To say this year took me by surprise is an understatement.
My original plans – “just keep doing what I’ve been doing, but go to 10 conventions/shows, not 14” – HAD to shift hard to the left.
As it turned out, though, canceling convention season meant I could work on the following things:
I started working with these folks back in February this year. In that 10-month window of time, we’ve run a successful KickStarter, started production on a new app, and got some buzz going with Satine Phoenix, the Sirens, and a LOT of tabletop gaming companies. INCLUDING some folks connected to the Hugo Awards (but I can’t give more details). Like, holy dang.
I’m still working with the crew as the Creative Director, leading the art team while we make art for the app. It’s my first time being in charge of other artists. I’m still getting the hang of it.
In lieu of conventions, I ran livestreams. For a while, I did them every Saturday, until I burned out on the schedule. I stopped for a bit to reassess.
It all started with live-draws, where I streamed myself drawing new stuff in Clip Studio Paint. But the most watched streams have been the most recent ones I’ve done: with guests, talking about some business aspects of comics. Things like how to run a successful KickStarter campaign, and converting KickStarter backers into long-time patrons.
The Switch from Patreon to Ko-Fi
I dragged my feet on this decision for a while, until I couldn’t anymore. Patreon just kept on dropping pledges from patrons – often, from the high-tier patrons. And this had been a problem for OVER A YEAR. A problem where, each month, I had to reach out to patrons individually to ask them to check their information. (I had originally reached out in group messages, but a previous patron stopped pledging because they saw this as “public shaming.”)
And then, in the last month, every time I made a new post, the website would just…shut off. My internet connection worked. I could save a DRAFT of a post. But when I hit “publish,” the Patreon site would just…stop.
In short, Patreon as a system has bugs that aren’t being meaningfully addressed, and it’s aggravating myself and other people.
I made the switch to Ko-Fi recently. While it lacks some things (like scheduling posts ahead of time), it has other things Patreon does NOT have. Like more consistent payment processing. And the ability to leave a tip just once.
What’s Next, Though?
I want to continue growing the audience I have on Ko-Fi. It’s a platform with a lot of promise and I want to help it grow. A lot like what I’m doing with NeverEnding, actually.
I also want to keep going with YouTube. Livestreams, yes. But I’m THINKING about dipping my toes back in to making proper, edited videos…I just don’t like editing because I don’t have the right tools for it. So an upgrade to better video editing software is on the table.
Another thing on the table? Better audio recording set-ups. I wrapped up doing vocal tracks for a friend’s punk song and it made me realize…I miss doing audio work.
Other than that? The Legend of Jamie Roberts will keep going. CB and I are remaking some early pages of Tiny Unicorn. We’re also doing more with Tiny Unicorn (and Mr. Dino & Friends) in the near future. BreeBree Bootique is a new project I’m doing with chubby cat art (now on Instagram and RedBubble).
Keep an eye out for two new book projects that Fantasyville Productions will be releasing in the next few months. One’s a prose anthology, the other is a comics anthology.
I’ll write about those two books in the next update.
That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!
You. Are. Awesome.