Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Power of NOT Giving Up


Sometimes I feel like I’m putting out content no one cares about. Do you know what I do then? I keep going. I keep creating and I don’t give up.

One of the hardest things on anyone who puts out content is silence. It’s worse than low book sales or even long periods of low sales and lack of reviews. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to sit on the corner with a tin cup with the work “likes” on the side.

In reality, it is just another obstacle. It gives me cause to regroup and refocus on my goals and remind myself why I’m posting that content in the first place. Yes, I want my audience to see it. I want to grow that audience for the art, the stories, and everything else. The only way I can do that, is to keep building first and foremost.

That isn’t to say I’m not looking for new ways to market myself. I’m a one man band still and marketing is the hardest part of the job. It requires people and I’m incredibly thankful for the few I have. It requires advertising, and that is the one major budget issue I lack.

The simple truth is, if I don’t build and hopefully improve what people see, there won’t be anything to market in the first place.

And there are a hundred more creators, thousands, just like me. The competition is staggering and getting people into new characters and stories isn’t as easy as it sounds.

There there’s my health. With my new diagnosis of diabetes that doesn’t play well with Multiple Sclerosis, I’m challenged even further in my abilities to continue. To say that I work through adversity is putting it lightly. Some days, I can’t create at all and it always feels like a major setback when I don’t get any of it done because I’m laid up recuperating from an MS flare up. And now you might wonder if this is all I have to contend with in my path. It isn’t.

Because I am published through Amazon (yes self published) there is a terrible conception that a self published author isn’t a real author. And yes, that statement has been delivered to me more than once. I brush it off and keep going. When that person goes, “Oh, you’re self published” with that slight expression of disdain; I just smile and nod.

I keep a list of reasons not to give up. And I value those reasons more than I give credence to my obstacles. As I keep teaching my son, attitude is everything.

So I hope you enjoy these black and whites of characters that I recently finished and maybe can apply this to your own goals in creativity or whatever. Meanwhile, I have more creating to do. How about you?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

UPDATE: The GZ 2020 Project!

Kinjite 2020
For those who have been following my pages, you have probably noticed the new black and white artwork posted with character names followed by 2020. This is the GZ 2020 project and I'm here to tell you what that is going to pertain to.

First and foremost, I am taking on the vast challenge to redraw almost all my characters in sharp updated scale. This is no small feat as we start with heroes and progress to villains. And while I'm doing all black and white right now, I will soon be starting in on digital coloring. But what else is happening?

This art is not only going to provide fresh new views of my best characters but apply to a couple of other projects:

NEW GAME: I'm working on a new cooperative card game that will allow up to 4 players (as heroes) with one player acting as host for the threats (that can be a 5th player if you wish). These threats will be none other than the best and worst GZ has to offer with new fantastic monsters (hint, you've already seen them) and villains with henchmen. There will be diabolical traps and incidents you must overcome in order to thwart your main villains master plot. This will utilize character building and multi-d6 combat. Recent game testing  has been very good to us so it's exciting to dig in on building this game!

NEW DATABASE: I'm working on plans for a new database that will also feature the art and details about all the characters. There is a possibility of this coming to book format through Amazon. You can learn all there is to learn about the GZ universe (well almost).

NEW COLORING BOOK: As a follow up to my coloring book Amazing Characters, you will get your own chance to color in these pictures. There will be at least 50 pics to color and enjoy.

And that isn't all. I stopped on work for GZ Tales vol 3 last year because of a number of issues that we don't need to revisit. The important thing is that I will be bringing it back to the front burner and working on new stories. As before these tales will tie in with novels and previous shorts from volumes 1 and 2. You know what that means? If you haven't yet, you need to dive into this universe a and get some experience with it! As always, there is the link in the upper right that leads to my Amazon author's page, but I'll give you a couple of the best links right here to get you started. The best part about this, is that you can read digitally (no waiting for delayed shipments) for just 99 cents! Super cheap!

GZ Tales Vol 1

Chessmen  Opening Moves

But do peruse the authors page HERE for ebooks that are all super affordable and fun to read.

So do stay tuned to my twitter and facebook because there are lots of update posts to come! It's going to be a wild year and I'm busting but to make it happen! Stay safe and healthy out there!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Two Projects coming to a slow down, Fallout76, however...

There is so much going on and I need to touch on all of it. I have greatly enjoyed bringing happiness to the Fallout community with my new scale of Fallout art that you get to color yourself; that was 100% supported by you the player with your submissions of in game photos. Your support past that has been wonderful too. Unfortunately, this is not meeting my new need of groceries and medications. Those cost. So I will have to do more toward efforts that I can be paid for and less on the freebie work.

I've done enough of the FCCP art and Chef adventures to fill 6 coloring books and you can download and print all of it for free. Other artist friends think I've gone completely insane. Who does that much free work? Well, for the joy it brings and hopefully will continue to bring, it's worth it in these trying times. People who are stuck at home can print out and color pages for that added distraction and relaxation with a side dish of silliness. Just what the doctor ordered. I did it for you.

