The Problem of Success

I meditate every morning after breakfast. It’s what I do before I sit down in my studio space to work, to clear my mind.

Today, I had a realization during meditation.

See, I started this year with a major, singular goal – all of my other goals were made with this one priority in mind.

That priority was to be able to not need a “day job” by the end of the year, and make all of my earnings through Fantasyville Productions.

My realization during the meditation was this:

“Fantasyville Productions is paying my bills. I have a sizeable savings cushion thanks to my hard work last year. I’m living on my own for the time being. And I’m on track to not needing to work at the comic shop – they only have me there for 4 or 5 hours a week now as the Facebook page manager.

“And for a while, I was actually scared because of losing my hours. But this was what I set out to do this year!”

I was scared because I was succeeding.

Neil Gaiman was right – everyone talks about the fear of failure, but no one talks about the fear of success.

The fear of success is very real. And it’s something I was not prepared for.

The fear of success, as I’m experiencing it right now, is realizing, “Holy banana pants! My plans are actually working! What do I do now? I didn’t think this would actually work!”

There’s also the very real fear that this success will be short-lived. To me, this fear is the most real, especially given the work I do: comic convention season only runs for so long, you know. And by the time Christmas rolls around, there’s no freelance work, and there’s no comicons (aside from quarterly trade shows, which I admit, I haven’t tried yet).

So I think that will be my next step – to face the fear of success and say, “How can I make this last?”

How do I make this success extend all year long, and not keep it seasonal?

I’ll be at the drawing board, of course – not just to draw, but to cook up some new plans.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

How Did the Patreon Pledge Drive Do?

patreon pledge drive patreon screencap

Last week I ran a pledge drive for Patreon.

If you don’t know what Patreon is, that’s ok: Patreon is an online subscription service that lets you support your favorite artists, often for as little as $1 a month.

To clarify: I have a Patreon page for the comics I write and illustrate under the Fantasyville Productions label. These comics include, but are not limited to:

  • Thoughtful Dinosaur
  • The Case of the Wendigo
  • and the upcoming The Legend of Jamie Roberts.

There’s a separate Patreon page for Validation and its related stories (including Mr. Dino & Friends, Roxie Comics, and Tiny Unicorn). That’s because the Validation comics are a collaborative effort with Christian Beranek and myself.

Funding for my Fantasyville Productions comics does not go to Validation, and Validation funding does not go to Fantasyville Productions comics.

I ran the Patreon pledge drive for my page (not Validation’s) because the comic shop I currently work at has cut my hoursĀ severely. Like, now I only work there 5 hours a week.

So I ran the Patreon pledge drive to see if a) I could get new patrons to b) help cover the lost income due to my hours getting cut.

The goal was to jump from $180 a month to $250 a month. My goal for the end of the year is to make $500 a month on Patreon alone, so to get to $250 by the half-year point would have gotten me closer to this goal.

By the end of the week, we went from $170 a month to $201 a month.

It didn’t make my goal, but it’s still not bad at all, especially for only having a pledge drive that lasted a week.

What surprised me more was the current patrons I had who increased their pledges – often by an extra $3 a month! That’s amazing!

We also got a new patron on board, which is marvelous, and so immensely helpful.

And so, with the combination of the new patron plus the increased pledges from current ones, we reached one of the Patreon goals listed on the page: at $200/month, I’m now going to draw a patron-exclusive The Case of the Wendigo desktop wallpaper!

Honestly, it’s just amazing that folks who love my comics were willing and able to chip in and help during this tough time. This will help make production of The Legend of Jamie Roberts go just that little bit smoother.

If you would like to pledge support, and help bring The Legend of Jamie Roberts to life, please check out my Patreon page. You can adjust or cancel your pledge at any time.

Even if you pledge $1 a month, you get to see behind-the-scenes development of the comics I do.

For example, here’s a post about Jamie and their two best friends; here’s another post about the dragon Norsa; and here’s a post about two gods in the Jamie Roberts universe, The Voice and The Messenger. These three posts were made free during the pledge drive, to give a taste of what rewards patrons can get for pledging support.

