Has nearly a whole year gone by?

Quick Post Mortem:
We did well at ECCC2014. Thank you! We will return.
Hook up with us on facebook. This blogging thing is not as easy as it looks, apparently, considering the evident lack of updates.

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Showtime

We’re in booth 502 in case you see this this weekend.

Today was our first Friday attendance. Ever.  And as one might expect, it started off not with one hitch but with a bunch o’ hitches. We forgot to load the mini van with the floor banner, all the giclee prints, the cash box, all table signage, display bags, buttons, patches, and sticker packs.  Shirts, mugs, some stickers, marker sketches and the older prints were put up though by show opening. We both are taking cold medication so perhaps we’re just not quite firing on all cylinders!  Not to worry… we got hand-sanitizers, so perhaps we’re not spreading any more germs than are already present in the sold-out venue. (Is it true? over 70,000 people this time??)

Robt at least got some help setting up for the show today.  After I dropped off the kids at school and collected all the stuff we forgot (that we remembered we forgot anyways), I brought it up to the loading dock at the convention. There was no way I was going to find parking in the building, with all the heavy traffic to and from the east side, go to the booth to help out and make sure to get back before school let out, so I dropped off the goods (and everyone’s coffee!) and made the slow crawl back out. I made it with enough time to get a bite to eat and find some more Shikishi boards from Uwajimaya. Alas they were out of the smaller ones! I got the kids back, got them fed and watered, though one had to shower before going back out into public.  By the time we got to the convention center there was only an hour and a half left before the Exhibit Hall was open, and I saw that the number of marker sketches had run low.

Oy. Dunno if I’ll have enough variety to last til sunday! Those larger ones just take longer to ‘fill’ and has more white space that stare back at me.  I need to be braver, I think.  Hmm. You’ll know if I succeeded if there are new large-ish Shikishi boards at the table this weekend.

Thinking back, I think we eventually spent more than 30 hours over the last 12 months drawing or preparing stuff for RoosterMonkey. We posted several items on Society6 (look for “mehve” or “rooster monkey”), and put together an entry to Monsters and Dames.  Robt didn’t quite finish his in time for their cut-off time, but he put that up in the store. We did, each, a Funko Pop vinyl for the charity auction at ECCC. We painted those over several evenings (mainly me in the evenings) before I realized that the poor lighting in the breakfast nook at home didn’t let me see the ‘errors’ I was making until I saw the figure in the morning — especially when we had actual sunlight permeating the room.  Then I spent half an hour every sunny morning, trying to fix things until there was just no more time to fiddle. So in all, the year has felt more productive  than in years past.  I feel silly that I managed to re-do two pieces I had done previously (but now more better) and we made four all-new things that weren’t for our table.  Looking at the bright side… this whole endeavor was to get us to actually draw more.  And it has.  I like that.

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Is it Spring yet? Emerald City Comicon 2014 is coming up!

What’s up?
We posted the note to our Facebook page last month, but forgot to mention here that we actually have a Store button now.  If you haven’t ever browsed Society 6, check it out. There are cell phone covers, art prints, throw pillows, totes, and at least one clock. And there is a new print up as of last week.

Happenings.
Trying to balance time with RCD and RoosterMonkey, and the broad range of home economics work plus two kids is no easy task. One of us had surgery that basically ground all RoosterMonkey creative work to a stop for about a month — and suddenly, the convention is around the corner again!  How does twelve months go by so fast??

Well, at least we haven’t been as idle as last year. We have made new banners, new posters, one new shirt (ladies/juniors), some screen-printed bags, a couple new items in the Society 6 page, and a new Sticker Robot order has been put together. But we’ll see if that will make it to the convention in time. We really liked the RCD set we ordered with them. Did you get a set?

We’re slowly trying to build out what our ‘curb appeal’ will look like at the exhibitor’s hall, but there’s only so much we can carry!  We’re black and blue with a touch of gold and red. Maybe that should be red, gold and green; the color of our dreams? Ha! We may end up getting another flatbed to roll display stuff in for set-up. We’ll likely outgrow our bins soon.

