Starting from somewhere-it’s never the perfect time ever.

So, you must be thinking of this, I need to get it right and all planned out right?

Well….the problem comes to this.

The universe isn’t going to align it’s stars against you as it won’t go out of it’s way to pave the way like how Moses split the sea.

It just, the timing is never perfect, nor the conditions and what you have with you, you’ll have to use it. You have to get used to a few things.

  • It’s never the right timing nor conditions
  • Learn to get into small trouble often and ask for forgiveness than permission
  • you only get this life once most likely
  • staying still and doing nothing is the worst case scenario

I used to think of ways to perfect my projects, but in hindsight, if I started with less and learned to adjust the course of my craft along the way, life would have been better most likely.

It’s never the right timing, and I started rather late for my rather serious aspect of my works.

‘see, unlike most people software like ‘photoshop and using my own flatbed scanner didn’t

come into play until 2017, so it’s been 2 years since, trying to make my stuff work.

The progression is rather slow in terms of official records.

However, in actuality, my craft has been running much longer as far as 2014, where the internet just really get into the mainstream actually.

So, with all this action going on in my background, and it may well be a historical series of events.

I was just quietly working away at imgur, tumblr, and few ‘sites that I no longer operate on for personal reasons.

We are going towards a more permissionless world, you have to take the initiative.

well, here’s the news flash, nobody, either your parents, boss, friends, etc, won’t tell you want to do in terms of your internet stuff most likely, and in reality they can’t stop you from working on your online shenanigans and gigs you have in mind.

If anything you have a better chance of learning from the small (hopefully not fatal or totalized) mistakes and just try again. It’s better to start small and build up these personal resilience to your own path and endeavors you want to take.

In fact, I just decided to go with a bunch of seemingly non-related projects and later down the road, some of them actually seems to stick. It’s that simple.

You are not getting any younger and being still will kill you eventually

I hate to admit it, but. Time in some cases is more valuable than Money, when I mean by that is that through history, currency and free-trade was always a thing. Perhaps the dollar of today will be less valuable tomorrow thanks to the rise of crypto currency and block-chain, and Gold and Silver still can tank it through the times seemingly. What was consistent was that people tend to wast their non-renewable resources known as time and attention, and after a certain point in their life, people will notice this and start really regretting it. It’s a sad tale of the majority even in the first-world. And chances are you might not get this very statement until it’s the endgame or too late.

There are two way to “waste time” either you do something and slip up, and improve based on it little by little, not giving up and redefine what you want from life, or simply sit and do nothing.

If you can start with a Bargain Price and Setup, and get away with it. Do So.

Here is a couple footage of where I started my serious online art gigs from. Pretty shoddy right?

yep, it’s a rather shoddy setup if you ask me.
somewhat better, but still….
the corner where I tinker with stuff, it’s pretty cramped and noisy in some rare cases

It’s just the way it is. But that is the thing. I figured out that as long as I can get away with it and just focus on the results. Things will be alright. And guess what? Things are just fine.

It doesn’t matter is the Wifi is so bad that I have to get a folding chair and “table” to get up online communications under the stairs and next to a bunch of laundry machines. I just went with what I can afford or bargain with for weeks or months.

2-3 years later, the setup may have changed but the laptop still holds and works.

I just managed to deliver results without an iphone or macbook being involved.

By the End of the Day, only time will tell

Look, I never really expected things to end up the way it is actually.

In fact, most of my substantially exciting events where from starting small and adjust based on what people online reacted with. It’s kind of a strange dynamics for me. Since, starting things like Dark Souls Inked, I actually haven’t really expected much good from it. I only tried because there was a couple incidents from 2016, that signaled that it was worth it. It was that simple.

And after following through for 1-2 years, it did show that certain actions really worked.

Better to start doing now than to ruminate about stuff later.

References and Sources

https://tim.blog/category/protecting-personal-time/

https://nav.al/how-to-get-rich

 

2019 Sketchbooks-And a few roughs

So, it’s a bit of a late thing for someone like me to get into sketchbooks, started like during late summer, so it’s more than halfway mark that I decided to buy this thing.

And into a rather Knarly habit of working on it by-all means necessary frequently(often but not daily). Don’t know why I started suddenly. Like, it’s a sudden hunch where I simply felt the need to regain a seemingly lost habit and sub-skill. The skill of sketchbooking.

