Professor Wogglebug and the Frogman of OZ cover art. Copyright 2012 Michael A. Leuszler.
If you’ve been in any kind of fandom as I have, you know that the word “collectible” plastered on some trinket does not make it a collectible.
Collectibles are chosen because of their unusual circumstances.
Here’s an example.
Action Comics #1 (1938) not only featured the first appearance of America’s prototypical superhero, which is enough to make it a high priced collectible. Action Comics #1 also featured a coloring contest, which took thousands of those comics out of the collectible market by little kids ripping out a page of the book.
And if that wasn’t enough, many copies of Action Comics #1 were recycled for the good of the armed services during WWII. That took many more copies out of circulation.
And of course, comic books back then were not collected by more than a handful of people, at best, so the remaining copies basically were treated as every other piece of disposable entertainment. To the circular file, old chum.
That’s just one way something becomes a collectible.
Well, a book I worked on, which is available on Amazon, may become a collectible.
Professor Wogglebug and the Frogman of OZ, by author Cynthia Hanson, will be going through some big changes.
Cynthia bought the rights back to the book from the original publisher and has re-hired me to do ten new drawings. So that makes it possible that the first edition might eventually be worth something.
And if that wasn’t enough, I will be correcting the original pictures. Due to a major communication mix-up, I drew the Wogglebug character with his tongue out in most of the pictures. I didn’t find out that this was not right until I read a review of the book later.
In this next edition, the Wogglebug will keep his tongue in his mouth.
So hurry and get a copy before they’re gone. If you are a collector type, or if you just enjoy a good quest story.
I will be doing caricatures at Matus Winery on Saturday during the day from 12 to 4, at least. Possibly longer. I hope.
Now’s your chance to get a last-minute Valentine’s Day for your sweetie pie.
Matus is located at 15674 Gore Orphanage Road Wakeman, OH 44889, one half mile south of State Route 20 and five miles west of Oberlin.
This week I’ve added two sets of ACEO sketch cards to my auction listings on eBay. Many of the cards are oldies from all the way back to 2006, when I was doing some somewhat bizarre experimentation.
In addition, both sets award you if you use the BUY IT NOW option. You will get a custom ACEO card, made to your specifications, within reason and good taste of course, if you BUY IT NOW.
To find out more, go here and here.
The other six cards up for sale will be ending very soon, if you’re reading this right after I wrote it. Check out the cards, or check them out again. Even if the cards fail to sell, this will probably be the last time I put them up on eBay.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hey all. I will be doing caricatures tonight at Charleston Coffee Shop, from 6 to 10. There will be a spoken word event tonight, probably around 8.
The Charleston Coffee House is located at 630 Broadway Avenue, Lorain, Ohio 44052. They also have beer. Good beer. And the coffee shop is one of the nicest I’ve ever visited. I recommend visiting, just to check out the interior. Cool, cool, stuff.
I am in the process of initiating a new service for people who would like to use some of my artwork for their projects, or just to print and hang on their wall.
I had scheduled Friday, January 18th, 2013 as a launch date. Yeah, yesterday.
What happened? Some new digital download services have come to my attention, and I will need to devote a lot more time to researching, comparing and contrasting.
I know, what’s with all the extra work?
My biggest concern is being able to give the customer what they want, while also being able get what I want, and having all of the legalese as easy to deal with as possible. Some of the services I’ve been cataloging have obviously had a lot of experience with real artistic types, who would rather not have to deal with a lot of stuff. Like legalese, math, and tying their shoes, or the administrative equivalent thereof.
So, I am going to move the launch date back to February 14th for now, since I have no pressing matters to deal with on that date.
In the meantime, feel free to go to my eBay and look over some of the stuff for sale there. Even if you have no intention of buying any of this stuff, if you could pimp a little to your art buying friends, I’d be grateful.
Back to work!
Got five bucks that’s burning a hole in your pocket?
Come on down, eat and drink yourself silly, enjoy some sweet entertainment and get turned into a toon by caricaturist Mike “The Art Guy” Leuszler (of MikeTheArtGuy.com).
Black and White, Head and Shoulders caricatures are only 5 bucks a person. And there’s no park admission price to pay. What a bargain!
And if you don’t want a caricature, watch your friends get toony.
Don’t miss it!
The Charleston Coffee House is located at 630 Broadway Avenue, Lorain, Ohio 44052.
Sold one piece on ebay this week. Coincidentally it was the only piece to be damaged by an accidently spilled portion of Diet Mountain Dew. Damn you, soda pop, you continue to hex me.
Future and contemporary artists of America… You have a commodity that others want to make money from. And some of these middle management types will take advantage of whatever weakness you give them to make more money. The vast majority don’t care about you, your career, your life, etc.
Business people are generally right-brained creatures of logic and predatory in nature. They want something. Artists are left-brained creatives. They are prey, if not properly prepared to enter into a business deal. They’re the stupid gazelle that watches the drooling tiger rush at them, thinking that the tiger just REALLY REALLY wants to be friends.
If you’re a newbie creative, if you’re really eager to get into a creative industry, if you just want to pay your bills, many business types will see that in you and will metaphorically butt rape you with razor wire until they get everything they want from you. And a bag of chips. Not all business people are that eager to strip you of your working dignity, some will feign concern while only taking part of your soul.
