What I Want to Do in 2021

I think we can all agree that we’re SO HAPPY to leave 2020. Granted, the first week of January’s been a hot mess, too. I chalk that up to 2020’s final gasps of desperation, like the attention gremlin it is.

With 2020 out of the way

What’s Next?

This year, I’m going to have a theme for the year, not resolutions.

For me, the theme for 2021 is GROWTH. I want to grow my book catalog, my minicomic collection, and a LOT more. And I want to grow into new subjects and mediums.

To get there, I decided to play with numerology. I set 5 separate goals, because 2+0+2+1=5. And in those goals, I intend on making 5 things. Let me illustrate:

GOAL 1: Make 5 New Craft Pieces

I’ve been getting more hands-on this past year. But that also means unfinished craft projects. So I want to finish some crochet, sewing, and scrapbooking projects that have stuck around for too dang long.

GOAL 2: Release 5 New Minicomics

Funny story; a few weeks ago, I followed up with Quimby’s, whom I sell on consignment with. As I made minicomics to send to them for restocking their shelves, I realized something…

The stuff they wanted restocks for were over 5 years old.

My art has changed in the last 5 years. And I want my minicomics to reflect that growth. Also, there’s some story ideas and art tools that would work better in short form, rather than in graphic novels or novellas.

GOAL 3: Make 5 New 11×17 inch (or Larger) Prints

Real talk…I’ve been writing a lot more prose in 2020. But the art bug keeps biting me with those stories. These stories don’t want to be told as comics, though, so I’m going to draw select scenes and moments as large prints.

Also I have colored pencils and watercolors that I REALLY want to use to make more art. So these prints would be a good candidate for those. (Who knows? Maybe I’ll make some minicomics with these tools, too.)

GOAL 4: Release 5 New Books

This book count includes my own books, PLUS Sean’s book and a comics anthology project I’ve joined recently. I just really want Fantasyville Productions to grow its foundation of authors and creatives! And the world needs BOOKS!

GOAL 5: Make 5 Videos on YouTube

NO, NOT LIVESTREAMS. Livestreams are fun, but they don’t count for this goal.

Instead, I want to grow into making animatics and short animations. And since I’ve joined TikTok recently, I may even make compilation videos of some of my own TikToks and post them on YouTube. (btw follow me on TikTok at kelcidc.)

“This is a lot of making stuff,” you might be thinking. “Why not have your theme be ‘Make’?”

Because I want to grow into new mediums, subject matter, and topics and challenges this year. Making things is the vehicle to grow into those challenges.

Will things get uncomfortable on the journey? I guarantee it. When trying out new things, there’s always discomfort. But I look forward to the challenge. After the trials of 2020, I look forward to seeing what this year will do.

Since this is a LOT of stuff I want to make, I’ll be blogging and posting on social media more often. So stay tuned for more updates!

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

You. Are. Awesome.

I (Kinda) Made My 2020 Goals!

Weird, right?! In a year that needs no explanation for the dumpster fire that it is…I actually made my goals!

Kind of.

Every year, I blog about the goals from the past year, followed by the goals in mind for the year incoming. If you’d like to see the original post about 2020 goals, here it is.

But just what WERE my goals for 2020?

Thumbnail/Script The Legend of Jamie Roberts to completion.

Ok, so I didn’t get all 20 (ish) chapters sketched out. BUT, I DID get 10 and a half. I even managed to script through some REALLY tricky plot points, so I consider that a success!

That said – moving to a new home did cut into my scripting routine. And it was hard to jump back after that. I have since learned to be a LOT kinder to myself with goals of “do this thing every day.”

Get Sean’s Book Published

So the book is ALMOST ready to get to print. I’m working with my editor on the final round of edits for these short stories.

This goal took a while to get off the ground properly because I wanted to hire an outside editor. I didn’t have the time to do edits, because of working with NeverEnding, making The Legend of Jamie Roberts, and taking up part-time gigs with DoorDash and Instacart.

ALL OF THAT, plus my first editor just…dropped off the face of the earth. And the second one did NOT do a good job.

The third editor? I went to my old college friend Melanie Doan to work with Sean and me on edits. Holy banana pants she knocked it out of the park!

Like I said, we’re doing the final passes. The goal post for publishing kept moving, so I’m not making any promises for when this book will go to KickStarter.

Read 1 New Comic Per Week

Well, to be honest, I shut down the Indie Comics Hub – the biggest reason I set this goal. That said, if we expand this to reading more books generally, then 2020 was my best year so far.

By Dec 31, 2020, I read 23 books, including graphic novels. However, I did not count single-issue comics, zines, or minicomics in that count. If I did, it’d probably be double that. Possibly triple? It’s hard to say.

Unfortunately, moving to a new home played a role in this, too. I had to leave behind my single-issue comics and a large chunk of my zines because they just. Couldn’t. Fit. In the Truck.

But 23 books? And untold numbers of single-issue comics and zines? I’d say that’s pretty good. Better than 2019, at least.

So what’s in store for 2021? Well, I’m going to write about that next post.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

Why Make Art Your Job?

art versus artist meme featuring art made in 2020 by kelci d crawford

I got this question a lot (surprisingly) in the before times. The people who asked this the most were either teenagers trying to pick a career path, or concerned parents asking on behalf of their teenagers. The thing they asked the most was, “Why make drawing your job?”