Jake Parker have mentioned this idea in a video, but the thing about sketchbook is this, it’s a way for not only artists or drawers and even architects to work on the go. Like even painters do have these too. (no, canvas based painters gets ruled out from this particular ballgame. too bad)

The Idea is this, it’s not only the ability to work on the fly when on has an idea, but it can double as a record of your thoughts, in the very moment, so it’s an essence capture.(better wording for this must be found) Sketchbooks are pretty cool in hindsight, since my best and most creative ideas came from either, loose leaf or sketchbooks. It’s that blatant. Since there are no fear of material or costs associated so much with sketchbooks in general(unless you go the gold or platinum standard types..) there is an ease of pressure of trying to make things illustration or finished render grade. It’s this pressure of trying to make a master piece every-time is what makes artists and illustrators do too much, or something goes sideways with their work and career in some cases.

the idea behind this year’s sketchbook. well, it’s a bit of somewhat new things, but also revisiting older concepts from 2017-2018. So, some recurring designs and ideas have arrived. Like, there is a thing about, either talking about storytelling or thinking of technical designs. and the ideas tend to be somewhat polarizing.

The iconic Grey brush with picked out details. a trick that is adopted from Scott Robertson’s Student sketches books especially for the development for Hawken.

I think his name is Darren Quach or something.

But, yes.

2019, not much made, but enough to get something going again.

 

Everything in it’s place-always be Knolling

So, the idea is to have a sense of knowing where the essential things are and how it will be dealt with. For example, The French saying, Mise en place, or Knolling too.

The problem with artists since the start is that they are well..disorganized for the worse.

‘See, I figured out that by starting off with having a complete layout of what you actually use regulatory, and start sorting and finally subtracting the clutter that your business and life in general will be more controllable. It’s this case of figuring out what you really need and don’t need.

I’ve been working on this concept of organizing and doing what is best described as pro-level packing, to a point of being somewhat anal retentive of how I even stack my groceries and tell off the clerks since they suck at packing like a pro.

It’s the concept of knolling, pro-level packing, and having a master list that is fundamental to why I’m efficient even without the cutting edge technology, since I figured out the fundamentals to organization and cutting out what is well junk.

The french saying of mise en place, is key to artist too, not only chefs.

You want to save time and energy while doing the work, you need all the edge you can get.

Kind of always stuck to a certain type of tool set myself while working, and it’s been going strong for months or years if the product can handle the level of stress I’m giving it.

When the meaning behind of everything in it’s place, it can extend not only on the work table, but all the way to the shelving system I thought of. So having a designated spot to put you specific range of tools is key. Like, it saves much time and energy, not having to deal with complexity, you want to be so efficient that you are a drawing machine that draws over the others on the creative battlefield.

The Basics of Knolling goes along the lines of this, from wikipediaof course.

BULLET VIII: ALWAYS BE KNOLLING (ABK)

  • Scan your environment for materials, tools, books, music, etc. which are not in use.
  • Put away everything not in use. If you aren’t sure, leave it out.
  • Group all ‘like’ objects.
  • Align or square all objects to either the surface they rest on, or the studio itself.

Look , even if it’s not part of your virtue signaling on Instagram, knolling can be helpful if you are somewhat stuck, and might need pointers and have a somewhat of a fancy layout of what you have in say your bag and on-person.

It’s a very visual way of knowing what is either in your carry or quiver systems or what ever was left behind on the floor or desk/drawers.

So, you should ask your self the following.

  • What to eliminate?
  • What to keep?
  • How to arrange the things you keep?
  • How to streamline the layout for maximum efficiency?
  • Organization vs Actual Use
  • Just in Time or Just in Case?
4
I consider having all this much markers and colors “too much” for my case nowadays.

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Pentel Pigment Brushpen-Illustrated review w/PDF

1 copy
Illustrated Guide to the Pentel Pigment Brushpen

So, this is a rather off-shoot thing I felt like making. It’s not exactly a traditional review with pictures but with hand-made illustrations since I used to recall back in Japan that they do have an industry of books and illustrated zines of well, many things both fictional and actual products and whatnot.

This is my one-shot take on a tool I use ever so often.

Pentel Brushpen Review-PDF

 

Art Trends and Challenges-Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes

So, before you get into the fray…have a second guess.
well, it’s the begging of the new decade. and perhaps, for those who wants to get
into the internet fray of online artists getting unto the trends and so-called challenges.
But, you have to consider if these are worth investing into.

I would recommend a different path to take.
Here is a few things to take into account.

You aren’t cut for it
in fact, the the said challenges that were made was meant for the original person.
You think Inktober was made for you? It was made for Jake Parker back in 2009(that’s like a decade ago)
and nowadays it’s became a signaling thing thanks to social media’s mechanisms.

At best, you will get a few sales due to it’s so-called value, or at worst, you get wasted ink, paper, energy and attention to things that didn’t really matter to you.


