Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Calling it quits?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Calling it quits?

    This is something I've thought about over the past month.

    Last month I nuked my Instagram account after coming to the conclusion that in five years of putting my work out there, it wasn't returning results.

    At the end of the day - results matter, in this instance - results = gigs.

    Anybody can clap and cheer - but applause worthwhile will be found in a pile of soft, green, folding money. - Jubal Harshaw, Stranger in a Strange Land
    The only viable online method to easily obtain payment is to cater to porn and fetish markets. I'm not implying I'm above that, but doing commission work is bad enough. Doing commission work for chronic masturbators... I guess it's good work if you can find it, and don't mind photo tracing Suicide Girls for foot fetishists?

    So, no more social media promotion.

    Prior to that, I was attending local drink and draw groups, and any "art" related live drawing seminars in any effort to network - and that too, resulted zero results.

    Which makes me question - with the stereotype of the introverted / isolated artist, does that lead to artists being terrible at networking / building social connections?

    Contrast this with my day job. I bust my hump to remain in the information technology field, acquire skills, and try to keep my head above water. I landed my first IT gig, because an acquaintance knew someone who needed a person who could get the job done. It was a trial by fire, but with my experience - I was able to spin that into the career I have been in for nearly 20 years now.

    In that time, I've made more acquaintances, and helped them land gigs when possible, and stay in contact so that if opportunity arises, or if the operation goes pear shaped - I have a network.

    It is entirely possible that this area, Northeast Ohio is simply the drizzling sh*ts for creative work. Although, my current employer negates my suspicion there. I get to watch as wildly unqualified "artists" - with the right "credentials" get kissed into the scene family, folks who have the paperwork - but not the chops. Unfortunately it's not my place to intervene and say - "Look at this guys portfolio, it's either piss poor photo traces in illustrator, or a flood of selfies - and you're going to hire HIM to teach cartooning?!"

    I defer to Glen Infante, owner of iLTHY and local artist with standing in the community:

    What's the most annoying thing to you about Cleveland?

    As much support you get here, there are also people that want to bring you down. The people that are in the same business as you don't want to see you succeed and I guess that's just the competitive mentality with Clevelanders. I just wish there was more positive unity.
    I've been on the receiving end of this from local convention organizers who try to tell me where my work belongs (I'll conveniently ignore that one of the organizers is employed by the patronage of a local food chain, so he can afford to make art which pays the bills - then create comics on the side - because his creative endeavors have A PATRON of pin-ups), except they assume everything in those assertions. Hey, if I could break even at a small convention - damned right I'd pay out the ass to table at Wizard World. Unfortunately, I've accumulated so many losses in my efforts to do conventions locally, I need a wheelbarrow to haul all these L's.

    So, the question is - when do you call it quits?

    Initially I would buy markers thinking, "They'll pay for themselves!"

    They didn't.

    I've tapered off of spending money on illustration tools, because as the old axiom goes - A business that doesn't pay for itself is a hobby.

    I'm not a spring chicken. I'll hit 43 this year. My eye sight has always been garbage, and it's now to the point where I need bifocals. I'm earning less at my day job in 2018, than I did in 2007 - this is due to the extremely terrible local job market. I've got some medical expenses to cover soon, which will wipe out my meager savings, and since scuttling my social media - I've started looking for evening and weekend part time work in order to earn supplemental income.

    The bar for achievement is pretty low at this point.

    So, has anybody else run into this wall?

    Even though freelancing and working from home is a big portion of the profession, does the need to simply go where the jobs are also apply to illustration and creative gigs? See also, the animation industry located on the West Coast.
    New and improved for 1996!
    Instagram: Pencilero

  • #2
    I'm probably the wrong person to reply to this, but...

    I've been drawing comics since 7th grade. I turn 63 in a few weeks. I've been wearing glasses since I was 49; bifocals since 52. Still drawing comics. Still buying tools when I can afford them. I've got paper, pencils, and various grades of graphite up the yin-yang.

    Like you I've got a real job, so I have never relied on comics to make it for me. That said, I am working on a book I plan to submit to Image. For the past five years I have worked on a three submissions. I have not made one submission yet, because my previous stories were too elaborate to complete given my work and family schedule. I've got this current story down to two issues, which inspires me to complete it.

    To quote Galaxy Quest, "never give up! Never Surrender!"

    I suspect you're a lot like me: comics are in your blood. Hang on to your real job. You're probably already there, but try Linked-In if you're not already there for your real job. I don't think comics have anything similar to that: too much incest in the market from what I can tell.

