Scarcity/Support

Photographer Joshua Kissi articulated something I relate to very deeply about the idea of “success” for creators in the current age in this interview:

“There’s less of a binary now. It’s not a clear ‘you made it,’ or ‘you didn’t.’ For a long time, people romanticized this idea of the starving artist because there were so few that make it to the top. Now people are finding spaces that make sense for them, and it’s not because it’s being forced upon them. They’ve had way more control and autonomy over building a space they feel comfortable creating from. They’re not making things from a scarcity mindset anymore.”

Read this via Aundre Larrow, who I followed after hearing him speak about Instinct, Luck + Preparation for In/Visible Talks. When I thanked him for his insights on Twitter, he immediately messaged me and asked “How can I support you?”

The question caught me off-guard. I can be cagey about this stuff when put on the spot, despite maintaining such an open demeanor online. Usually I’m the one doing the offering, the listening, the supporting. 

I get uncomfortable when people turn it back on me. 

And when it comes from a fellow creator at a similar stage in their career? Then it’s not as simple as just saying “Here’s my Patreon!” and moving on. There are things we need, but perhaps don’t know how to ask for—things other creators might understand better than anyone.

So even though I don’t think I gave a particularly profound answer at the time, I still think about that exchange whenever I interact with someone new. What happens when I open a conversation with an offer of assistance? And when (jumping back to that Interintellect conversation on authenticity) might it feel misaligned with the default level of intimacy that’s present between strangers? This is stuff I love thinking about, and behavior that I love seeing in my timeline.

As Kissi says elsewhere in the interview:

“I am most proud of the ability to impact people over time. […] Even if something is starting with me, it’s not ending with me.”

May we all start things that don’t end with us.

Thought Bubble Fundraiser, Girls With Slingshots Guest Arc, and the Oh Joy, Sex Toy Kickstarter!

Hey gang! So some of you may have noticed a new little widget on the side of my site. It looks like this:

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I’ve put up a donation button because I’ve been accepted to table at the Thought Bubble Festival in England this year (WOO!) and I would absolutely LOVE to attend, but the airfare costs are prohibitively expensive ($1200 for a round trip ticket plus train fare and lodging — haroo). I’m setting aside as much as I can from every job I complete this summer and pursuing other funding options, but I figure every little bit helps!

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Thought Bubble is one of those shows that I’ve been hearing about for years and wishing I could attend. It’s a great mix of independent and mainstream cartoonists, a hub for creative work in my home away from home, and an opportunity to dip my toe in the wider world of European festivals. If any of you feel like helping me raise the cash I would be eternally grateful. I haven’t been back to see family in England for six years (the longest I’ve ever gone without a visit) and this would be an amazing opportunity to bring my work overseas and connect with these dear people who I haven’t seen in an age — plus some new readers and fans!

So that’s that.

“But wait!” you say. “This charity stuff is all well and good, but what if I want to give you money and actually get something in return?” Well friend, I have exciting news for you.

2014 Kickstarter Postcard Image

One of Thought Bubble’s special guests, dynamite comics lady Danielle Corsetto, is taking a giant road trip tour this summer and has hired me to write and draw a fill-in guest arc for her amazing comic Girls With Slingshots. I’ve been reading this strip since its inception ten years ago and was totally floored when Danielle took me on as one of her guest artists. What a trip! My guest comics will be going up in late July, so I’m right in the middle of inking them right now. Here’s a sneak peek at the pencils for strip #1:

GWSStrip1Pencils

Okay so here’s where the money comes in: because Danielle is a rad professional, she’s paying all her guest artists a solid rate for their work, but she’s also running a Kickstarter to cover the costs for her summer book tour, and we’re really close to a stretch goal that nets all the artists involved a sweet cash money bonus. This extra chunk of change would take care of almost half my flight cost! So head over to the campaign page and check out the cool rewards she has lined up. It’s a great way for you to get some nifty swag and help me in my quest for international domination.

And as if that weren’t enough…

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You guys like these Oh Joy, Sex Toy guest comics I’ve been doing, right? So Erika Moen is also running a Kickstarter to print the collected first year of OJST, and her stretch goals also include paying her guest artists (new and old) a higher page rate for their work. If you like sex, sex education, sex toys, Erika, me, ridiculous laser cannon boobs, rope, or any combination of those things, pre-order her fabulous book!

My first guest comic (a beginners introduction to rope bondage) will be included in the print volume, along with over 200+ other pages of prime content. Again: you get sweet rewards, I get a super-helpful cash bonus that makes traveling to the UK financially feasible.

EVERYONE WINS!

If you’re looking for a more sustainable way to support my work, stay tuned. I have something exciting to announce before the end of the month. Until then, thanks for everything!

(Especially reading this massive post. You’re all champs.)