Happy 2020 - Updates
Jan 7, 2020
So, not a whole lot has changed from last year to this one. But numerous things have definitely shifted since the beginning of last decade.
2010 was when my art “career” finally “took off”. I use quotes here because it was neither a true career, nor was there any point where my artwork became popular in any sense of the word. I’d been doing commissions on and off since 2001, but they were quite few and far between, and I didn’t rely on them. 2010 was when I finally left retail and figured I had the skill and determination to be a self-employed illustrator. Things were good for a few years.
Within the past couple years, I’ve realized that I hardly ever have fun with commissions anymore. Between becoming overly nitpicky about the quality, spending way too much time on something I should have stopped messing with hours before I declared something finished, and just having very little interest spending more than six hours on content that means very little to me, I have made a few small changes to how I’ll work moving forward.
Prices on many commission types have stayed the same, but I’ve raised them a bit in two places: full illustrations, and sketches. I’ve also done away with the modular menu of illustration types. I no longer offer options between simple lined or detail lined, or the option to get simple shading or just flats. All illustrations will be fully detailed to the best I can do, with a choice between lined or lineless. The cheaper options are still available in the form of colored sketches or wingits, since the detail level of my colored sketches have pretty much become on par with the lower-end, fully lined illustrations that I used to offer that they are basically the same thing at this point. There really was no point having so many variations on the same thing, and I think it confused and overwhelmed people.
Why the price increases?
Feature creep, essentially. I’ve been taking “simple” illustrations, sketches, etc, charging the price I’d charge for a certain amount of work, then doing twice as much work/detail as I had intended.
So why don’t I just keep prices the same and reign in the detail?
I’ve tried. I’m a “semi-perfectionist”, and it’s very hard to hold myself back and deliver something I feel isn’t “finished” or is messy. Truthfully, I’d rather give my customers something I’m pleased with rather than just something I feel is mediocre and rough, and hope they find the price justified for the quality.
I’m now being much more selective about NSFW commissions. I’m not completely dropping porn from my “will draw” list, but it will be mostly restricted to sketches and wingits. This is because of issues stated above: my lack of joy with a lot of the subject matter. I don’t have much issue spending 2-6 hours on a colored sketch depicting some fetish, but on a piece that can take 10-30 hours such as a painting, I can begin to tire of the piece because there’s nothing there that particularly calls to me, which can cause the quality to suffer. That, and, it has been established that I’m not particularly good with certain aspects of porn, namely the “mood”, “feeling” and overall “hotness”. This isn’t really something that I can resolve with practice. It’s just something I don’t have the proper headspace for. This is not so bad with quicker, cheaper sketches, but the overworking of a larger piece can really draw attention to it, because I’m too busy focusing on the artistic side rather than the sexual one.
This is not to say that I will always turn down a commission for a NSFW painting. But I will have to really enjoy the setting or concept in order to accept it. If you’re interested in an illustration, definitely do send me an email and ask what I think of your idea. Worst case scenario, I’ll tell you that I’m not the right artist for the job. Best case scenario, I’ll fucking love the idea.
Going forward, I want to make this the year that I start doing more personal work. I have numerous stories floating around in my head (and in progress of writing) that I might share, either in the form of comics or illustrations accompanying writing. Some are furry, but most are not. I’m unsure what my followers will think of less furry and more human art/stories, but I think it’s a risk I have to take.
Expanding Presence and Being Social?
Those who follow me on Twitter knows that I only ever post old art and the odd other thing if I feel like it. Those who follow me on FA are probably wondering why there’s been over a month between recent posts. Those who follow me on any other art site knows that I’m still trying to catch up posting older art and I’m a year behind. I barely ever answer comments. I barely speak in Telegram or Discord chats except to crosspost memes. I don’t have a facebook account. I don’t use tumblr, or instagram. I don’t schedule or advertise art streams anymore, and rarely stream unless a customer requests it. There’s no doubt that this lack of communication and no constant reminder that I exist is hindering my business.
This is difficult for me. I’m not by nature a social person. I don’t believe that I’m depressed (my psychologist doesn’t think so either), but those moods where I genuinely feel like sharing anything or even just chatting with others are few and far between.
I used to stream all the time back in 2011-2015, and had fun chatting with those who showed up. I’d like to get back into doing that stuff again, even though it seems like the art streaming landscape has changed and hardly anybody shows up anymore. I’d like my goal for this year to be, if nothing else, to try to catch up on my backlog of submissions, keep up with posting new ones, answer more comments, and maybe even use twitter more, even if just to post what’s on my mind even if nobody cares. But you’ll still never get me to use facebook!