    If comics are a hobby, so what!? Harold Foster was no young chicken when he started Prince Valiant. Same for Dashiell Hammett. Sixty is the new twenty...or something like that.

    Art was NEVER a guarantee of financial security. For every Peter Max there were thousands of guys we never heard of. You're on the right track. You have a real job. You have some measure of security. Let your real job take care of your head. Use comics to take care of your heart.

    I hope that helps. Good luck.
    CyberLord
    Smashing 37 arch-villains into raisins with his bare-hands since 1971!

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you enjoy art?
      That is the question.

      Take some time off. Get a job that isn't too stressful (I did alot of drawing at some of my jobs - cinema projectionist was the best one, plus free movies).
      Who said you have to make a living from it? I have a normal job, slightly creative, but no drawing involved.

      DRAW WHAT YOU LIKE....and HOW YOU LIKE.
      If other people like it too, bonus.

      Comment


      • #4
        Pencilero, you should create your own characters and make a comic book and sell it, instead of drawing other people’s characters.
        The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.

        ---Malcolm Forbes

        My website

        Never .jpeg a .jpeg

        Comment


        • #5
          If you have to ask if you want to quit, it means you don’t want to do it.

          If you’re going to commit suicide, why wait for the police to show up? Just jump.
          Jack Kirby Centennial Tribute Book is free to download.

          Joining you in the ABCs of faith - Action, Belief and Confidence

          Comment


          • #6
            I’ve spent a great deal of time writing stories at Writing.com that I can turn into comic books and graphic novels at some point in time, I don’t understand why some artists spend all of their time drawing established characters when they can be utilizing that time to create their own characters.

            Pencilero, you haven’t made money for a reason; you spend time drawing He-Man characters and other popular characters, when you could be investing your time better. Just try drawing an original ten page comic and put it on Deviant art and see how people respond.
            The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.

            ---Malcolm Forbes

            My website

            Never .jpeg a .jpeg

            Comment


            • #7
              Being a freelance artist today is some what of a popularity contest of who markets them self the best way. Like most artist's being an introvert and lacking any form of narcissism does not help. By the end of the day the average Joe is not an artist and does not care how technically good any person is, they only care about the next hottest thing out there.

              What ever is popular, whatever is hot, whatever is cool, what ever is new, grab that and use it to market yourself with. Some people on DA got popular flooding the site with Ugandan Knuckles.
              My twitter!
              Tumblr blog
              Got a Facebook
              My portfolio

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Symson View Post
                If you have to ask if you want to quit, it means you don’t want to do it.

                If you’re going to commit suicide, why wait for the police to show up? Just jump.
                He didn't ask us if he should quit. It was a long ass post, maybe you just skimmed it?

                Anyhoo. Sort of the same thing happening to me, except that I never EVER wanted my art to be the thing that my rent and quality of life depended on. I just wanted to make comics, and comics for me were never about making money. You have to love just doing it. There should be shitloads of art that you have that people haven't even seen, and probably never will. My goal has been, and will continue to be, getting my project on paper and published, just to say that I did it. It would be nice if people bought it and enjoyed it, too.

                Pencilero, I hope you work things out. It ain't easy, and the older you get, the harder it gets. Good luck to you.
                Money can't buy you happiness, but it will pay for the search.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'll share my perspective on it (bear with me. it'll be long).

                  I've basically hung up my dream of becoming an illustrator a couple of months ago. At the very least it's a firm pause on that pursuit. I'd been thinking about it for a while.
                  I think a lightbulb turned on when I saw La La Land last year. Cheesy I know, but in a movie about pursuing your dreams, the scene that spoke most to me was when one of the main characters called it quits because the struggle hurt too much. A little while later I saw Paterson. A movie about a dude who drives a bus for a living, and has an incredibly mundane, ordinary yet happy life making poetry in his spare time.

                  Now I don't make my life choices based on movies, but I've been really thinking about what role art should have in my life since then. Around the same time I met up with an old classmate from art school. She'd also put her artistic career on the backburner and started working at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. She said she hadn't been happier, now that she had a good, steady job with a decent income that just allowed her to have a nice life, rather than scraping by looking for gigs and having a waiting tables on the side.

                  All those thing really put things in perspective for me.

                  Now, it took me an additional year to really cut the cord and pursue other things. It's not easy to let go of the dream when that's basically been my main goal in life since I was a toddler.
                  Currently I'm in the process of finding a suitable job and finding out what else life has to offer. I don't know where this parth will take me or if I'm going to be happy in the long run. What I do know is that I feel a huge relief not having to deal with trying to compete.

