Baltimore Comic Con is celebrating 20 years! I’m tabling with my friend Jennifer Buckley at table A255 (I feel like I’m in the same place each year?) https://baltimorecomiccon.com/
Greetings! As of this posting, we’re less than 24 hours left to my AER HEAD Kickstarter and almost at $3,000! Super happy that so many people have come together to make all this happen :) Still stretching towards the next stretch goal though, to hire a flatter! But really anything on top of my initial goal is icing on the cake. Last chance for you to be part of the action and get your name printed in the thank you page of the book (back at any level), get original pages from the AER HEAD comic (it’s hand drawn!), and more. Check it out before 5pm Thursday Oct 10 (that’s tomorrow!)
You can’t promote too much when you’re advertising something like crowdfunding, an event, a special sale, etc. We artists struggle with self-promotion a lot, but I’ve found the more you do it, the easier it gets. Sometimes I wonder if I’m being too annoying posting all over facebook or in my IG stories, but the thing is, this is what these platforms ARE DESIGNED FOR!
Also reaching out to people with personal messages has gotten more people to actually donate to the Kickstarter. We do need to be mindful of the way we message though! A friend/colleague in the comics world today was just saying how people just send him links to their crowdfunding with no message. Pretty rude and it doesn’t really work. I see messaging people as a way to reach out and reconnect with someone you may not have seen in awhile and also let them know you’re still creating great artwork (or whatever it is that you do).
It’s crunch time: the last 48 hours of my AER HEAD Kickstarter campaign, and just we reached the first stretch goal at $2802 as of this posting! Now I have the funds to hire a professional letterer, which will make the book much snazzier and save time! But I’m not stopping there - help me reach an even stretchier stretch goal of $3600 to hire a flatter! Heck, I’ve flatted for others in the past, but this is the next step in helping me get AER HEAD out into the world more efficiently. If you’ve already backed, MANY THANKS YOU’RE AWESOME!! If you haven’t checked out the Kickstarter yet, please do so now before it ends this Thursday October 10th at 5pm!
You never know what you can achieve until you try! A little over a month ago, I didn’t feel fully ready to launch a Kickstarter, but I did all the research I could in the available time. Having deadlines is a super motivator! If you’re considering launching a Kickstarter, find out when they have special campaigns, like January’s “Make 100,” and set it as a goal. Sometimes comic cons are great deadlines too. Or holidays, or other events. But Kickstarter really kicked my ass into gear!
I can’t believe there’s only one week left to go for the AER HEAD Kickstarter! Ends Thursday October 10th at 5pm, so if you haven’t backed yet but would like to, don’t delay any longer to get a digital or physical copy of AER, original art, + more!
My campaign is a bit longer than most because I didn’t want to end on New York Comic Con. I won’t be tabling in artist alley this year, but that may be a good thing so I don’t have to worry about making the table $ back. This year I’ll be focusing on promoting the Kickstarter while I go to various panels and visit people. I made a big sign out of the AER HEAD cover art and am going to wear it on my head haha! I’ll have some preview comics and if anyone wants to back the campaign on the spot they’ll get the mini comic free. At SPX I had a table for 2 days and got a few backers, so we’ll see how this new approach works. It’s fun trying different marketing ideas!
If you WOULD like a sketch from me, I’ll still take orders though! I’m using the Pro Lounge as my base - lower level room 1B05. Direct message me on Instagram @mindyindy_art or twitter @mindy_indy so we can meet up for commissions.
Always try to be one step ahead (or a few steps!). In my recent public Patreon update, I talk about how all the research and prep work before the Kickstarter launched was essential to its success for reaching its first goal in a week and a half.
Half way through the Kickstarter! So elated that people have come together to support myself and an artist and my dreams :) . Read my latest Kickstarter update here. Many thanks to all my current backers, and if you haven’t already joined the fun, please do so and select an AER HEAD reward like a digital or physical copy of the book :)
In other news, I added a new media section to my website! Since I’m reaching out to people and news entities about my Kickstarter, I wanted to add a tailored section of select media like articles, interviews, and podcasts that feature my Kickstarter. Check it out!