That doesn't mean I'm not going to draw anymore of them. But there won't be near as big of releases as before and they will be released on a more spontaneous schedule. Kind of as I do them.

Now, if people want to ORDER a page from me I am happy to do custom work for a minimal charge. I will even drop the price to 7 dollars a page via paypal. I was doing 15. So hit me up if you want something special done that is just for you and will only be released to the public by you. That puts you at the head of the line because I always do paid work first. Like I said, I find myself in a need of groceries and meds for my MS.

You see, since moving to a new state and having everything shut down, I haven't been able to get a new doctor for me or my son. We are running out of important medications. So I have to put efforts into these things and try to push for what we need.

I am working on two new coloring book projects that I have posted teasers to so I hope you will be watching. I also have new character work coming for GZ with the 2020 project.

So there we are. I hope to still see you at my page!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

FCCP Behind the scenes: Making pictures fit (Fallout 76 coloring pages)

If you've been following along, you know that I'm the artist who started the Fallout Community Coloring Project (FCCP). I've drawn well over 70 free coloring pages so far with requests to compile into a coloring book. The community response has been awesome and lots of people have contributed their in game photos for me to potentially draw.

Most of what I get I can draw and fit in the frame for a coloring page pretty easily. Sometimes, however, the best results come from a few alterations of space and detail. Today I'm going to give you a couple of examples. Let's start here:

BEFORE

AFTER

Whoa! There are some major changes going on there. I draw in photoshop and utilize tricks to bring things together. I brought everyone closer, added some baubles to the tree, omitted suit guy's backpack, and corrected her wardrobe malfunction. Click on images for closer view. To break those down on the last two, the seated guy in a suit had a backpack on that was digitally  merging with the couch. The lady's hand was merging through her dress into her lap. That's just how Fallout objects go when they are close to each other. It's not a perfect system. It's easy enough to correct when drawing the picture. 

BEFORE




AFTER

As you can see, after I drew in our dancing couple, I zoomed in on the tent and made for more active background to color. The giant rock is nice and all, but comes across as blank ground after you draw it in and thus dead space.  So now there is something active to color in the background without losing the action of the scene.

I have to say the community has been wonderful and I am still working on the ways one or more coloring books may happen. The update on that is that I am in process of moving across states, doing the FCCP coloring book will have to wait until I finish moving. I will update on that more as time draws near. Hopefully you will have a book by this summer. 

As for the rest of the images, if you have not seen them all, you can view them at my page HERE. Just click on PHOTOS and there are two albums. 

If you really love my work and want to help me keep it going, consider ways to support your favorite artists HERE

Until next time... thanks for reading and I am still accepting new images, just know that it takes about 3 weeks to get to a new person on the list. In about 3 weeks I will be restarting on my list of people unless new folks add in.

Friday, January 3, 2020

UPDATE: An open letter to Bethesda Games and call out to fans

Dear Bethesda,

I have made attempts to contact you and even emailed your marketing head directly. I want it understood in an open and public place where the world is my witness. I am doing something positive and good for a community I care about. The response of the community has been overwhelmingly positive and while I've done all these hours of work for free (you know full well what artwork costs, just ask your budget department) the fans of the work asked for a compilation of those works in book form, IE coloring book.

I am of course talking about the Fallout Community Coloring Project (FCCP) where I take player submitted photos of Fallout 76 and draw them into highly detailed high resolution coloring pages. I currently have over 400 submissions by a total of 107 players. I have completed over 70 of said images and I release new ones every Saturday. I do not ask for any payment for that work but I do offer 7 other coloring books on Amazon as well as novels and compilations.

So what am I asking you for. Essentially your blessing to give your fans what they want of this project and nothing more. I am not asking you to pay me for my artwork, sales in coloring books have no chance of hurting you in any fashion nor could they compete with your bottom line. And finally, the public relations could only serve to help you and boost you by giving said blessing to put out these books. Yes, there are enough submissions to make two or three at this point.

Being that this is 100% community supported with players sending their personal experiences to the project and that they get image credit listed on every image used; it seems to me there is a niche to fair use that might cover this. But who wants to argue over that?  I'm asking for your support because it can only make you look good. You will give players a whole new reason to play. You will show new players what they are missing in a market you scarcely exist in. And best of all, you have zero financial risk in the matter. If I put out coloring books that I make a total of a dollar fifty a book on and only 20 books ever sell, that loss is 100% mine. Furthermore, people who video their game play arguably make way more than that on monetized accounts, and since that is allowed I would  think me getting a buck a book would pale in comparison.

I hope you can see that this is not just "fan art", it is a collection of actual player experiences put to use for all of them to enjoy. I'm asking you to support that. I'm also asking those same fans to tell you as well I'm doing right now. I'm asking all the fans of this project to share it with you directly to show you how the unique interest in this works.

Since I have your emailed permission to at least continue drawing... that  exactly what I will do. If 70 pictures doesn't move you, I'll aim for 700. Why? Because there is another side to this. An outlet allowing me to use what is left of my artistic ability as Multiple sclerosis slowly destroys my nervous system. So I'm doing something big and this is where I chose to do it. So please, can we have your blessing?  You can email me at Galaxyzento@gmail.com anytime to talk.

