the_gneech: (Default)
My best self.

As I write this, I’m sitting at the drawing table pictured, wearing the headphones and necklace pictured. The rest is a bit harder to pull off. >.>





So! How was 2018? On the grand social scale, of course, it was a dumpster fire. This is hardly news. All the worst people, frantically trying to destroy not just the USA but the whole world, before it all comes crashing down and they end up shooting themselves in the bunker. It’s as inevitable as it is sad. But those of us who are working to build something better will keep working.





On my own personal front, by comparison, it’s been what you might call a challenging year– not in a drama and angsty way, but in the form of taking on difficult obstacles and working to overcome them. This came mostly through the coach training, which was a deep dive into 49 years of mud and gunk that needed cleaning out, but was also singularly more effective than decades of counseling had been on that front. (Which is not to bag on my counselors over the years, but they just didn’t have the intensive focus of the coach training.)





So, looking back on my plans for the year, how did I do?





  1. Gneech, Life Coach. This is up and running! I have passed my exams with Accomplishment Coaching and I’m about 2/3 of the way to my first ICF certification. Right now I’m working on fluffing up my client base a bit more, and I expect to go on to become a Mentor Coach for next year’s program. I’ve got a coaching blog up and running, and I’m looking forward to big things on this front in 2019.

  2. Help Laurie Get Her Business Running. Well, I did help! She’s still working on it. >.> The business exists, we’re getting our insurance through it, so that’s good! The rest of it is up to her. 🙂

  3. Stable and Reliable Income. This piece is still under construction. As the coaching business grows, it will naturally come to pass.

  4. Figure Out What’s Up With My Writing. Honestly, I just didn’t have time to work on this with the coach training going on. I have a project in place to take this on again in 2019.

  5. Sell. A. Book. Didn’t happen, ‘cos above.

  6. Issues Seven, Eight, and Nine. Seven done. Eight 1/2 way done. Nine will have to come next year.

  7. Continue Fixing the Country. I’ve marched, I’ve voted, I’ve campaigned, I’ve called my reps a million times. It’s an ongoing process.

  8. Take a Vacation. Alas, did not happen.




It essentially boils down to “the coach training was huge and intense and took most of my mental energy.” So a lot of other things didn’t get done while that was happening. I have no regrets, though– this was something I badly needed.





What did happen was that for the first time since I can remember, I really and truly became friends with myself– like, all of myself, even the parts I had not been willing to talk to since I was four. There was a specific moment that I had never forgiven myself or let go of the pain and shame from, which I confronted and processed… finally. Only forty-five years later! But better late than never.





Confronting this moment led to the birth of Nii-chan, about whom I’ve written at length elsewhere. In a lot of ways, she is the best version of me, and whenever I find myself wondering what I want to do about something, or who I should be in a moment, I ask myself “What would Nii-chan do?” She’s like the integrated version of the Three Lions and an Otter, but even her version of Business Guy is a lot happier. (Nii-chan is also practice for my next incarnation, so I can hit the planet running when that comes to pass. I don’t want to waste forty years of my next life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.)





So, yeah. It’s been a big year on that score. But where do I want to go in 2019?





  1. Bring Rough Housing to Its Conclusion. 2019 will be the 20th anniversary of Suburban Jungle, and it seems a fitting place to bring that chapter to a close. My current plan is to finish the story at the end of issue ten. As my hand tremors get worse, it is becoming harder to keep up with what was already an ambitious production schedule, and honestly, I think that story-wise, RH will be done at that point. So I’d rather finish something and feel good about it, than to drag it out to stay within the familiar.

  2. Writing Goals. My goalposts on this front are two short stories sold, an agent secured for Sky Pirates of Calypsitania, a furry novel written for NaNoWriMo, and an anthology project created with FurPlanet.

  3. She-Ra Writing Gig. Seeing Seanan McGuire geek out about landing the writing job on Spider-Gwen made me realize that I wanted that experience in my life. Spider-Gwen is a character that Seanan was pretty much born to write, and honestly, I feel the same about Catra and myself. I have no idea how I’m going to convince the She-Ra writing team to let me on board, but I’ll find a way.

  4. Full Coaching Client Roster. My goal is 14+ clients by this time next year, including five Creativity Klatch clients and three Mentor Coaching clients.

