This sequence amused me to no end. I’m hoping for another 3-strip inspiration over the weekend, but if it doesn’t come I might take some days off from blogging next week to get caught up on some writing projects, specifically a couple longform book reviews for the Best Children’s Books website and a couple of comic book articles for Panels. Plus, I’d like to start another big project I’ve been wanting to do for a couple years. I’ve set a deadline for myself on this one, so there’s a good chance that it will actually come together. Especially now that I’m learning Photoshop, ideas that seemed really complicated to execute feel much more manageable. Everything erases in Photoshop, and when you put things in the wrong place, you can just pick them up and move them. I wouldn’t even have to sketch out a separate rough draft.
Today was the Girl’s 10th birthday, so here’s a special bonus design to celebrate: it’s her as a My Little Pony. Usually I don’t do fan art, of course, but she really liked it. She asked if we could get it framed 🙂
The Girl in the comic is supposed to be about 5 years old. The first thing the real life girl said to me this morning was, “I’m really a tween now.” So this picture is a more accurate spiritual representation of who she is now: an optimistic young person with a sense of style and passion, poised to take the world by storm.
As for the comic, it’s just a small gag, but I think it speaks to a lot of people I know, not just the Fox and the Rabbit. Sometimes you’re just waiting for inspiration. But really, inspiration is always in you.
I know quite a few people got QvD T-shirts for Christmas, and they promised to send me photos, but this is the only one I have so far. OK, that’s not 100% true. There is also this:
There is an explanation for that photo, but it doesn’t make any more sense than the photo itself.
For six long years before QWERTYvsDvorak, I was the lead writer for a successful international Internet-based company. Technically, I was hired to write web content for search engine optimization, which meant one thing in 2008, when I started, and means about 15,000 different things in 2015. During my tenure, I was often called upon to work on more direct marketing type stuff, advertising, outreach, mass mailings. When I worked at WW Norton, I also had occasion to work with the marketing department.
Here’s one thing I’ve known about myself: I suck at marketing. Beginning with my utter inability to market myself as a likable human being (see yesterday’s post) and continuing steadily to today, I’ve never had the knack of convincing large groups of people to view my perspective favorably. This is weird, actually, since I’m a decent writer and have a degree in psychology and have been told by many people that I would excel in both the fields of advertising and law. And possibly, if I could make myself care about either of those things, I could be good at them.
But even though I would love it if people bought more T-shirts, I don’t know how to make people want to buy more T-shirts. I don’t know how to make myself care about selling enough to do the work of selling. I mean, I know how to create an ad campaign and pay various broadcasters to promote that material, but I hate that stuff. I just want to draw the T-shirts (step 1) and get to step 3 (profit), without working on step 2 (?).
Anyway, here are some adorable T-shirts. I drew them. Certain human beings appear to take joy in possessing and wearing them. If you too feel that there might be some joy in the acquisition and donning of our fine QvD merchandise, it would give me immense pleasure to sell you a T-shirt.
Above left: Blondie is wearing a yellow kids’ Princess Sealestia of Aquastria T-shirt.
Above right: Big Brother is wearing a green kids’ Punk Rock Raven T-shirt.
Bottom left: Daft Punk is wearing a light blue girly fit Giralicorn T-shirt.
Click hyperlinks for instant T-shirt gratification.
QWERTYvsDvorak is just about to go on vacation. Wednesday’s Dragon Comic will be the last update of the year, but we’ll return in 2015 with all new ridiculousness for your wasting-time-at-work pleasure. Today, please enjoy these images of our RedBubble merchandise in the wild.
My nephlings got QWERTYvsDvorak shirts for the holidays, those lucky kids. Pictured here, this handsome fellow models the Dragon Comics “I Can Get Better with Practice” panel T-shirt, kids size, gray. “I can get better with practice,” is, of course, our motto. Words to live by, folks.
This lovely little lady is obviously enjoying the glamour and style of the kids pink “Princess Sealestia of Aquastria” T-shirt. There’s still a little time to order for Christmas, if you get express shipping. Your children could be almost as adorable as these kids. I mean, being incredibly good-looking and unspeakably talented runs in the family, obviously. I can’t guarantee that your kids will be just as adorable, but they can certainly be just as well dressed.
Not that I precisely understand Facebook’s algorithms, but it seems pretty likely to me that Facebook doesn’t like it when you link to the same blog every single day. When I first started blogging, it seems like I actually got a lot more traffic, and a lot more Facebook likes. Now it’s leveled off, so my assumption is that Facebook isn’t showing my updates to as many people, which means fewer people are liking them, which means fewer people are seeing them. A vicious circle.
Lacking a publicity budget and not being overly active on any other forums, it’s hard to see how to increase my reach. Unless my work is so great that everyone who reads it just naturally and organically shares it. OK: generate better work so that people just naturally like and share it.
For most of my life, I was the type of person who either took immediately to a new skill, or gave up immediately on a new skill. It’s fortunate (or, possibly, the cause of this behavior) that I found myself naturally good at enough things that it was not immediately apparent that I was a quitter, or that I wasn’t learning certain important skills. (Seriously, I don’t think I knew my 12 times tables until college.) Not until my 30s did it ever seem imperative to me that subpar skills should be honed, that time should be spent doing things I wasn’t good at. So the Dragon “I can get better with practice” comic still amuses me, and guides me. It can guide you too, if you carry it around with you at all times and refer to it for guidance in times of need.
Getting better still isn’t a guarantee of success, which is another life lesson for me. Take Princess Sealestia of Aquastria. Although she’s a simple drawing, she took me about a month to complete, primarily because I had no idea what I was doing and had to learn the skills as I went. She still cracks me up. She still seems like a great idea to me. She gets more page views than any other design in my RedBubble shop. She gets compliments, too. But no one seems to want to take her home. Why not? She’s adorable. She’s available as a sticker for $2.32. That makes her versatile. She could be a smartphone case, or a notebook cover, or a window decal.
And finally, being worse isn’t an indicator of failure. It is certain that my writing is objectively better than that of Stephanie Meyers, but it isn’t more successful. I don’t think “Kitty Sees 3 Fishes” is a masterpiece; it’s the oldest drawing in the shop, and it’s actually something I dashed out in a few minutes. In fact, I think I spent more time converting it to a digital format than I did painting it. But it’s one of my most successful designs. How? Why? Should I be doing more in this vein? The idea of the picture still amuses me. But as an older, more accomplished artist, I look at this image and think, “Where are kitty’s feet?”
Anyway, this is a blog post, and these are 3 items in my shop. Do with them as you will. (I hope what you will do is like and share them with your social networks and expose more people to the magic of QWERTYvsDvorak.)
Here’s the girl I was hinting at in my Thinking about Seahorses post: Princess Sealestia, Ruler of Aquastria. She didn’t make much of an impact in pencil, but maybe she’ll steal your heart in living color. This design is totally available for purchase in my store on a variety of fine products.
I wouldn’t call myself a brony or even a pegasister, but I do love My Little Pony. It’s earnest and honest, funny on multiple levels while espousing values that everyone regardless of age or gender should embrace. Not entirely sure where this idea came from; it just hit me one night, and when I told my stepkids, they thought it was hilarious, which was enough of a green light for me.
To create her, I had to learn how to select sections and use the gradient tool. It’s nice to be encounter challenges and then learn by doing. I also use layers and variation in transparency to create the bubbles. Her cutie mark came out of a few experiments. I tried a starfish, a big wave, various combination of little waves, and a gemstone before I decided to play with the sun featured on the rump of her pony progenitor. I just tweaked the colors and turned the rays a bit more tentacle-y to suggest an ocean-going effect.