Put Your Word Where Your Mouth is!

Here is a little over six month review of the changes made to this blog since I began reflecting content from my Patreon page here:

Blog Followers are up from 114 to 166, a 31% increase

Blog Views are up from 344 to 527, a 34.7% increase

Blog Visitors are up from 260 to 346, a 24.8% increase

Blog Likes are up from 149 to 277, a 46.2% increase

The take away is that the seven month numbers are substantially up against the entire year of 2016, which happened to be the best year ever for this blog.

Why do I bring this up?  Well, because I have to ask you a favor.  When I started changing this blog it was in support of the launch of my Patreon page that I hoped would become a vehicle for achieving a measure of artistic success and hopefully supplement the income from my day job.  As part of this attempt to have an artistic life, I gave myself a year from the beginning of 2017 to make it an  ongoing venture.  Over six months have gone by and while the blog is enjoying success, my Patreon site is not.  There are going to be some things I will look at shortly to make the page more attractive, maybe even switch to a per project model.  Your feedback would be most helpful; however, your support would be better.  If not financially, then by word of mouth, because the more people who visit this blog, the more chances I have of gaining patrons.

Please, if you like what I am doing, tell your friends who like science fiction/fantasy art and writing to visit this blog.  Send them a link.  I come from a long history of retail work and one thing I know is that out of the people who shop, only a small percentage actually buy, so the more you get to shop the better your chance of a sale.  With enough shoppers you can make a living.  I need to make a living.  Please help me get more shoppers.  Promote my site on your blog, tell your friends, become a patron,or even give me advice.

If the situation does not improve, I will have to switch gears and look for a second job to get my financial situation under control.  I will probably find little time to work on projects or post to the blog, which is something I enjoy.  So send me your starving science fiction fans.

 

I will leave you with a content breakdown so far from my Patreon page Robert Garbin’s Patreon page:

7 Short Stories

18 image files

Painting Projects Completed 2 with one nearing completion and another far along

Two Art Projects in Preparation

Poem in the works

Horror Story started

 

Houston, We Have a Problem! (from my Patreon page)

Hello readers, no this post is not about a problem I am having with work or life … well maybe a little.  Courage, the cowardly lion begged for some and I have often wanted to seek out Oz the Wise and Powerful myself for a dose.  Why am I discussing this now you ask?  Well, because I just spent the last hour watching a lecture the creator of my favorite television show (Babylon 5) gave for the second annual Julius Schwartz lecture.  J. M. Straczynski has had a very successful career working in television, movies, and comics much of which I have become aware of over the years following the end of Babylon 5.

The biggest thing I have taken away from his speech and life, besides the fact that he his a great person, was that he intentionally pushed himself into situations where he could fail.  Not because he was a sadomasochist, but because pushing beyond the safe zone of living was a way to grow, live, and achieve his goals.  If you get the chance, watch the lecture on youtube because it is well worth it.  What he talks about is the fact that many people do not reach out to grab their dreams, or even lives, because they are afraid of failure.  I can attest to this in my childhood.  When I was young, I played baseball, like many other American boys my age; unfortunately, I never excelled.  I did not become a good player because I was afraid of being hurt, well not mainly, but because I was terrified of embarrassment.  From family life and school interactions I learned the costs of not measuring up.  Thus, I decided to avoid being embarrassed.  In baseball that translated into not being willing to dive to catch a fly ball and risking messing up.  I feared the shame of it.  In practice I could make all kinds of great catches; however, when it came to a game, I backed off.

Oddly, in several areas of my life, I actually pushed myself into unknown waters.  However, in my life overall, I generally chose the safer paths.  Then some heavy things happened that shook my foundations.  That is when I started pushing harder for a creative life, which is something I always held onto tooth and nail throughout everything I have been through.  Again, why am I bringing this up now?  I guess it is because I need to push outside my boundaries again.