  5. California Trip. I miss Big Sur like whoa.

  6. 222 Pounds. Something that wasn’t on my 2018 list was losing weight– so naturally I made big strides on that! XD Specifically I lost 30 pounds since May, bringing me to my lowest adult weight yet. I have another 50 pounds to go to be at my goal weight of 222, but I am confident that I will hit it this year.

  7. Continue Continuing to Fix the Country. Keep going ’til it doesn’t suck.




So, yeah. That’s where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going. I think 2019 is gonna be a great year. 🙂

the_gneech: (Default)
Blacktigr reference sheet commission

Okay, so it turns out that raffles are officially not allowed as Patreon rewards. Like, at all. Some people may still be doing them, but it is technically a violation of TOS (third bullet under All About Being a Creator), so my idea of a raffle is out.


So instead, I’ve decided to invite my subscribers to come up with and vote on a piece of bonus art by describing something they’d like to see me draw over the next few days. Then later this week (probably Weds or Thurs) I’ll bring them all together into a poll and everyone can vote on what they’d like to see. Think of it as a crowdsourced commission. 😉


(Note: This is in addition to the monthly SJ Boogie and other images.)


Ground Rules



  1. It has to be something I’m willing to draw, so all the usual caveats of no gore, cruelty, disempowerment, that kind of jazz apply. Things I’m not willing to draw, simply won’t go onto the poll.

  2. It can involve the SJ cast, OCs, pop culture characters, whatever. It could be another Ponies vs. Daleks piece if that’s what would float your boat.

  3. Maximum three characters, pls.

  4. It can be a NSFW piece (rule 1 still applies), but that would only be available to $5+ subscribers. If a SFW version is feasible, that will be available to all subscribers.


So! Whattya want to see? 🙂 Here are some potential ideas I’ve had, which will also be on the poll:



  • Finished version of Slippery When Wet.

  • Langley: Bikini-top snatcher! And a very irritated Charity.

  • Ponies vs. Daleks: Princess Luna

  • Ponies vs. Daleks: Princess Cadance


Head on over and post your ideas! (Only ideas from subscribers will go into the poll, thanks! ^.^’)


-The Gneech

the_gneech: (Default)
Sorry about that! Patreon doesn't like raffles! I'll figure out something else to do!

-TG
the_gneech: (Default)

Midwest Furfest 2017 was awesome!


Hello, all you awesome readers, and thanks for your November support! It’s been kind of a nutso month for me… I started a part-time job, moved (AGAIN) for what I hope will be the last time for a while, got about halfway through NaNoWriMo before I had to punt, and of course got Issue Six and the first trade collection done in time for Midwest Furfest. So, yeah, just a little busy there. ^.^’


December is hopefully going to be less frantic, but there will still be some big stuff going on. I’ll be starting work on issue seven, hopefully to begin posting late in the month or in January. I will also keep working on Child of the Tower (and posting it to the writing WIP tier for my Patreon subscribers). Finally, I am looking at creating another Patreon tier for art going in a completely new direction than I have done before, but I don’t want to say too much about that until I’ve got all the kinks worked out.


So tl;dr version, thanks for a great November, and watch for more great stuff coming in December! Thanks, everyone. You rock!


-The Gneech


PS: Commission Queue as of December 7, 2017!



  • LKCMSL NaNo cover. Paid: Yes; Due: ASAP

  • Redliox/Blue Shenanigans, again! Paid: No; Due: Dec/Jan

  • Joey Gatorman SJ AU. Paid: No; Due: TBD

  • COMMISSIONS ARE OPEN!

    TV Troops

    Jan. 17th, 2017 03:14 pm
    the_gneech: (Default)

    Fandom Guy loves you! And fish. He also loves fish.


    There was a kerfluffle, back in the dim dark past, during which some self-important pedant at Wikipedia decided that webcomics were not “worthy of note” and systematically went through and deleted them all. What I said at the time, and it’s still true, was that I was actually a lot prouder and happier that Suburban Jungle had a TVTropes.org page, because as far as audience engagement in the modern world goes, that’s a lot more significant.


    I haven’t looked at it in a while, but last night on a whim I decided to check it and was chuffed to discover that it’s still being updated, in particular making a note of a page in the current issue, posted in November, where Charity runs so fast she breaks the panel border. So, while Suburban Jungle‘s TV Tropes page isn’t the huge lots-of-subpages juggernaut that something like Firefly is, it is still current and alive.


