Monday, September 7, 2015

5 things not to say to a comic artist

I was recently terribly busy helping out in my alumni's event and doing an urgent commission work so there were not many new comics besides the regular Monday ones. During those alumni events, I networked with many strangers who had never heard of my comics. The most popular comment was "Can you draw me" and "Can you give a talk at our school". But when I asked if I can sell my books there and if I will get speaker fees, the replies were mostly irritating: "Oh sorry, you cannot sell your book during the talk... We are tight on budget, so can you consider doing it for free? Think of it as promotion". The irony was after chatting for some time, it is revealed that they do have LOTS of money. Well, not for me that is.

FREE TALK + NO SELLING OF BOOKS = FAT HOPE
I did lots of free talk last year and sold my books there. That was how I managed to clear 1,000 books all by myself within a year. But the downside was I became so busy preparing the materials, doing promotion for the events, that I have ZERO time to work on my new book.

The last comment "MORE EXPOSURE", which was used by 80% of potential clients last year to negotiate my fees downwards actually made me motivated to grow my fanbase to proof that I don't need your exposure, you need me to promote you instead.

Unfortunately this year, I am caught up with tons of commission work, some were paid last year but delayed till this year. That's why I am very grateful to all my patrons at Patreon, who provided me a steady flow of monthly allowance so I could jack up my commission rates and lessen the projects I had to do. This means more time to work on all-new content for my book, while still keeping the regular Monday comic strips! Of course, I do still get requests to conduct workshops (which sometimes require lots of meetings and get cancelled last minute, so I will be declining all workshops for corporate HR training), tons of requests to negotiate my fees and collaborations, etc. Sometimes I wish I can just ignore all the emails and go somewhere far far away to work on my book... But money is important, especially in Singapore, so I will still read emails.

4 comments:

  1. I can so relate to this xP I'm a person who digitally draw anime/manga from Brunei (a country in which these kinds of industry -self publishing comics - are weak).
    Just want to say that your comics are great and I love the way you relate your everyday life with them haha. I hope I can be like you too one day :) (Im currently 16) Have a nice day (or night, depending when you're reading this :))

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    1. 16 is very young! I dream of being a comic artist when I was 16, all the best :)

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  2. Hihi~~ Long time no see ur Blog. Tis is HuiComics.
    Hahahaha! I ever ganna the same responses as U, even fr my own siblings! (do cards for free, do cartoons for Flash/Powerpoints at weddings for free, take it as showcasing. Rubbish! Bt i still do it, cos it's my sibs. T_T)
    Bt i tink hvg a price on arts make it easier to let go........ and will not hurts so much when they discarded it. Though its easy to draw, it still takes effort and $$$ does not fall fr the sky! Hope they understand.... we also need to survive!
    But i tink U doing great! n going towards ur goal! Jia you yah!
    Btw, i tink your cushion is not expensive at all, n is unique. ^_^/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Huicomics! It's been a long time!
      I think it is very reasonable but you know, there will be people who keep asking me for discount and want to self-collect at my home to save postage!

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