Sunday, July 31, 2011
I have been wanting to combine some of my sword drawings into one image for a while, but I never tried until now because none of the drawings were to the same scale. I was afraid I would never get the images scaled properly. However, using GIMP, I managed to get three of my medieval sword drawings to approximately the same scale. At first, I was worried about the parchment-type background bleeding through the sword images, but I decided it actually gives the piece something of an antique look. Now my "Three Medieval Swords", featuring a Norman-era sword, a Great Sword of the 13th or 14th century, and an acutely pointed thrusting sword of the Late Middle Ages, appears on merchandise in my Zazzle store (the image used in the store lacks the caption and the frame).
In addition to adding an image which combined three of my medieval sword drawings, I also managed to add my "Late Medieval Sword" drawing to a variety of items in my Zazzle Store. This sort of sword of the 14th or 15th century, with its acute point, was designed to thrust through mail or through chinks in plate armour.
Items featuring both images can be found in the "Medieval / Swords" category in the Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Not that I want to make a habit of doing art for exposure only, but I told the art director to send a story my way and I'll see what I can come up with. I'm not opposed to doing art simply for exposure, on occasion. If this works out, it will be a brand new venue for my work. More eyes viewing my art is always a good thing. However, I would also like to get paid on a more regular basis. After all, that happens to be one of my current goals.
Anyway, more news on this latest art publication possibility as it develops.
Of course, plenty of my unsolicited artwork has also been published, both as cover art and interior illustration, illustrating both my own works and the works of others.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Now, it looks as if the site-in-question is a forum. Does that mean fair use applies? Perhaps, I'm not really sure. However, I don't see anywhere in the entry where the art is attributed to yours truly. It's hard to figure out the site's details; although the posting-in-question is in English, the site itself is in Greek.
Anyway, this does prove one thing; my art can turn up in the strangest places. It also proves that someone thought my rendering of the Unseelie Court worthy enough to appear in this listing of the fair folk, alongside Alan Lee's "Urisk" nevertheless.
By the way, in case there are any questions whether or not that is actually my artwork on the Greek site, "The Unseelie Court" appears on-line legitimately at Horror Bound Online Magazine. Previously, it had appeared alongside my poem "The Unseelie Court" in the horror e-zine Fantastic Horror, but Fantastic Horror is now dead and the site is no more.
Monday, July 18, 2011
As if getting all those designs on iPod Touch cases wasn't enough work, I also spent some time putting several of my sword drawings on return address labels. I almost doubled the number of return address labels available in my Zazzle store. Anyone interested in swords or arms and armour in general may be interested in my return address labels featuring various historic swords, from the "Viking Sword" to the "Scottish Basket-Hilt". In addition to the swords, I also have a return address label featuring my illustration of the "Poleaxe of Edward IV".
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I just deleted a rather "trollish" comment on the wall over at my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. An apparent troll calling itself "davey" left a comment to the effect that I have a big head. The comment said nothing about my art or the merchandise featuring my artwork, which is the whole purpose of having the store, just an obnoxious reference to my personal appearance.
Do I need to change my profile pic to my blue lion or my Azure Lion Productions logo? Am I asking for such trollish comments by using a photo of my face? Have things become that nasty?
I consider my Zazzle store to be a place of business. It is not a playground. Anything inappropriate will be deleted asap. I will not tolerate any shenanigans over at my store.
By the way, I wear a size extra large hat, so I do indeed have a big head. I need a big head to hold all the stuff crammed in there! Still, leaving a comment on the wall of my Zazzle store pointing out the fact that I have a big head is not an appropriate comment to make at a place of business.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
You want to sell? You are going to have to promote. It is as simple as that. In today's day and age, social networks, blogs, and even forums are part of an artist's (including literary artist) self-promotional arsenal (although many forums frown on self-promotion).
Personally, I would rather self-promote than not. I would rather get the word out regarding my publications and the items featuring my artwork, than let fear that someone will think me a horrible spammer keep me from getting the word out at all. I would rather let people know about my works than worry I'm going to be blocked as a spammer by some overly-sensitive soul. In terms of the Zazzle merchandise in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store, I figure I'm never going to sell items featuring my artwork if no one ever knows about them.
If you don't like my self-promotion, ignore it. There is plenty of stuff out there that I don't like, or that doesn't apply to me, but that I simply ignore (like the dating site adds that pop up on various sites). It seems to me that it's all a part of having an on-line presence. I'm going to keep self-promoting on social networks and the like because there may be others that don't ignore it, because some people may be made aware of my works and wares thanks to my social network self-promotion.
Like I said, you want to sell, you better promote what you're selling. Neglect to promote it, and the public may never know about it, and may never buy it.
(Notice above how I slipped a promotion of my Zazzle store into this post .)
Monday, July 11, 2011
I'm starting to think that I will never have much luck with my prose fiction, beyond a few 100 word drabbles and my single story longer than flash or a drabble published in the All Souls' Night 2010 issue of Hungur. I can sell my artwork, both in the world of publication and to the wider world on merchandise in my Zazzle store. I can sell my speculative poetry on a fairly regular basis, at least to some venues. I can even sell non-fiction on occasion. However, I seem to be having difficulty selling my prose fiction.