    Charity welcomes you with a pineapple!This makes me happy. XD And I want to build on it. As with the Community Welcome Thread, I want to create a “third place” for people within Suburban Jungle, where people can bring their own creativity and energy to bear rather than just passively reading the comic and then moving on to the next link in their bookmarks. We’ve been there before, thanks to the networking powerhouse that was Mammallamadevil, but also because the word was being spread by folks like Hikaru, the Dirt Den Inn crew, HBar98, TK, and dozens of others.


    Rekindling the fandom is one of my big goals for 2017. The semi-regular streaming (generally Monday, Tuesday, and/or Wednesday nights at 7:30 EST) is the first part of that. It’s up and running at full tilt, and either this week or next I’ll be adding a new camera so that I can record doing real media commissions as well. An even bigger piece is under construction right now with the help of several collaborators— but that probably won’t really take shape until March or April.


    In the meantime, I’ll just have to keep on keeping on, and I hope you’ll do the same. Get interested, and get involved! If there are ways we can build the fandom, I’d love to hear about them. But I can’t do it alone!


    -The Gneech

    the_gneech: (Default)
    THIS JUST IN:

    1. Otter had delicious tuna for lunch. :d

    2. Otter had delicious pineapple for snack. :d

    3. Otter is happy.

    4. Otter would be happier with 60º and sunshine, but otter will take what he can get.


    That is all for now. Further bulletins as events warrant.

    -The Gneech
    the_gneech: (Default)

    Fandom Guy loves you! And fish. He also loves fish.


    Skip a week for the holidays, and suddenly I have a billion things to talk about! Let’s jump right in!


    The Gneech on a surfboard shape with the title Bringin' the Awesome


    So you remember I wasn’t satisfied with the “Three Lions and an Otter” motif because it was too close to M.C.A. Hogarth’s “Three Jaguars?” Sure ya do, it’s like the next post down from here. Anyway! I happened to be looking at my LinkedIn page and noticed a little thing I had dropped into my bio: “I’m all about bringin’ the awesome.”


    Well… yeah. 😀


    So that’s gonna be my thing. Expect a lot more bringin’ the awesome in 2017! The three lions and an otter are still there– they’re how I organize my workflow and my thoughts– but they’ll probably fade into the background a bit.


    Commission Price Reorganization


    My last price list update was in the summer and was pretty vague and incomplete. Pricing your own art is always tough– it’s kinda like a magic trick, and knowing how it’s done makes you forget the work and practice that actually went into it. I was told by a few artists I respect that I was undercharging, and I think it may have actually been hurting my sales, if the table at Midwest Furfest is an indicator.


    So this is a heads-up, my prices will be going up a bit later this month, but they’ll also be more clearly defined, so it’ll be easier to look at what I offer, compare it to your budget, and decide what’s right for you.


    “Learn To Use Copics” Sale!


    Also! Part of my holiday splurge was to pick up something I’ve wanted for a while now: I bought myself twenty shiny new Copic markers, and I’m itching to learn how to use them! So in a week or two I’m going to open up slots for full-color real-media commissions at a crazy discount price, with the proviso that your piece will be a guinea pig for Copic practice, so the colors might be a little all-over-the-map. XD


    Streaming Is a Thing!


    The Gneech Streaming on TigerdileSo I have settled on Tigerdile as my streaming service of choice, and they’ve been pretty great so far. They’ve been responsive and friendly, and the site has a lot of nice features, with more coming in the new year. I’ll be streaming pretty regularly on Monday, Tuesday, and/or Wednesday nights, starting around 7:30 p.m. EST, working on commissions, the next comic page, or whatever else happens to be going on at any given time.


    Phew! I think that’s everything for now? If not, I’ll let you know. 😉 Thanks for reading, and stay awesome!


    -The Gneech


    Share
    the_gneech: (Default)

    Fandom Guy loves you! And fish. He also loves fish.


    As mentioned last week, I’m in the midst of something of a “brand overhaul,” which includes everything from my comics and art, to my novel writing career, to my business writing and graphic design efforts. Each of these categories need a slightly different approach, and I’m still banging out a strategy for that, but today I’m concentrating on the art end of things. Because this past week I set up a TigerDile streaming page, for which I needed some graphics to spruce up the place. To that end, I tossed together this banner image:


    Three Lions and an Otter! Art by John 'The Gneech' Robey


    Honestly? I like it. I like it a lot, in fact, except there’s one big problem, and that’s using “Three Lions and an Otter” as the central motif. It’s a handy model and I think there’s value in it as a touchstone for myself, but it’s not what I want to use for my “brand identity.”


