As many of you know I love to draw portraits. I used to get the opportunity to draw them all the time, and make a little money too! Not so much lately, so what I’ve been doing is going into Seattle and secretly drawing people. Not only do I want to do a great caricature, but I also want to do it before the person notices I’m drawing them. That is *really* difficult, AND as soon as they notice you drawing them, they start making faces, start talking to you (making career suggestions) it really ruins the fun of it. So here’s what I’ve done recently…enjoy!
I keep telling myself to take the time to figure out how to set up my galleries here so I can actually upload the bulk of my artwork, but…
Why do today what you can put off ’till tomorrow? (or next week for that matter)
Since I’m not a total bum, have been doing some artwork recently. My lovely friend Jesseka mentioned that she wanted a tattoo of one of those skeleton gypsy ladies. I LOVE Dias de los Muertos themed art, having even sculpted a skeleton doll once, so I took this challenge on with gusto! Below are two rough sketch idea for the tattoo. She picked the first on, just wants the eyes open. Sweet. Hope you like, and I welcome ALL feedback.
Hey Party People!
Still trucking along here, getting back into regular blog updates. Just because I haven’t posted doesn’t mean I’m not working on stuff! FIRST Creepy Carly is back, for now I’m reposting archives, BUT will be adding new strips every Wednesday. w00t! Mondays update can be found at creepycarly.com!
Next I’m working on some tattoo art for my buddy Jesseka. It’s a Dias de La Muertos inspired skeleton lady with roses, hope to have that done Thursday evening.
Lastly I’ve been around the web, and would like to share a nifty project. I love sammiches, AND dig the project this chickie is doing…she’s assigning 50 sandwiches to the 50 states. I *did* make a suggestion for Missouri. Check out he progress at www.statelysandwiches.com
So awhile back I wrote a short story. Inspired by all the short story illustration books I’ve seen I wanted to do something similar. The numbering is for how I’ve broken it up into pages. I was wanting to do something that is reminiscent of a children’s story on the surface, but the content of such was much darker. How did I get so emo? Please enjoy, I’ll post the pages as I get them drawn, Oh and when you’re done check out So Good for Little Bunnies, by Brandi Milne- reading this at the 2008 LA book fair is what solidified why I had to make this into something! ^_^
1) Once an orange angel was assigned to protect a yellow dog. This was the angel’s last chance, as Orange was not the best of angels.
2) To prove himself Orange had to put another life before his own desires for the duration of an entire lifetime. If unable to complete this task the Orange Angel would be doomed to purgatory for all of eternity.
3) As previously mentioned, Orange was not the most attentive guardian angel, but the yellow dog was by far the stupidest creature ever fathomed by man or God.
4) On the first day, Orange was distracted for a mere second, and the yellow dog took a long walk off a short pier and fell into the ocean.
5) The yellow dog was washed out to sea while all Orange could do was watch helpless.
6) After some time it seemed that yellow dog would drown alone in the ocean. But then out of nowhere a mermaid came along.
7) The mermaid scooped up the yellow dog. She looked for a safe place to put the yellow dog, as she could not approach the mainland.
The Mermaid found a (very) small rock island and placed yellow dog there. The mermaid promised to feed and take care of the helpless yellow dog.
9) The mermaid was kind and spent much of her days caring for the yellow dog she had now grown to love. But Orange was a different story. Orange now loved the mermaid.
10) Orange hated that the yellow dog got all of her affection and was too dumb to know how lucky he was. The mermaid’s love for the yellow dog ate at every bit of Orange’s soul
11) It crushed Orange that the mermaid would never know of his existence or of all the hours he spent thinking of her, and only her.
12) Years went by, and as each passed the Orange Angel grew more bitter and more angry.
13) But most of all Orange grew jealous of the little Yellow dog; until one day came that he could take no more.
14) When the mermaid left the island Orange kicked the yellow dog into the ocean. Orange smiled as he watched the yellow dog slowly float out to sea and eventually drown.
15) It wasn’t until later, when the mermaid came back and saw the dog floating in ocean dead, had Orange realized what he had done.
16) The mermaid began to cry harder than she ever had before.
17) With her love gone she too gave up living, spending her last few days alone with only her tears. Orange watched as the mermaid slowly died from her broken heart.
18) The Orange Angel was sent to purgatory, forced to feel all the pain he had caused, left with only his own broken heart for the rest of eternity.
There are three very basics tips that should be at the core of your online publishing strategy.
1) CONSISTENCY: Don’t upload all your content at once. Build a backlog if you can so you’re always ahead of the game! You’re doing this so you can establish a regular update schedule and stick to it. Reliability and consistency are the key to getting readers to check you out and keep coming back regularly. If you have long “dead periods” with no content, your audience will quickly begin to drop off, possibly never to return! Even if it’s just a blog update, or sharing ancillary content, or fan art, seeing something new will keep your audience engaged.
