Can I hire you for a project?
Right now I am trying to finish what I have already committed to and it's unlikely that I will take more work for a while. You are still welcome to e-mail me with details about the project like its subject, format/medium, timeline, and budget, and we can talk about it.
Can I commission you for personal artwork?
I am currently closed for personal commissions ("draw such-and-such character", "draw my dog"), but I am taking commissions at my 2013 conventions; get in contact with me in the weeks leading up to them if you would like one. Details here.
Will you consider my project even if I cannot guarantee payment / I
can only pay you on the back end / I
can only pay you in a percentage of profit?
I cannot work for speculative pay, so no.
Do you attend conventions?
Yes. I usually attend the Stumptown Comics Fest (Portland) and Emerald City ComiCon (Seattle), and I take opportunities to go to other conventions when I can. Please see my Appearances page for a full list of upcoming events.
Will you attend a convention in my city?/Will you attend an event at my shop?/Will you speak to my class?
I would love to do more shows and events. The only things holding me back are time and budgetary restraints. Please get in contact with me if there is an event you think I should be at. Even better: contact the organizers and suggest they invite me to be a guest! If I can get an honorarium or help with travel costs it is much more likely that I will be able to attend.
Do you have any books out?
Yes; see my Books page.
Where can I buy your original art?
I have a gallery at Comic Art Fans with many originals listed, and I occassionally list originals on Etsy as well. You can e-mail me to inquire about any of those pieces or other art if you don't see what you are looking for. I have massive bins of original artwork lying around my house; please don't hesitate to ask if you are interested in something!
Where can I buy your prints?
At the moment, conventions are pretty much the only place I sell prints. It's a matter of the cost of shipping, plus the time it takes to package them, not being worth the sale of a print. Some of my illustrations are available as prints through DeviantArt (click on an image, then look in the upper right for a 'buy this print' option).
How can I "break into" comics?
That is a huge topic, and it depends a lot on which artistic task/s you want to do (writing, penciling, everything, etc.) and in which sector of comics you hope to work (monthly superhero titles, creator-owned graphic novels, monetarily successful webcomics, etc.). You can find a lot of good advice with some basic searching around the internet. With the accessibility of webcomics and blogs, it's pretty easy to get your work out there.
My advice to anyone who looks at my art and wants to create similar work for a living is this:
1. Draw every day, no matter what. Professionals make it happen even when they don't feel like it or they're busy.
2. Set goals. If you are doing a webcomic, set an update schedule that challenges you but is accomplishable. This could be anything--five updates per week or one update per month. The important part is to MEET YOUR GOALS. If you cannot stick to your own deadlines, it's unlikely you will be able to stick to professional deadlines.
3. While you are trying to break in, my strong advice is to NOT put your effort into long comics, but to make 16-40 page comics that tell complete stories. That way, an editor can look at a comic you've done, read it in 10 minutes, and see how you tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end. The best part about this is that while you are in a stage of your development where you are improving rapidly, you can continually shed your skin. You can leave your last story behind and start fresh with your new skills more frequently than if you are shackled to a 400-page saga.
4. Practice other forms of art, especially figure drawing. A classical art education and an understanding of light, form, and composition will help your comics immensely. Even if you are uninterested in drawing realistically, trust me: you want to know how to. Good cartooning is built on top of a good understanding of realism.
5. If your only influences are comic books, you run the risk of developing a derivative style (read: not original, not special). Bring other influences to your work and try to cultivate a way of storytelling unlike anyone else. Watch movies, read books, paint, go to concerts and plays, learn languages, play sports, practice hobbies, travel, meet lots of people, and keep your mind open to new ways of telling stories.
6. Post your work to the internet. This could start as a free DeviantArt gallery, Tumblr, blog, or anything. Eventually, though, when someone does an internet search for your name, the top result should be one easy place where they can find samples of your work, your availability for work, and your contact information.
7. Seek out informed critiques for your work. Go to conventions and approach editors and artists (they will usually advertise if they are doing portfolio reviews and have a specific time and place for them. Please don't ambush people with your portfolio). If you are in school, explain to a teacher what you hope to do with your art and ask for his or her honest feedback on your portfolio. Thank anyone who takes the time to review your work. Do not argue with them or make excuses. Write down what they say, take it home, read it several times, really inspect your work, and look for ways that you can improve. Repeat.
8. Do what you love. If you truly love making comics, chances are good that you'll "break in" sooner or later. Even if you don't make a living at it, you'll be doing what you love and that is extremely rewarding.
Have a question not answered here? E-mail me!