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Serious Question

Because I have some serious confidence issues here.

Not to mention I'm terrified if I actually DO try to do what I'm thinking about, make the investment, do all the work my reputation for being an ego maniac is going to jump up and bite me in the ass.

My dilemma is basically thus...

I want to see if I can put together a nice art book of some of my better stuff, and do some new things for it I won't put on my site.

HOWEVER, like I said I am really scared of doing it.

1.) I'm not all that talented, and am afraid if I do create a book, it's going to be laughed at and I'm going to be stuck with kindling for a fire
2.) There's the very real BAD reputation I seem to have acquired over the years, wherein the "ego" I am often accused of possessing in huge abundance, this would look like I'm proving the accusations by even considering doing this let alone having the gall to think I could sell my art. "Look at her, she thinks she's soooo good, who'd buy that trash she thinks is hot shit." Yeah, I wish that were a caricature, but it's not. People have said these sorts of things to me to my face and much worse, much, MUCH worse. I've had some real soul crushing things said. Does wonders for my confidence.
3.) My damn near ZERO commission rate, that again is a factor. I don't get asked to do them but by VERY close friends, I've done a total of 3 commissions EVER, so there's another red flag I have telling me this is a BAD idea.
4.) This is something I'd like to do, but with all the big ugly reality issues and mediocre talent issues I'm not sure if I should bother and scrap the idea as being a pipe dream.

I need HONEST advice. I don't want or need and ego stroke, because while I do appreciate when my friends do that for me, it doesn't help me when I'm considering this sort of project.

Treat this like you don't know me, you just saw this book for sale, would you walk past, or buy it?

Honestly. BRUTALLY PLEASE. I need the truth cold and hard.

I think I've convinced myself NOT to do it, but I have that stupid, "in your mind and making you insomniatic" doubt lingering.

Because you guys do give me nice feedback, so I get this boost of ego stroke euphoria and confidence, and then I'm slammed with the harsh stuff again.

So honestly no sugar coating, straight up. Should I consider doing this? Or really pack it in for several more years until I improve more?

I've had this dream/idea for a lot of years actually, I just don't ever think I'm ever good enough to start putting it together.

And every year it gets harder and harder, because every year, like I said, I get more and more people making sure I never get an overblown ego.

It wouldn't be so agonizing this dilemma if the sides were even, Trust me the "Friends who support you no matter how crappy" vs. the "Slam her, her art, her dog, her life, her fics be mean and nasty" side is NOT even. The latter is distressingly HUGE actually. Either that or they are just a lot more vocal and persistent that I see everything they have to say.

Whatever the case, it makes me more than insecure, I'm really terrified of putting stuff out there to be laughed at and embarrassed.

Also scared of giving them more fodder to rant at me over too.

So I really need some honest advise.

And I'm talking in circles now, yeah. I think now that I said this, I might be able to sleep some.

Night ALL!


EDIT:

This isn't for profit, I just want to break even. ^_^ I see that cropping up in everyone's wonderful advice.
But it *IS* a fan porject, just a labor of love, and I'm not out to make money off it, just clear costs back really.

Ya know like the Anthologies you can buy at cons... that sort of fan project. Only not quite so massive.
We're talking Digital image printing (Fancy Xerox) about 50 pages, paper cover. Full color yes, but Digital Printing can do that. Actual printing in so many colors ! EI CHI WAH WAH! We're talking 10 grand to start!

EEP, I wasn't very clear, Spubba said it best, Nice, but Ashcan stuff. Limited Quality, limited funds, keep cost of book for people to buy UNDER $20 that sort of thing.

Thanks again everyone who's commenting, you're giving me lots to think about.

Mixed Fandoms, Original Art, just pretty Bois on glossy paper. I love those sorts of Artbooks, but then I guess because I'm an artist, and certain other artists I will buy anything they make because I LOVE THEM, just one example, I have a wardrobe cabinet FULL of them....

Eiri Asato (I have a King of Fighters DJ, I know FUCK ALL about King of Fighters, but it's Eiri and it's GORGEOUS!)

