Introducing: The Freelance Lifestyle Blog Series!

My previous post, where I talk about preparing for freelancing full-time again, was a bigger hit than I expected it to be. So I’m beginning a new blog post series: all about the freelance lifestyle!

What will make this series stand out from other freelance sites or blog posts out there are these big things:

  1. I’ll talk about living well on a budget. Of course I’m going to talk about how to make a budget in the first place. And I’ll also be sharing how to maximize your earned dollars and live well on less.
  2. I’ll share how I land, fulfill, and complete gigs. A lot of posts on the internet are about how to find work. Few of them are about actually doing the work and making your clients happy with your work. So I hope to share my secrets on how I keep my clients happy and coming back over and over again.
  3. I’ll share how to maximize your energy and focus, to know what things are worth your time and energy, and what things are better off left to someone else to worry about. No, I’m talking about hiring outside help – I’m talking about knowing which outlets (social media or otherwise) are worth pursuing.

If there’s anything else about the Freelance Lifestyle you’d like me to talk about, leave a comment below!

If you would like to help contribute to this series, consider giving a dollar on Ko-Fi. It’s a digital tip jar where you can give just once (and it takes a smaller cut than PayPal).

Stay tuned for new updates in this blog post series!

I’ll also be continuing my Adventures in Moving blog post series. That will update intermittently as things develop further.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

How I’m Preparing to Freelance Full-Time (Again)

preparing to freelance full time image post of author appearance artist alley table setup

If you’re a patron on Patreon, you know this already, but I turned in my two week notice at the local gas station I work at part-time. I’m now preparing to freelance with a more open schedule than ever before.

For the last year or so, this has been the situation: because of the part-time gas station gig (with indeterminate hours from week to week), there were times that making comics had to go from a full-time job to a part-time one. Then right back to full-time. It was a strain on my energy AND the energy of my clients.

Now that I’m leaving that station job, I’m freelancing more fully again.

So what am I doing to prepare myself?

Well, first thing’s first, I turned in my two week notice at the gas station, rather than just walking out or saying, “I QUIT.” This is not just to protect my ass just in case I need to get the job again. It’s also more professional of you to turn in a notice, instead of leaving at the last minute.

For the last week and a half to two weeks, I’ve been analyzing my income streams, which are these:

  1. Patreon (this includes producing The Legend of Jamie Roberts). It’s a weird day when you realize your passion project is paying for your groceries. A weird day, but a GREAT day.
  2. Making comics for clients. I have one dedicated client whom I’ve been working with for years. I have two whom I work with when they have work for me (which is intermittent at times). And I’m hoping to get more clients to draw/write/letter/design for.
  3. Commissions, which encompasses anytime someone wants me to draw their D&D characters or even family members or pets. This is usually through KickStarter, but I get occasional odd requests.
  4. DoorDash and/or other labor. However, I live in the middle of nowhere, so DoorDash isn’t as lucrative as it would be in a major city.
  5. Ko-Fi. This is still new, so I’m not sure how much this will bring in. But I’m keeping it in the income stream lineup.
  6. Consignment Deals. This one I only have to check in once every 3 to 6 months. So the income is not as regular as the other streams. But it pays out once a quarter, so it works.

KickStarters WOULD make the list, but they are exceptionally situational. Also sporadic.

I’m looking into other income streams. I’m considering going back to Gumroad to sell ebooks through (I want to avoid Amazon as much as I can). Otherwise I’m looking for new clients to fill out the gaps.

I’m also looking to launch a new KickStarter campaign. But you should sign up for the (free) email newsletter for more details on that. I’ll talk about it with subscribers in their inboxes tomorrow.

If there’s an idea that you think is worth considering, make a suggestion below. I’ll look into it.

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

King Luxon IV – A Sketch

king luxon iv original character dungeons and dragons warlock pact with the raven queen

King Luxon IV was a good king. Many in his land would say he was the best leader their kingdom had ever known.

However, one day, King Luxon welcomed a stranger into his palace. This stranger revealed himself to be a vampire – and the vampire killed everyone in the palace.

Almost everyone.

A loyal advisor to the king led Luxon out through the secret tunnels, allowing Luxon to escape. Luxon attempted to return to the palace, but discovered too late that the vampire had taken over the kingdom completely. The vampire’s legion of monsters overran everything in less than a day.

So Luxon wandered through the countryside, lost, confused…and hurt. Until he came to a graveyard. There, he saw her:

The Raven Queen.

The Raven Queen watched over the souls of the living, ensuring that their transition into the afterlife was peaceful. Luxon soon learned that the Raven Queen hated the undead, and those who would raise the undead, as they are a violation of nature.

So Luxon swore his loyalty to the Raven Queen. She gave him the power he sought to fight the undead – and now he fights to reclaim his lost kingdom.

…So this is an original character I cooked up for Dungeons & Dragons.

The origin for the idea of this character is a long story, but it boils down to this: ultimately I asked myself, “What if an actor, who’s known for playing melodramatic characters, created a character of his own for a Dungeons & Dragons campaign?”