    As I took pains to point out when I first started using it, the idea was shamelessly stolen from inspired by M.C.A. Hogarth’s Three Jaguars. This is not a secret. In fact, it’s kinda the whole point. It was intended as a respectful nod towards a brilliant conceit. But what do I immediately get every time I reference “Three Lions and an Otter”?


    “Say, are you familiar with Maggie Hogarth?”


    “Y’know, M.C.A. Hogarth did something similar. You should check it out.”


    “Have you seen Three Jaguars?”


    Okay, world. I get it. Message received. XD


    So I’m still casting about for a proper umbrella term to use for my “personal brand.” Don’t be surprised to see me “trying on” a few different ideas in the upcoming weeks! Some great ones I’ve seen over the years besides “Three Jaguars” include Michele Light’s Light Bright Studios, the OzFoxes, and so on.


    I thought about simply broadening “Suburban Jungle” to reference the body of my work, with the original comic and Rough Housing simply being two projects flying under that banner, but I worry that might be too confusing. Those two projects share a history and a continuity, which random bits of furry art or whatever might not.


    So… still chewing on it. I’m open to suggestions if you have any!


    -The Gneech


    Share
    the_gneech: (Default)

    Three Lions and an Otter


    One of the purposes of identifying the three lions and an otter was they made handy touchstones for the tasks I need to get through with my writing and illustration. My plan was (and still pretty much is) that each of them would get a certain day (or days) during the week for their thing, to help me keep focused and on task.


    Of the four of them, Content Guy requires the most time, because he’s the one who actually does the writing and drawing. On the other hand, Business Guy’s stuff doesn’t take as long, but it’s such a struggle for him that it feels like it takes forever. Fandom Guy loves what he does and is always having fun, but he has to focus his efforts on the days when people are most likely to be listening.


    Muse never does anything directly. So she has no day… or it might be said she has every day.


    Thus, assuming a five-day work week (which may or may not be a valid assumption), the week breaks down like so:



    • Monday: Fandom Guy! I haven’t looked into it recently, but for a long time the stats of websites made it very clear that Monday was the day people were most likely to check out links and want to be distracted from their day. So if Fandom Guy wants attention, this is the day to go for it. That’s why Suburban Jungle goes up on Mondays, and so when Fandom Guy has something to say, that’s the day you can expect to hear from him.

    • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: Content Guy. Assuming nothing else gets in the way, these are the days our hard-working lion spends down in the pixel mines. Of course, this can also include work for Fandom Guy in the case of things like streaming sessions or posting commissions and the like. But these days are mostly for just getting the work done.

    • Friday: Business Guy. Last but not least, our frazzled number cruncher does his thing on Fridays, whether it’s paying the bills, keeping URLs up to date, booking convention hotels/travel, hunting down markets/editors to submit to, or updating merchandise availability. Why does he get Friday? So that at the end of a long day doing things for which he has little talent and less patience, he can kick back and have the weekend. 😉 He earns it!


    Now given that the average page of Suburban Jungle takes me two days to draw, this means that Content Guy only has one day dedicated to business writing gigs, commissions, book writing and whatever else. But the sneaky trick here is that Fandom Guy and Business Guy rarely need a whole day each week, so Content Guy gets whatever they don’t use. Also, well, weekends are a thing. As the old saying goes, “Find a job you like and you’ll never work another day of your life.” I write and draw because that’s what I enjoy doing (and because I kinda can’t not do them), so as long as I have some time to spend with Mrs. Gneech and the kitties, “working” on the weekend is the opposite of a problem.


    And on that note, I’ve got commissions to work on! Catcha later.


    -The Gneech


    Share
    the_gneech: (Default)

    Fandom Guy loves you! And fish. He also loves fish.

    So one thing that was made quite clear at the most recent Midwest Furfest is that I’ve really gotta get back in touch with the fandom. Suburban Jungle used to mean room parties and charity auction cameos going for hundreds of dollars, but this past weekend it seemed to be “That comic everybody used to know and remembers fondly.”


    Dude. What am I, the Animaniacs? XD Nostalgia is not my brand!


    Seriously tho, I think a lot of the problem is that as time has gone on, I’ve just gotten out of touch. I met plenty of people at the convention who’d never heard of me or my work, but upon seeing the art were instantly interested in checking it out. So clearly what I’ve got to do is get it front of more eyeballs!