                  I think I just faced the facts that I lack the business skills, the character, but most importantly the drive to compete in this market. Noone ever told me the majority of the job has nothing to do with having artistic skills. Iike you I see so many people succeeding even though with seemingly less artistic skills. These people are just better at the hustle. On the other hand I also see so many artists who do have skills, who are also struggling running their business. It's tough when outsiders (i.e. clients) don't fully appreciate the job and undervalue it.

                  I've come to realize I personally have no interest in being part of that hustle.

                  It took me a long time to accept that making art and making a living with art are two very different things. I think I've made my peace with the idea that the latter isn't going to happen for me.
                  I've noticed I haven't drawn in months, but that I am surprisingly okay with that. It's not like I'll lose my drawing skills overnight and I feel less pressure to get things out there.

                  I haven't given up completely. I'm still open to maybe some day find a creative job that's closer to my dream. Maybe something more boring like design. I also even contemplated just giving in and drawing erotica, but hesitating with the thought of catering to that kind of fanbase. But either way, for now I'm happier in weighing those options on my own pace as a hobby.

                  For the longest time I t felt that anything other than my dream goal would be a failure, and that failure wasn't an option. But I think I've come to realize I was pursuing something that didn't necessarily make me happy.

                  This is just my personal perspective, and I'm not telling you to quit. I know the conventional wisdom is to say "Never give up!", and it's admirable when one doesn't. I think you know in your heart of hearts if this pursuit is something you need to do, and it's really something you can only decide for yourself what you're going to do with that. It just might take some soulsearching
                  Last edited by jharker; 07-03-2018, 03:26 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Popninja View Post

                    He didn't ask us if he should quit. It was a long ass post, maybe you just skimmed it?
                    Actually, he did. And I quote...
                    Originally posted by Pencilero View Post
                    So, the question is - when do you call it quits?
                    The post may have been long assed but the post title "Calling it quits" was only three words. Did you skim that, too?

                    When do you call it quits? The second you ask the question. If you don't believe in yourself, we can't do it for you. If you don't bleed for this (AND THERE'S NO REASON YOU SHOULD) do yourself and your loved ones a favor and get out while you can.

                    As to your last question: if you want to work in Hollywood, move to Hollywood. If you want to live in Ohio, live with Ohio's opportunities.

                    PaulMartinSmith

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The internet as it is today is build around 20/30 different website's that are mostly social media. You have to be present in at least one of them to be relevant.

                      What's the most annoying thing to you about Cleveland?

                      As much support you get here, there are also people that want to bring you down. The people that are in the same business as you don't want to see you succeed and I guess that's just the competitive mentality with Clevelanders. I just wish there was more positive unity.
                      What ever happened to artist's getting together and creating an online studio and/or art group?

                      Clients like to have allot of options, art studio and/or art group with a trademark name will stand out of the crowd.

                      It's not just Cleveland that has that petty over competitive environment. Its like that in most place's in the US. I've been an athlete from age 7 to age 20 and seen strong competition but for the most part we played by the rules and we had a strong code of conduct that what happens on the field stays on the field and at the end of the day we are a team.

                      For what I've heard, the erotica, porn, and fetish markets are even more cut throat then then the rest of the art markets. Those clients and those artists are dead serious about there work and will go after anyone who crossed them like a gangsta or drug dealer.
                      My twitter!
                      Tumblr blog
                      Got a Facebook
                      My portfolio

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Edit for spam filters.
                        Last edited by Guru_George; 07-06-2018, 11:57 PM.
                        My twitter!
                        Tumblr blog
                        Got a Facebook
                        My portfolio

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Next edit for spam filters.
                          Last edited by Guru_George; 07-06-2018, 11:58 PM.
                          My twitter!
                          Tumblr blog
                          Got a Facebook
                          My portfolio

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Other edit for spam filters.
                            Last edited by Guru_George; 07-06-2018, 11:59 PM.
                            My twitter!
                            Tumblr blog
                            Got a Facebook
                            My portfolio

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Pencilero, you’re very talented, I’ve followed you on Instagram for a while and in my opinion, you’re as good as the pros. You should examine the work of Mike Maihack, his “Cleopatra in space” graphic novels have a simplistic style and an interesting storyline. Kids all over the world read his comics.

                              if you could put together your own concept like he did, maybe you could become popular as an artist in the mainstream.
                              Last edited by Ace Corona; 07-05-2018, 02:20 AM.
                              The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.

                              ---Malcolm Forbes

                              My website

                              Never .jpeg a .jpeg

                              Comment

                              Unconfigured Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X