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.

Working Works

The other day, I was having my rather late lunch at a nearby korean-deria, what we fondly call our usual haunts to alleviate the incessant hunger for shabbily cooked food, when I noticed the group of merrymakers next door. I’m barely into my third spoon of rice and yesterday’s lechon kawali, now conveniently recooked into adobo, when a burst of shouts and overall revelry came out of that videoke open-all-day-and-all-night part of the strip. Sipping some nilaga broth, I could tell these guys were singing and boozing since last night. And it was Tuesday 12 noon that I happened to have taken my lunch.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I don’t look down on people. I don’t want to be looked down on, so I try not to be as judgmental. But on a Tuesday, the sun is scorching hot, the usual diners were just trying to ease through their food so that they could go back to their own work fearing the minutes late would take off some amount on their take home pay, but lo and behold, there’s this group of individuals, probably closer to my age than the rest of the diners, are still at it. And judging from the number of bottles on the table (and the case under the table) it has been one long night.

There are stereotypes. People who tell you otherwise are in denial. These guys will probably spend their off day sleeping off the booze and waking up with a banging hangover and their weekly wages spent. And they will be bitching.

We all need some respite. We all need some R&R. But working in the city as long as I have, I learned to limit the debauchery to manageable levels so I can work the next day, barring lack of sleep, hangovers or lack of bus fares.

Working works as long as you work on it.

In my animation days, we literally close down bars with our booze binges. Strip clubs, live bands, we took ’em all in, and we got shitfaced. And the next morning we’ll still be sober and red eyed but working efficiently. These guys, I know the type, believe me, will be looking for someone to borrow money , after getting into some mean arguments with their wives, girlfriends or parents.

And all because they can’t control the real-men-drink attitude.

A cover art study for a short story I’m working on, along with a host of WiPs that need to be done.

After I consumed a serving of rice (at least it was hot) pork adobo (at least it was tastier) and bowls of nilaga broth, I was paying for my food, when a case of unopened pale pilsen came to the table visible to me. I shook my head and added a couple of sticks of Fortune Menthol to my bill. Took a puff while waiting for change, and left the area, my ears still ringing from the usual “Zombie” videoke staple.

I walked back to the office with thoughts of why people bitch about their government, the politicians, the system and the world in general. And look, they can’t even implement a system for themselves where they can have fun and maintain a job. It’s hard work. But it comes with the territory. It will be harder if you are out of work.

I’m employed in the BPO industry. Also I do illustrations. I also Write stories. Some people can’t find jobs because their diplomas and degrees dictate job preferences.

I’m not saying I’m better. But through all the slides and slips, the hard falls and bumps, I have not blamed anybody but myself should I find my ass whupped by life.

So I got back to the office, my current task still need a lot of work, so I get on with it. Thinking I should buy myself a bottle of brandy when this is over.

Changing Skin

3 panels on an ongoing project

There was a feeling of life playing a huge joke on me, and I was not amused. It’s a long story, if you care to read my previous posts that are full of anger, rancor and resignation. My last job application started with a high note and dropped flat when I came to the chorus. It sucks I know, but tha’s how life is. It was just too rattling because, my wife and daughters are looking forward to me being happily employed and making myself a productive member of the society again. I also told my friends about it, and they were ecstatic. I dread to tell them that what happened at the last minute. I’m a vet when it comes to disappointments, me being a disappointment myself.

Or so I thought.

Actually, I have been too entrenched in my own hubris that it took some time before I realized, that I have been limiting myself to the fact that my last employment was something that was too good to be true, even the illusion disintegrated after three years without having been upgraded to regular status. I think was l;ooking for another pot of gold. I was, in an unconscious effort, trying to land another source of income with the highest payday I have ever experienced.

Ever.

Tough luck,that.

I’m 45 going on 46, “over qualified” for some reason I cannot comprehend, and got ditched  at my last attempt at employment with another tv network, even if theysaid I have completed everything and even went through the prerequisite PhysMed Exam.

So I wallowed in my misery that I forgot I can do more than just in-betweening animations, graphic art, motion graphics and illustrations.

Definitely more.

The door opened wider and I saw more of what’s outside.

I’m ready to get out of this trap.

I’m writing Sci-Fi Shorts, drawing comics and just last night a chance to earn with something I have done before – communication.

I am after all, a Mass Communiations drop out. But the mojo is still there.