Who or What are you building this series of works for?
you should ask yourself a few key things. who is this challenge made for? Nowadays, the events are for those on the ‘net to see the spectacle, and it’s a show. Content is what are after, not the art. And the art challenge signature actually leverages the originator or the company that started it and are reaping off the community leverage they have built from the start, in other words you just did free work for a bunch of people that leveraged you.

So, to put it bluntly, you are building throwaway pieces of art. A big waste if you ask me.


Is it Actually important to you?
From my cases, I start to care less about inktober, I have very little community contacts nor the incentives to so-called socialize on the ‘social media platforms. It’s such a dumb game where you win worthless prizes. The detriment of these challenges like seen on ZHC’s attempt to get likes and many worthless vanity metrics is what will drive people to insanity and in some cases fatal things.

So, what does this mean?
Well…I rather offer a different path that is currently not as vogue.
In an age were trends and vanity metrics rule the globalized societies. We have to ask ourselves.
What are we doing this for? Following the herd and hope to get something valuable out of it? Or just simple so-called social recognition?
Play Stupid Games Win Stupid Prizes-your choice

Trends-You aren’t in the driver seat, and it’s going to be Bad Day

The problem with trends are that it places you in a rigged game. Thanks to Social Media, the currency or prizes comes in the form off non-tangible rewards like, likes and follows. So, what does this mean? Well, lets work on a few scenarios. The concept of “being nice” and “working together” is something akin to a thin veneer to what is actually going on. Even if the intent is good or positive, the nature of the mechanism and how people operate on it, everyone is playing a game that is Intrinsic to competitiveness actually.

You feel good looking at others on IG or Twitter with their Inktobers or ‘march of robots with a incalculable amounts of likes and followers? No, deep down you most likely feel like shit, because it’s the nature of the game you are playing, there are only false winners and losers in this game. Plus the so-called value of those likes and followers will be worthless thanks to social hyperinflation.

(a self-guessed theory where eventually you’ll get used to the likes and followers, thus diminishing their value, and thanks to mass-saturation of users on the platforms it’s adds to artificial value, and really creating a things that isn’t sustainable nor worth working/struggling for.)

Build Something that Radically places you in different situation-creatively.
Maybe it’s better to build your own projects, and the said projects will build a brand that will acrews to you. ‘See, this is a trick that isn’t really known out there. But the most powerful Brands, personal ones tends to their own thing, and after a set period of time, it’s becomes their signature. There is more to this trick, but to keep it simple, follow through.

They decided to do two key things. They have bought the beachfront property before it got hot early, ie investing and building on platforms or ‘sites that hasn’t gone mainstream yet.

Play your own game-Eventually everyone will want to play it too.

And They took a step or two that radically puts them in a different creative situation 2-3 years, or half a decade later, they decided to play their own game and everyone wants to play their game after all these years, but guess what, they can’t compete with the original or the pioneer since there is a quote of “the original was better”.


To give an example of types of artists that avoids these stupid trends that you may-well be too good for.

  • Kim Jun Gi-He cemented the concept of free-hand inking and rendering in real-time on large pieces of paper, creating a live show essentially. Even Jake Parker, Proko, and others want in on his so-called secret techniques.
  • BeepleCrap-Some say he is a troll, Others call him from the future, either way his animated works and stills show what it;s like to tinker with digital media technology while creating satire of today’s multiple climates
  • Ashley Wood-From Pop Art Oils, to Plastic Toys for AdultChildren, this Australian managed to create a solid toy empire of sort with his ideas and unique rendition, even better his merch is what generates the value for him.
  • Scott Robertson-He is quite personal to me, since, his interviews with designers like Darren Qach and his pen and paper based techniques really paved the way for some of the thought process for me, he is a good educator in general.
  • Simon Stalenhang-Sweden, Post Apocalypse, and Robots. His unique world building is what captured the imagination and intrigue of many globally. It’s a rather unique genre and the concept of what he made is synonymous to him.
  • Emerson Tung-He coined the term/project TankHead, and it was popular enough to start a deal of making a toy based off one of his designs, many are talking to him for developing from his works, and he seems to like the spot light.(by the time this post is done, maybe he already “made it”)
  • and many more too for the list

 

What’s common with all these creative people? Well, what they did years ago or when every their idea of “early days” is.

It was a simply a step or two that placed them in a radically different creative situation.

They thought working on things that is rather opposite of everyone is the best bet for themselves, authenticity was their trump card creatively.

Placing bets on a series of works that is a far-cry of the trends of the time they started, and followed through for years or a decade.