In case you haven’t actually visited us at the convention, you might not know that Enfu is our anchor. Without Ken, or the rest of our friends who share this island of tables in the Washington State Convention Center’s North Lobby, we would probably retreat back to Artist Alley. Enfu grounds us, inspires us, binds the island together. While we are only at the convention for three days, we all keep in touch now and then, showing progress, inspiring, cajoling, nudge nudge, poke poke.

Remember 502
Speaking of which. Ken just informed us we have secured the same spot in the North Lobby as last year. Space 502!

This thing we’re doing is no small thing. We hope the trickle of personal creative energy can continue on. It all kinda depends on how the audience responds. A lot of who came to the convention last year were mainly interested in the celebrity guests. There’s a part of me that wonder if we should capitalize on that and do some fusion of art that incorporate our favorite fictional characters with our own twist, just inject enough ‘other’ so there’s a newness to it.  Or maybe we’ll just stick to our guns. This is, after all, supposed to be fun. The thought of using Firefly and zombifying them, for example… or cutesifying the cast and ship… It’s making me tired just thinking about it. I’m sure someone’s already done it. There’s so much of our own stuff we want to make, yet there’s this niggling doubt ~ will there be an audience for that stuff at the ECCC this year?  Or next? Or is this not the right avenue? It still feels correct, thank goodness. We won’t know until after it’s over if, well, it’s over! Ha. It’s just under four weeks away. Can hardly wait.

See you soon!

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Rooster-Monkey art accepted into the ECCC M&D book

I got the note on Dec. 5 that my submission to the 2014 Monsters & Dames 80-page book was accepted!  Yes, even after all these years, I still wonder whether anything I do is likeable. Times are always changing, and there is always this doubt that something I make really “isn’t good enough” even if there is some part of me that is happy with it. I guess that is what making art is all about.

For all artists out there… I commend you for being brave every day. Or perhaps for being audacious enough to feel that certainty that it doesn’t matter whether anyone likes likes your work, as long as you had a lot of fun making it and feel satisfied at the result of your labor.

The pic is up in our Facebook page (and thumbnailed below):
https://www.facebook.com/RoosterMonkey

Recently accepted into to the Emerald City Comicon "Monsters&Dames 2014" art book.

Recently accepted into to the Emerald City Comicon “Monsters&Dames 2014″ art book.

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What’s New?

Zombiespotting! That’s what! I just added a new area to the RCD Local 4104 section to get myself in the habit of updating the site regularly. I will be posting quasi-reviews of alleged zombie movies with an emphasis on assessing zombie portrayal.

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Free shipping until March 17 on RoosterMonkey prints on Society6!

This promo just got offered. We’ll post some RCD items up there soon!

http://society6.com/mehve/prints?promo=314799

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“Scooter” poster now available online.

We’re experimenting with the print-on-demand service on Society6 to see how it goes.

http://society6.com/mehve/Scooter-white_Print#1=1

We plan on putting a couple of the RCD posters up there as well. Stay tuned!

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What’s in it for me?

I don’t feel comfortable in crowds and that means I always feel kind’a iffy heading into a Con. In fact, I haven’t been able to bring myself to go to one of these things as an attendee for a little over a decade. As an exhibitor I have a table between myself and the public, but that doesn’t really help much, because sitting on that table is a small part of my soul.

So why do it? It’s not for the money. I would’ve quit a long time ago if that were the case. Is it for recognition? Maybe. I do what I do because there are people out there that like the stuff I’m doing as much as I like doing it. And when that connection is made, there is no crowd. They become part of the world I am imagining, even if just for a little while–a world of standardized practices and methods for the disassembly of reanimated corpses. And for everybody involved, that’s a hoot.

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Confirmed. RoosterMonkey will be at ECCC 2014.

We went ahead and reserved our spot yesterday not knowing whether or not we’d do better on Sunday.  While the con had more people, there was also more to see, and non-comic fans had shown up in droves to see their favorite movie or TV stars. Not many were interested in buying art, and really only wanted free stuff. Getting Square set up on the iPad thankfully allowed more people to get their hands on RoosterMonkey material — otherwise the decision to return would have been harder.

