It's time for me to level with you. I'm not very inspired to make colouring pages anymore and I feel like that well has mostly dried up. I need to find new, interesting ways of expressing my girls. This means that I will no longer be working very hard to get colouring pages out to patron on any kind of schedule. The promise of "a constant stream of colouring pages" is going to be removed from my front page, and the new promise is going to be that patrons get:
- Patreon's Lens (does anyone even look at this when I use it?)
- Real Life Journal & "OMG, Sunny" Posts
- Early Access to public posts
- Colouring pages when I get a commission and the archive of 4 years worth of colouring pages & inspiration cards
- Work in progress shots of mixed media commissions
- My Fuck Ups
- My practice drawings, sketches and watercolour paintings
- Digital Drawings and Comics
- Printable zines when I make them
- The chance to buy stuff or get in on "happy mail" packages, first.
- You are showing your love and support via financial compensation, for which I am grateful.
I understand that some of you are here for colouring pages specifically and I'm assuming that without the promise of more, I'm going to lose some patrons. I get it and there are no hard feelings and I hope at some point, whatever I do next is of value to you also and you come back. If ya don't and my free social media posts are enough "Sunnyland" for you, that is totally cool. Just don't be a stranger, eh? Comment or say hi every now & then. We're still friends.
Onto this growth of mine...
The plan is very layered, but here's the gist of what I want to accomplish in the next 12 months:
I have decided to write "OMG, Sunny" as a serial blog on Medium after all. I joined Medium's partner program so when I post there, I will get a bit of money. Blake says publishers never publish already published work, but I argue that if it's good enough, they may anthologize it, which is fine by me. There's also a large part of me that kinda thinks book publishing just isn't my world and that internet publishing can be just as viable as far as people's opinions and enjoyment of a piece, which is what I care about more than money. When someone buys a book, it's not like they tell you what they thought of it or that you did a good job and sales don't mean shit, do you know how many shitty books I paid good money for that I disliked and are currently sitting on my floor to be donated somewhere? On the internet, you get feedback. You are literally on a journey with your readers and I dig that. Also I need money and if Medium's gonna pay me a small pittance, I'm not too proud to take it. To me, it's passive income. I have no idea how long I'm going to be working on this blog or how long it's gonna take to finish the time period or tell the story or whatnot, and I don't have a publishing schedule, but a free link to each post will be posted on Patreon directly after I publish so patrons don't have to pay for a Medium subscription.
Colouring Book Publishing + Microsite
In 2015, when I started drawing my girls in colouring pages and really perfecting their look and attitudes, it started because I stripped myself bare and gave myself parameters. I didn't have very much money either and no one was buying paintings. I was spending $40+ on materials and putting in 2 weeks worth of work every time I made one. I tried making ACEOs because they were smaller and had a lower price point, but it took me 10 years to sell the first set of them I made and I still have half a dozen from the second set. I decided to flip the script and do the complete opposite of what I was used to. Rather than making a complex painting with 20 layers and 10 different mediums, I pared my art tools down to one pencil, one Micron pen, 2 rulers, an eraser, and nice paper. It all fit in one pencil case, was portable & could be done anywhere. My portfolio of colouring pages contains around 55 pieces and I'm very proud of almost every one. I like them. I did a good job. Now I want someone to publish them.
Something I've learned is that agents don't often open attachments. I sent my colouring pages to 3 agents who accepted attachments and they all turned me down. I was pitching it as a picture book, but my text wasn't the strongest and I can understand why I didn't get any bites. My plan now, is to make a small WordPress microsite with a gallery of all the colouring pages, so I can send it to agents, and then have a link to a store I'm going to be launching on Threadless next year.
Digital Illustrations and Comics (?)
I bought this damn tablet and I haven't and won't give up on it. I had a very condescending conversation with a "professional" male graphic designer recently and it pissed me off so much that I'm determined to get halfway decent with it. That is gonna take time, practice, and tears. I gave up on the Budget Zoo idea for the most part because I don't wanna go to the zoo every day and be around annoying kids and not be able to vape weed. One of the best things about the tablet is that I can do it in the dark when it's the middle of a heat wave and our small AC unit is barely keeping the house tolerable, as long as I don't turn on any lights. The other main benefit is that you can draw in colour, you don't need to draw black lines and then full stuff in like I do with my colouring pages and I feel like MY use of this benefit is on the tip of my brain. I would like to make little comics and illustrations with this to practice with, with the end goal to be drawing my girls with it. Currently, I have the control of a 5 year old with a fistful of Crayolas, but I'm working on it. There are no tutorials or any kind of classes to really take in this so it's just practice, practice, practice.
The paint I use for my mixed media paintings is 99.9% acrylic. Acrylic paints are not water soluble once dry and they go on opaque. Acrylics are for concentrated, solid pigment, for the most part. Or at least, how I use them. I suck at mixing paint colours, so I have acrylic paint in every conceivable colour that I have ever used.
Watercolours, on the other hand, are transparent when applied, for the most part, and are tricky little bastards that ARE water soluble after they've dried, and this means you can achieve many effects with them. Like I did in 2015 with the colouring pages, I'm paring myself down and giving myself parameters to learn a new way to express my girls. I have 2 sets of watercolours now: a set of 30, standard colour half-pan watercolours, and a set of 24 half-pan metallic watercolours. The paper I am using is Arches 300 lb cold-pressed paper at $100 for 10 sheets because every other paper I've tried super sucks and was hindering my progress. I'm diving the 12x16" paper into 8 sections and practicing within each rectangle. My tools, beyond the actual watercolours and paper, are: water, brushes I already have, white gouache, paper towels, salt, and I may potentially test the pros & cons of masking fluid, depending on how much it is. The only money, beyond paper, I plan to spend, is going to be pledging to watercolour artists on Patreon who do tutorial videos. I'm gonna do - or try to do - every tutorial I can find that looks even remotely interesting so I can learn how this paint works and can use it to eventually express my girls. Full disclosure: as of yet I have no fucking idea how watercolours are going to translate to my girls, but that's part of the challenge. For now, I guess I'm doing landscapes. (Don't worry, I would rather slit my own throat than become yet another Canadian landscape painter. This is just practice.)
So there ya have it. Stick with me and support me on this journey or wish me luck and we will meet again. I'm good either way because this is what I'm doing.