I just wanted to let you know that I have changed the reward tiers on my Patreon page. The $1 per month tier is staying the same with PDF and Rich Text copies of my short stories every month but the next tier is now $3 per month instead of $5 per month to get the stories plus jpeg copies of my artwork and progression files of my digital images. As I said before, I also intend to add other content to the $3 per month tier as I learn how and the tier gets supported. So please consider becoming a patron and help me achieve my goal of becoming a working artist and writer.
Well, North America has made the move into summer and it is already hitting the high humidity that is a trademark of Pennsylvania (between 60 and 90 %). But it also means we are nearing the beginning of another month and time to tease the next story. July’s store appropriately takes place in a blasted, blistering landscape where a lone person strives to continue moving on a journey he no longer remembers. Worse, the devastated lands he crosses blame him for their plight. How do you rest when the pain of a stone can break your heart? What do you do to shut out the voices of regret and responsibility that never cease? Find out in next month’s short story “Stubborn”.
As part of improving the look of my Patreon page, I am going to try to make a better video featuring my artwork instead of me. I am not all that photogenic or expressive. My passions tend to run deeper than I generally let show on the surface. My writing is a much better indication of my loves and emotions (yeah, I intend to change the written intro, too.
I have an editing program on my old computer that came from a long gone digital camera. I once made a video of a day at the drag strip for my friend, complete with fades, titles, and music. I tend to have a lot of fun doing stuff like that. So I hope to string together a lot of the images I have shared so far with so information about what I write and paint along with why. I will post a copy here when I get it done.
As promised here is the surprise. With some money I got for my birthday, I decided to invest in myself by getting several prints made at the size they should be done. Not only did I reprint “Quiet Strength – Silent Vulnerability” at double the file size, I also printed “Universal Eyes – Infinite Sadness” and “Mystics and Misfits” cover without text at double size. In addition, I tried out different papers. The new Quiet print was done with premium gloss compared to the old print, which was fine art bright white. One thing I noted about the gloss print was that humidity affected it more, causing it to hump up.
Mystics and Universal were done on semi-matte. I like both the fine art bright white and the semi-matte the best. The matte gives the images just that little bit of pop with the shine, while the fine art make them look more like watercolor paintings. I admit that I need to make an adjustment on Mystics because the green fog you see on screen at Mystics and Misfits Cover no Typography did not translate as well to the print. Also, I think having the title will look better because I left a lot of dead space for that reason.
All in all; however, I am insanely pleased at how well these turned out. You can now see the detail in the tiger’s eye to tell that it is in fact Jupiter and Mars. I was shocked at how large the Mystic cover turned out to be at double size. I knew the numbers, but until you actually see your creation in a physical form, you just do not comprehend it. If you decide to get a print of Mystics at this size, I will direct your attention to the detail of the aliens shirt where I managed to create a really cool pattern. Also, plan on a later ship because I will ask for a proof on my changes to see how they improve the print before I order it for you.
Finally, here is a breakdown of the prices I will charge for these prints at double size (if you want a double size fine art bright white, I will have to look into it):
Double Size Prints
Mystics and Mysfits Cover No Typography, 1 ” border, Semi-matte – $35 plus shipping and handling
Universal Eyes – Infinite Sadness, 1″ border, Semi-matte – $25.75 plus shipping and handling
Quiet Strength – Silent Vulnerability, 1″ border, Premium Gloss – $23.50 plus shipping and handling
Note: If you want a double sized Quiet on semi-matte or fine art bright white, the prices with change somewhat. Also, I think it might be better to have a 2″ border because I was always told, when framing, that there should be a lot of border between the frame and image. I have found that to work but the print price may go up a bit. Contact me for more accurate pricing.
Quiet Strength – Silent Vulnerability, 1″ border, Fine Art Bright White – $17.50 plus shipping and handling
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
One of the hard things I have discovered in painting digitally is doing fine detailed straight lines from drawings. I stopped using the reference drawing as a guide for doing the work on the ship because the reference lines were too thick to see what I was painting under them if it is a layer above and not much help if it is below. Also, to better achieve the straight lines of all the aztec designs in the model, I have had to go to 400% magnification where normally I am working at 50%. Still I am correcting line angles and dropping back to 50% magnification to see the overall effect. So much work.
Why, oh why did I decide to make all those gray patches on this ship? I haven’t even finished the under-paint because I am working on getting the mottled pattern painted in first. It is like playing some strangely slow Tetris game without music and I appear to be losing, which in this case would be good because the ship would be covered. Anyway, here is an updated image with more of the surface covered and glows around all the light posts.