The BIGGEST MERCH SALE I HAVE EVER DONE is happening RIGHT NOW in the HE STORE and ends on 9/21/13!!! $10 Books! $9 Shirts! Other things! Different Prices!
This is essentially the first comic of the
rebooted redirectionalized (no WAY this is a real word) HijiNKS ENSUE. The storyline before this serves as a sort of bridge between the pop culture based, continuity free strips and the new stuff. It’s not going to be all parenting stuff from here on out. That’s just how I’m choosing to start this phase of my work, because that (being a parent) was the entire reason I started the comic and eventually started The Experiment. It seems fitting that this new chapter in The Experiment begins with comics about the impetus for The Experiment itself and a discussion of one of the ideals I brought up in my original Experiment writings.
There is this pervasive idea that “artist” is not a job. A concept that in order to be an artist or a musician or an independent anything, you must ALSO have a “respectable” day job. The short version of my thesis on the subject is that art, music, comedy, drama enrich the lives of essentially every person who lives on this planet, yet most of those people would consider those professions as fake or unattainable “you’re deluding yourself” dreams. Well, that is until those careers are practiced at their absolute apex. No one scoffs at the career path of an international pop star or an Oscar winner. Yet they seem to forget that everyone they admire in entertainment started as a “deluded dreamer.” Further more, they don’t seem to realize that intense satisfaction, personal worth, accomplishment and even financial gain can be made from just doing the thing (usually the art) that you want to do for a considerably smaller audience. I, and thousands like me, are proof that this idea is outdated and irrelevant, to say the least. Yesterday my kid said she can’t decide is she wants to be “a veterinarian or a famous artist.” She pointed out that a vet gets to be around cute animals all day (plus one in the vet column), but she already knows from me selling prints of her artwork at conventions (for which she gets all of the money) that drawing something once and getting paid for it over and over is NOT too shabby of a gig. There are far worse ways to make a living.
My daughter has actually had a pretty good handle on what I do for a living for a couple of years now. She once said, “You draw pictures for your friends and if they like them, they pay you for them.” That’s not SUPER far off from entirely accurate. She also understands that I don’t to go to work away from home every day, but in exchange I have to leave for a convention 3-4 days a month. I’ve convinced her this is a more than fair trade and a small price to pay. When a stranger asks me what I do, and I don’t want to get into specifics I’ll usually say I’m a cartoonist. They’ll ask what cartoons I draw (they almost ALWAYS assume “cartoonist means “animator”), and I’ll say I do my own cartoons online. This typically ends the conversation because that sounds like I’m saying, “I don’t have a job but I fuck around on the Internet a lot.” If I just want to shut the conversation down and, say, finish my haircut in silent peace I will say I am “an illustrator.” NO ONE has a follow up question for that one. Not entirely sure why, either.
COMMENTERS: Have you ever had a hard time explaining what it is you do, or what your spouse, parents or kids do?
If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr you probably already know that I have recently joined with Hiveworks for my hosting and advertising needs. They are a digital publisher and advertising network, AND a pretty great group of comics pros that form a guild of publishers, artists, business types and David Willis. I suggest you check out their roster of comics, their affiliates and anything else they have to offer since my current financial situation relies somewhat on their success.
I will also take this time to make a friendly reminder: If you like HijiNKS ENSUE and you want to see it continue, please do not use an ad blocker on my site. Use it for every other website (accept for those run by independent artist types) if you must, but please whitelist this site and allow me to continue making a living from the free content I give away. Thanks!