Yours truly
A real fan
DJ Wilde

Monday, December 16, 2019

How to support your favorite artist, up front and honest (with how to do it for free)

You walk down the street without a care in the world. It's a good day. The sun is shining and birds are singing. You hear music coming from just around the corner and there he is. His hat is overturned on the pavement and his fingers work that guitar like he was born holding it. He plays to entertain the masses and will take anything you care to drop. Some drop change, others drop dollars. He even gets the occasional ham and cheese sandwich from the deli next door. He's a busker, singing and strumming for a dollar.

Ah but those days aren't so common now are they? Well, sure, there are still buskers and street performers in plenty of places. Some pay them and some mock them, but they still exist. I'm kind of like them. I apply my talent (what I have left) to your entertainment, I just do it online. And you get something you can print out right at home or order at your leisure through a website like Amazon. You see, there are new ways to be that busker guy with things like paypal and patreon. And why not?

Alas, I still get asked how a person can help out their favorite artist and these don't seem to be a common knowledge as they should be. The idea is this when it comes to today's starving artists like that fellow with the guitar: if you enjoy it... support it. There are several ways you can even better than on that street corner.

DO IT FOR FREE:

Every so often someone says to me: "Just imagine when you go viral!"  I want to say if everyone who said that, shared my work, I probably would. And that's the key, sharing is caring. No place allows for it better than right here on the internet. You have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc and if you would share that work you enjoyed today, you would help take that one more step toward making it go viral. You increase visibility of the artist and get more people to stop and take a look. And if you want to do something only slightly more awesome...

COMMENT. Yeah, don't just lurk silently. Say something. Posting a comment also increases visibility and more than just sharing does (although both is freaking phenomenal). And it takes seconds to do either one! But let's say you want to be a big freaking help without spending money you don't have (hey I understand).

You want to contribute some serious golden effort? Grab the link to your artist's work page and post some of his work on your twitter or pinterest or instagram with that link attached. On pinterest, that's absolutely GOLD.

Okay, so now we talk about your options to support an artist for costs. Well, you can do it just like with the busker on the street if there is paypal involved. For example,

thewildeman2@yahoo.com

is my paypal email. Feel free to drop a dollar in my "hat" anytime. It helps me cover small costs and keep providing some content for free for everyone.

Love it enough to do more? PATREON. If your artist has one you can subscribe for as little as a dollar a month and score some niceties in thanks. You can cancel at anytime with no questions asked. That link is to my personal patreon of course. Or maybe you need something you can space out even more... well

Does your artist have an ETSY page? Books on AMAZON? Buy their products, and post REVIEWS.  Reviews are a big help that few people come back to post.

See. All sorts of ways to support an artist of nearly any kind. The more you support, the more that artist grows and expands their content. Through you, someone could be the next JK Rowling or Marvel Comics of the age. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Yes, all those links are for my works as I've been asked many times how to do all this. That's why I'm posting it all together right here for quick and easy reference. If you love it, support it. Just like you support any other favorite business in your town. Now you know.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

UPDATE FCCP: Bethesda says NO to a coloring book..sort of.

I am writing today's post in response to multiple requests that I compile actual coloring books for the Fallout Community Coloring Project. As I answered before, I could only do what would be a commercially sold book with support and agreement from Bethesda. I wouldn't serve to go through all that work to make a book and put it up on Amazon if I wound up head to head with Bethesda's legal department.

So I wrote to them. I explained how the project is 100% community supported and how much interest it is gathering. I gave them every positive point I could think of and they responded pretty quickly. They listed it as an "incident" with an identification number and said the following:

Greetings!

Thank you for contacting Bethesda Customer Support. 
Bethesda Softworks appreciates our fans and generally does not discourage posting of non-commercial fan created tributes.  Any use of our intellectual property for commercial purposes, however, including The Elder Scrolls® or Skyrim® names, logos, branding elements, artwork, etc., is strictly forbidden without a written license agreement.  We regret that we are unable to grant licenses for the commercialization of fan fiction.
 
We also cannot accept unsolicited manuscripts or other material.  Please do not send us any submissions.
 
Please be advised that any commercial use or exploitation of our intellectual property rights is not permitted.  Bethesda Softworks will strictly enforce its rights.
 
 I hope this information helps! Thank you for your interest in Bethesda Softworks.

Kind Regards,
Bethesda Softworks


So, as I understand this, so long as I keep doing the project more or less as I'm doing it, which is not for profit, I can keep on drawing the coloring pages for the community. If I try to put out an actually coloring book... that will be responded to in a negative fashion. 

Let me be clear, I want to keep drawing your pictures. This project has been a source of great positivity for me and I love that I'm doing something so many are enjoying. So I am going to continue giving you guys and my coloring book page this source for something positive and different.  This of what I do, shall remain as free. Should anyone wish to support me as an artist, there are several ways to accomplish that and you need only ask. I have a patreon and other books as well.  You can share me in all sorts of ways. All things that help out wonderfully. 

In further news, this Saturday's release of new images will be my biggest one yet. Thank you all for being part of this project and it shall go on!