If you’re broke, that’s totally ok, because Patreon is optional. If you would rather make a one-time donation, there’s a Paypal donate button on the side of this website, or you can purchase a convention goody from my online store.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

Validation’s Final Push on KickStarter

Those of you who are on my email newsletter, as well as on Facebook and Tumblr, know that Validation’s Final Push launched June 1st.

This KickStarter campaign launched to get funding to help Christian and me make the final pages of the webcomic Validation.

Let me make one thing clear: yes, we have a Patreon page. But keep this in mind:

Christian has been paying me out of her own pocket to make comics every week for the last 5 years. The Patreon has helped give Christian a small writing stipend, but it’s not enough to cover the full cost of this comic (from paying me, to web hosting, etc.).

So, we started the KickStarter campaign to get us over the edge.

And over the edge we went!

Because holy dang, our initial asking goal was $500 and you met that goal within 2 HOURS of launch!

We made our first stretch goal of $1000 before the weekend started! As I’m writing this, we’re right on the cusp of making the $1500 stretch goal!

I think it helps that the rewards are fun. At least two of them include getting drawn in one of the final pages of Validation!

Another thing is that some of the prints available have been out of print. One of these prints is “In Her Wildest Dreams.”

This baby has been out of print for quite some time. But now it’s available for KickStarter backers as a reward.

If you’re interested in helping this KickStarter camaign, there’s still time to pledge. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the one who helps us reach that next stretch goal!

If you’re broke, please share this campaign with your friends. Every share helps more than you know.

The campaign ends MONDAY, JUNE 11.

That’s all for now. Thank you for your support!

You. Are. Awesome.

Genghis Con 2017

Genghis Con happened last Sunday, November 26th in Lakewood, a suburb of Cleveland.

This was actually my first time in Cleveland, and I had no idea that the city was so FREAKING HUGE.

Genghis Con happened in a building that was once a former warehouse – as such, the elevator the exhibitors used was a cargo elevator.

At least attendees could take the stairs if they were able. I didn’t see a people elevator when I was there.

Anyway! I originally requested only a half table, and I was set to be seated next to my buddy Carlos Rivera, who runs Youngstown Indie Creator Expo (he was going to promote Yo-ICE at Genghis Con). However, he had to cancel at the last minute because of bronchitis. Carlos, if you’re reading this, for the love of Pete, take it easy and take care of yourself.

So yeah, I ended up having a full table.

genghis con 2017 artist alley table

I have this layout down to a SCIENCE.

I would like to tweak the table layout again, though: there are so many small things that it takes a long-ass time to set up, AND a long-ass time to break down everything.

That’s partially why I have a sale going on Storenvy. More on that in a minute.

In terms of sales (and trades – I’m always up for trading books with peeps), the show went well! It wasn’t as successful as the YWCA Mini-Con, but it was more of a success than RathaCon. Still, people got to discover my work and sign up for the email newsletter. Plus I got some cool stuff.

To top it all off, I came across my old caricature buddy, Clarence, from my days drawing caricatures at Cedar Point back in 2012. He invited me over to another caricature buddy’s house for Burger Fest – an annual-ish tradition where caricature buddies get together and eat burgers.

To which I was like “HECK YEAH.”

There’s something to be said about saying “Yes,” to the right things. Don’t say yes to everything (otherwise you’d have some weird experiences, if Yes Man is any indication). It also helps to know what your focus, or as Neil Gaiman put it once, “your mountain,” is. Anything that pulls you away from your mountain does not deserve a Yes.

To me, being in one place with people I hadn’t seen in years just after a good indie comic convention was a good reason to say Yes.

Thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

P.S. Yes, I’m running a sale on Storenvy – from now until December 18th, you can check out the new Clearance section, where things like mini-prints, mini-comics, and posters are anywhere between 20-50% off. Once these are gone, they’re GONE. So be sure to get them before December 18th.