Art, Life, Advice and Goals
First of all, I want to apologize. My month became even more busy than I anticipated. My parents visited. Owen's been recovering from surgery (he is doing great!) I've needed to take over his share of the housework in addition to being responsible for both his and my income, and caring for him after the operation. Now Milo's nana's visiting, and I'm staring at the end of the month. Things are difficult right now on multiple fronts. I've been fighting to carve out time to get the coloring book done, and am frustrated by the lack of progress on what I feel is a negligible amount of work I should have finished by now. I'm also frustrated because I didn't want this Patreon campaign to become a source of stress - I want it to be fun, and full of art and an excuse for me to blog regularly and make puppet videos.

I had a very good conversation with a family member, and received much good advice. They are helping me to redo my business plan and to get myself back on my feet. Their advice for my Patreon is to make sure that I take on an amount of work equal to the amount of funding this is bringing in. Also, that it is probably not a good idea to set it to bill by project instead of monthly, because some projects are going to take longer than others, stuff is going to come up, and I can stay on top of the monthly Patreon rewards all the same. This was not my original plan. I want to make sure the new plan is clear, so that everyone has a chance to decide if they would still like to participate.

This is my new plan, and I hope that it makes sense:

Projects: When I finish a project, I'll pick a new one. It might be a little project or a huge multi-month project. I think this will give us more freedom to pick ambitious projects without the stress. I can also pick a project that takes less than a month to complete, then jump right in for another one. I want to make sure that you're all getting the value you want from my work, and I also want to make sure I'm not carving out increasing amounts of time to work on a project I've underestimated the workload for, while putting aside other obligations and putting the rest of my business on hold. I don't want to end up stacking multiple, mostly-finished projects in the name of staying caught up when it makes more sense to keep plugging away at a reasonable pace.

I've been working on the Grumblecrab picture and have some more art to show you on this illustration. I'm also including a watercolor study I did to practice painting bubbles, which will figure into the illustration prominently.

I think that I need to do more editing on the coloring book. It isn't as simple as I wanted it to be, and I might need to do some play testing on it - I think it would be more fun if I could post it here and you could help me play test it. I can share with you my progress and work process, instead of keeping it all secret until I'm done. I'm really excited about the concept and want it to be perfect, but I don't want to keep slowing all this down. So, I'd like to keep working on it, and if it's cool with all involved, I'd like finishing, play-testing and polishing the coloring book and getting caught up on various other commitments to be my next project. I hope this is reasonable.

I did make that font based on my handwriting! I'm not going to upload that just yet; I need to decide if it creeps me out or not that everyone can write just like me, haha! (also it has worse kerning than comic sans....)

Rewards: Rewards will go out each month as planned. Everything from last month should have arrived by now (or is in transit!) and I'll have the next batch to follow up on it this week.

Goals: I need to redo the goals; I misunderstood how they're intended to work, and accidentally piled too much additional stuff onto my plate. I still want to do art stream parties, sticker sets, and all kinds of other ideas, but having them all be on my plate each month is going to make this harder for me to meet all my promises.

I really want to do this month's art party, though, so I'm going to stream from the shop tomorrow. I do not have any other obligations to sneak up on me and steal my day this time.

I'm also going to have the sloth sticker set for this month; I want to make sure that I fulfill my promises before moving on to a new way of handling this Patreon campaign. I have the pencil art done and have added it to this post to show you! SLOTHS!

Puppets: We'll still be doing a monthly puppet update. This weekend, I filmed the rest of the footage we need for this month's episode, and I'm editing it together, so that's right on track.

SO, those are my plans and new goals. If you'd like to stay on board, welcome! If you'd like to move on, no hard feelings. Thank you so much for your support and for always giving me such fun ideas to draw. I'm honored to have all of you here to support my efforts, and I hope that together we can continue to make cool stuff and I can learn to relax a little more. ;)

PS - Milo and Shauna (my other roommate) finished the extension of our chicken run, so now the birds have twice as much space and the new run is full of delicious, tall grass, which they think is pretty neat. We have a little gate (that Squash can escape through - whoops) to separate the two runs, so that we can keep them out when the grass needs to regrow. These spoiled chickens will never want for salad again. :3

Next weekend, some friends and I are going to be making animal costumes out of recycled/scavenged materials so we can participate in the Procession of the Species. This is a local parade where everyone dresses up as an animal, and no one speaks during the procession. Every year, folks come up with some pretty amazing creations, and I think we're going to have a blast cobbling together our own. I'll show you how it goes. The parade is on May 7th.

I think that's about it! Take care, all!