These Updates Brought to You By Ukulele

(This video was recorded January 17, 2017)

All the relevant links I mentioned:


Validation‘s Patreon Page

The Case of the Wendigo

My Patreon Page (especially for The Case of the Wendigo)

Storenvy (to get my comics, minicomics, prints, miniprints, etc)

Thoughtful Dinosaur KickStarter Page

Sign up for my email newsletter to find out when I can do commissions for you

The Thomcast


My Review of Heart of Darkmeat

The next vlog update will be after Feb 23rd. Any comics-related news from me will be on this here blog.

Thank you for watching!

You. Are. Awesome.

Featured Artist Friday: Lea Faske

lea faske art

Today’s Feature is on a lovely artist I first met at Swarm Con, Lea Faske. She’s currently a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and she’s made quite a few comics already, including a short comic for the anthology Game Boss: The Final Form.

I got to ask her a few questions about her art and inspirations, and the answers are highlighted below.

lea faske art and illustration

Your portfolio is impressive, and has concept art, comics, and illustrations. Do you prefer one outlet over another? Does your work in one area, like illustration, influence you in another area, like comics? Or do you keep the practices separate?

It’s hard for me to distinguish which outlet I enjoy best, since they all satisfy different creative needs. I guess one way of putting it is I tend to look at all of them as separate components to a larger idea. Usually, in my personal work, every piece is linked to a story. The concept art establishes a firm look for the idea, then the illustrations pull out the emotions, and then the comics tell the full story. It’s like they go hand in hand. (I guess that answers if one area influences another, haha.) In all, the story is the priority, so comics might have an upper hand on the other outlets, even though I’ve only ever started making comics within the past two years.

lea faske comics and art

I saw on your website you draw inspiration from fantasy. Do you find over time that you are still inspired by the genre? Has your enthusiasm for it grown, lessened, or stayed the same? Are you also inspired by other genres? How?

Fantasy is such a broad term. I would say that I’ve always been a little disenchanted with high-fantasy (dragons, medieval settings, fairies, elves, wizards, etc.); on the other hand, original fantasy, with new worlds and rules that don’t apply in real life, is where I find my niche. Nothing inspires me more than a concept that twists the rules in a way I’ve never considered before (slyly winks at Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane). Final Fantasy, for instance, has its own unique voice in the genre. That’s the kind of fantasy I draw inspiration from: new, unique ideas. Usually, though, when I apply fantasy to my own work, it leans more towards low-fantasy. Aside from that, I can find myself inspired by any genre, as long as the storytelling is strong.

I also saw on your Tumblr that you’re planning a new webcomic. Is this true? What can you tell us about it?

Yes! I am planning a new webcomic. The script is already written, but I’ve recently had a few ideas, so I’ll need to revise a little before I just throw the pages to the internet wolves. It has a set ending, so if everything goes as planned, I’m looking at anywhere between 1-2 years of updates before ultimately collecting the pages into a novel.
As far as what I can tell you without spoilers, the story is called “Neauva.” It starts at the end of the universe, where the mind/soul of a 13-year-old girl clings to her last physical atom and tries everything she can to escape the black hole that seeks to devour her.

lea faske art and illustration

You can also find her work on her website.

Thanks for reading!

Featured Artist Friday: Ark Revner

I first saw Ark Revner’s art in passing at Interventioncon in 2014. I wasn’t able to get a super long look at their art at the time, but I grabbed a business card to check them out later.

I’m so glad I did, because it turns out their art is spectacular.

ark revner digital art

Digital painting is not easy (I have tried, and failed, many times at it). But Ark’s paintings don’t just make it look easy. They are wonderful to look at. There’s almost a delicate touch to their textures, and with one stroke, their lines can look either airy and light, or heavy and bold.

ark revner pulla magi madoka magica digital art

ark revner steven universe digital art

Ark doesn’t just work digitally, though – they also work with Copic markers. I’m jealous of their skills, but in a way that inspires me to try new things with the tools.