    To that end, I’m working on a retool of my online presence generally, looking for new venues to spread the word and so on. Besides the usual DeviantArt and FurAffinity accounts, I’m going to start posting more of my work on my Tumblr account (which has until now been little more than reblogs), I created a Pinterest board for my art, and I have (finally) started dipping my toes into groups on Telegram.


    Sometime by the end of the year I expect to also start streaming fairly regularly on Monday and/or Tuesday nights as I work on the next comic page. Right now I’m still researching that, looking for artists with successful streams and watching what they do. (If you have faves, let me know! I want to see ALL THE STREAMS.)


    As a general thing, I also just sorta need to get back out into the world. Over the past years I had kinda retreated into a cocoon as I dealt with the slings and arrows being fired at me by outrageous fortune, and I’m finally sticking my head back out. (What did I find? 2016. For cryin’ out loud, world, I hide away for just a few years, and you turn into a dumpster fire? I want you to go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done while the rest of us clean up this mess.)


    …Er, sorry, what was I saying? Right, getting back in touch with the world. I’ve got a few volunteers who are helping me with that, and I’ll gratefully take any assistance I can get, but nothing replaces me getting out there and taking care of it myself. I need to do a lot more connecting with the world than just posting to LiveJournal and Twitter, and that’s going to be a big priority for me over the next several weeks.


    If anyone has ideas on what I should do, I’d love to hear them! 😀


    -The Gneech


    Share
    the_gneech: (Kero asleep)

    Three Good Things for Today


    1. Copic markers get

    2. Beads and bangles get

    3. Worked my way back up to burpees


    Three Goals for Tomorrow


    1. Work on job hunt

    2. Pencil & ink page six

    3. Fandom Guy post [1]


    G'nite world, and have an awesome tomorrow. :)

    -The Gneech

    [1] You remember Fandom Guy, right? He's da otter me.
    the_gneech: (Default)
    Stressy, flaily, and S.A.D.-ey all week, which is not a healthy place for my mind to be. So today I made it a priority to meditate in some form. Since that's built right into the Weiss past life regression video, I figured that was a good way to go.

    This session's healing color was straight up sunlight, particularly yellow-white and warm southern California sunlight. Gee, I can't imagine why.

    The childhood memory that came up was sitting at the dining room table, c. 1981 or so, watching The Adventures of Robin Hood on the portable 6" TV while eating spaghetti. This swirled and mixed with memories of one night that we (Mom, Dad, Brother and self) went through something like five Celeste pizzas at the same dinner table, just cooking one right after the other. (This was back when Celeste still made full-size pizzas.) I have no particular reason why this memory should come up other than association– [livejournal.com profile] lythandra and I recently watched Robin Hood on TCM.

    The prompt for in utero memories prompted the usual sort of generic gurgling noises and sensation of being upside down, although the suggestion to remember my birth did prompt a mental image of my parents and siblings as they would have appeared when I was a newborn, with my mom holding a baby that was presumably "me" (seen from third person). I have no idea if this is associated with a real memory from the hospital, or it's a composite based on photos I've seen of my family from that era.

    When prompted to imagine myself in a garden, I found myself in a cliffside park overlooking a beach much like the one we visited in Capitola with [livejournal.com profile] sirfox and Candy, with steps leading down to the water. Instead of my usual human self, I was actually Muse this time, which somewhat surprised me, sitting on a bench and simply looking around calmly. Instead of visualizing a door, the path to reach a previous life was to go down the steps, and I started to do that, but unfortunately Laurie started walking around upstairs, which distracted me for a moment and threw me off from that.

    The distraction quickly passed, but by then the video had moved on to the "imagine the end of that life" portion, which quickly and decisively appeared as a return to the coastal cottage of the seaman from December. I was back to being my human self instead of being Muse as I observed the scene; this time I got to see more of the house, an exterior view of it as a two-story white Victorian, definitely on some kind of coastline. Judging strictly by the look, it could be California, it could be Maine, it could be Wales, even.

    But I'm pretty sure in this case it was California, because when prompted to consider "Why this memory? What is it telling you?" I received the very clear answer, "Because Laurie, Buddha, and Inkblitzer are all important, and they were all part of that life. It's also why you've felt so strongly called to go there. You want to go home!" So... maybe? But I notice that none of those three are in California at the moment, whereas [livejournal.com profile] sirfox, who prominently is in California, was not mentioned. Maybe he's adding a new wrinkle to a scenario that's being replayed? Reincarnation is weird.

