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.
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.
I never knew I could be this scared in my entire life.
And there are very few instances that I could call myself batshit scared out of my wits:
The other day I just had a disturbing sort of discussion with some friends, well one is a good friend and a couple I just knew from my previous job. And I was mystified that they have reacted as if I was merely being a brat when I commented that there was no movement on their part while I was illustrating my ass off.
Oh, the project was the adult coloring book. We were supposed to be all four people as business partners, two of us would be illustrating.
So I was expecting the others would be busy building up the costing nad marketing plan while two of us were doing the drawings.
I assumed wrong. Maybe because it’s my own fault that we never really discussed the roles each of us need to fill. And they, at least two reacted as if I was picking a fight. Illustrating is what I feel passionately about, and putting out something with good quality and lasting impression is what I feel passionately too. So my strong queries led me to think I had to do things on my own.
Well not entirely alone, I mean I know nothing of the business side of publishing so I still need Marie‘s input with this, and the costing and business plan, I sought out another dear friend – Sally , we’ve known each other for several years now – and get my brain working in a businessman’s train of thought.
So taking the reigns, I may have stepped on people’s toes. But that is understandable. Putting out a book, even a coloring book, is not just some whimsical “let’s make our own adult coloring book!” gang outing. It needs to start with the right kind of attitude and the strong sense of realistic purpose, not some trendy hashtag.
So I dug up information. And sent out inquiries to National Bookstore that led to to Anvil Publishing and so I went and printed a mockup of the coloring book took the sample to Pioneer street in Mandaluyong. Needless to say I was exhilirated and downraight frightened of the thought of going all indie. Along with these inquiries, I also sent out emails to several bookstores, but NBS is the responded positively.
Why am I terrorized by this prospect?
A lot is riding on this venture. A couple of months ago I started putting out my own comics creations via my Wix site/portfolio and just made them available to everyone who’s smart enought to read stuff on the web. And the other stories that I have been talking about in my tweets, Facebook and Blogger I have just gone out and done.
It’s a leap of faith.
I’ve taken it.
And the feeling is all sorts of wonder, dread and…
Because I’m tired of giving away my artwork. I’m tired of people like Kit who acts as if he’s your savior and champion while stompiong on your artistry by treating as a mediocre graphic artist, dragghing you into all sorts of cons and events without really knowing if you ecer get something out of it. Carlo once told me, if you’re good at something, don’t give it for free, or something in that vein.
So my decision is put out something worthy of selling and virtually saying-
“I offer you this. You want it, give me your money”
There it is.