008: Draw or Die is a Lifestyle
In which I talk about upcoming events, personal branding, and you get first dibs on something pretty cool.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: I’ll be in Scottsdale / Phoenix Arizona area for work from Sunday May 15-Wed May 18th. If any members of this list would like to meetup for drink / draw session in person. Drop me a line via email or DM on instagram.
DRAW or DIE LIVE: As it turns out, I have a table at the upcoming 3Rivers Comicon in Pittsburgh on June 4 & 5th, 2022. I like this show because I’ve known the owner and managers forever, and it’s a much more “creator friendly” show. Tons of comic artist guests, and no celebrity zoo. Nothing against that sort of thing, but this show truly “puts the comic back in comicon”.
I was approached to make their original logo when they began in exchange for a “free table forever”, which I figure I should put to good use in some way.
As such, I’ve gone all-in and decided to bring the DRAW or DIE brand there and do a live panel and challenge on high noon on Saturday, June 4th.
DRAW or DIE, AFTER HOURS?
If there were members interested, I would be willing to organize a private evening get together. A private drink and draw? That sounds fun. Drop me a line.
A captive audience?
One of the other main reasons I decided to attend this show is, well, it’s a captive audience of a lot of existing creators, as well as a lot of aspiring creators walking around. Back when I used to table a lot, I remember so many conversations with other creators who were headed in bad directions. Financial ruin, divorce, stress, creative depression… you know, all the fun things we talk about here. 😂 Everyone puts on “masks”, their best brave faces at these shows. But inside, many are freaking out hoping they’ll be able to cover their table cost at least.
I’ve heard from so many of you each week that these e-mails help motivate and fuel you up, so I thought, well maybe an artist alley is the perfect place to fly this flag.
Uh, I went a little nuts...
I’m a branding nerd at heart, so two weeks ago I made and ordered new banners, table runners, postcards and even a little merch. I think it’s only right that I share with members here first… drum roll?….the first “official” draw or die merch is…
I have no idea at all if anyone would even want these.
To be honest, I kind of made them for myself.
I really love the feel of the matte finish buttons. And it just felt good to design these and have the spirit of “draw or die” become a tangible thing I can pin on me or just lay around my desk. There could even be a hidden message tucked into the rims. Who knows?
I think it’s only right that YOU, as members of this list, get first dibs.
First come, first serve. I’m going to put up 99 sets up for grabs here https://comics.gumroad.com/l/secretmerch1 -
Sorry USA shipped only for this week’s drop.
I promised I’ll figure out global shipping in a week or two.
I’m not in it for the money…
It always feels weird to “sell” anything. In this case, I just wanted to do it for branding for the con, and for fun. If it helps pay for itself, awesome. If nobody wants them, well, I love them, and I’ll pin them up everywhere.
But, I have had several of you ask for shirts, embroidered hats, sketchbooks and…. oh my… did I create a monster here? Or maybe I accidentally created a lifestyle brand.
Is this a lifestyle brand?
I never want to lose focus on why I started this. I want these e-mails to continue to be fuel to fill up your creative gas tanks. If you’re stuck in a hole right now, I want to help pull you back up.
My personal mission is to help as many creators as possible, in any way I can. And to bring you value.
Just like those sweet, sweet matte finish buttons up there… I created THIS brand primarily for myself. To help me stay motivated, accountable, and to stay sharp.
My goal on week one was maybe 25 people would signup and read. Now in just 8 weeks, it’s over a 1000 of you. It’s very humbling. And even more so to read your messages and DMs every week. Mission accomplished. Let’s growing together.
OKAY! Now to bring some value. This week it’s in the form of a little trick I learned ages ago while I was sitting on a plane to San Diego Comicon next to a well known Marvel Comics artist. He appeared to be watching the SOPRANOS on a DVD on his laptop. (remember DVDs?! 😂) He was skipping around a lot through scenes and going back and forth. I realized quickly he wasn’t watching the SOPRANOS at all… he was gathering reference for a fancy cocktail party scene set in a the X-Men mansion. Even just blocking out the character poses and composition of the scenes.
Imagine you were drawing two people having conversation in a car. Here’s Tony and Meadow taking a little ride…
It wasn’t all that long ago that artists had to keep a reference file on hand, some called “the morgue”. Full of references for everything they could find, animals, vehicles, time period clothing. But now we live in this magical age where literally anything you need to draw, you can find a quick reference or pose for it at your fingertips.
This may seem like a no-brainer to some of you, but you’d be surprised how many “seasoned” artists I tell this to who have the instant epiphany that they can throw away all those old horse magazines, simply by pausing a video and screenshotting reference for a specific project.
This comes in even more handy for comic artists or storyboard artists. But equally as cool for pin-up artists looking for just the right angle or action pose.
Word of warning: don’t spend too much time gathering and not enough time actually getting to the drawing!
Check this out, last week’s prompt “TED LASSO”, my drawing got liked by the man himself. Cool!
This week’s drawing prompt is PHOENIX.
You can draw either the classic mythical fiery beast, or PHOENIX from the X-men.
Be sure to tag #drawordiechallenge on instagram or socials. I’ll find you.
Back to the drawing board for me!