To the family who picked up all of my “Robot and…” sketches on board, thank you.  I am super stoked they are going to a wonderful home — and the gaps the robots and spacegirls left behind  forced me to hurry on up and do more sketches!

Thanks again for coming by. We are looking forward to next Comic Con.

For now we are going to take stock of what remained and clean up the house a bit. Get some sleep. We are both exhausted and energized to get more done for sure.  Make sure to visit us on Facebook too. www.facebook.com/RoosterMonkey

Cheers!

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Thinking about art. Doing art. Finding an audience.

I am sure there is a much more efficient, much better way to find an audience than doing this little blog and having a Facebook page. We could be more active elsewhere and we certainly could do more art and actually finish the book project that Robt is working on. Blogspot is where a bunch of our talented friends have placed their galleries.  I suppose eventually we will do the same. And eventually we’ll actually have portfolios again instead of a smattering of bits and pieces of art.

Turning my head sideways, I have a feeling that it all looks haphazard and random, and while the presentation of the actual pieces themselves look professional in person, all else is kind of… odd; like a new house half-furnished.  I suppose it’s no wonder things are as they are when I look back in the last 361 days and realize that perhaps something like 4 days on my part, and maybe 15 days for Robt were the total time spent on all the new stuff we are bringing to this year’s ECCC.  Robt had been working on his book and finished all the words, but slowed down immensely when the illustrated portion came into full frightening view. Thirty-two illustrations is no easy thing to do when one has not done much analog work in *years*. But we’re not in a hurry.  We’re taking little steps.

We’re in this unusual position, where I’m already working full time, and my other half is quite contentedly pursuing full-time parenthood with our two wonderful kids and is trying to find creative time for himself.  So in a way, we don’t really NEED to do this.  At the moment it really is just a hobby… one which we are trying to grow into something with the best amount of time we can manage while balancing the time we have with each other and our family and friends too.

Why bother doing it at all? It seems too little effort? What’s the gain? Weird questions, those. The thought of not doing this at all will mean we can rest and put all this crafting equipment and supplies away, and let us use the breakfast table again. Not doing this will mean we wouldn’t have spent a couple thousand dollars for the booth, for the materials, for the prints, the one banner stand, and perhaps then allocate the near 480 combined hours spent so far instead toward sleeping, playing games, maybe going on a road trip, making dinner, and being in the company of friends. But what is the actual cost for NOT DOING? We get lazy. We become demotivated. And we will lose the opportunity to slowly re-connect with our craft at the pace we are comfortable doing. And I guess that’s just the thing… We are at a pace that push just enough.  Each year, we push a little harder.  But in the grand scheme of things, it’s really only been a few weeks since we started — it’s just that those weeks were spread out over the course of four years now.

So when you see us again… it’s like not much time has passed… but you might notice something new, something more was added.  Like the words you are reading now.  Hello!  I’m glad you’re still there.  And perhaps this is why art is done at all — to make a connection with someone, with words, with pictures. We have a desire to entertain, to share our own wonder with things in our lives that make us smile, make us laugh, make us awestruck (ok, so maybe not everything at our table will make one awestruck since that’s pretty subjective!).  At any rate, surrounding oneself with happier people is always a good thing. If the illustrations and sketches we make are thought-provoking, or make you smile — or make you squee! — then we feel we have done the job we set out to do.

I think the first time we did this, we were in Artists’ Alley, and I did four paintings, three of them the previous night, and one more done while at the show plus three requests. We made just enough money to cover the cost of entry and the supplies we used so that we were able to buy one Polish style hot dog at the food truck outside the convention. We had been sitting down all day without break, but that was all the cash I had so we split it and laughed.  It’s gotten better since 2008, but things have also become more expensive. Which meant that at each subsequent year, we needed to make more stuff just so we could maybe, just maybe, share our hobby with more people in exchange with fair monetary compensation so that we can come back again next year.

 

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