralph Horsley painting tons of figures per image so I need to find what is ambitious but also aligned with me.
3.Hire more models.
4.Put together creature deck of all the creatures and monsters I’ve done and am able to sell at card size.
5.Some other stuff I will cover in a separate post.