But as a creative, you have to realize that you’re just another resource, like a mop, a company car, or that gritty one-ply toilet paper in the employee restroom. And if you don’t explicitly state what you expect up front in a business transaction, you will be treated just like that gritty one-ply toilet paper.
If creative types are to flourish in this business dominated climate, demand clear and concise communication. It is your right. At least, here in America.
And be clear. And concise. If you agree to do a job, make sure you read the contract, first. You may have to involve someone like a lawyer, but if you’re taking your career seriously, that’s one of the operating costs. Don’t let the person hiring your give you a synopsis of a contract. Don’t let them force you to sign a contract right on the spot, either. If they can’t give you a reasonable amount to review a contract, chances are there’s something skeevy going on somewhere in the process.
Don’t ever forget that you are the one who is in control. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true. It’s all in the way you frame it in your mind. Instead of saying, “I lost a million bucks because they didn’t give me time to sign the contract,” think of it as “They lost out on having me work for them, because they didn’t conduct themselves properly.” Or you can think of it simply as, “What a bunch of dicks”. That’s much easier to repeat.
What if there’s no contract? WHAT? Well, all right. Make sure that there is some legal proof of what you’re entitled to as an independent contractor. Don’t ever let someone work out the details later.
Even when I do caricatures, there is a sign at the event clearly explaining what you get for your money. Basically, it reads “Caricatures. Head and Shoulders. Black and White. The price. Color. The price.” and it includes enough samples that any fool should be able to figure out what to expect. If they can’t figure it out, I’m right there to explain it. It’s not a legal contract, but it holds up a lot more in a court of law than a handshake.
Know up front who has what rights for every piece of work you do. If someone can’t get the legal part together for a project, you can’t possibly be led to believe that the project you’re working on is worth a damn.
And make sure the person hiring you knows up front what to expect. Have an online store? Make sure you define all of those return policies, terms of service, postage options and every other requested legal field for every piece you sell online.
I’m not saying get a 40 page contract for every piece of art you do, but also don’t expect royalties on a work for hire piece forty years down the line where none is offered.
Clear communication is one of the keys to success in life. It’s more work up front, but then it’s less work and conflict down the line.
You’re an idiot if you don’t know what you’re getting out job. Work for hire or otherwise.
So, last night, after Kathy and I had dinner from Panera Bread, I was going to play a couple of hours of Minecraft and go to bed. Nice way to wrap up a lazy day. Before I played, though, I got a message from my OZ author, Cynthia Hanson, asking me when I would be ready for the script for her fifth OZ book that I would be illustrating.
I will be posting a way for you to get the other four books on this week, right here on the site. One thing at a time, though.
I had to check my schedule, and when I did my brain went from super play mode to super stream-of conscious work mode and here’s what happened.
- I pulled out a pile of old ACEO cards that I will be putting up for sale Tuesday. Kathy scanned them for me. I just need to write descriptions. They will be available on eBay this week.
- I checked my current eBay sales, and saw that one item had a bid. As I’m writing this, there’s about 4 hours and 40 minutes left until this auction runs out. I hope you can access eBay on your work computer.
- Did more research on digital downloadable artwork on Etsy.com. Favored some stores and items so I could go over their methods more when I have more time.
- Reviewed my list of releases for a year long project that will be starting this month.
- Fired off a Facebook message to Grace, who runs the Charleston Coffee Shop about an upcoming gig.
- Updated my TO DO list and Google Calendar for the week.
- Made a commitment to plan at least one art-related tour out of state for this summer.
- … and several other things before I finally got to play a little Minecraft, wherein I lost everything in my personal inventory at the end.
Now I just have to get all that done. Back to work.
Not that I don’t appreciate the huge amount of comments and compliments on the artwork that I create and sell… I really do, but at the end of the day, it’s what I think of my work, the quality of it, that keeps me going.
Sometimes I think I’m a dumb artist. Dumb is a nice way to put it. Maybe lazy is more appropriate.
A lot of the art that I have created in the past isn’t artwork that I would buy, or even selfishly keep for myself. It’s just “good enough”. It’s something that someone else may really cherish, which is wonderful, and I love that a lot, but it’s still not “good enough” for me.
As I have taught many students in the past “The only thing that makes you a real artist is the ability to like your own work”. Sometimes I think that’s a bad, or at least incomplete definition, but that’s a thought for another post.
In some ways, I’ve been putting up things for sale that are “good enough”, but in my mind, good enough really isn’t…
The piece I’m showing you today is really hard for me to sell. (But it is on eBay if you want to bid, buy and own.) I want to keep it, along with a few others that I have actually kept. It’s another dragon, but this one definitely has a personality.
I think what I’m trying to say, is that I no longer want to be good enough. Good enough doesn’t fuel that passion that keeps me going. I want to geek out hard about all of my art. Like this piece.
This one’s a keeper.
You can just see the wheels turning behind his eyes, as he, or I suppose she, contemplates some kind of chaos.
I don’t make resolutions anymore, but I am going to, as of right now, set the bar higher and resolve to make it harder to sell my artwork, by making each piece something I am loathe to sell as it will be just so go.
No more “good enough”.
If you’re interested in this piece, it is currently up on eBay until Monday.
Bid early, bid often! Ha! Have a great weekend and not one that’s good enough.
Civil comments are welcome.