Business & Tech Stuff
You’ll see at the bottom of the media section a coaching call with Tyler James of the ComixLaunch podcast. It’s humbling for me to have this out on the internet because we discuss problems I’ve been having in the freelance world, but it’s always a learning journey.
One of the hurdles I faced recently was that I had to get a new computer during my Kickstarter - super stressful! But I am typing to you right now on the new computer and IT’S AWESOME. I’m also just glad that the screen doesn’t blink in and out and that programs start in 2 seconds. Keep in mind that I had to get the computer regardless of how the Kickstarter went, as it was literally dying. None of the Kickstarter money will go to the computer unless I make extra beyond my stretch goals.
I highly recommend doing THOROUGH research when buying a new computer if you’re mid-career. When you’re a student, you take what you can get, but as you grow professionally you realize that sometimes “off the shelf” computers won’t cut it. Brace yourself, I’m gonna get my TECH on:
Refurbished 2018 MacBook Pro on the left. Early 2011 MacBook Pro on right. Yes I’ve made that baby last 8.5 years by Frankensteining it. This model was one of the last of its kind where you could switch out the parts. Today’s Macs are built in one solid piece so if one part has problems internally, you pretty much have to get a new computer. For the 2011 one, I replaced nearly everything in it except the screen, keyboard, and fan. The logic board was the first to go - took it to Apple’s Genius Bar & they fixed it. Then the hard drive went - luckily I got it replaced without losing data. I upgraded my RAM 3 times on this Mac - once all by myself. The RAM is Random Access Memory (yes the Daft Punk album is based on actual tech stuff lol)
Over the years of having that computer I gradually learned about the tech stuff to save money. WHY was my computer slowing down and what was the cheapest way to fix it? I’ve learned through asking techie friends, YouTube, and Apple support on the phone & in-store. It’s difficult for me to understand everything about RAM, for example, but the only thing you need to know is that THE MORE RAM YOU HAVE, THE BETTER because it speeds up your computer. I knew that if I wanted my next computer to have a chance at lasting many years I HAD to get the highest RAM possible, which meant customizing, which you can do on the Apple website.
But customizing is more expensive. I decided to look into the refurbished section of the Apple site and found one that was modified to 32GB of RAM instead of the standard 16. I had to wait awhile for an affordable computer (their inventory fluctuates all the time. Once literally a mac disappeared before my eyes! BEFORE my EYES!!) but a suitable one popped up and I snatched it!
Another problem was that I couldn’t easily transfer all my files from the old Mac to the new one due to hard drive size. Years ago my external HDs kept failing so I saved all my data on the Mac’s internal HD & backed up remotely through CrashPlan (switched to Carbonite now). When I replaced the HD on the old computer, I souped it up to 500GB, but the new Macs come with only HALF that due to people saving files in various clouds. For all my previous computers, I just migrated the old computer to the new one, but trying to do that now would have caused many problems because you can’t transfer 500GB of data to a device with only 256GB of space.
In THIS case tough, I did NOT choose to buy the extra internal HD space because it was hella expensive!! You can always get more EXTERNAL HD space for way less. I got 2 1TB external HDs, each for like $60. I downloaded all the data from Carbonite to one of the HDs. I never used TimeMachine because it’s for the entire system & don’t want to go down that tangent. In my case, I think Time Machine would have made the transition more complex.
Anyway my newer Mac has the regular 256GB internal HD, and I’m storing all my data now on an external HD, which I’m backing up to a 2nd external HD and will reconnect it to Carbonite later to also back up my new files to their cloud.
Ok my eyes are bugging out from re-living all of this lol! My new computer journey was even more complex than this but I have to stop here or my brain will explode. This stuff is hard for me to understand but I CAN learn it if I try, but I do get burned out easily from it. Made lots of progress though and am super happy with the end result!
AER HEAD is now LIVE ON KICKSTARTER! It’s also Kickstarter pick for “Projects We Love” and is part of the “Small Press Big Stories” campaign connected with SPX. Lots of awesome indie artists launching amazing work in September!
