The kind students and staff of Riverdale Middle School invited me back to their annual Career Day. I had a wonderful time drawing pictures and answering questions for the students. Take a look at the video and see all of the bright young minds and faces. My daughter Callie shot and directed the video, which was no easy task with all of the eager students crowding around.
I created a video tutorial, “Let’s Draw Frankenstein.” It is a basic drawing tutorial and would be great for kids, teachers, artists, and anyone who likes to draw. The tutorial uses simple shapes, like circles, triangles, and squares to create a friendly cartoon version of Frankenstein. I used the free graphic editing program GIMP, to make easier to see what I was doing, but the emphasis is on drawing, regardless of the tool you decide to use. I recommend watching the video in HD to get a better view of the drawing. What are you waiting for? Get out your pencil and paper and draw along with me.
Here is a video of me flipping through one of the printed versions of my Halloween Fun Books. The bonus sketch in the back was for my friend Anne.
I’m still working towards my goal of 1000 total sales of the book. I only have 994 copies left to go. A big thank you to everyone who has already bought a copy. So what have I done right and wrong in my first product launch. First, what has gone right, because it is a short list. One of the most important things is that the artwork turned out like I had envisioned. I actually can not take credit for the best idea of the book launch. The idea was my daughter’s. Originally, I wanted the book to be available only as a digital download, because I wanted buyers to be able to create as many copies of the book as they need. Callan, my youngest daughter, said that I needed to sell a printed copy with the PDF so that people would get something to hold and so she could have something to show her friends. Of the six orders so far, five have been printed copies, and she sold two of them to her friends at school and will most likely sell more. She is awesome and she was right.
So what did I do wrong? Frankly there is a lot ridding on the launch for me financially, so I feel like a lot has gone wrong. Since the book is Halloween themed, it needed to be released a couple of weeks sooner. Second, I did not do enough to let people know before hand that the book was coming out. Third, I really don’t have a large following or regular traffic, but I’m working on it, so I really needed to find better ways to get the word out. Forth, I’m not good at getting the word out. I’m always worried about being the person who is constantly promoting and saying buy this, buy this, buy this. I just need to find the middle ground that I’m comfortable with, or find an agent. The agent job may already be taken by my daughter, now that I think of it.
What now? I won’t deny that it is sometimes frustrating and depressing, when you put your heart, hard work, and a lot of hope into something, and it does not turn out the way you had it pictured in your head. On the positive side of things, I’ve learned a lot about what I can do different with the next launch, how to create a book, and to never give up. I have a million ideas and I’m positive one of them well do well. It does not have to make a million dollars, just support me and my girls. The most important thing is to create a product that is true to you as a person and artist, and for that I’m most proud. I have created a book that is about having fun, Halloween, costumes, coloring, childhood, family time, and that is what I love.
If you like, you can get the digital version – $4 or the deluxe printed version – $10, by visiting the Book Order page here. You can also help by spreading the word about the book or my artwork. Also, you can simply leave a comment with your thoughts, ideas, or suggestions.
The fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Something about the cooler air and the beautiful fall foliage makes me happy. Halloween is one of my other favorite things about the season. My version of Halloween was not really about dark scary things that go bump in the night, but rather about fun and dressing up. I wanted to be a knight, a superhero, the Frito Bandito(see video below), or a robot. Certainly the candy is nice, but it was so much fun to put on your costume and walk around the neighborhood with all of the wonderful decorations. It was a magical time for me growing up. I certainly draw some of my creative inspiration from both the season and my memories.
What season gives you creative inspiration? What was your favorite costume or candy?