Friday, January 11, 2019

Exceedingly Talented Individuals Arise, Or Not (At Least, Not Necessarily In Their Lifetimes)

From a comment I saw in a Snopes Facebook thread about Ayn Rand:
"exceedingly talented individuals arise and can have a profound effect"


Key word there is CAN. Yes, exceedingly talented individuals CAN arise and CAN have a profound effect. It doesn't mean they WILL. It doesn't mean it will happen in an individual's lifetime. A talented individual might not arise and have a profound effect in his or her lifetime. Vincent Van Gogh and Emily Dickinson were among the many talented individuals who were barely recognized in their lifetimes.

It makes me wonder just how many talented people go unrecognized FOREVER. How many talented individuals never truly arise? For those who never arise, is it due to a lack of talent, or is it due to other factors (including a lack of luck - yes, luck DOES play a role)? Since we'll never know about those unrisen talents, we'll never know the answers.

I once knew an artist who could have done work for a major comic book company (he's THAT good). Although at one point he did win some character contest at some comic book company, as far as I know, that was his sole claim to fame. For all intents and purposes, this exceedingly talented individual (and he is TRULY exceedingly talented) remains a relative unknown, what you might call an "unrisen talent".

As for the money side of things (after all, in a capitalistic society, effect/success = monetary gain)...Edgar Allan Poe was among the many talented people who never made enough money to support themselves. As something of a "starving artist" myself (a published poet/writer/artist/illustrator who is not making enough from sales of his creative works to make a living off of them), I can relate to Poe's woe.

I'm not sure the article here gets all the details exactly right, but the general spirit of the idea is what I'm really after anyway:
16 Famous People Whose Talents Were Only Recognized After Their Deaths

Thursday, January 10, 2019

To Follow And Like, Or To Not Follow And Like

It seems some artists/print-on-demand store owners believe that following other artists/PoD store owners and liking the works and/or PoD merchandise featuring the artworks and designs of other artists/designers is a waste of time and energy. Apparently, they feel it is something done by novices, something more advanced users simply don’t do. According to what I’ve been told, showing support to other artists/PoD store owners in such a fashion is great support, if you’re a child.

Hmm…

I suppose, if you see selling art and/or selling merchandise featuring artworks and designs through print-on-demand stores as one big competition, and if you think that only the most ruthless and self-centred will win that competition, then perhaps there is something to be said to not “following” your competition and not “liking” your competition’s works and/or PoD merchandise. After all, why show support for the competition. even in some small way?

On the other hand, those who see art entirely as a business might just lose the human aspect of it. Nowadays, I might approach my art as a business, but I refuse to ignore the more human aspects of being an artist/PoD store owner. I say following other artists/PoD store owners, and “liking” the works and/or merchandise featuring the artworks and designs of other artists/PoD store owners, can be a form of emotional and moral support. I would rather be supportive of my fellow artists than be so competitive as to deny them even that small bit of moral and emotional support.

Although I first began viewing my art as a business back in 1998, I am still an artist first, a businessman second. I was an artist LONG before I became a businessman. My innate aptitude for art was recognized back when I was in grade school, and I have retained something of that kid who simply created art for his own enjoyment and so others could enjoy his artistic creations. Additionally, as I received encouragement over the years to keep doing art, I like to encourage other artists because I think art makes the world a better place. I guess that puts me at odds with those who follow the strategy of putting the business side of art above ALL else.

As for those who might imply that I’m a mere beginner for “following” other artists/PoD store owners and “liking” the works of other artists/designers and the merchandise of other PoD artists/designers:

The first time I sold my art (as framed art and handmade bookmarks) to the public was back in 1999.

It’s now 2019.

The first time I sold a black-and-white interior illustration to a publication was back in 2007.

It’s now 2019.

The first time I sold a full-colour cover-artwork to a publication was back in 2009.

It’s now 2019.

The first time I sold an item through my own print-on-demand store was back in 2010.

It’s now 2019, and I’m now selling items featuring my artworks through five different PoD sites.

It should be pretty obvious that I’m no tyro!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Framed Some Publications Featuring My Cover Art

Today, I finally got around to framing and hanging more publications featuring my cover artwork. I now have six different publications hanging on the walls in my library/office.
Here's the list of what's currently up:
BRUSHFIRES,
BEYOND CENTAURI (April 2011),
PLASMA FREQUENCY (Issue 9),
ABANDONED TOWERS (Issue 3),
RECALIBRATING THE FUTURE,
and ADVENTURE HAVENS: APOTHECARIES AND ALCHEMISTS.
This is in no way a complete list of print publications to have featured my cover artworks to-date, but that's pretty much everything of which I have double contributor's copies. I prefer not to frame and hang my only copy of a publication featuring my art. Otherwise, I would also have framed my copies of UNDER THE ASH, DISTURBED DIGEST Issue 3, PLASMA FREQUENCY Issue 2, and several issues of BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY.

Friday, January 4, 2019

First Print-on-Demand Sales of 2019!