Up to now, I have always taken the safe path of never seeking professional training in my creative endeavors.  What you have seen at my various sites is my raw untrained talent.  Yes, some of it is pretty good, but I have not taken steps to better it except through what I can search out for free.  I tell myself that my writing is as good as any of the authors I have read, but I am kidding myself.  It isn’t bad, but I can learn alot from others and greatly improve it.  I have always heard about scifi writers attending Clarion seminars to hone their work.  Maybe it is time for me to do so.

The same is true for my art, especially my digital artwork.  I believe I have managed to do very well for learning on my own, but I sure could benefit from other methods for achieving more polished paintings.  I would like to see about taking courses in digital painting.  The problem with both of these choices is that they cost a lot of money and take time.  Money I do not have and time that costs money.  I will need your help.  By supporting my Patreon page, you will help me reach the goal of providing thoughtful and thought-provoking works of literature and art.  I know that this is asking you to risk investing in me; however, I hope to continue sharing with you the fruits of my labor, as well as, some of the methods of making them.  I still plan to share the process of creating my next painting with my Patrons in hopes of giving any who want it a beginning in digital art.  In addition, I have always been willing to discuss in detail any of the stories I have written.  The only thing is I may caution about my sniping back on occasion to bad reviews.  These stories and works of art are all passionately loved by their creator.  Usually I calm down and see the review as a means to improve my work.

So to close, the creation of this blog and my Patreon page are steps toward reaching the goal of growing outside my boundaries.  Taking the next few steps, with your help, will take me further.  J. M. Straczynski had more challenges than I have and yet he has had the life I could only dream of.  Please watch any videos of interviews or convention reels about him to see what he is about and help me walk onto a similar path.

Mystics and Misfits

Hello everyone.  Haven’t posted for a while because of changes at work, remodeling the place, and getting old, you know, the usual.  Anyway, I just watched the documentary about the fans of “Firefly” who banded together and created the ground swell that resulted in the movie “Serenity”.  All I have to say is that I am jealous of Josh Whedon!   Let me say that I am a fan of “Firefly” and “Serenity” even though I came to it late; however, I am still jealous.  I am jealous that he has found people who can appreciate what he is passionate about saying through his stories.

I am a writer and an artist who has no fan base yet.  Of course, I realize that my work may not be as good as others in the field and that I might be deluding myself, but I do think I have stories to tell.  The title for this post is one I hope to someday use for a collection of my short stories and also says a lot about how I have felt all my life.  Troll through my blog and you will see many examples and references to my writing and artwork.  I continually strive to improve both; unfortunately, the struggle for survival usually sucks up the time I would love to spend on each of these endeavors.

In addition, several of my stories would not find homes with publishers because they challenge many popular religious and secular ideals, including the greatness of America.  Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I was born an American, but I don’t believe that gives me the right to coast on our past and allow government, corporations, and private citizens to condone atrocities and injustice just because it is America, love it or leave it.  Also, if you have read a lot of this blog, you will note that I refer to Catholicism often, usually in a negative light.  It is not that I am either hyper-religious or atheistic but more something in between.  My stories tend to mirror this nature by showing my belief, doubts, and fears about God and my disgust with any religion that blinds itself to the evil they do through dogma and zealotry.  Again, not popular subjects for money hungry publishers who fear alienating customers.

Of course, I understand that publishers need to earn money to survive; however, I have also watched the erosion of American moral values as commerce and profit have become the driving force behind our policies making us not into a nation, but a group of individuals clawing each others eyes and hearts out to support a lifestyle that is not sustainable.  With a focus like that, it is no surprise that stories with any substance have to fight so hard to be heard while dribble gets thrown at us daily.  Basically, dribble makes loads of cash while something more substantial is far more risky.  Our society has become so much about the money, that we are willing to drown ourselves in dross instead of taking a risk on greatness, which I believe is one of the things that has destroyed our education system.

Suffice it to say that I would love someday to move people the way Josh Whedon,  J. Michael Straczynski, and Gene Roddenberry have.  Any encouragement in this endeavor is greatly appreciated.