Hey, gang! Hope you’re feeling great today!

As usual, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my Works & Plans: where I am, where I want to be, and how I might best get there. Had a lot of thoughts this week about my online stores, and the projects I’m putting my energy into. Wanted to share those thoughts while it’s all still fresh.

Note: Nothing I write here is final, everything’s subject to change, this is just where my head’s at.

First: I’ve gone back and forth on what I want to be drawing lately. I was feeling burned out on Ellie Connelly a couple months ago, and wanting to focus on other stories for a while. My mind kept leaning into one particular story, a reworking of The Circle Weave (you know, the epic space fantasy I started working on in high school and have restarted three different times now). Initially my thoughts had been to simply do a series of concept art illustrations to show off some of the world-building – like a series of Frazetta- or Moebius-inspired pieces, just showing different characters, peoples, places, and events that *could* take place throughout the story. Then, I started thinking again about how much I wanted to do a series of fat little minicomics, and wouldn’t this be the perfect story to use that format? I got as far as making a new page template for the series and getting images in my head of what the first few pages could look like, before I did the math on the project and realized that, as every time I’ve worked on this story before, it would likely take me more than 20 years to finish.

And of course, I’m just not sure I’ll have enough time to do it.

So, now I’m back to thinking about Ellie. Convention season is starting up again finally, and there’s potential to actually exhibit in-person at a couple conventions again next year, and I want to have something on my table to sell. I’ve got four different chapters of Ellie printed and ready to go, but chapter Two is still missing, still incomplete. I’ve only got 9 pages left in that chapter, and then three more chapters to finish the book. I think I can do at least this chapter to have at conventions, but then what? After I finish the book, am I really going to jump right in and do another Ellie graphic novel? My most recent novel plan with Ellie still would run about ten volumes, and again, that’s way too big a commitment for me, considering that I’m pushing 50 in a few years.

So, the thought that I had, which I’m going with for now, is this: Instead of making Ellie Connelly graphic novels, I’d just start working with the idea that it’ll just be an ongoing series of issues. The first 8 will tell one story, then I can switch to shorter, even single-issue, stories. I can always go back to telling a longer story after I’ve racked up a couple shorter ones, but making it an ongoing series removes any commitment to completing a whole series of graphic novels. I know the path I would like the story to go, if I ultimately end up working on it that long.

And to that end, I’m looking at trying to complete chapters more frequently. I’ve been averaging about one a year, and I know I can do better than that. I want to have a weekly webcomic again, and I want to be printing minicomics again, and I know I can do that if I just get back into the habit of drawing frequently.

Which leads me to my thoughts about my online store. Right now my Etsy shop has a bunch of stuff in it that AREN’T comics. The stuff I have up there is cool, but it’s not really what I want to be doing. If I really had my head into designing enamel pins, I’d have way more than two designs available. It kind of kills me how few comics I have up there right now. The sketch cards are fun to do, but they’re kind of time-consuming when I really want to be drawing comics. I had considered recently devoting an entire drawing day each week to producing more sketch cards for the Etsy shop, but I don’t think I was ever really looking forward to it. I think ultimately the custom art commissions there are going to be something I do exclusively at conventions and for short windows a couple times a year.

I would like to put more of my original art up on Etsy, as well as my printed comics. I also heard on a recent episode of Fan Funded with Laser about Paola’s Pixels on etsy, and how well they’re doing with print-on-demand products from a few different suppliers, so I think I’m going to look into adding those kinds of things to my shop.

I also want to get going on releasing a print-and-play version of StarSpeed. This would be a beta version, with rules and components still subject to change, but to help me play-test and refine rules and gameplay before I release the more polished version through TheGameCrafter.

So, that all’s what I’m thinking about right now. I’m hoping to get back to ArtCasting more again too, while working on pages or designs for merch. I want to work on growing my Twitch, Etsy, and Patreon