My first print-on-demand sale of 2019…
SOLD 1/1/2019 to an admirer of art in Germany:
1x Tri-blend T-Shirt of Crossbow.

My second print-on-demand sale of 2019...
SOLD 1/4/2019 through Redbubble to an admirer of art in the US:
1x Sticker of Tiger and Dragon.

I’m always especially pleased to see the sale of a print-on-demand item featuring an artwork or illustration I originally composed for publication in a zine. It might be rather mercenary for me to think this, but I like to think such a sale is double validation of my work as an artist and illustrator. In the case of my “Tiger and Dragon”, the piece was created upon request. It first appeared as an illustration accompanying Vince Gotera’s “Menage à Tiger and Dragon”, a series of four poems, in ALTERED REALITY MAGAZINE.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Art on Cover of January 2019 BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY

The January 2019 issue of BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY is out. The front cover features my illustration of the Lovecraftian Wendigo-type entity "Ithaqua". Check it out!
Bards and Sages Quarterly (January 2019)

The Obligatory Year-End Retrospective...

Since I spent most of 2018 concentrating on other things (like managing and expanding my print-on-demand stores), I hardly  worked at sending out any art to publications. Even so, I had a few art publications this year. Among the highlights, I did the front cover art, back cover art, and frontispiece for Herb Kauderer's poetry collection RECALIBRATING THE FUTURE. This happened to be work done on assignment. I wouldn't mind doing more work-on-assignment. As a matter of fact, at this point, I prefer it over unsolicited art submissions.

Another art highlight of 2018 - I finally created a work featuring Stinkbottom Troll, a character my daughter created when she was just a kid. "Hiding from Stinkbottom Troll" appeared on the cover of the October 2018 issue of SPACEPORTS & SPIDERSILK. I don't mind doing the occasional piece for S&S, since the editor truly looks forward to what I might send her way, and I've become something of a regular S&S cover art contributor. Plus, I love doing fun stuff for a younger audience. It suits my style.

My most recent art publication just came out, thought it's really the cover art for the January 2019 issue of a zine (BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY). Still, it's a work I created this year. It's my illustration of the Lovecraftian Wendigo-type Old One "Ithaqua". It's pretty darned cool looking (pardon the pun).

One other work that I did for a zine, but one that was also done with the intention of using it in my PoD stores, was my illustration featuring an array of draconic creatures of myth and legend. The creatures appeared separately alongside the various sections of my non-fiction article "A Variety of Draconic Creatures" published in ALTERED REALITY MAGAZINE back in June of this year. All together, they appear on various items in my stores.

Speaking of my draconic creatures article, that was the only new piece of writing that I saw published this year. I am no longer actively writing for publication, and I just happened into the opportunity of writing this article. You could say it was written upon request. Plus, it's non-fiction, which has always seemed an easier sell for me than fiction.

On the reprint/re-publication front, I did self-publish a couple of little Kindle collections of my previously published short stories. Unfortunately, sales of these collections have been just about non-existent. It just drives home the fact that I should continue down the path of concentrating on my art. However, I do have an illustrated SF&F poetry collection in the works. I just need to complete the illustrations for it (I've already done the front and back cover artworks and frontispiece).

So, it looks like I'll finally have a poetry collection of my own (though not before the end of the year). That's one thing to look forward to in 2019. Fingers crossed hoping for good luck this time around! (After some of my past experiences trying to get a poetry collection published, I need all the good luck I can get!)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Comparison Time: SF&F SJW vs. Possible Net Troll

Comparison time...

In reply to a comment I left on a local news channel's Facebook thread about the latest Facebook security issue, another commenter (who may just be a net troll for all I know) told me that my comment was dumb. At least this person called my comment dumb and didn't resort to calling ME dumb (or blind, or ignorant, or clueless, or moronic, or petty-minded, etc.).

In comparison, in reply to a post I made on my own Facebook wall about the stink over a certain stupid Christmas song, an SF&F editor/publisher/writer that I've dealt with in the past began her comment with (and I quote):
"as a white Male you don't see the issue with the song".

(Also, it appears that I may have been accused of mansplaining when I was told that "instead of mansplaining how women should not be offended you might consider the real world context women live with every day to understand why some are", but this is a bit of an aside to my point here.)

So, let this sink in for a moment. Comparing two recent less-than-complimentary replies my own comments online received, a total stranger and possible net troll was actually less insulting to me personally than an SF&F publisher/editor/writer I actually know on a professional level. The former took issue with my comment, while the latter (in true SF&F world SJW fashion) took issue (right off the bat, to boot) with my gender and race identity.

Any wonder why I would rather not deal with these people anymore? I've gotten to the point now that I'm sorry I ever did!

The SJWs in the SF&F world seem to think themselves morally and intellectually superior to those of us who do not adhere to their ultra-progressive agendas, but they're not, not really. Based on my personal encounters with such people, I cannot help but to think that they have the mental and emotional maturity of middle schoolers. I went through hell in middle school (I was verbally bullied); I would rather not relive it!

BTW, I've got a screenshot of the Facebook thread in question, the one about that song, the one on my FB wall, just for future reference.