What goes around, paints around

16 Sep

I talked a bit about it in my previous post about how cartooning has been lackluster this past summer.  How do I mean?  Let me put it this way –  I have good things going, but they’re not really going anywhere.  At least not quickly.  Things have been a bit stagnant recently.

I keep up my daily cartoon series.  That’s not going anywhere.  But not much has grown.

The newspaper business is dismal as ever.  As a child, that was my initial intention for my work            (syndication in the daily rags).  But, times have changed.  That’s an area a bit out of my control.  The newspapers aren’t budging when it comes to adding new comics (which, I truly believe would help skyrocket their declining sales).

However, there are other media outlets.  Which I push for constantly.  Sometimes they hit – sometimes they miss.  Regardless, it’s very inconsistent.

I have high hopes though for the future with a lot of my work.  One is the licensing part.  The work I produce IS getting licensed out regularly – which is great.  But, it’s kind of like car sales in the sense that I have good months and bad.  I’m not sure how to make that much bigger, but I’m hoping it grows naturally (which, I feel like it is).

Then there’s greeting cards, my online syndication and the newspapers I’m actually in (thanks, Tampa Bay Times).

Cool.

But, it’s not GROWING at a comfortable pace.

I almost feel like I need to reinvent the wheel on how to make the gag cartoons a more substantial part of my work.  So, I’m tinkering around with some ideas for it.  I have no idea what this new reinvention is yet – but I am trying to think.  You know how Uber changed the taxi service?  Okay, well that’s my mindset.  It’s a stretch – I know.  But at least I’m bouncing around ideas.

As a lot of my regular work is really so-so, I have other ambitions in cartooning and other mediums I’m wanting to pursue.  I have my graphic novels, books and on a side note, I really want to start producing more MAD Magazine material.

That all needs time.

Along with time, I need to keep the lights on.  Sources of income are important.

Therefore, this past month I started a new company that fits with my field.  It’s designed to keep me busy with cartooning ambitions during the day and art at night.  It’s called Painting Around Dayton.

Painting Around Dayton Logo Final 400

The idea came to me actually about four months ago as I tried my hand at teaching paint and sip venues around the area.  I thought to myself, “Hey, I should just do this on my own.  My own business.  Yeah, let’s try that.”

It’s painting, drinking and having fun.

So, I brought on a good business partner and we launched last Saturday.

We basically go to different restaurants, bars, establishment and paint and drink (like I mentioned).  I standup in front of everyone, give a step-by-step instructions on a featured painting and we offer two free alcoholic beverages.  And then if a attendee wants more to sip on (or food) they can order more.  It’s about two hours long and everyone has fun.  I coin it as more of a good time than an art lesson.  At the end of the night (or day) though, it’s a bit of both.  And everyone gets to take home their masterpiece.  It’s a win-win for attendees, the businesses it’s hosted in and us.  Oh, and again – it’s a blast.

It’s not a brand new concept.  Nope.  Paint and sip venues have been around for about a decade or so.  But, it is a growing trend.  And we (Painting Around Dayton) separate ourselves from others by being local, featuring local Ohio/Dayton scenes (most of the time) and providing imported wine (free) to many events.  I feel it’s much better than any other venue(s) around here.  Plus you get to hear my attempts at lame jokes – which can sometimes be worth the ticket price alone.

As I try to figure out cartooning and what can be done with my gag cartoons, this is a great filler.  It’s nice to get out of the studio and still create art.  Having an audience in person (instead of imagining them reading my comics online) is a satisfying experience as well.  I’ve made new friends along the way and am anxious to meet more people as I continue to do this.

The business IS growing.  And I plan on keeping it around for a long time.  I’m envisioning hiring on some new artists soon.  I’m not sure how big it’s going to get (considering we’re staying in Dayton), but it’s fun.  And it works.  So for now, that’s what matters.

My lackluster summer for cartooning I’m putting behind me.  I’ll work on making cartooning better and while I do so, I’ll be painting around Dayton.

Below are some pics from our recent event.

11987150_1240323912660140_5754281482822315273_n 12006075_1239395642752967_7914502799820262230_n 12006178_1239394579419740_7592329960205858517_n 11988395_1239393489419849_975886431282201261_n 12002183_1239393319419866_6774318935555931625_n 12002975_1239393792753152_3376323209049064355_n 12003338_1239747566051108_6015147917357004510_n 12006075_1239395642752967_7914502799820262230_n

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