Staple was this weekend, whereby hangs a tale. To make it brief, there was an epic run of bad luck but we went out and achieved anyway. Fortunately nobody got hurt, it stopped short of quite that bad. It was just absolutely typical of the way that reality conspires against art.
what follows is no longer brief. Here is a partial list of incredible problems that you would not think we would have to deal with
They moved a giant comic convention in Seattle to be the same week as us.
They shut down the interstate completely (under construction on a Saturday morning).
The printer destroyed my mini-comic (he's a really cool guy, though, he just cut them a centimeter too low and it was an important centimeter).
The lighting didn't work properly in our room, for the second year in a row. Wasn't as bad as last year, wasn't good.
There was a huge mix-up with the badges and they wouldn't release badges to sketchgroup members who were there and reserved badges for people who never showed up.
I had so much trouble getting to the show on Saturday morning that I didn't even get there until 1pm.
Stuff like that. Stuff like that all the time. Oh well, that's the way it is, I've never known causality to be any less than hostile to creative endeavours, but I could have used an easy show.
It was TREMENDOUS fun. One of the more fun shows I've done for a long time. I felt closer to the people I was around and more creatively in tune than anywhere since Stumptown. I especially enjoyed working so closely with Fiction Circus this last two weeks, I am more convinced than ever that they're on the right track and I want to be part of it. Speaking of which Gewel and I will be in NYC on April 18th to do live art for Derangement of the Senses, a Fiction Circus burlesque thing. Sketchgroup was great, though I think we're all tired, we've put so much in over the last few months and it's not like we get paid. Having the release party the week before Staple was a good idea but it didn't work. The Live Art show was a blast, I got to see a LOT of people that I don't see often who I really like (Dylan, John the podcast guy, Alicia, Wayne, Randy, Kristin, the LEOG crew, everybody basically)
We sold a lot of Sequentulärs, though. That book is a very easy sell. It's so easy that it should probably be more expensive, but it's so much fun having something that's fun and easy to sell and that I really believe in. Here's the pitch for Sequentulär;
"It's ten artists, sixteen stories, a hundred and eight pages and five dollars. It is the best comic book value in this place."
That is far from my most inspired pitch (that's I am the President of Ice Cream; "It's Bugs Bunny meets C-SPAN.") but it is absolutely honest. There is no way anyone in that place was offering more awesome pages for less money. Sequentulär is an incredibly good deal.
My finances have evolved over the last few years since I started paying attention. Before I was just acashular, I didn't have any money and I never spent any money and I didn't care. In my thirties I've tried to take money seriously, to the point where I'm afraid it's all I talk about and I'm being a crashing bore. But the situation has improved. Now I'm in larger debts and larger obligations but I have slightly more disposable income because of the constant influx and egress of small amounts of money into my life. I can now afford whatever burrito I want, and can buy art supplies when I need them. That may not seem like much to you, but practically every dollar I have comes from artistic income that I make through personal sales, and let me tell this situation is better than it was in 2004, when I never had more than $30 at a time from January all the way to September.
Coincidentally 2004 was a great year.
But I do enjoy the freedom to eat at Texas Chili Parlor or Long John Silver every once in a while. I like paying rent.
In the last year or so, which has been a really really good year by the way, easily as good as 2004, I've gotten used to this new freedom, and have started to emerge from my shell a bit. I'm willing to go out and have fun. I'm starting to feel like I don't have to struggle every second or watch every nickel. I can drink a beer. I can't afford two, but I can afford one, every once in a while.
I understand money better now. I understand money has little to do with creativity but it is the lifeblood of distribution. Money is the gas that makes wide-scale distribution go. That's because money is a multiplier, distribution is an exponential game.
However, creation follows an arithmetic progression and the internet tends to divide everything into chunks.
Zach thinks the future of the professional artist is on the internet and I think the internet is the opposite of money. We'll see who's right. I'm increasingly looking to the art world for my bread and butter. Literally. That's what I bought at the grocery store today; bread and butter. It was a star-crossed show, and even though I had a great time it did not translate into affording any fancy food this time.