Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: Wait, Where Are You Going? Stick Around...

Tonight is the last Thursday of the year 2010. It's also the night we usually record our podcast. Frankly, I don't see that happening. If you've noticed, it's been harder and harder for Nora and I to record a show. Plus the holidays have only compounded that feeling of shirking our normal duties. So with that, I feel it would be easier just to write an end of year blog post. It will be much more succinct than me recording a show and I can do it in roughly the same time.

I'm nothing if not efficient.

I feel this year,more than any other year in recent memory, deserves a proper blog post only because 2010 has been more unexpected and amazing for me and my family than I had ever anticipated it being. So much so, that this may be the first time I can remember that I kind of want the remnants of the old year to hang around long enough to permeate into the new year. For the first time, I'm not anxious to rush the old out so quickly. I know this sounds so strange, especially given the fact that there are lots of people I know who want to see this past year taken out back, beaten and burned alive. This year has been full of hardships for many of my friends and family. And we've struggled with some really, really scary moments this past year. But overall, I'm genuinely happy with the past year, with all it's complexities, fear and uncertainty. And I hope that more of the good is to come in 2011.

First off, if you have been following me on Twitter or been watching my extracurricular outside of Jawbone, you would know that my Geek A Week project has been an incredible success, moreso than I ever imagined it being. This may be the first time in my creative life that I feel something I have started has turned into precisely what I wanted it to be. Even with all the unexpected success of my other projects like Monster By Mail and Flipface, Geek A Week seemed to be the culmination of years of work and days and days of artistry, persistence and creativity.

Geek A Week still has another two months left on it, and I don't want to write everything about it right now. I want to save that up for the end of the project. But suffice to say, I couldn't imagine a more wonderful and fulfilling project to work on that Geek A Week. I look forward to seeing what it has to bring in 2011.

Of course, I can't let a year end blog post go by without mentioning the incredible support of the fans of my work who have helped motivate me and fill my inbox with such wonderfully kind words. Certainly, all the support of Trace Beaulieu's book "Silly Rhymes For Belligerent Children" has been overwhelming and tremendous. Trace and I are so profoundly proud of that piece of work. I am honored to have been given the chance to work on something like that. It's the kind of project I dreamed of working on growing up, It's as if all my years of goofing off and cartooning has finally paid off. It was an honor to have my heroes from MST3K read portions of the book at DragonCon in Atlanta, and it was so edifying to see all the positive response to something that Trace and I not only worked so hard on, but also had so much fun creating together.

For all those people who came out to the three w00tstocks I was so lucky to be a part of, saw me create and work and were introduced to my artwork, thank you so much. w00tstock was a such an incredible experience, and as I was working on them, I tried to savor as much as it as I could. I know opportunities like that don't come around that often, especially for a relatively unknown cartoonist like myself. I'm so proud to have been able to participate in them, I'm glad to meet all these new fans and I'm so happy so many people liked my stuff enough to purchase a poster or two from me.

I have met so many wonderful people this past year, made so many new and amazing friendships in 2010, done things I never thought I'd be able to do like have a live concert in my house, attend Comic Con and meet and talk to so many of my personal heroes, it's easy to understand why I'm a little reluctant to let it leave. If you've been listening to the interviews I've been doing for Geek A Week, you'll know that one of the questions I've been asking the people I've been interviewing is "If you could have two superpowers, what would those be and why?" I've never formally answered my own question, but here at the tail end of the year, if I am asking myself that question my answer would be something like this:

"My superpowers would be to stretch time. Not in the literal sense where I am stretching it to give me more time to do the things I want, but a physical sense. I want to be able to pull the momentum of the wonderful experiences from this past year and finger paint them into the new year. I want to apply some of that magic and happiness and brilliance to the new year and watch it continue. I can only imagine what could become of that...

And for my second superpower, I'd like to teleport. Not only because it would be cool, but then I could avoid TSA screeners..."

Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for helping make 2010 one of the best years of my life. For reals.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jawbone #283: Merry Christmas 2010

Holiday Greetings From The Peralta Family
Christmas 2010 with our family. Enjoy!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

What Am I Worth? A Rant By Len Peralta

I wasn't going to let this bother me, but it does and I feel I need to address it. I was going to write a silly diatribe on Twitter about what happened to me this morning, but I felt this needed a bit more weight. A proper blog post is in order.

This morning, I rolled out of bed, checked my Twitter mentions and I get a tweet that says this:

@jawboneradio I understand that art is expensive, but do you have to charge a jobless HS student upwards of $115 an hour for monster art?

First off, by this person's own admission, they are jobless. So I wouldn't put monster art on such a high priority. But whatever, to each his own. Secondly, I don't charge anything near $115 an hour. If I did, I could probably take some time off for once in my life. I'm hoping to charge that, one day, and I can assure you, it's not going to be without a greater or equal amount of sweat equity to get to that point.

But even if I did charge $, what the hell does it matter? I looked at my roster of commissions over the past few weeks and as far as I can remember, I didn't "charge" this person anything per hour. I only charge people who commission me to do my work. And if you're going to query me for what it would cost to do a piece or artwork or several pieces of artwork, I will tell you. If you think I charge too much, then you are free to look elsewhere. If you really want my art, then maybe we could work something out. Trade or barter for services has been an acceptable form of payment on occassion. But I hardly think it's fair for this person to say I have some nerve to charge "upwards of $115/hr for monster art."

Like any artist or musician, I spent a lot of time crafting my style, my workflow, my art. I feel I've done a lot of work to come up with a price that is not only fair to me, but to my family as well. I am the primary breadwinner in a family of eight. Now, I don't expect a jobless High School student to appreciate this fact, but I'm working my ass off to provide for them. I have a mortgage and bills like everyone else. I've spent a great deal of time over the past five years establishing my reputation as an artist. And I'm extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to find people who not only appreciate the work I do and like it, but are willing to pay me cash dollars for it.

I give a lot of content away for free. All of Geek A Week has been free for you to enjoy (or not enjoy) and I'm not charging you a red cent for any of it. Just last night, I posted an image of Quorra from TRON all because I wanted to share my art with you. FREE OF CHARGE. I have been doing Live drawing events on the net and you can watch me draw for free. There is an entire YouTube Channel devoted to just me drawing art. You can order a FlipFace from me for as low as $10. If you want to commission me for an ORIGINAL PIECE OF ART - NOT A DIGITAL FILE, prices start at $35. If you want something more complicated, then I'll have to judge how long it will take me, what is involved in creating the art and I can quote you a custom price. If you want to hire me for a week to create pieces of art for you, my cost is $1200/day*. Certainly there is some price point in there that you can fall into.

The end is this: If you like what I do and you want to have a piece of it for you own, then I'd be happy to talk to you. There are lots of ways to enjoy my art and if you save up, you can afford a piece of your own. Just don't get on Twitter and complain how "expensive" I am when you have no idea how much time and effort goes into what I do. I think I speak for all artists when I say valuing oneself and your services is one of the toughest things for an artist to perfect. Don't make it harder but de-valuing the art.

And yes, I know I should take it easy because, after all, this person is just in High School and perhaps doesn't know any better. But these people grow up and become the de-valuers of the future. You gotta nip it in the bud sometime.


*Not really. But I thought I would throw that out there anyway.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Three Years Of Monsters, Aliens and Geeks

Three Years of Monsters, Aliens and Geeks from Len Peralta on Vimeo.

Can you find yourself in my life over the past three years?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Jawbone #282: Dating Ourselves

On tonight's show, Nora and I get topical. Banking. Again. TSA. Lebron. Arsenic. And much more. Check it out!

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