Saturday, February 02, 2019

Just a Quick Update..

First, a big THANK YOU to my Patreon supporters no matter which tier you've joined. I really do appreciate your support!

I was just feeling a bit frustrated yesterday - we all go through phases - but doing better today. I know winter and the cold and ugly weather can have an effect as well, and it's definitely been both lately. But spring is just a few months away.

Second, I am looking into bringing back my "Behind The Scenes" videos. I'm planning on giving you an inside look at what goes on here at Rod's Lair (my pet name for my little man-cave / computer room / studio), and show a bit of my creative process and workflow. And maybe a few other fun things.. 😉

I'm starting to feel inspired and excited again, and the creative juices are starting to flow once again - thanks to my friends and supporters here, and at Renderosity and FB. You guys (and gals) ROCK!
Stay tuned....

Friday, February 01, 2019

Taking A Break

This will be one of my longer blog posts, so thank you very much in advance if you read through the entire thing. So, grab a cup of coffee and a doughnut and settle in.

I will be taking a little hiatus for a while from creating and posting artwork, including the Girls From TNA. I don’t plan on this being a long hiatus – probably only a couple weeks at most. But there are things I need to do and questions that need answering. First, I need to work out some details for the rest of Chapter 6, and what I want to tell in Chapter 7. In addition, I need to take a good long look inside myself and see where I want to go from here. And work through some frustrations as described below.

But first I need to get something out of the way. I am not – let me repeat that – I am not giving up on either the Girls From TNA or any of my other artwork. Once this little hiatus is over things will continue as they always have.

Now on to part of the reason I’m taking this hiatus.

Since 2009, I have had the extreme pleasure of creating my story/comic called “The Girls From TNA” and watching it gain popularity, and a growing fan base. I have had so many wonderful comments from my friends and fellow artists at Renderosity, Fantasy Attic, and more. During webinars I have attended at Digital Art Live, I have had some very good feedback on my work and on the story. A lot of people are enjoying this journey and that makes me feel great!

What I don’t understand however is this…

Since 2015 I have had a page at Patreon. Now, I will admit that for the first year or so it sat there pretty much unattended because I really didn’t know what to do with it. Plus, at the time I was still working a full-time job (I’m retired now), and time was more of a factor. However, over the last few years I have endeavored to add content to my Patreon page in the hopes that I could gain a bit of support there for both TNA and the other artwork I create.

It took a couple years to gain my first $5.00 patron, Mike – a very good friend of mine that I met on Renderosity. This came just in time, as I was very close to just shutting down the Patreon page due to lack of interest and support. Then, in December 2018 I gained another supporter at the $25 level. That lasted for approximately one month, then she downgraded to the $5.00 level. I’m still grateful that she continues her support even at the lower level. But to be totally honest, it hit me kind of hard when I received that email from Patreon. Quite honestly, I’m very very close to just saying F### IT and pulling the plug on Patreon and not wasting any more time flogging a dead horse.

Here’s part of why I feel so damn frustrated and discouraged…

When I look at some of the other pages on Patreon like the one below, I can’t help but feel a little frustrated and discouraged. Here’s a page from a person who creates cutesy/cartoony artwork that probably takes a few minutes to create, and yet they have 337 supporters, and make over $800 a month.

And this by far isn’t the only one on Patreon (and for the record, I mean no disrespect to the person who created this page. More power to them..) But here’s what gets to me…

I pour my heart and soul into my artwork. I endlessly fiddle to make sure the lighting is right, the poses are as natural as I can make them, the facial expressions and body language are appropriate for the given situation, the props and surroundings look natural, and everything in the image or images is the best I can make it. And I’m constantly looking for ways to improve and make the artwork even better. And why? Because I want it to be the best it can possibly be – for myself, and for my readers. You deserve no less than the best I can create for you. And quite frankly I deserve no less than the best I can possibly create, because I love what I do.

And yet, it seems the hours of work and love I pour into my images cannot, no matter how hard I try, seem to warrant anything at Patreon. I don’t understand…. What do I need to do? What would it take to gain a little bit of support on Patreon, or even some of the merchandise I have on Redbubble or Pixels? Any Patreon experts out there that can shed some light??

Now before somebody makes a comment about it… Yes, I know I just bought a pretty expensive system with one of the most high-end graphics cards available today in order to be able to create more artwork using DAZ Studio and the Iray render engine. This pretty much took care of my equipment budget for the next several years. I am not - let me repeat that - not independently wealthy!

Anyway, if you’ve read this far thank you for “listening” to me vent. I truly hope that some of you will find enough value in my artwork to join me on Patreon and help support my artwork and the Girls from TNA. And maybe even pick up a bit of merch here and there. And again, regardless of your support - or lack thereof – I will continue to create both the Girls From TNA and other artwork.

Hopefully during this little break, I'll be able to put together a little intro video to put on my Patreon page that will explain how Patreon works in case you are not familiar with it.

See you all again in a couple weeks or so.