Sunday, August 24, 2014



 Well the week begins to wind down for the month of August and birthday has past, Yea me. Another dance around the sun but the question is as always what to do.
Of this I think I have figured out what I need to do currently - make more prints and postcards. Since money is still really tight with people buying now or at least for this last one man show of Scratch and Burn, I gotta make those two things happen. The T-shirts of Gentle Giant are selling but slowly. That's okay for now.
But revenue has gotta start coming in or I'll be looking for a gas station to pump gas at.

And GOD(S) and Universe I don't want that.
The set up for three out of the 7 postcards for Richard Parker
Working on Etsy shop to get the prints going and maybe just maybe I'll have something read to go for card sets. Richard Parker is the first. All the originals are 9”x12” scratchboards and will be reduced in size. Besides that Framing these little guys will be a lot easier than for a gallery show down the road.


... there has been some new developments recently that involve NWIPA. Not t-shirts or a poster but a art show lined up for next year in Mid September. That's a great ego booster for the kid here. Black Box Visual Arts did pretty well this last February there so I could only hope that lightning would strike twice there. And good thing that there is another show to look forward to as the Scratch and Burn show is going to be coming down next month.
But this isn't the only show I am planning on this year.  There has been a invite from the People's Art of Portland Gallery for a show called "ICON".
This is part of the email that was sent me-

Classic Kirk!
"Dear Artist: 

This is an invite to be part of our September exhibition at Peoples Art of Portland Gallery in Pioneer Place Mall. 

It is a themed show, called ICON - a show of portraits. 

Portraits are a classic theme, and we feel that ICON is a broad re-definition of the term "portrait".  We are looking for classical and non-classical portraits of something you hold dear, or in high regard; it could be Elvis (pop icon), Your Best Friend (personal icon), pet, idol, hero, paragon, etc.  

DEF: ICON - a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something.

What is an ICON portrait to you?  We are leaving it pretty open, so have fun, or perhaps you have an ICON painting already in your stable."

I don't have an Icon in my stable but I think I did come up with one recently. One that had much influence on me as a kid and still has a hook in me. That's right it is none other than Capt. James T. Kirk!  
"All Laid Out"  working title for "ICON' group art show this September.

So now I am look at the classic show for a few stills to work off of.  Should be fun.
And of course there is also the BIG 400 (if they keep the that name this year) that I think I am going to participate in as well as at the end of the year.  So I can already tell I'm gonna be busy. 

PLUS I think I might also look into participating in one or two steampunk shows like GEARcon.
This was at the suggestion of my oldest friend whose feeling is that the feel of the scratchboard would work really at a show like that.  It is also helpful that a few friends of mine from the Velvet Coffin production crew also attend this show and are vendors.  This would give me an insight into the show and the vibe to see if it were really something that I should book a table for.  Of course there is a whole lot of preparations for doing a show.
  These days with such a limited amount of time for things both personal and professional unless yer making money over fist you have got to weigh your options.


If you haven't see the show at See See Motor Coffee you better get there soon.  I have been told by Emily the shop curator there the show will be coming down on Sept. 5th.
   A little bit earlier than mid September but still a good run for any show.  And still keep the work fresh and out there for others to see.  
  It worked as a spring board for the kid here to keep the work out these for other galleries to come in and check out.  
I've got a game plan for hitting up the different galleries here in PDX and approaching those few galleries that might be willing to put a show up for the work and showcase my talents as an illustrator.  Good times.


Occasionally you have to wonder which way you have to jump in the business of making art.  There are a lot of sacrifices that you make along the way and some may be costly mistakes than anything else but it's all a learning curve.  
  Where am I going with this, you may ask? 
  When I chose to be a freelance illustrator back in Junior High School (I think they are all called Middle Schools these days) I thought that I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do.  Ha! What did I know when I was 13/14? Nothing.  But as I grew older and hopefully wiser I learned from mistakes.
  One of those mistakes was from personal selfishness of getting away from my parents. The way I figured it I could still live in the northwest and have a semblance of a personal life without totally cutting the umbilical.  That was a mistake.  I should have studied harder than I did.  I was driven by emotion that I couldn't see straight for the goal that I should have aiming for.
  SO WORDS TO THE WISE stay focused on what you really want to do and not get so side tracked by personal obsessions.  A lot easier to say than to do I know but if you have friends you really trust and you know yourself well enough that you make mistakes take their guidance, please.  
  Don't settle for second best - be your best!