I was surprised that Luxon IV came out. Because I normally don’t play dramatic D&D characters. And I ESPECIALLY don’t play magic users.

Luxon is actually the first warlock I’ve designed.

If you’re curious, I’m using the Unearthed Arcana version of Warlock, specifically the pact with The Raven Queen. This particular subclass gives you benefits that the usual Warlock doesn’t get, and acts a bit more like a cleric with a vengeance.

However, unlike cleric, this is a Charisma-based build (because it’s not like we have a lot of charisma-based magic users in D&D, BWAHAHAHA). This makes sense for his power to be based on charisma, given his background.

As far as the sketch? I’ll polish it up a bit more eventually, but I wanted to share it as-is. I’ll post again when I ink (and maybe even color) this bad boy.

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Price Changes for 2020

There are a number of price changes happening this year, from store prices to commissions.

Why? Because I have bills to pay, yo.

Last year, I did ok, but only because I had a part-time hustle at my local gas station. When I move in the spring, I won’t have that side hustle anymore. I need to adjust my prices to help cover that loss now, so I can be sure I can cover bills today AND tomorrow (metaphorically speaking).

What, exactly, is changing, though?

Commissions have gone up, anywhere between $5 to $30 each.

For a full breakdown of what’s gone up, check out my updated commission pricing list on the Get a Commission page.

Minicomics are now $2.

To be more accurate, all of my minicomic prices are going up by $1 each.

Miniprints are now $3.

They used to be $2. But printing miniprints in color ain’t cheap.

Now I have a Ko-Fi

Tired of Patreon plugs? Well Ko-Fi makes a good alternative. Plus, you can give just one time, OR you can give a monthly contribution. You can go as little as $1 (a month, even!), and you can cancel anytime. It’s more flexible than Patreon in that way.

That said, ko-fi is more for commissioning me to make things. If you want to see behind-the-scenes work, Patreon is still the best place to do that.

I appreciate all the support you have given previously. That support has helped to pay the bills. I hope that with your continued support, we can keep making cool comics.

Thank you for your understanding, and all that you do!

You. Are. Awesome.

My Goals for 2020

I’ve been thinking about my goals for 2020.

After I did some journaling and thought exercises (thanks to this 3-part video series from Marie Forleo, called Decade in Review), I realized that I accomplished a LOT in ten years.

I graduated college, got my art showcased in a gallery, published a LOT of books, got a table at SPX (my dream come true!), and SO much more.

So I’m eager to see what the 2020s will bring!

But I want to do more than just look at my goals for 2020. I want to make some goals for the next decade.

You may remember from my bullet journal post that I stated: I overestimate what I can do in a day, and underestimate what I can do in a week.

Well, the same is true for years and decades.

I overestimate what I can do in a year, but underestimate what can be done in ten years.

If you haven’t done the decade in review exercise, I HIGHLY recommend you try it. It’s a good way to tap into not only what you’ve done, but what you KNOW you can do in the near future.

With that in mind…

I’ve thought and pondered over goals, and I’ve decided on these top 3 for next year.

Why 3? Because I’ve learned from this year that setting more than 3 goals makes it hard to accomplish any of them. So 3 AT MOST.

Here’s my top 3 goals for 2020:

  • Thumbnail The Legend of Jamie Roberts in its entirety.

I’m a little ashamed to admit that The Legend isn’t entirely written out. I have an OUTLINE. The first seven chapters are written. But the second half of the story still needs to be scripted.

To achieve this goal, I’m going to draw one thumbnailed page in my sketchbook every day (except Sunday). That’s 313 pages to sketch out overall. While I don’t think The Legend of Jamie Roberts will be THAT long, it’s still a good goal to have to sketch a page a day.

  • Read 1 new comic per week

I’ll be blunt: outside of The Legend of Jamie Roberts and commissions and freelancing, I’ve been in a creative rut. Part of that is due to… just working a lot. But part of that is also due to my not reading very many comics anymore.

Also, I started Indie Comics Hub with the goal of reviewing indie comics. And I’ve been woefully lax in actually reading indie comics and enforcing deadlines on myself.

So I hope that by reading one new comic every week, I not only get the creative juices flowing – I also get to write reviews to post up on Indie Comics Hub for comics readers to enjoy.

  • Get my friend Sean’s book to print

I promised my friend Sean that I would help him get his collection of prose and poetry to print. It’s been a dream of his to see it happen, and I know more than he does about publishing books, so I offered to help.

That said, I’ve been taking my time to help him with this. (Sorry, dude. I had a lot going on).

But 2020 is going to be different, dammit! We’re going to get these stories together, and we’re going to get them to print.

(And if we can do it without using Amazon, that’s even better in my book).

What about my goals for the next decade?

Oh, I have some big goals in mind to accomplish in the next ten years. Like…

  • Paying off my student loans entirely (my pipe dream is to do this in 5 years).
  • Saving up for – and getting – an RV to live in, and
  • Learning how to sew to make my own dresses.

I will certainly be doing more than this – it’s a decade, after all – but these are my top 3 picks for Goals for the 2020s.

What are your goals for next year? How are you going to keep track of them? I’d love to know!

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.