Swoop up those early bird rewards before they disappear this Friday 9/6 at 11:59pm! Most of the Early Bird Surf’s Up rewards are gone as of this posting:
Happy to say that as of this posting, 11 backers have raised $799 towards my $2000 goal!! In Kickstarter terms it’s very good to get 20% funded in the first two days of the campaign, and we’re rockin’ at nearly 40%!!!
It’s been a lot of hard work over the past few weeks especially (let alone my whole career!) to get to this point. Please join me in this surftastic journey on Kickstarter with a pledge!
JUST DO IT!
Kickstarter was a TON of planning but now I’m seeing the fruits of my labors. You really “get what you give” in life! It’s hard to go against the grain especially with artistic projects, but in 2019 crowdfunding makes dreams possible!
It’s almost here! I’ve really been hunkering down for the past few weeks to prepare myself as much as possible for my Kickstarter launch. I’ve gotten some preview pages done and have gone over the numbers of calculating shipping and goals many times. The launch won’t be perfect, but I gotta do it anyway!
If you back my project, you can get some SURFTASTIC rewards which include a digital or physical copy of AER HEAD #1, fold-out poster, original art, custom art, or even get drawn in the crowd scene at the surf competition! Go to Kickstarter at noon tomorrow and search for “Mindy Indy” or “AER HEAD” (keep in mind the spelling). I’ll send the link with a post tomorrow but currently I can’t control what time these emails go out (one of many tech problems). When you see this email the Kickstarter may actually already be live. But you’ll want to snag the early bird deals ASAP - there are a limited amount of discounts for the first backers of the higher tiers.
Also as a THANK YOU for being on my email list, if you back my project and send me an email (mindy at mindyindy dot com) with your Kickstarter receipt, you’ll get a FREE digital PDF of OTHER REALMS, a collection of short sci-fi comics, stories, & illustrations! Written by Patrick McEvoy & drawn by yours truly. Thanks for being with me on my creative journey thus far - I truly appreciate it!
The special offer I just mentioned is a great way for people to get more interested in your projects! Everyone loves free stuff! At this point in my career I have plenty of work I’ve already created to choose from. The common thread of AER HEAD & OTHER REALMS is the sci-fi theme. For example, I don’t think that Apartment Hunt really ties in with AER HEAD themes at all besides being funny. Digital rewards are great because they don’t require shipping.
Thanks for reading!
This Labor Day weekend you probably said YES to a few summer activities, which means you probably had to turn down others. Even relaxing and doing nothing but watching Netflix is prioritizing rest and saying no to other things. It’s just like that with work too. As a freelancer, we need work, but saying yes to too many projects by default means that oftentimes we don’t have the time to do personal projects that matter to us.
I’ve had a lot of practice saying NO to projects over the years mainly because I’ve grown to recognize the red flags about questionable projects. Does this person actually have a budget for the project’s worth? Is the person good about communication? Do I get a weird vibe from them? There are even some times where I didn’t feel comfortable working on the subject matter of a project, if it’s against my beliefs or morals. This is especially hard to do when all the other flags are green. As an artist, I do get some pretty weird stuff thrown in my direction! But we all need to make a living, so I’m not saying to turn down projects left and right, but it’s good to have some guidelines and boundaries for yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed and end up working on something you don’t feel right about working on.
Recently I said no to a project and I realized that if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have been able to plan my Kickstarter to it’s fullest. It’s crucial to plan your campaign out thoroughly and it takes a lot of time. There are so many moving parts it’s mind boggling! Everything from building your page to explain your project, to writing press releases (EEK! something I’ve never done before) to planning a social media campaign and OH YEAH you still have to keep creating the actual art!
I said YES to my own comic project, AER HEAD! For the next month I’ll be going full speed ahead on trying to promote AER HEAD #1 on Kickstarter. Please keep an eye out for my Kickstarter LAUNCH this upcoming Wednesday, September 4th at NOON Eastern Time. Search Kickstarter for “Mindy Indy” or “AER HEAD”. I’d love for you to join me in this endeavor of making the printing of the comics actually happen! We need more surfer heroes in the world like Aer :) Many thanks!