2) CONSOLIDATION: There’s no need to send your audience to an archive on another hosting site. Why divide your hits? Find ways to syndicate your content and reach out to new audiences, BUT make sure you are sending them back “home” to get a scoop on the mother load. If your hits are spread out across several communities it can be hard to accurately judge (and prove to potential partners) how big your audience actually is!
3) COMMUNICATION: If you’re posting old content, make it new by adding comments like a director’s commentary. Just a few sentences with your pages helps people see that there is a person behind the comic they love. The more you can let them know that there’s someone behind the curtain, the more they will come back. Also leverage the audiences you have through social networks! Make sure when you update you let EVERYONE know where to check it out, later on, when you have a special request or promotion, your audience will be ready to jump to and help their “friend” rather than the guy that only sends a message when HE needs something.
That should get you to a good start in promoting webcomics. These are basic strategies to keep in mind when forming a marketing plan, but feel free to get creative, we are artists after all. Check back for more tips soon!
Let’s talk about pro-active stickiness. That’s things that you should be doing regularly to promote your comic.
Hopefully you got a bunch of Likes with pro-active contact like emails and reminders. But getting those people to keep coming back without you having to hassle them? That’s called STICKINESS.
People come back for one main reason:
This can be content you generate, curate or simply catalyze. Let’s break it down.
1. CONTENT YOU GENERATE
The secret is reliability and predictability.
Create a schedule and then be really public about it. People should know which days you’re updating and when that update goes live. Midday PST? 9am EST? Whenever it is, make sure it’s known and that you can stick to it.
Places to let people know:
1. On your homepage.
2. In your twitter feed.
3. Any blog entries (on all sites!).
4. On your Facebook page.
Get into a habit and people will fall in with you.
2. CONTENT YOU CURATE
So maybe you can’t come up with content every day. That’s ok. Everyone else is. There’s plenty of stuff out there. Find stuff that’s similar to your comic that your fans will like. Don’t just grab everything you like. Only grab stuff that’s similar to what you’re producing. Are you doing a comic about supervillains? Find that great list of 100 things I would do if I was a supervillain: http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html
Maybe your comic is inspired by someone? Send links to their work or books they might like. Become a content hub for things that are similar to your comic. People will come back every day for content similar to what you’re doing that they will like.
And make sure you credit people. You want people to link to you and credit you, so do likewise.
3. CONTENT YOU CATALYZE
This is the best content you can create. If you can find the magical mixture that gets conversation going on your boards and audience comments, you’re laughing. The best way to do this is to keep throwing crap at the wall. Eventually some of it will stick. Be vocal. Be endearing. Be charismatic and approachable. Get people chatting and reply to everyone. Eventually you will get that rock over the hill. When it rolls down the other side in a landslide of conversation you’re laughing.
Project Wonderful Part 1: What is Project Wonderful?
This introduction will provide basic information on what Project Wonderful is and how to get started marketing your comic. Next lesson, Part Two will be about how use the Project Wonderful tools.
What is Project Wonderful?
Unlike most advertising channels where you pay a set fee to place your ad for a period of time or where you pay-per-ad-click, Project Wonderful uses a bidding system to place your ad on websites registered with them. The Project Wonderful site directory is primarily made up of webcomic sites and independent artists so it’s like tapping into your target audience.
Creating you Ads
Before we jump into the mechanics of the site there are some preliminary things we must do first, and the first thing I can think of is create your advertising assets. Project Wonderful accepts static JPGs and animated GIFs, BUT not all sites allow animated advertising so keep that in mind when you’re deciding what type of ads to create. The sizes of ads that Project Wonderful accepts are:
Half Banner: 234×60
Now don’t feel you need to create ads for all of these spots, that is just what’s available. I tell everyone you should have a button as it’s cheap and easy to get placement, then pick one of the medium sizes (Square, Half Banner, rectangle) and one of the large sizes (half banner, banner, skyscraper), but I do find that Square and Leaderboard seem to have less placements come up.
Onto design, I’m not going to go into great detail here as people have written whole books on this subject, but there are some basic criteria to follow.
1) Put the name of the comic on the ad and mention that it’s a comic and that the viewer can read it. Viewers need to know what it’s ad for, and what it’s offering.
2) When choosing a piece of art for your ad what you need to keep front of mind is “what is most representative of my comic?” I don’t just mean art-wise, but also representative of you’re story’s tone and content.
Creating a Strategy
You don’t need to sit down and write out a twelve-month marketing plan, but there are some bare basics to establish before you jump into this.
1) Establish a budget. Decide how much you’re going to spend and over what length time period. Once you have this you can develop a bidding and campaign strategy, but we’ll discuss those in detail in part two. For example I break my budget into weeks, and I spend the same amount each week.
2) Set Goals. If you don’t do this in the beginning you’re just spinning your wheels with no way to measure if what you’re doing is successful. Is what you want simply page views? Maybe unique users is more important to you. Just take a minute to step back and ask yourself what you want to get from your advertising efforts.
That’s all for part one of the Project Wonderful tutorial. In part two we’ll get into the nuts and bolts of Project Wonderful and how it works.