    In any case, then it was time to move on from that life and look for a spiritual guide or guardian, I quickly found one, which took on the form of a massive pillar of yellow-white light, maybe 4'5' across and a good three to five stories tall, which occasionally had plasma-like cascades run up or down its length. Every once in a while a large kite-shaped bit of this plasma would extend away from the body, flitting back and forth, reminding me somewhat of Raava from Avatar: Legend of Korra, but yellow instead of blue and without all the curlicue designs.

    Raava from Avatar: Legend of Korra

    I didn't know (and still don't) any details on who or what this entity was, other than an instinctual connection, and we greeted each other as old friends.

    Me: "Oh! ...Hi."
    Entity: "Hi." (Telepathically? I don't remember a voice.)
    (Video: "Are there any messages for you?")
    Me: *looks to entity*
    Entity: "I love you."
    Me: "Aww! I love you, too."
    (Video: "What do you need to know?")
    Me: *looks to entity*
    Entity: "Just keep going."
    Me: "Really? Are you sure? It feels like everything's a gigantic mess right now."
    Entity: "That doesn't matter. It'll be fixed by the end."
    Me: "Um... hmm."
    Entity: "I know it's scary. But remember, there's more going on than just what's happening right now."
    (Whatever that means!)
    Me: "I'm worried about Buddha."
    Entity: "Buddha will be fine."
    Me: "In this life or a future one?"
    Entity: "Either way."
    Me: "...'k."

    ...And that was pretty much the end of the session.

    So what does it mean? I have no idea. Keep in mind, these reports are just laying out what happens in my head as I go through these things, so they are somewhere in the no-man's-land between memory, imagination, stream-of-consciousness, and dreamscape. I make no claims to have actual knowledge or evidence of anything. I'm just letting my mind do what it wants and writing down the result.

    -The Gneech
    the_gneech: (Default)

    So last Friday, Business Guy put together a running tally of income vs. expenses for last year, in preparation for tax time. The results were, in a word, bleak.


    My gross income for 2015 (not counting a brief spurt of Starbucks salary) was somewhere around $5,000. The good news is that this is up from 2014… the bad news is that it’s only up by $300. This was feasible when Mrs. Gneech was making enough money for the both of us, but with the disintegration of her job as well, this has left us in an uncomfortable spot.


    We are not in any immediate danger of being out on the street, thanks to savings and other resources held aside for such things, but financially speaking we are currently at 5,000 feet in a plane with no engine. My artistic pursuits, at least as I practice them, are not making me a living. If I want to avoid returning to the days of hand-to-mouth, I need to make a serious change.


    One possibility is returning to a “day job,” and I am currently investigating options. My previous career shunted me down a blind alley into dead-end technology and left me burned out in the process… so even if I wanted to get back into that particular grind (which I don’t especially) there isn’t any work to be found there anyway. In fact most of my professional experience (word processing, graphic design/desktop publishing, web page design) is in stuff that was cutting edge from 1995-2005 and is woefully out of date now.


    At this stage, I have little idea what is actually useful in the world, and no real idea how to effectively look for work in 2016. Once upon a time I would sign up with a handful of temp agencies and that would be my doorway into the professional arena, but even temp agencies don’t seem to exist in any appreciable way any more. To that end, I have signed up for The Oxford Program and am currently going through it in an attempt to reboot my career, but it’s not a short-term fix.


    I have also been brainstorming on creating a “brand,” with the intention of using my creative talents to build a franchise, such as name designers or the Life Is Good guys. I’ve done some stuff along those lines with Snerks’N’Quirks but it’s very much a sideline right now. The hard part of this kind of thing for me is that while it does use my creative skills, it doesn’t hold my interest. Coming up with buttons just for the money is not that different from putting together webpages just for the money (or doing anything else just for the money). I have to find some way to make it vital or it will be just a different sort of grind.


    I keep thinking of people like Steve Jobs, who set out with a mission and sorta got rich on the side, and that’s what I want out of life myself. But for the moment at least, I don’t know what that mission is, besides drawing Suburban Jungle and writing the occasional book… which is sorely lacking in that “get rich on the side” element.


    But I have to do something different from what I’m doing right now, before the plane crashes.