“Wouldn’t you get tired of drawing then? I thought the reason you make art was for the joy of it? Why take out the joy and make it a job?”

In the past, I would use an argument from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Fear.” In one chapter she says that every job has a unique flavor of “shit sandwich.” It’s just a matter of what flavor of shit you want to put up with.

But I have to walk back this assessment. (Even though it is a very good book).

It seems to me that the real problem here is how you – the person – choose to approach how you view work. By work, I mean the job that you do.

Some folks see work as a means to an end.

They’re there for the paycheck. They may not get a sense of accomplishment or fulfillment from it – or if there ARE those feelings, they’re short-lived. Those feelings are not why the person does the work. For these folks, they find fulfillment elsewhere. At least, I HOPE they do.

But some people (like me) want to work in jobs where our skills can shine.

We want to work in a path where our effort goes appreciated by people. We don’t want to work at any other job, especially jobs where we feel like just another cog in the machine.

I know I’M not keen on working at a job just for the paycheck. I want to put my skills to use. And I want to really polish up the skills I have.

And yes, one of those skills is drawing. And I LIKE making money with drawing. It feels good to know that my training and practice have a (usually literal) payoff.

For me, it brings me joy to know that I can use my skills to make art and get paid for it. I don’t mind monetizing my ability to make art because I GET TO MAKE ART AND FEED MYSELF WITH MY SKILL. WITHOUT having to work at a job just for the paycheck.

I’ve had to supplement my paychecks in the past, but I make it a point to make sure the work I do is work I enjoy. And I enjoy work that puts my skills to use, and that make me improve.

I hope this gives some clarity for the young folks out there.

Thank you for reading. Keep making art.

You. Are. Awesome.

Krampus: A Sketch

Today’s sketch: Krampus!

I drew this back in 2017 to play with shadows and composition.

Now this is available on my shop – $10, free shipping during September!

Check it out at kelcidcrawford.storenvy.com.

This is part of a celebration I’m doing called Sketchtember. Everyday this month I’ll post a new sketch for sale on Storenvy. Each sketch will be $10 (with free shipping). So support an indie artist and the post office!

Life Without Facebook (So Far)

It has been exactly 2 months since I deactivated my Facebook account and deleted the business page for my art. And I’m going to talk a bit about my life without Facebook (so far).

For one thing, I am WAY less stressed about politics.

Facebook makes it very easy to see political opinions alongside cat videos. There is no separation of fun from calls to anger (or action). Why Facebook is so upsetting with political posts is because it’s the easiest way to discover that your close friends or family don’t hold the same opinions that you do – and they aren’t willing to change their mind about it. And the trap that Facebook sets up is the idea that you can talk with the other person in an effort to change their mind.

Speaking as someone who worked at a doctor’s office that quickly became a drug addiction clinic, I can tell you THIS surprising truth I learned:

The Venn diagram of people who are addicted to drugs, and people who hold racist/white supremacist beliefs, is only one centimeter off from a complete circle.

And unfortunately, on Facebook, I saw a lot of people who defended their beliefs with the same fervor as people who were addicted to drugs. The person thought they were in complete control over their addiction/feelings. The truth is, they aren’t. The drugs/feelings are controlling them. And voices of disagreement against them trigger a defensive response. Because the person addicted to their beliefs doesn’t want to admit that their emotions are controlling them. They don’t want to admit that they have a problem, because they think they don’t have one.

The sad truth is: you need to treat people who are stuck in certain beliefs the same way that you treat drug addicts. And that is: they have to admit that there is a problem first.

Until the addict admits that there is a problem, they will just continue going downhill.

To me, Facebook as a platform, and the people who use that platform, are going that route.

I’m glad I left when I did. Since I’m not on Facebook (or Twitter!) anymore, I’ve developed a more…realistic view of things. To me, that means that my understanding of things come from real life, not some apocalyptic think-piece someone posted at 3 am on Facebook. Gods I do NOT miss those.

I also don’t miss my posts being ignored by the algorithm.

Being on Instagram means that I’m still subject to the whims of a Facebook-esque algorithm, but in general, more people on Instagram are following me for the art I post. I may also get an account on TikTok, but I’ve seen news pieces talking about how the platform may get banned because it’s Chinese. So who the f*ck knows.

Thankfully, since I left Facebook, I’m not constantly being asked to spend ad money to promote a post to the audience that I ALREADY have.

However, I can’t run Instagram ads. Running ads on Instagram requires a Facebook account. Which I don’t have anymore.

So, with that said, I’ll have to get more creative with my promotions and outreach. I have yet to decide whether or not to return to Twitter. Gods I hope I don’t have to.

I still have an email newsletter though! And right now, that’s the best “social media” platform to stay in touch. If you’re not on it yet, you can sign up for free. I don’t give your email to anybody because that’s shady as heck. (Ok, soft plug done).

Also, in the meantime, I’ll be posting more often on the blog here. I’m playing with the idea of writing a new blog post every day. Just personal posts – no attempts at the traditional blog posts like my Writing for Comics or Freelance Lifestyle posts. I’m retiring those. I’ve written all I want to write for those topics anyway.

So yeah!

In short – I’m glad I left Facebook. I’m happier and more balanced. It’s also making me more creative in how I do outreach for my business.

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

You. Are. Awesome.