By working hard, they have build a genre or a challenge that is synonymous with their names. The very thing that placed them in a radically different game. And now days, people out there wants to play their game. Learn to play your own game and eventually others will want to play your game. It’s the only positive outcome from a status game that is intrinsically not so beneficial in the modern world. You want to be on the winning side in this situation.


The good artists are creating a genre of themselves as Gary Vee would state with the Draw with Jazza interview back in 2015-16.

So, in a way, you want to not only place small bets on upcoming platforms or “digital real-estate” before the mainstream comes in (because it’s inevitable). But, Start creating a piece of work at a low-enough cost that will build up your brand eventually.(learn to build and sell, those skills are key to a good starting point)

Or as one of my former friend would tell me, Cut Your Own Path.

Summary

  • Doing your own thing-escape competition through authenticity
  • Playing a Bigger Game-You are a step away from a radically different situation
  • Long Term Vs Short Term-pick something you can commit and sustain
  • Make something synonymous with your Brand-Unique, Fresh or Brand New
  • Get the Beach Front Property at bargain price-Before the mainstream gets to it
  • Play your own game-Eventually everyone else wants to play it too

 

All the extra work-what social media and other expectations did to my creative endeavors

It’s been a several months since I have left I.G. and other platforms, in order to focus on things that actually matter, doing things that actually brings value to people. The problem with ‘social is that it creates a false set of expectations and values. It’s forcing the illusion of creatives have to “hustle” and “post daily” that is causing much burn out issues and what not. It’s a zero-sum game since, the so called Likes and Follows have no real value or results actually. There is no point in creating hypey content. In fact it’s better to focus on the end results and do small briefing afterwards.

So, it’s a case of playing stupid games, win stupid prizes.


So, to give an example of what I managed to inflict on my self in this case. I have a lot of work right? Well, they really aren’t necessary to my Brand or Craft I’m trying to work on. In fact they may well be akin to creative garbage since, they are simply taking up physical space and I ended up wasting money, resources, time, and attention, all worked up for basically things that doesn’t matter 2-3 years down the road. The Social Media game is basically defunct for me, and my personality isn’t optimized to work with it. It’s an unsustainable thing. they always have been coming and going, so why bother? Better to build your own thing like this wordpress site here.

What’s the point of liking an online image that is overtly far removed from the reality one lives in? Very little if you ask me, and it’s a stupid one too. You really think people online cares about your art? Guess again, they could care less. They only want content, nothing more. They are that shallow and most likely will be forgotten 2-3 years down the road.

Like, that post where you have about incalculably amounts of vanity metrics will not matter most likely in the decade to come, since it’s worthless thanks to “Digital Social Hyperinflation”, and you will get used to it, just like hedonistic adjustment.
I’m here like, just thinking how much wasted every thing went to the worthless social media game. Got basically nothing of value and it’s something I end up hating more than real work. And wondering what to do with all this junk of work I have in folders and boxes.

In my darkest times, I realized a few things. When the power, or wifi goes out. For a week or so, being on my own truly. These followers, or liker, they aren’t help. They can’t really change my life for the better. That was the biggest kicker to see who to trust and work with.
Best bet is to quite the game to wrap up the decade and start working on things that is of value.

If this social media game worth playing? The rhetorical answer is this.

No, because after a while, you’ll know that it’s a stupid game that gives you stupid prizes.

In other words create content that is good and will be talked about for years to come.

https://nav.al/how-to-get-rich

 

How to market your creative work-For Customers and Clients

There are a few ways to market your Creative Work, but it’s about the service or product application for this one.

To explain it, it should be verbal and visual so customers or clients will “get” with minimal explanation since the the thing you are selling is well…so self-explanatory.

This can range from a simple mock up with a sales copy, to well, a full-out video.

The thing is, you want to present the creative works in a light where it’s used for a commercial or domestic purpose. If that makes sense.

So, framing your work and developing a demo reel is a good way to show that your work isn’t just some pretty pictures, but a fully realized wall or room decor that can be used for themselves.

Learn to Care about your Results for your Buyers/Hires, so solving problems and the by-product is something you want to have in mind when marketing these.

Ask your self this, what are some of the results that buyers have in their core problems that you want to solve?

Humans buy stuff because of incentives and there is a bit of psychology to it.

You have to figure out the incentives, and learn to well exploit it if you want to get stuff out of them. No, it’s not as nefarious, but that is the gist of why people do what they do, they buy, build, work, all because of incentives.

For the Artist trying to sell, the incentives would be the lines of home or room decor, or designs for their mug or something, but yea, these are rather novel things, but, it’s a billion dollar industry that not many people tend to point out.