    -The Gneech


    Share

    the_gneech: (Mysterious Beard)

    Three Lions and an Otter


    I have never been a good businessman. Coming up with products and marketing ideas is like an alien environment to me, and frankly looking at numbers just fills my brain with a high pitched whine not unlike the Emergency Broadcast System. If you remember the moment in Forbidden Planet when Robbie the Robot is ordered to kill someone and it short-circuits his brain, that’s pretty much how my brain responds to anything that smacks of accounting.


    I was blessed for some years to have an amazing business partner who dealt with all that stuff for me; however, it falls on me now and if I’m going to succeed and not end up in the code mines again, I have to make it work.


    To that end, I’ve been studying other creators who’ve made it work, including Brad Guigar, John Scalzi, Seanan McGuire, and most notably (for this post) Maggie Hogarth, whose Three Jaguars provides a working real-life template of just this process.


    To that end, I have decided to cultivate Three Lions (and an Otter), who are my own Artist, Marketer, and Business Manager analogues. Except in my case they are Content Guy (Lion), Business Guy (also a Lion), Muse (a Lioness Spirit), and Fandom Guy (the Otter).


    Content Guy is the writer/artist. He’s the one who writes the stories, draws the pages, does the commissions, and grinds out those fourteen hour days of just making content when the creative fires are burning. Considering that Content Guy writes humor, comics, and pulpy adventure stories, he’s remarkably serious about his work. Business Guy and Fandom Guy largely exist to bring his work to the rest of the world, and he in turn is something of the group’s priest/medium to Muse.


    Business Guy is the one in charge of handling money, making travel arrangements, signing contracts, tracking ALL THE THINGS, and so on. This poor dude is strung out on espresso drinks and is currently in WAY over his head, but he’s the only one available to do the job and so he’ll have to rise to the occasion. He needs training, he needs resources, but most importantly he needs patience and love. He and Fandom Guy hang out a lot.


    Fandom Guy is a silly happy bouncy otter who loves tuna sandwiches and meeting with fans and making crazy pop references! He also loves manga, furry comics, and geeky STUFF and is therefore in charge of thinking up things that geeks will want to buy, as well as promotion in general. His duties also include making sure that everything Content Guy makes gets an AWESOME PASS to punch it up and make it better, from making the jokes funnier to making the art slicker to making sure that covers have Buster somewhere in a corner whenever possible.


    Muse is a spirit of some kind, unable to interact with the physical world and probably, to be honest, barely able to comprehend it. She is shrouded, mysterious, elusive, and beautiful. She’s also capricious and does what she wants, the rest of us be damned. On the other hand, she informs everything we do from start to finish and to a large extent we are all simply manifestations of her, which is probably what leads to her treating the rest of us this way. She works most directly through Content Guy, who occasionally chafes at being her slave, but also worships her like a goddess. Business Guy obeys her without question to best of his ability, and Fandom Guy thinks she’s totally awesome but wishes she would consider making his job easier by getting Content Guy to do some more mainstream stuff from time to time.


    So What’s the Point?


    Largely, the point of all this is to give me a mental framework to keep myself organized. My general schedule has sorta been that Mondays are Fandom Guy days, while Tuesday through Thursday are Content Guy days, and Fridays are Business Guy days, but that’s never been explicit so much as it just worked out that way. But now I can make that not only “official,” but also plan for it. “I need to add some merch… Fandom Guy, do that on Monday. Oh, taxes are coming due soon? That’s Business Guy’s job, I’ll do it Friday.”


    By personifying them this way, I have also been able to analyze my own strengths and weaknesses and I know what to work on. Poor Business Guy, he needs some serious love! On the other hand, Content Guy is kind of a workaholic (and not the happiest of lions, it seems), so I need to keep that in mind, while Fandom Guy is fun and exuberant but also kind of an airhead who will probably need reining in from time to time, etc.


    Plus, what the heck, it’s just fun and helps me know myself a little better. It also makes the creative process a little less lonely: yes, it’s often a very solitary process, but within myself I contain a whole team. 😉 So c’mon, gang, we’ve got work to do!


    -The Gneech


    Share

    February 2019

    S M T W T F S
         12
    345 6789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    2425262728  

    Syndicate

    RSS Atom

    Most Popular Tags

    Style Credit

    Expand Cut Tags

    No cut tags
    Page generated Feb. 17th, 2019 12:29 pm
    Powered by Dreamwidth Studios