But that's me, it's HOW *I* buy books. By artist, and but how much I sit there in *AWE* and *ENVY* of them and their talent.

I guess that's another reason I'm so scared, because I compare myself a lot to other people *I* admire and want to torch my stuff, and want to improve to their level so badly I can TASTE IT!

The desire to be better is there, and I don't improve FAST enough for my liking I guess.

^^

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
babspace
Oct. 24th, 2003 07:01 am (UTC)
Let's see here....

Now we know this is something you like to do, but is it something you feel you can do all the time without getting burned out?

Can you afford to test the waters (I highly suggest testing on eBay)? You need to be prepared, just in case it fails.

Is it fanwork for a very popular fandom, or something that isn't widely available (or unique)? If it were one of my favorite fandoms, I would probably pick it up, especially if it were something I didn't see every day. So you might want to start with something other than Yu Yu Hakusho or Gundam Wing (although I'll buy anything that features sweetie Quatre).

BTW, did I ever thank you for getting me addicted to GetBackers? Well then, thank you!!!! *glomps*

I would say, if you can afford it, do it. If you gotta work it might as well be doing something you enjoy, right? *blows a raspberry in the direction of her former boss* Start small, as it often takes time to get people to notice you have something to offer, not to mention the fact that it hurts a lot less if it doesn't do as well as you were hoping.

When one has tried, failed miserably, and then refuses to get it through their thick skull that they've failed, that is ego. Merely trying to make money doing something one enjoys is not.


Babs
shdlm
Oct. 24th, 2003 07:01 am (UTC)
I'm going to finally get off my butt and make the art book that was suggested last year at Ohayocon. *shrug* I'm doing it for my friends and for me; I don't expect a lot of interest beyond the people who already like my stuff.

I think you're talented. I'd have interest in the book, if the price wasn't sky high. Of course, you have to realize that I'm a relatively cheap person. I won't go through the lengths to purchase anime stuff that most of my friends will. *grin*

I guess it all comes down to comfort level. Will you be comfortable having your work in print form? Also, the production level. I'm planning on only making up a certain amount of the books based on the input I get from others.
laughingwolf
Oct. 24th, 2003 07:02 am (UTC)
Ok i'm gonna give it to ya straight.

Personally for me, your art is what caught my attention on the Wolfs Rain community, thats when i started to follow ya.(i'm a stalker in disguise! *g*) I think ya have loads of talent! I personally cannot draw a straight line to save my life, but i love to look at other peoples art.

as to the art book, if i saw it in say a bookstore, it'd catch my eye, i'd want it, the only thing would be is i'm normally broke (yeah story of my life) so i'd *wry grin* debate over it for like ever, id even walk away and walk back and walk away, and depending how the budget for the week was going, i might buy it.

i didn't know you did commissions. shows ya how close i look at stuff *wry laugh* but ooh i guess i should be goin' over and checkin' that stuff out!

I think you have room for the ego, cause your art is awesome. And i'm trippin', people talk shit to your face? besides all over the place? that is just wrong, and from where i'm standin' it sounds like their jealous of ya. (but i'm waaaay on the sidelines! *g*)
kashieseidolon
Oct. 24th, 2003 09:37 am (UTC)
looky here lady... ^_^
Hiya ^_^

Firstly, honest to the gods that be, your art is not just " mediocre "...
I like your art, it's distinct and purely your own. I've never seen anyone with a style that's quite like yours and it really gives a whole new angle/light to the subject matter.
Everyone has their own style, personally, I love your style, it's as individual as it is beautiful.

I would buy a book of your artwork, I truely would if I was able to.
As for people saying those nasty things, screw them, I wouldn't mind getting my hands on them and having a good long discution about art with them *Grumbles*
Don't let the low commission rates get you down either. This is something that you've obviously wanted to do for a long while. I don't think you should have to put your desire on hold because you're worried about negative feedback.
If doing this is going to cost alot of money and your hopping to get alot out of it, just be careful. But my last peice of advice would be that if this is something you really really want to do then do it and let the critics be damned. Sometimes the most satisfying art or... any project is the one that you do for yourself. The best thing about those kinds of things are that you'd be surprised how many other people like them too ^_~

Okay, done babbling. Darlin, I really do love your art. It's no body elses and that's what makes it so lovely.