   So the website is up and running.  Etsy and the set up for posting prints isn't that far behind and new shows galleries and art events are starting to line up very fast for the kid.  It's a good thing for me as well.  I was getting worried that my work wasn't to anybodies liking.  
  Well as I was having a late night jaunt to the my local beer joint whom did I see sitting outside but Shane from Six Point Brewery. This was the gentleman who had bough Down with the Weirdness earlier this year from me and who also been gracely given me a live recommendation for the work.  He hit me up to see if I might be down for doing a t-shirt design for him.  That to me is always a great opportunity.  So well see, it's just talk currently.

Not at the moment- unless I look in a mirror.

More of this info can be found at

If your wanting to look at some of the older blog for Black Box Comix you can check them out here. Black Box Comix Blog.
There is also Twitter to follow and Tumbler The Other Scratchpad   as well 
Or if you're interested in purchasing something that catches your eye  check out here on the Big Cartel web site.  Big Cartel.
And of course is always the backlog of comics here at Indyplanet.
And the kid is out of here!

Monday, August 18, 2014

So what do you do when...

UPDATE on S.A.B.A. (or also know as Scratch and Burn Art Show)
There are a lot of looks when it comes to the show and this show isn't really any different 'cept the fact that this time I have limited edition prints for sale.  BUT not enough of the prints to represent show that I have up currently.
This something to think about when having a show.  My originals as great as they are are out of reach for some people who really like the work.  

Still waiting on something to sell (as far as I know) from See See's. Though that may sound like a troll waiting for some unexpected traveler to cruise on by but when you are looking to make a move from just making art work a hobby to a self supporting business you are always in survival mode.
HOWEVER...there are commissions.
Troy Tattoo Commission 2014
This is true as I have found a small commission for working on a friend's tattoo. But it really more alike a outline that anything else but sales being a little slow this summer I'll take it.
Here is an example of what I was commissioned for. Of course keep in mind that this is just an outline that I was commissioned for not the detail. But hey, it worked and the funny thing is it will be around for a long, long time.
Also being able to get a few prints made up for the images already hanging doesn't hurt either.  
"Major Tom"  now in print size format.
Remember how I was talking about not having prints available along with the originals that were up at the Scratch and Burn Show? Well by the good graces of the Universe my Girlfriend was kind enough to print me off a couple so now the inventory grows as well as the way I'll pay her back. And now so “Major Tom” is now part of the prints I have up for sale at See See's.
With shows going on and hopefully other shows to come how you generate revenue?
Well that is the question isn't?  So knowing that my artwork really lends itself to the Halloween season and typically darker, edgier stuff. I have to think about cards and prints. And of course the originals as well.  So now comes the time to really push myself to understand the INTERNET structure and on line business to make my work work for me.
This means looking at on line stores like Etsy, Big Cartel etc. to move the work in the post cards as sets and giclee images of my original artwork on scratchboard.   
Galleries will still show the original work and offer to the public the giclee's as low priced alternative (that is, until all people are blessed with being independently wealthy).

SO what is the big deal this time to talk about? People who don't pay for prints and originals that's what.
Not something that a lot of artists like to deal with because it always leaves a bad flavor in your mouth like biting into what looks and smells like a great scramble and then bite and you have egg shells in your teeth. Yuck!
Years ago I ran into a problem like this and it was a friend of friend who commissioned me for a drawing (and mind you I did have a contract written up and signed) but it wasn't what he wanted and and eventually all he wanted was a illustrative tracing of his gal pal. And he only paid for a partial. Well being only small fry I let walk because hey man, I had some cash in pocket. But it did set up the idea of “don't do work for friends”. They will always take advantage of you – especially the people you have known the longest.
Now in more recent years as my artwork has gotten a lot more “radio play”, I haven't had to make a contract with anyone because they all were pretty cool about the half down half on completion of said project along with the customary three strikes rule I use to narrow the focus of what I am working on.
But every once in a while there comes along a friend who does get in under the radar and asks that question and of course you think no problem. These people make money all the time at the bar in their tips so of course you start working on the project before even a piece of money comes across your hand.
BUT admittedly I did change up the work from a 5”x7” to a
Failed Commission "Gentle Giant"  9"x12"
9”x12” scratchboard and in a frame because I liked this person and it was a present for a birthday. But when piece was done “I can't afford that right now.” No problem, I know you're good for it.
Weeks turned into months and still no word even though I had gone into the bar many times but no a word was mentioned. Eventually, I just got tired of waiting and asked if the piece was still there. Yes it was according to the other bar tenders there so I just went down to their office and retrieved the work.
I guess that shows that the best of intentions doesn't mean you're gonna get anything out of it, just empty promises. So learn from the School of Hard Knocks that you should always have a contract with who ever wants you to do artwork for them and get a signature and payment so you're not wasting your time on something that nobody else would ever want.

So lesson learned.
And the kid is out of here.