You also want to hang around where the economy is, visibly.

So, learn to keep close attention of where the action is. Whether it’s at a local craft event for vendors, to an online e-commerce hub where global folks comes over to buy.

Examples could be like, Fiverr, and Etsy to name a few.

True enough they have their kinks and issues, but overall, for starters, it’s where the action, or the cycling of money is ever-so visible.

It’s easier to set up a business from these commerce platforms than trying to work from scratch, which takes a Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos to pull off, and even they had to work decades on it.

The Problem with Social is that well..it’s too social, even with the addition of the E-Commerce and online business integration, at it’s core, it’s a platform for millions or billions of non-buyers to hang around and chat. It’s not clear in intent that where transaction is taking despite in reality, there is indeed action and transaction taking place in places like FB or Instagram daily with thousands or millions being carted around back and forth.

You want to ask yourself and the brand you are building this.

What you want? Not want? And Be known for?

It’s a simple series of questions, but will test your beliefs.

 

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Problem Solving made easy-It’s not as hard as you think.

Define the Problem-then Build the Solution

so, to make the solution building more effective and actually worth it. You need to figure out the problem, or the bottleneck to your business and life. Like, this is the most critical aspect of your not only business, but life too. Most of our life comes from trying to get away from problems either by external or internal means. And this is mostly considered philosophical, but also there are practical ways to get into this mindset.

Like, the problem might not be as complex for most people.(Unless you are doing SpaceX or Microsoft level stuff, most of your problems are relatively doable.)

For example, in my case. I felt the need to get away from it all. The action caused me to lose sight of what I actually want to do.

A few key things I do to solve my problems is to for sure put a lot of things on pause.

‘See, the problems comes from, often times clutter, the overexposure and overflow of well everything. From the media, technology, to even something simple as food. So, after chopping a lot of things that is making my life a living hell, I found the epiphany. I just had to do a few key actions for my business and brand to go forward. And it was more or less easy to pull off.

they are either

  • technological-getting software or something to automate or streamline the process.
  • Hardware-having tools or equipment that allows to leverage your actions tenfold.
  • Funding-grants, patreon, sponsorships, the list is suite vast.
  • Practical-you actually needed less things and time than you thought.
  • or a shift in mindset-you had the problem in your head all along or your answer was with you the entire time.

the list is seemingly endless but really it’s based on the principles of what your options are on hand to solve it. It’s not always the case of buying the new tech or something, but sometimes, the cheapest, or more practical option option is the best bet for you.

the main ideas of different types of solution is to have a layout of what methods or means you have actually at your disposal to optimize the resutls you want.

It basically boils down to the idea of what you actually want in on time and if it’s to do with your interest or not.

So, have a list of things you need done, have a layout of what options you have at your disposal, and see which courses of action is the best optimized ones.

For example maybe it’s more rational to buy a contractor to fix a house’s plumbing than doing it yourself since it would be much time to simply learn the basics, it’s better to save time and effort so you can focus on the more productive and focused activities like the business.

Another one would be to simply cart around your laptop since, buying another might be too expensive or something. Who knows, it would depend and the idea of long term telecommuting might be your thing or at home is better.

Like, the list of solutions you can come up with initially will be quite a few but by the end of the day, not as effective, learn to sit on it for a few days to test your beliefs.

The Bottom-line is this, if the solution is easy to understand, implement and follow in simple steps, you have a winning strategy. It’s not as complicated often. So ask your self, what is the easiest way to make it work?

 

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How my art prints came to be-The process of getting a made to order product in development

Well…it’s not really a long story for this case but for sure, it was a series of trial and error on how my art came to be. Or specifically the prints that my fellow customers buy on etsy.

‘See, it wasn’t really initiated by me actually. More or less, the idea of prints came from customers and my art mentors, (posters, but be honest, for my case, they suck) suggesting and well, constantly bothering me on if I have prints of these available. After a year or so, and the concept of commerce for my art started to become a reality. It was not until, my arrival of grants to get my own self-employment up and running is that the print series really start to take it’s place.

There were a few attempts to get a working prototype for sure. Ranging from, simple, photo prints that have a finish, but not quite the way I wanted. Or even the dreaded cardstock series that were made at the local kinkos and the quality was awful.

So, after a month of running around town seeing which printer shops will do for my business model, I have finally landed on this kind of prototype.

It was not until a few weeks later that I go my first sale on the said thing and after working on the presentation and idea of how to present my work in a more pallet-able manner, things start to pick up.

And after the few sales the rest of the printing prototype is history.

here is a PDF file to download below.

Etsy Prints samples and copy version1

 

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