~Kashie
okaasan59
Oct. 24th, 2003 10:48 am (UTC)
Since I really don't know you and haven't written before I think you could consider my opinion unbiased. I'm also a part-time (very part-time) illustrator. I've done a couple of children's books, working on another now, and a couple of book covers.

I hadn't seen your artwork before today. I think it's good. Very good. The only problem I see is an occasional hand or foot that's out of proportion or perspective. But the vast majority is excellent.

It seems to me that the main question is about marketability. Who are you planning to offer this book to, and what would it include? Are you going to include fanart? If so, would you run into any copyright violations by trying to market it to a wide audience? If the book only includes original art, would it appeal to those who are presently buying mostly fanart? By the way, I think my favorite drawings were those of Father Dormus and Brother Keele. Fabulous! They have so much personality and they really caught my attention.

Another issue is the financing. I know from experience that a writer almost NEVER makes money from a book that is self-published and often doesn't even break even. I don't know if this would be a problem for you or not.

If it was up to me (and I'm a very conservative person) I would probably say no to making the book, at least for now. It's not a question of the quality of the work, but of the marketability. I also have a tendency (as most artists do) to think that my work is never quite good enough and that the next piece will surely be better. If I made an art book I know that I'd later be moaning over the fact that my better works were not included. On the other hand, if I waited until I thought I had created the perfect piece of art, there would never be a book! *shrug*

I thought that your doujinshi (which I skimmed through) were great. I'm not sure why you've decided not to finish some of them. Could you market them (if you haven't already) to check and see how your work sells? I also think that you could consider being an illustrator. Your profile says that you are an art instructor, so I don't know if you've explored this possibility yet or not.

To sum up...there's absolutely nothing wrong with the quality of your work, but I'd be too big a chicken to take the chance on something that might only have appeal to a limited market.

Just my measly two cents. Hope it helps!
~okaasan
aka_anonymous
Oct. 24th, 2003 11:42 am (UTC)
I've always liked your work, I will always like your work. If you make it and it's something you're proud of, then it was a success, no matter what anyone says. *Blows raspberry at stupid, flamer-people*

It's been going on at least three years that I've been drooling over your stuff, I've seen your style developing and I say it's beautiful. Like the others posted before, it's unique and expressive.

I really like the sketches I got from you at Yaoi con, and if you do put out a book, today or someday, I'd buy it.

*Hugs* --Anon=)
siosan
Oct. 24th, 2003 01:03 pm (UTC)
I'd buy! I'd buy!

In all honesty I LOVE your art. It's well done, humorous, cute and heartwrenching and all those other wonderful things.

So, I say reach for your dream, make an art book and give me an estimated price so I can set the money aside eventually.

-Sio-
(Deleted comment)
bonesy
Oct. 24th, 2003 04:18 pm (UTC)
Hello!!
I'm just dropping in to give you random advice...^_^

I know at least two people who have had this problem before, and both were very, very, very talented like yourself. You are a wonderful artist, and your art is very worthy of an art book. My advice would be to go ahead and make the book, but don't expect it to become a best seller, since not all of the world is capable of appreciating the kind of art that you are so great at. As long as it makes at least one person happy for having it, then it was worth the time and effort. I know I would definitely buy a copy, when, if ever, I am not financially dead... That's it for my two cents, now that I've read what I just wrote it sounds very, very corny, but hey, what do expect from a mediocre psychiatrist/writer... ^_~
bonesy
Oct. 24th, 2003 04:22 pm (UTC)
And one more thing...
Just as a warning, if you don't take criticism well, take time to consider whether you can deal with the bad, the ugly, and the downright nasty comments that are sure to follow ANYTHING being published by ANYONE...I know, I've published things before, and they do it just to hurt you without real regard to the material. If you fell you can handle everything I only have a few words to say.

SCREW THE CRITICS!!!!!!!!!
(Deleted comment)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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