Taking The Leap of Faith

CaptureWhen I decided to have a go at it and learn everything I can with the business of publishing my own coloring book for grown up.

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:

Marriage.

Fatherhood.

and now:

Startup.

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…

Elation.

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.

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Starting Seriously

As far As I can remember, I have been doodling, drawing and illustrating since I knew how to hold a pencil on my hand. So whenever I drew something it’s just something I do naturally. When I decided to to pursue and put out a coloring book for adults it was a no brainer that some of my works lying around found its purpose. And more I did with just sitting down, choosing the right paper quality and the pencils and pens I prefer, and just  create and draw.

That’s the easy part. Because drawing to me is second nature. The digital processing for the images I can hack that too. Because I have always been adaptable, even If I’m fond of telling people that I am a wind up watch in a digital age.

Now the hard part is building a business plan for these coloring books that I will put out in the market. Before that, looking for a printing firm with an affordable set of packages. I wanted to put out something that could stand side by side with other titles in a bookstore and not just something from the quick-fix and really cheap printing solutions in U.P. Indie comics can benefit from that, but the coloring books need good paper and perfect binding, as the printshop lingo goes, and these are the things a startup indie publisher need to know.

The hour of almost obnoxious creativity manifests itself

All you need is a bit of inspiration

Being the creator of something does not entitle you to just leaving all oif the details to other people. Choose a color profile for the illustrations, grayscale will have the images with just a two-color profile and makes the blacks standout. Next was choosing the right material dimensions for the pages, choosing what could work faster for the printers and the availability of ready cut paper in the market, so I ended up with the just the letter sized page for each ilustration. Choosing the cover materials can be tricky, is going to be coated, matte or glossy?

These things, as a startup,indie publishing, coloring book creator has to do and consider before pushing through with the rest of the venture.

Now it gets more gritty, building up a business plan, sorting out the funds, thinking up ROI and trying to get people to invest in my venture, which I am confident has long term benefits, and my other passion, which is my comics creations will also figure in this. So right now I’m digging deep into the business part of pablishing independently.  I regret not paying attention to my math subject during my school days, business is a lot of Math!

And the timing is right. I’m tired of being just an employee. I’m sick of scraping down the bottom of the barrel. I loathe the fact that people think of graphic artists as just someone to haggle rates with. I’m tired of just borrowing money to make ends meet. This time is the right time to take the reigns and drive the horses where I want to go, and not just another passenger for the ride.

The “work” part is the business plan building, the “play” part is the drawings. Who says you can’t have fun being a startup?

Going Indie With What The Interwebs Has To Offer

There’s something quite scary and satisfying when you decide to go out on your own and do things your own way. I may have outgrown working in a controlled environment, and when I say controlled environment, it’s the corporate setting – that has a semblance of professional functionality, but the people there are somewhat oblivious of the fact that artists tend to require a different sort of working environment, and not to forget, no never forget, that when artists become professional, it’s really something to behold. You could bash me for wearing sloppy clothes, scraggly facial hair, but you cannot fault me on my work ethics, another thing these young people tend to overlook.

And so, yeah, this time around going full freelance has me visiting my social media accounts, an acquired skill when I did creatives for a mobile app compnay a decade before. It seems I have been taking these things for granted. And yet, I have been revcising my portfolio online.

Wix Site

Because, honestly, when I created this portfolio on Wix , I was just having fun, building my own website, free of course, by not using any theme or template available. True enough, I learn fast. And building my own has taught me about SEOs and layouts and content generation. This blog with WordPress is actually the first blog I started right after I tried with another blogsite. or maybe a couple obscure blogging sites before. No I am not forgetting that Blogspot and Blogger has been around even before Google acquired it, but there are things you set for one particular use.

Now ahy am I blabbing away about these?

Simple.

I’ve gone ronin. Free agent. Freelance.

Indie.

And now is the time to visit all the stuff I have online and use it to build my own virtual office that could help me feed my family. Just look at what my friends has opened for me: illustrating for adult coloring books . And this has been fun, so far. I mean even with Google+ the fun of extending your friends and acquaintances beyond Facebook. which I admit has gone to some sort of cheap thrill.

Coloring-Book-Illustrations-1

All I need is a space to work with my creations and just draw till my hands ache. And use my online presence to boost these creations and have my skills avalibale for those who would like to use avail of my services.

This maybe the proper time to shout out gratitudes to

WordPress Wix Blogger/Blogspot Twitter Paper.li Google Google news Digg Retronaut io9

and these are just some of my ragular haunts.

And I better start making my blog posts a regular thing again.