Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

One book down!

I'm happy.

I just got a sample book printed up, and it turned out GREAT. I'm very pleased with the result.

A little about what's been going on...

I'm currently doing a small business training course, as I explained in an earlier post. The basic idea of it is that I do the 7-week training, where they teach things like accounting, legal crap, marketing and generally all the little skills that are supposed to help a small business thrive. It's been pretty good so far. It's a lot of work, but I'm learning heaps.

Anyway, in a nutshell, my business idea is producing and selling personalised children's picture books. They're personalised in the sense that I'll have a few different story templates (some for girls, some for boys), and I'll change things like the character's name (the "Daniel" name in the book above is just a place-holder, chosen in particular for the nice alliteration), hair colour and skin tone to match the child whom the book is for.

There are ancillary things I'm going to be doing as well, to pick up the slack in sales. I'll be marketing myself pretty hardcore for freelance illustrating work, as well as producing and selling other illustrated products, like gift cards, prints, calendars and things like that. I'm thinking about having those personalised too.

There are still some problems to sort out, like finding cheaper printing to actually make the sale of the books viable. That's what I'm concentrating my energies on next.

So that's basically it. If all goes to plan, my business will be in full operation by the end of the course in about 5 or 6 more weeks!

I'm still tossing up on business names, but when I finally decide on one, I'll set up a website with order forms and the whole lot. I'll keep you posted on that.

No one is allowed to comment about the pink grass.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I was going crazy doing all that line-work, so I decided to colour the first three frames to freshen myself up. Any comments are much appreciated!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I've finished the line-work for the first three panels of the new book I'm working on. There's still a LOT more to go.

Monday, February 05, 2007


I thought I'd show you all some early development work for a pictorial story-book I'm making. As the story is told entirely via the images, it doesn't make much sense to actually write down what's going to happen when I'm planning things out. Instead, I do storyboards.

This first set is done very quick and dirty. It's just there to get my ideas down. I'm actually writing the story as I go. I guess it's the same as writing a plot outline, except its visual, and gets me thinking about composing each frame early on.

I'm always looking for ways to economise the amount of frames I need to tell the story, but remain visually appealing at the same time. After I'd completed this first set of storyboards, I decided that I wanted a "wide-shot" of the hill the kid is walking up to get to the tree. I didn't want to add a whole new frame in, and I still wanted the close-up of him walking (5), so I managed to merge two earlier frames together: the reveal of the dinosaur-doll and the kid's reaction (3 and 4). This allowed me an extra frame to put my nice hill in, in these revised, more detailed storyboards:

From here, I use these more detailed sketches to start the line-work on the final images, which I'm not quite up to yet.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Business Joe


So I'm starting this small business training course on Monday. It goes for six weeks and they cover all sorts of stuff that I have absolutely no idea about, like accounting, marketing, legal crap... basically all the stuff that I've been avoiding over the past twenty-one years.

I'm expecting a bit of a shock to the system, as my post-uni activities have pretty much consisted of the following:
  1. Hang out

  2. Play Nintendo
Still, I'm looking forward to the challenge.

The course itself is part of a government initiative for people who want to start their own small business. The idea is you do this training and then start up your business and the government gives you some financial support for up to twelve months. It sounds like a pretty sweet deal, but I'm slowly coming to realise the amount of work I'm going to be doing. The work itself I don't mind so much, it's more the being my own boss part that I can see causing some problems.

I don't think I'd make the best boss in any situation. If I were in charge of a bunch of employees, they'd all love me, but the business would be going to shit. This is probably why I could never become a teacher. All the kids would think I was the best, but the parents wouldn't stop hassling me about why their kid can't do fractions. I suppose being my own boss is probably going to cause the least amount of damage.

Problem is, all my work is going to be done in the same vicinity as where a great deal of my recreation is done - my room. I don't know if I'll be able to fill out tax statements long enough before I get distracted and start bouncing a volleyball off my wall. Uni was easier. When I was at uni, I'd be in uni mode. Then when I got home, recreation mode. Then back to uni mode on the night before something important was due. It was a rock-solid regime. But once I finish the six-week training, my work-place is gonna be the same as my recreation place.

To remedy the situation, I propose a split of personalities. This might sound weird and probably even a little psychotic, but trust me, it needs to be done. And so I give you:

Recreation Joe:

This is the Joe you all know and love. He's happy-go-lucky, laugh-out-loud funny, and an excellent kisser. Sure, he is slightly arrogant, but in that cute way that makes you like him even more.

His daily routine stops at waking up. Anything after that is a gamble.

Nobody can't get enough of this guy. He's the best.

Business Joe:

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. 8am. Wake up. Take a leak. Jump in shower. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Dry. Dress. Sultana Bran. Milk. Munch. Crunch. Slurp. Check e-mail. Ignore MySpace. 9am. Start work. Work. Work. Work. Avoid TV. Work. Work. 1pm. Break for lunch. Munch. Crunch. Slurp. Back to work. Work. Work. Get off MSN. Work. 5pm.

If this guy has to drive some place, nobody cuts in front. He's in a permanent state of simmering stress from trying to avoid the persistent dull tapping at the back of his brain that's telling him to stop working and watch an episode of Entourage.

I hate this guy.

So there it is. I'll clue you all in on the business itself as more details come to hand. For now, wish me luck, and here's hoping Business Joe doesn't stage a full personality take-over.