Sometimes admitting that we’ve failed, or fallen short of a planned goal, is hard. And it’s necessary. As artists we’ve all had countless pieces get scrapped in-progress, never to see the light of day. This is how we learn and grow, and eventually get better at our craft; by learning from our mistakes.
Having said that I’m none-too-happy to announce the failure of my Old Ones Kickstarter initiative. It ended about 2 weeks ago (well short of the mark with only 10% funding) and I’ve just been putting off the inevitable process of realization and growth, because it can be a painful process.
I have to admit though, it’s 100% my fault. I think the most obvious blunder I made was trying to raise too much money, for a project that was just too big. 108 pages is a lot, and 8k is a huge chunk of change to ask people to throw down on a young, relatively unknown artist. I also didn’t offer updates as often as I should have, and should have planned those out in advance. I also should have put together a video, but my stage fright and odd social behavior kept me from doing so. This time. (for an awesome Kickstarter primer check out this article by Jason Brubaker.)
So after a little brainstorming with my studio mate Jake Ekiss The Old Ones has taken on a slightly different form. It’s now a more humble 52 pages story, focusing on the horror and sci-fi aspects that originally inspired me to write it. It also won’t be printed, at least not at first. I’ll be offering it up on the web at some point, and in the meantime will be looking into digital distribution methods as well. Once I have a solid plan I may even open up another Kickstarter fundraiser.
Surprisingly the other side of my artistic life, my freelance design and illustration work, is going extremely well. I’m lining up web and print work left and right, and while it may not be glamorous or for big-name brands, it pays the bills and lets me do what I love for a living; create.
So what have the past few months taught me? Well first off comics is a cut-throat business. Not because of the people involved, just because of the sheer number of artists trying to break in, and the already established artists fighting to keep their pages coming. I’m also lucky that I have the design and interactive expertise to fall back on; otherwise I might be in real trouble.
For better or worse marketing and advertising pays and it pays wells. You sell your soul sometimes, but you get paid up front, not on the back end.