I have been LOVING this make-art time I'm taking. Having a concrete project to work forward to is a big help, and I feel like I've finally shaken that art slump that having to go back to work caused. I'm finally accepting that a) I am not a failure for choosing to hold down a steady day job that throws money at me and means our house will be paid off in 3 years. b) I will go crazy if I don't do a little of my own work. and c) It's counterproductive to sit around and think about how much isn't getting done.
I sat down and ran the numbers for the Tell Me a Story project, and it's rather reinforced the whole 'day job good' theme. If I sell out the whole edition, add in the price of the pieces that were purchased, subtract out the printing cost and divide by the number of pieces in the thing, I end up making about $90 for each of those pieces. Let's be honest, that's not minimum wage for the time I spend on them. And that's IF I sell all the copies. It's possible I sell some of the originals I've generated, but at least 2 of them are unavailable, and I'm more interested in taking artistic risks than playing it safe to preserve the originals. It's a good thing I'm having fun with them!
The whole acting as an agent thing has taken me by surprise. And I'm probably not *technically* an agent because I'm not out there actively soliciting for people. I'm just handling a few opportunities that have fallen my way. And I'm in a place where I'm looking at making more money this way than I did all of last year with art. Lots of work - don't think I'm not down there in the trenches earning every penny! - but I'm actually a lot more confident with this work than with my own art. I KNOW my artists' value and can negotiate for it. (Mine? Not so well.) I know what both parties want and how to get it (and how to explain to them what it is they want). I am able to react quickly and get things done, because I don't have any 'I can't do this!' doubt issues, or feel scared about producing something substandard. Business is way, way easier than art. I just tell people what to do, correct some misconceptions about legaleeze and printing quality, diplomat-ize the communications back and forth, answer questions, sooth feathers, provide updates, collect and distribute money - then they have to do all the hard stuff like art! I feel comfortable in this role the way I didn't as a freelance artist.
On Coloring Books.
Got the proof for the kid's book in the mail today. I am tickled with the print quality. Seriously. The cover is MUCH better than previous covers - not so flimsy. These guys appear to be on the ball. They actually ship when they say they will instead of making really great-sounding pie-in-the-sky promises that they can't keep. That right there is a huge improvement.
Art Walkthrough Idea...
I've been watching and interested in ysabetwordsmith's cyber-funded creativity tracking, and trying to figure out where I might work such a thing in. I don't know that I feel quite confident in throwing a donate button up with my stories, but I do like the idea of offering paid extras with creative work.
Would anyone be interested in doing an opt-in walkthrough? Any donation - $1 or more, however much you'd like to donate - and you'd be added to an LJ filter where, for a week, I'd post a detailed walkthrough of one of my TMaS pieces, 1 or more updates every day. Like the spider piece, but more in-between steps, and more of the pencil stages, the thumbnails, more written thoughts on why I changed this or that, the critical thought I give a layout, some detail shots, any references I use, the ability to ask questions (not that that's really exclusive to this project, but yah know...) and... I don't know, a chance to win the original (should it turn out)?? It's more work than I'd generally bother with, but if folks were to toss dollars into the hat, I'd do it. Won't be until I'm back from vacation.
I'm looking forward to this. It's not really 'real' feeling yet - and won't be until we're at the airport, if it's like most trips. I anticipate reading a LOT of books, soaking in a LOT of baths, and taking in some sights. I was really hoping it would be warmer, because I would like to sunbathe (not for the tanning, but for the ahhhhhh feeling of sun on skin).
Work ta do, now!