Oh well. I guess it's time to send the story back out. However, all this difficulty makes it hard for me to write more prose fiction. It wreaks havoc with my motivation. If my prose fiction is not going to sell, and if my time is better spent on things that will sell (art, poetry, non-fiction), why bother writing prose fiction? At least I'm not restricted to one thing.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Basically, I'm wondering if I should go ahead with an idea I have for reusing some concept art I did, but I'm not sure if it's worth the work. If the artwork containing the previously-posted monsters would be considered previously published regardless of what else I add to the images, it might not be worth proceeding with my idea.
Anyway, that's what one has to do, move on after suffering disappointment, and hope for a better outcome the next time. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or...
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Check 'em out!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
(If that's what it takes to get a little attention around here.)
Maybe I didn't touch on the right controversial subjects. How to change that? Hm...
I guess I didn't offend the right groups with the potentially-offensive poems I mentioned. I may start offending the right groups, just to get attention.
(Yes, I'm being a bit absurd again.)
By the way, in case you were wondering, all three poems were published in zines. Two of them were published in more than one venue. "The Damnation of Daniel Brewster" originally appeared in The New Bedlam Project, Vol. 1 Issue 1, published April 2009. "My Final Masterpiece" originally appeared in the December 2008 issue of Niteblade, and also appeared in House of Horror, Issue #10, published April 2010, and the House of Horror Best of 2010 Anthology, published November 2010. "Marriage of Earth and Antares" originally appeared in Sounds of the Night, Issue 2, published February 2008, and also appeared in the September/October 2010 Issue of Aphelion.
This means, come August, I will have a little bit more prose fiction out there, even if it is just two stories of one-hundred words each. It's a step ahead, even if it is just a little one (little step for little stories - get it).
If you didn't check out the poem previously, please check it out now. I think it's a good example of the sort of language I like to use in my verse works. I even managed to slip in "eldritch". Eldritch happens to be one of my favourite words, and it's possible connection to the realm of fairy (the root of the word may be Old English "aelf" + "rice", "elf realm") makes it an especially appropriate word for use in a poem about the "bean sidhe" (fairy woman).
Freedom of expression in art means that, sooner or later, someone somewhere will find something offensive. Personally, I'm offended by, and don't see the artistic merits of, a portrait of the Virgin Mary adorned with elephant dung. However, I acknowledge the artist's freedom to express himself in that fashion, if he so chooses. Personally, I find a poem that might offend blacks, Jews, Muslims, the disabled, LBGTs, etc., to be in bad taste, but as an artist I recognise the poet's freedom to express themselves artistically in that fashion, if they so choose. If a publication publishes such a work, if they see artistic merit in it even though some might be offended, tough sh*t to those being offended. That is the price to be paid in a society that allows freedom of artistic expression. (Hate speech is different, but I don't think we're talking about hate speech here, I think we're talking about artistic expression.)
Plenty of people have undoubtedly questioned the artistic merit of my own works (I have been told by some that certain examples of my poetry aren't very poetic), but I have the right to express myself however I choose. I go where my muse takes me. I acknowledge the right of other artists to do the same, even if I don't agree with the path their muse takes them.
What gets me is that some creative/artistic individuals have a hard time when other creative/artistic individuals go in a direction that might possibly offend. Freedom of artistic expression means freedom to do just that, freedom to offend. Maybe certain publications recognise that fact, and take risks to publish potentially offensive material to present the broadest artistic view possible. Maybe they don't want to restrict themselves to one narrow view, to the course demanded by a few vocal individuals.
Freedom of artistic expression isn't always pretty, but it's better than the alternative. Restrictions on artistic expression because certain choices might offend is less than free.
Friday, July 1, 2011
My artwork "Elf and Troll" adorns the cover of the July 2011 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly, which apparently just came out (it is now July, after all). Print copies of the zine are available for purchase on Amazon.com HERE. A Kindle version is available for purchase HERE.
If you take a look at my cover art, pay special attention to the leaves in the foreground, on what is supposed to be the forest floor beneath an oak tree. I was especially proud of the job I did on those leaves. They certainly took long enough to draw!
Maybe I should consider submitting my fairy-themed art that was to adorn the cover of the Summer 2011 Abandoned Towers, the issue that now will never be, to Bards and Sages Quarterly. I will have to think about sending it their way. Previous acceptances are no guarantee of future acceptances, but the powers that be at Bards and Sages Quarterly did seem to like "Elf and Troll" well enough. I think my "An Invitation to Elfame" is, in some ways, an even better piece of artwork, and it was designed from the start to function as a cover. "Elf and Troll" was not.
Time to move onward and, hopefully, upward!
At some point in the not-too-distant future, I will have to move some of the images of mine that were on merchandise in the Abandoned Towers Zazzle Store onto merchandise in my own Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. More on that as it happens. Stay tuned!
I will have to look more thoroughly into all of my publishing options (including the possibility of self-publishing). I may decide to continue work on the collection at a later date, or I may decide to set aside the lighter speculative poetry collection for now and go back to the earlier dark poetry collection. I always preferred the darker collection anyway; I think it had a more solid theme. I certainly feel that my darker works are among my strongest works.
I'm hoping to have a collection of my works sooner or later, but now it might be later rather than sooner.