welcome back trade secrets

May 1, 2007

Hi!

So you must’ve thought I or this blog had dropped off the face of the earth, right?

Apologies for all of that; I meant to explain but promptly forgot. Last weekend was my very first exhibiting at a convention (the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco) and the weeks prior to that were me gearing up for that. Lots of printing, planning, and the like. So I felt a big time crunch to get everything done and Trade Secrets fell by the wayside. Sorry! But I am pleased to note that the blog apparently has developed its following, as I met at least three people at the convention who knew it and really loved it. (Thanks you guys!) I really do want this to become more useful to illustrators so I’m hoping to seek out more helpful friends and links and tips.

But first, I really want to talk about this convention. See, I’d only been to one other before- MoCCA in NYC, which seemed very strictly comics-only. Now, some of you may be completely out of the comics field– I’m not even sure if I’m in it, even though I am working on a comic as I type this and plotting up another one. But APE was nice because I actually saw quite a few exhibitors with no comics whatsoever. (Er, myself included.) I liked that aspect of it quite a bit– so I wound up striking up conversation with a lot of different people I’d never met and found a lot of people online who I hadn’t seen in person before so that was equally good. But the best benefit was that it was pretty good free press and even more importantly it rejuvenated my interest in what I do and in working on comics in general. I had several people recognize my name or my prints and so we had some really good times talking to fans. Talking shop with people in person (although I really did run my mouth off a lot here and there, but I’ll blame that on sleep deprivation) really inspired me. And I met a few people from Arizona, two of which are trying to start up an illustrator’s group (which since I kind of gave up on really excites me personally.) I had no expectations going in at this thing but I’m really glad I did it, because it made me feel good about the whole illustration thing.

Of course, not that I felt bad about it, but I’ll be honest with you readers– despite sending out my newest postcard earlier this month, I’m kind of approaching a dry spell in work. Which in a way is a blessing in disguise, it does allow me to keep working on the comics I’m working on, but at the same time it’s a little daunting. Depressing even. While talking to my friend Jonathan, we reasoned that what we do (illustration/comics/applied art on the whole) is such an insular thing that it gets all too easy to feel bad. Friends’ achievements become thorny patches of jealousy, the phone stops ringing, the inbox is empty, suddenly it feels like there’s a lone tumbleweed in the desert– that’s you.  It gets really important for us to try and ‘make it’ and any setbacks feel enormous and impassible; but I think finding social groups where you can talk about the things you love to do, or even make illustrations together, anything like that that can inspire you is a boon.  And also, here’s a key tip of advice that I still am working on following– instead of looking how successful other people seem to be, look at how far you’ve come– in the past year, since you started, whatever. We accomplish a lot and promptly forget about it, or at least I know I do.

So in this way the convention was actually very beneficial– it stressed the heck out of me for a while but at the same time, I feel really excited to do work. (Now if only that work would start piling in)

I will leave off here for now– on Thursday I’m going to post a nice little guest-entry by one of our devoted readers, who wanted to start explaining the various terminology out there for those who need to know and to strike up conversation about it. I’m still working on other ideas for the blog, so hopefully we can get some more varied opinions and posts out there! As always, if you have a great idea for a guest post, let me know and we can figure something out.

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9 Responses to “welcome back trade secrets”

  1. beth said

    Welcome back! Glad the expo was inspiring.
    Thanks for the tip about taking stock on how far I’ve come this year, some days it a hard thing to do, it is that glass half full or empty thing. I Look forward to the next post.

  2. David said

    Hey dude,
    May I give you a little blog advice?

    Do you have any webstats that show you have reader base that checks your http site every week? I ask because your “going away for a while” or “welcome back” posts are pointless and arbitrary for those feeding your content. I might also add that it seems to suggest that people are on the edge of their seats waiting for your next rant.

    Write content, or don’t. Either way, I’m unsubscribing to your feed. Good luck!

  3. meg said

    i’m sorry to hear you’re unsubscribing; but since the blog postings were supposed to be twice weekly and i got sidetracked i thought i would try to let people know it wasn’t dead and that more would be on the way. i do know i have a reader base (though i don’t know how many, no), but i suppose they may be pointless in some fashion. still, i didn’t think it was particularly rude?

    cheers, but i’m no dude. good luck with yourself.
    -meg

  4. Von Allan said

    Hey there,

    APE was my second time exhibiting and I have perhaps some different thoughts about the experience then you do. I’d actually love to hear what another exhibitor thinks so I’m going to point you towards my own blog post – I hope that’s not too forward to ask.

    I’m really glad that you enjoyed it, though. APE, despite some of my misgivings, is a pretty amazing place to exhibit.

    The post is here: http://vonandmoggy.livejournal.com/268203.html

    Thanks!

    Von

  5. john said

    hey meg,
    Welcome back, I’m glad to hear the trip was productive.

    that David guy seemed a bit out of line, I mean was he suggesting it’s bad form to write about what you’re doing…on a blog? Isn’t that the point of a blog?
    T.S. rocks, keep up the great work! You’re a huge inspiration.

  6. josh said

    Glad to know there’s more coming. This blog has been really good insight (invaluable really) into an industry I work in but just don’t get how it all fits together…

  7. Roger said

    Welcome back! I love your blog.

  8. glad to see you back. I have done some comic work in the past and know it’s a pretty open media, and see your work fitting into the format quite nicely.

  9. Mark Frudd said

    Welcome back. I’ve been on the edge of my seat all month.
    Glad to hear APE went well.

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