To put it politely, compared to many, many other artists out there, I am a hack. And that sticks in my craw. It also gives me fits, because I have no idea what to do next to get my art to improve.
Thing is, I've got to get to the point where going to these cons pays for themselves, or I won't be able to keep going to them at all. AC is probably the most affordable of cons for me, and it was a considerable drain on my finances as it was, between the hotel, the rental car, actually spending a little money at the con on artwork, and ungodly expensive hotel food. I split the cost of the room with HantaMouse this time but, with all due respect for my old friend, never again. I got nothing approaching decent sleep. I need my own room -- and when you add that to the cost of travel, you're looking at a minimum of $500 just to go to AC. Add, say, another $300 for plane tickets to any of the other cons out there, and it rapidly becomes an impossible dream for me to just soak the cost.
To pay for the cons, then, I need to either make money while at them, or take on paying side projects that can have their funds set aside for con travel. Unfortunately, I shopped the comic style page I recently did around to a few folks at AC, and got a general consensus of "Yeah, that's pretty good, but we've already got all the artists we need." Still, most people I spoke to had at least heard of me before, which was at least a little reassuring.
I am going to try to be more disciplined about doing stuff to sell at cons, such as in the art show or at a dealer table, in advance. All my talk about t-shirts notwithstanding, there is stuff I can afford to make and/or do in the meantime, and if I can just force myself to do the work instead of going home and vegging in front of the computer at night, I might actually start to get somewhere.
Of course, I've got to get those silly commissions out of the way first ... which starts tomorrow. Tonight the priority is getting files to Dave Allen (now that I'm finally clear on what files are needed). The First Printing of La Vida Panthera is now completely sold out, and he can't start the Second Printing without stuff from me -- so I've got to fix that!
I'm going to have to work out a schedule for myself ... SJ gets THIS block of time, NN gets THIS block of time, general support stuff (including website work and con-prep stuff) gets THIS block of time -- and then I get Sundays off. (I must have a day off somewhere!) Damn, I wish I could draw faster.