Just look at these sketches they do with Copics!

ark revner copic marker sketch art

ark revner copic marker sketch art

ark revner copic marker sketch art

They have also made one of the most inspiring short comics I have read in a long time. It got over 1000 notes on Tumblr, and I feel like it was deserved.

If you don’t follow Ark on Tumblr, you should. They’re also on Instagram if that’s more your speed. Either way, they’re worth following, and I hope to see more art and stories from them soon.

Know any cool artist I should feature next week? Drop a comment!

Thank you for reading, and I will see you on Monday.

How to Write a Contract, Part 2: Rights

Here’s Part 1.

Last time we discussed talking to your potential partner and the rough outline of a contract.

Today, we’re going to talk about rights, because this is what most people mess up or don’t notice.

The problem is that when you do a Google search for artists’ rights, you come across a bunch of legal jargon, or articles concerning Rights Acts passed by the President of the United States and whatnot.

I’m going to make this a lot simpler and outline your rights for you, using the 2013 Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market as a reference (which is what I use).

The artist has these bundle of rights with the images they make…

Reproduction Right: You can make copies of the image.

Modification Right: You have the right to take an original work of yours and make derivative works based on it.

Distribution Rights: You can lease, rent, or sell your art. (I’ll talk about leasing and renting in a minute.)

Public Performance Right: This applies to musical and performance arts more than the visual arts. This means that you have the right to perform or otherwise play the work in public.

Public Display Right: You can display your work in a public space.

Now that you know your rights, you now know that you can divide these rights between yourself and other people in many different ways.

In a contract between artists and the person hiring them, these are some of the ways you can divide rights between the two of you…

One-Time Rights: Your client buys and uses your image once and that’s it. Most books and magazines tend to do this. Once they use it, it’s yours again to do what you will.

First Rights: This is like One-Time Rights, but trickier. Basically your client wants to be the FIRST ONE to use your image, and can use it only once (unless you both agree to different terms). Sometimes this is broken down geographically, in the instance of first North American rights (which means the client has the right to be the first to publish the image in North America).

Exclusive Rights: This is often used by people who print products, like greeting cards. Exclusive Rights means one company can buy your image exclusively for that product (say, in this instance, a mug). If they do that, that frees you up to sell the same image to a different company who makes a different product (if they allow you to do this).

(Remember how above I mentioned you can rent or lease artwork? The instances of One-Time, First, and Exclusive Rights is where you do that.)

Promotional Rights: This means that, say, if a magazine buys your image and uses it as the cover of the magazine, they can also print the image in promotional fliers. This just means that the client can use your image for promotional purposes as well as its original purpose.

Electronic Rights: This lets your client put your image on a website. They’ll ask separately for print rights, if they are interested.

Work for hire: Someone hires you (usually for a movie in the case of these rights), you make a piece within the time you are hired, and you surrender all rights to the image and cannot use it again. If you do this, make sure the money is worth it.

All rights: You relinquish all copyright to an artwork. This can be done in any kind of project, not just movies. Before you agree to this, make sure you can live with it and that the fee is worth it.

When a client buys your image, they can purchase any combination of rights. Some clients may buy Exclusive and Electronic Rights. Some clients may buy One-Time and Promotional Rights. Some can just buy All Rights (make sure that if you do this, you’re alright with this! Selling All Rights is not something to back out on easily).

HOT TIP: If your client writes up a contract for you and you want to double check it or it’s way too confusing, get in touch with the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. They can help you figure it out.

Also, let’s mention when it’s the best time to use “Copyright” or the c symbol on your art.

You can use it pretty much anytime in your art if you so choose. However, you cannot add it if you sell the rights as Work for Hire or All Rights. This is because your client now has the rights to that image, and THEY can use the Copyright or c symbol for themselves.

I hope this helps you understand a few things when you write up your own contracts.

In the last installment of this series, I’ll have an example contract up so you can see these principles in action.

And in a stunning turn of events, I’ll post the last installment on Wednesday!

I’ll see you then.