Hey, there. ‘Sup?
Oh, me? Not much, other than I FINALLY GOT MY FLIPPIN’ ETSY SHOP UP AND RUNNING!!!!!!
I know, right? Keep your ears peeled for the pounding hoofs of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But until they arrive, you can finally BUY something from me.
It’s a weird thing, selling stuff (or trying to). I’ve always struggled with the concept of applying a monetary value to the things I create, because at the end of the day, I’m going to create them regardless. It’s that whole artist compulsion thingy. However, I can rationalize that it takes time, something some might consider “skill”, years of training/learning/trial and error, and plenty of actual hard work. Art has value, I will never argue the opposite. However, I suspect I will always have a hard time with money as relates to my own work. I don’t know at what point I will actually consider myself a “professional”. Maybe when I actually make a steady income from my art? When I see someone I don’t know decorating their torso with my art (I like that phrase and I will use it until you are sick of it, thank you very much)? When I have my first graphic novel done and published? When Toby’s Brain Land finally opens? I don’t know. It probably all ties back into self-esteem and self-worth, things that artists notoriously lack.
Anyway, as of this writing, there are currently TWO shirts available in the shop: the original, or “classic”, It’s Plunger Monkey Dynamo Time shirt (which was designed before the comic strip was a thing), and the “fancy fu dog/fu dog ring” shirt-one of my NON-PMD designs. As I was going through all the images I had uploaded to the print shop a few years ago now, I was noticing that I wasn’t quite happy with several of them. They were good designs and ideas overall, but my execution wasn’t up to my current abilities/standards (which makes sense. I should hope I’ve made some skill progress in the intervening years). I decided to go back and tweak a few of them before posting any, but I quickly discovered that the layered files, along with the back ups, were all corrupted and unopenable. (insert angry face)
Fortunately, the high resolution, un-layered versions that I uploaded were just fine, so I’m still able to make some tweaks, it just will be a tad more difficult and time consuming without the benefit of the layers. The Fu Dog Ring shirt (and a variant of it) is the first design I tackled:
The original version…
…and the updated version. I just tweaked the color of the head, messed with the brightness/contrast, dropped in some subtle texture, and added a border. It’s less harsh to look at now, I’m much happier with it.
I’ve been debating whether or not, or how much, to mess with some of the other PMD designs, as I draw him noticeably (to me, anyway) different now. I guess not unlike any other character that evolves over the years, like Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny both look significantly different now than when they first hit the scene. My linework and painting bother me on some of them, so it’s highly likely I won’t be able to resist making at least a few adjustments. However, I think it might be fun to release them mostly as is, kind of like a “classic” line or somesuch foolishness.
…did I just place PMD in the same breath as Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny? That’s probably wrong on too many levels to count.
Anyway, my goal is release a new design every week or so until I run out of my old designs, and then I’ll just add more as I come up with/have time to work on new ones (I have a robust list of ideas). Currently there’s only one style offered-the unisex adult shirt-but I do intend to branch out eventually and include youth, women’s, hoodies, phone cases, hats…Sales will have to actually take place before I make some of those moves, though. It doesn’t cost me anything to have the files uploaded with the printer, but Etsy does charge a minimal listing fee that has to be renewed every so many months. It wouldn’t be too hard for me to make myself unprofitable before the world finally realizes they are all PMD (and Toby’s Brain) fans.
Speaking (loosely) about fans and shirt sales, I did have my first sale the day I posted my first shirt, and it was to my biggest fans and supporters: my parents. Now, some people might roll their eyes or scoff at that, but I have a different perspective. My parents have forever been my greatest, and most important supporters. They have always given me cause to believe in myself, they have never told me I couldn’t do or accomplish something. I know and have talked to too many people whose parents, with the best of intentions, turned them away from pursuing the things they were passionate about for more practical pursuits. I am not deluded enough to think I’ve “made it” by any stretch, but having my parents in my corner has always made me believe that I will get there. Eventually. I just hope Toby’s Brain Land opens it’s gates for them to be first in line.