Everybody's doing them so I might as well too.
6 month Delay
First half of the year was spent creating the children's book for my son that my mom wrote. Book sales aren't good but it was never about that and I could care less whether another copy ever sells. I haven't spent any money or time on advertising so really it hasn't had a chance.
Speaking of advertising, since I wasn't working in the field for 6 months or doing any self-promo things were super slow after returning. I thought maybe I'd have to give up. The work I was getting was below a sustainable rate.
GenCon went super well with me doing twice as well as last year which I found surprising considering people still ask if I've ever been published. I really need to get some higher exposure work as it does seem to matter to people whether they've seen my work somewhere. Maybe sales were just better because customers saw my work the previous year? I think for 2011 I'm going to get a larger area to show my work.
I got a big opportunity to do texture work. Unfortunately it didn't become permanent. My first pass was too rough. My second pass too tight. I didn't get a chance at third pass. A real shame since it was paying $3800/month. That sort of yearly income would have allowed for some crazy stuff. I likely would have wanted to move.
Freelance picked up after GenCon and we switched to having my son in daycare which meant being able to work more and have a greater profit margin. It was also more reliable. One month I did an insane amount of illustrations and am responsible for every illustration in a book that's going to be released. It's exciting to be the only artist on a book. So if people say the art was great I know they're talking about me but ofcourse if people hate it then ofcourse more blame falls on me than would be normal. I certainly hope it's well received.
Then I switched to an hourly gig again with a little freelance on the side. I'll be able to talk about the hourly gig more soon. I could probably talk about it more right now but I'll just keep quiet. That's been going well. I got some side work that's pretty exciting and pays well that I can't talk more about yet.
I've now got a couple of great fans now. :) People who are regulary buying my prints or ordering commissions,etc. These are people who really care about how my career is going. They're not just following me on DA and blindly faving everything. Actually I don't think these couple of people even follow me on DA or anything. I know some artists hate private commissions but I love the idea of that being the majority of what I do. It's work that pays upon completion or you can even have them pay up front. I can post the work whenever and even livestream it or post publicly for advice. Plus most people don't have a deadline in mind for you. Plus it gives me an opportunity to at least attempt some things in real media.
I really should have learned after the first half of the year how important it is to keep my name out there but I've really been lazy about self-promotion this year. I need to start posting on rpg.net, enworld, CA, epilogue, cghub,ArtOrder ning,ImagineFX,etc. I should return to submitting artwork to 2DArtist and should probably submit to other publications if there's no entry fee. I should try to return to doing livestreams. I should probably whore myself on twitter more and hassle people about new blog posts a couple times per day. I should make more blog posts and make sure to include art with every single one, even if it's a doodle. Maybe spend and hour doing a warm-up livestream and post the daily sketch every day on the blog.
Thanks to the hourly gig, I'll probably be attending more conventions this coming year although I won't be able to have my own booth since I'll be needed at the company booth. There are a couple of cons in Ohio that I plan on having a table at .I don't think I'll be going to Illuxcon in 2011. If money is good, I may have to attend World Fantasy Convention as that sounds more like what I was hoping Illuxcon would be (ofcourse I could be wrong).
Also I need to start doing my tight sketches on toned paper and at a finished quality. When possible, I need to keep trying to make finished pieces in oils. Kind of tricky since most clients want everything on separate layers these days. Another reason to be grateful about the influx of private commissions.