Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Evolution of an art career

As I type, I am feeling strong emotions. I just spoke to my sister and found out that my stepfather died a few months ago. He was a strange guy. He married my mother many years ago just before she got sick and lived as a loner as he had before they met. He died in the house that my mother dreamt of. I understand the house is in such disrepair it needs to be torn down. My career is like the house, 100 years old and needs to be disassembled. I grew up loving comics and cartoons. Mom bought me all the Peanuts books. My goal was to be a strip cartoonist like Charles Schulz. In 2009, that is like having your eye on the job of being a blacksmith or buggy whip salesman.

Over the years, I have been hip to trends and quick to adapt. The hard part is having to learn so many disciplines. I started using the computer for print, then web, cd, dvd, video, commercials, big screen and mobile. I used to be unique because I had an interesting drawing style, now I am one of a million. The internet made delivery of art so much easier. In the old days, I would airbrush a project and have it shipped, but now the world is also a click away. Cartoon characters like mine are now available for $3 from stock photos. A friend from Tai Chi is getting 1-minute of animation from a company in India for $500. For me, the writing is on the wall, the dream part of my art life is over. I am not going to be syndicated cartoonist and my shows are not going to be on TV. This is a hard pill to swallow, but the world has changed again and I have to follow.

I have chosen iPhone apps as my comedic outlet for now. Who knows what the world will be doing in a few years, but for now people are very focused on the iPhone. It's kind of like creating a show, but an interactive one. This app focuses on my Boss character and people get to beat him up. I am alone on this project, no partners. I have made all the decisions. Doing most of the work yourself leaves you in a strange place. I don't have co-workers to share the burden emotionally or financially. People close to me like the idea but that is as far as it goes. If the idea makes it big most people in my life won't notice, if it flops the same.

The programmers are about a week or so from finishing, after that will be Apple approval time. I have been careful to not include elements that will cause disqualification. There still could be problems, but I believe I have a clean program. At one point, you hit the Boss with a phone. I had them remove the busy signal noise because Apple doesn't like mimicking phone maladies. Now I am planning the website, the app needs to be available and easily found.

If my app is successful I would like to get hired by a major player and work with other creatives. I have been working alone long enough.

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