Give It Away, Now

“Wow! You did this? Can I have it? What? You’re selling this for a hundred bucks? But you did it in just 15 mins! How about I pay you 25 pesos?”

Just recently, I told people in the interwebs that I am giving away my illustrations for free. And I did. It was a collection of old works redone with a few enhancements, and some new drawings meant to be patterns for coloring.

The obvious question was “Why?”.

And I could answer “Just because.”. But I didn’t. There is a long explanation involved, and so I just shrugged off the question.

Come to think of it, I have always given away my drawings. It started the day someone asked me to draw VoltesV. Or maybe It was because most of my childhood friends know how to draw and it has always been a challenge to one-up the other guy. But I do give away drawings. In high school, classmates often asked me to draw something for them, help out with a project, or a friend who wants to impress a girl.

In college, people offered to pay for my drawings. And I did earn from it.

Most of the time.

People would pay me Php50 to Php150 per piece, depending on what they want me to draw – visual aids for areport, feline anatomy, something for a t-shirt, college stuff. But mostly I get paid peanuts. Specially when it was a beautiful girl.

So I am always giving away my artwork for free.

Even recently, at a mall, I do ink drawings for change. And the guy I’m with insists he is promoting the “industry”, whatever he thinks what industry it is. Turns out that guy’s just living off other artists and surrounding himself with young girls, the perv.

And so I gave away my drawings for free.

Which is the only logical thing to do, since I can dish out new work any time I want. And I want to start fresh. Been giving away stuff as far as I can remember. Heck, I even gave away money to a brother who’s so thick, he thinks I owe him an apology for being pissed off at his non-communicative behavior. My brother and that guy Kit, they are the same kind of leech. And I’m tired of leaving messages and calling numbers that are never available.

I gave away these coloring book illustrations, because they are fit to be given away. And because I am doing something new, more elaborate and worthy of framing, not something cheap like that dreadful noontime show fan art. Or a pattern that people dismiss as secondary to their choise of coloring materials.

My friends may not understand it, but they will, in time. I’m going to register this venture as a business name and I want to start right, by creating new and beautiful illustrations that will go into print and sell so I can earn a living from it. These works will be well researched, better illustrated and well worth the money spent.

Hip to be Square


Let me tell you a story. . .

The other day I was killing time at a discount bookstore by browsing through titles and sifting through stacks of Readers Digest. Popular Mechanics, Time, etc. I came upon a good art book, one that needed opening not just beyond the introduction page. Needless to say, book hunters are often nice quiet people, those that usually are polite and give way to others who might want to reach a well placed copy underneath a huge stack. People who exclaim in muted ahhs and oohs as they caress lovingly a long sought after book or publication.

But not on this day.Today, I’m forced to play nice to a young woman on wedgies, shawl and fake tattered jeans.

I say forced, because, right after seeing me open the coffee table book (it was a coffee table book) she came right over and asked to see if the artwork inside are good. I told her yes they are, and added it’s something Norman Rockwell might have done, or a student of Rockwell art. Quickly, this young woman, as I have surmised, may have been enrolled at some point or another, in the arts, started expertly dissecting what seemed like textbook definitions and  boy she did sound like she knows what she’s talking about. She even pointed out the best pencils and coloring pens, how she buys her materials from Powerbooks and not NBS because NBS is so “masa”.

So I, still civilized and semi-educated, listened and waited for my cue to jump in the conversation anytime soon.

Out of curiosity, she asked me what I do, and I told her that I am looking to start my own art studio of sorts. The lady dropped her several copies of Cosmopolitan on the middle bin and showed me a rather expensive looking sketch book with an inlaid title on the leather cover “sketchbook” in silver leaf.

She showed me her doodles.

Hearing her talk, she could be an expert. Seeing her doodles, well…

Let’s just say, her work is something anybody could have done, when they were in fourth grade. She’s no different from those people who think doodling deserve an organmization and a t-shirt, and a page on Facebook.

She asked me if I have some of my work with me. I was embarassed to embarass this young woman but it would be wrong to decline, so I showed her my large portfolio which I had scanned hours before. I saw her jaw drop. but for for a moment got her mojo back and commented that I need to add more texture, but otherwise my work was, as she said, wonderful, as her cheeks turn a little crimson.

I left the discount book store with the young woman fussing about her shawl while pretending to look at novels when all she had in her hands were just women’s magazines.

I love these hipsters. They can tell themselves a lie that thay are artistic, and believe it. And they playout the part by wearing what internet calls bohemian look, or artist fashion, and buy expensive drawing materials so they can flaunt them while sipping overpriced coffee and leaching wifi somewhere. At least it’s how I visualize them.

I got home with barely enough money for the next day’s expenses.

Full Throttle, baby

Photoshop Doodle

Weeks ago, I was merely trying to draw enough to put into a full coloring book for grownups. But as my recent conversation on Facebook with Marie, whom since our college days, has been a pillar of strength, though she may deny it, but bless her, her mind is a source of pure keen perception.

While I was listening attentively to another dear friend, Sally, who has been tutoring me on the business side of being a startup,  and no, that is not entirely true, Sally has been schooling me on the intimate workings of starting a business based on my skillset, which was drawing and illustrating, and both of  them allows for a very educational foray into the world of taking control of my venture.

Now, to others I may have been focusing on the wrong part of this venture, mainly to create more relevant and enduring artwork. But you must understand, my casual internet visitor, yes, you who is reading this today. I love woodcuts. I love the way a single color can elicit a wide variety of emotion upon the beholder. I am also enamored with comics  and editorial cartoons. I always try to pay homage to these influences. Artists like Javinal, Malgapo, Acuna, Freff, Moebius, among others. Writers and creators like Poblete and Ravelo, Miller, Moore, Gaiman. And all of those unnamed printing pioneers who perfected woodcuts and negatives in the old days of publishing. My own creation may be very far off from these masters, but I try, really I try.

Even with just starting with a coloring book meant for hobbyists and enthusiasts, I try to present my work in a manner that is not merely trying to put out anything, but with purpose and roots.

Which is why the decision to go and learn anything and everything about the business, cost and expenses, marketing and sales, choosing the matrials for the artworks themselves, the right ink, looking for potential investors to bankroll this venture and offer a reasonable ROI for a long term business relationship.

Because ewhen this thing gets rolling there is that possibility I may have to register a business name and pay taxes for it.

Which brings me into looking foir new channels to earn from. Obet led me to a crowdfunding site and it blew me away – Patreon was what i was looking for. Give to an artists who knows what to refer to another artist, but Obet is on an entrely higher plane and I value his thoughts on this matter, too.

So when things get too heavy on my mind….

I make Photoshop Doodles!