New $1 Reward – Dragon Dreams: Currents of the World Ch. 7 (from my Patreon page)

I have added the final chapter in the second Dragon Dreams story arc to my Patreon rewards (PDF and RTF files).  Here is what I wrote:

 

“Sorry, I have been a bit lax uploading rewards with all the turmoil going on in my life.  Anyway, here it is, the conclusion of the second arc of the Dragon Dreams saga.  Jason once again is face to face with the blue Dragon that not only haunts his dreams, but also directs them.  The resulting confrontation will change his life.  Next time we will start the final arc, which will throw everything you have read up to this point on its head.  I hope you will join me for the conclusion of the entire series with Dragon Dreams: Embers in the Sky.”

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Shotcut – Disappointing Tool (from my Patreon page)

I have posted before that I have very limited resources for creating quality videos to promote my artistic endeavors.  The video editing program I have is an old windows 7 version that does not support the higher quality video of newer versions.  With it I created the video that is now part of my Patreon and Kickstarter page.  However, I still hope to find something better.

To that end, I downloaded Shotcut, which is supposedly an open source full featured editing program to work with video the way Gimp 2.8 works as a graphics manipulation program.  Unfortunately, unlike Gimp 2.8, I found the program to be incredibly frustrating for creating the same type of video that I made with the older program.  Basically I create a slideshow of jpeg copies of my artwork with transitions to morph from one image to another.  I had high hopes for being able to add commentary to the video since it would be done on the newer computer, but I found that just creating a few seconds of video from jpegs was excruciatingly painful.

I was excited to try making a video progression of my latest painting “Rodeo” that would show the image changing as I added more and more detail.  However, just loading five jpeg images of the different stages into Shotcut took almost a half hour.  I probably worked for another hour putting them on and taking them off of the video timeline trying to achieve what I did in five to ten minutes with the old program.  Granted, some of this time was spent figuring out how the program functioned compared to the older one, but for everything I moved or changed there was at least a minute of wait time when the program quit responding to input.  In addition, Shotcut was nowhere as intuitive as Ulead Videostudio was.  So, as far as I am concerned, this has been a complete bust, my search continues.

Let’s Hustle Now!!!

Okay people, you know I can be a little impatient so here is the deal.  I am so dang close to making a thousand views for this year and I need your help to cross that threshold by this weekend.  So here is what I will do.  I have added a poll of story elements that I will use to create a 500 word story, view this post by 10/22/17 and chose an element and I will write a story based on the most popular answer by Saturday 10/28/17. 

Rodeo Painting Finished (from my Patreon page)

 

Here they are.  The first picture is so you can see all the detail, while the second image contains the story I wrote to go along with the image and I can finally make as one creation.  The final image is the original acrylic painting I did that I was never quite happy with.  I made the story and painting for my friend Dan who had moved to Texas at the time.  Ironically, he had moved back to Pennsylvania by the time I had finished it.  Now, of course, he is now living back in Texas and I will have to email him a copy of the new painting.  Definitely look at this larger because I put tons of detail in.  I will upload both digital paintings to my Patreon page next weekend.

Next Project

Okay people here is a chance for you to get a personalized piece of artwork from me.  Yep, that is exactly what I said.  I need to learn to draw people and turn around projects quicker so I am going to try a commission.  For a face portrait I will charge $25, for a whole body I will charge $50, and for an entire scene I will charge $100.  What I will need is a picture from you that you would like done, meaning you personally so I can avoid copyright issues, and an idea for what you want added like a sci-fi or fantasy look, background ideas, and some color interests.  For now I will be taking only one once I have finished the Rodeo project.  You can send your requests to my email at gkarlives@verizon.net and I will work out the details with you.  Remember, I will be posting the finished image on all my sites.  If this works out well, I will try more.  I look forward to hearing from you guys.

Bump in the Road (from my Deviantart page)

Well folks, it looks like my first Kickstarter project Quiet Strength Kickstarter isn’t going to work.  There are only 12 days left and I still have only one backer so it looks like I am going to have to take some time and rethink how I approach this project.  I am taking some advice from the creator of my favorite tv show Babylon 5 by J M Straczynski and not being afraid to fail.  I have actually done this a lot in my life by pushing myself outside comfort zones even if it meant I could fail; however, I don’t believe I ever went into these situations with that in mind.  In most cases I have put myself under a lot of stress because I never felt like I could just walk away from the situations without serious consequences.

That is not the case here; however, I did really need this to succeed and I also had a lot of hope that it would.  In the end though, life will go on.  From here I will be looking at some information shared by smirtouille on her successful campaign and work on some projects that will hopefully enhance my next offering.  I will have to plan the advertising better (I used facebook ads but really did not know how it all worked) and organize the rewards from the start (added more as I looked at smirtouille’s campaign).  The largest part of my errors came from being very cautious on spending money initially since I am completely broke at the moment.  I had to be very tentative on what I spent because I was waiting to start my new job and have been accumulating bills.  I will have to look at ways to overcome this issue.

All in all, while the campaign has not worked out, it has been a learning experience that I do not intend to give up on.  So look for another campaign once I have worked through the mistakes of this one.  Thanks to all those that have liked my facebook page for this project and the one person who backed it.  Hopefully, as my blog continues to expand, I will have more interest accumulated in my creations to make the next project successful.