I totally geek out about podcasts and have learned so much about productivity, social media marketing, science, well-being, and more over the years from them. My favorite used to be Beyond the To Do List but my NEW favorite is the ComixLaunch podcast by Tyler James, and I was actually featured in a clip of this episode! Anyone can ask a question over voicemail and it’s a cool way to engage listeners of the show. I had a question about the lowest Kickstarter tier and took Tyler’s advice. My lowest tier is now set at $5 instead of $1 or $2. Tyler has all the winning qualities that the productivity “gurus” have, but he applies them to the comics realm, which I’ve never seen anyone do before. Even if you’re not looking to launch a Kickstarter now, he and his guests also give great real insight into the comics industry, as in this episode.
My Kickstarter for AER HEAD #1 is scheduled to launch on Wednesday September 4th (mark your calendars!), but I still have a lot of research and planning to do, so I’ve been listening to the ComixLaunch podcast nonstop to learn everything I can about Kickstarter tips while doing inking work, other comic work, doing dishes, cooking, etc. I’m a big fan of saving time this way and write Kickstarter tips on post-it notes if I hear a good tip to look into or action item.
What area of life would you like to learn more about? Seriously there’s a podcast for EVERYTHING, you just need to dig around a little for it. I discovered the ComixLaunch podcast from ANOTHER podcast (Funding the Dream) which mainly focuses on gaming projects on Kickstarter. And you don’t even need to have an iPhone to listen to the podcasts - for years I just listened on various websites (when I had crappy Android phones). It’s great to learn new things and always keep growing as an artist and as a person, so find the podcasts that can help you reach the next level of your life!
Recently I did a public post on my Patreon about how I’m using Patreon and Kickstarter together! Check it out! The world of crowdfunding is so amazing. At first it seems overwhelming, but I think anyone could do it if they had enough motivation. It does take time to learn how to plan correctly to launch your project, and that plan varies by platform. I’m glad that I started with Patreon first rather than jumping into a Kickstarter before I was ready. But really, it’s high time I did one for AER HEAD by now!! Stay tuned for more updates, as my current plan is to launch in early September :)
Meanwhile, no conventions or events planned for me in the comics world in August! At first I thought I’d try to exhibit in more beach/boardwalk events, but I really do need to focus on planning the Kickstarter. And untangling the massive mess that is getting a new computer. And getting more ongoing work. Yes all these 3 things at the same time make my head spin but it’s the journey of life!
As for my computer, I’ve made my 2011 MacBook Pro last until now through upgrading the parts over time. It’s one of the last macs with this ability, but 8.5 years later, the writing is on the wall and it started acting up. I solved some things and am typing to you on it now though.
I’ve put my Business Basics for Freelancers class on hold to prioritize other projects. I’m considering adding a special business tips section to this blog/mailing list, but really this whole post is a kind of tip. But let’s try it out by talking more about the differences between Patreon and Kickstarter:
If you’re a creative person of any kind, or a teacher, or an inventor, I highly recommend crowdfunding on Patreon, Kickstarter, or both. Here’s a quick rundown of differences:
Ongoing campaign with patrons pledging a monthly subsciption.
Behind the scenes peek at your artistic process.
Feels more laid back and organic, and you can post very sketchy sketches and feel ok.
Short campaign usually lasting only one month where people pledge only once.
Usually focuses on the finished product like physical comic printing. Usually most of the project must be done before launching.
Feels like everything needs to be perfect. Definitely more pressure and stress to fund a successful campaign in a short time.
Ok trying some new things out with layouts on this blog. I’m using Squarespace and wanted to make a side-by-side list, but seems like it may have been better if I created my own graphic in Illustrator. But whatever I need to move on with my life. I’m considering moving to Mail Chimp but it doesn’t use an RSS feed. Ugh other tech problems.
This really is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to differences between Patreon and Kickstarter. Please let me know what you think by replying if you get this via email or commenting if you see it on my blog!
Glad to be a part of Pete’s Mini Zine Fest once again! I’m outside this year and looks like it’ll be sunny! I always love this little show because it focuses on just the mini comics & zines, which is why I am a cartoonist in the first place! This year I’ll also have my new AER HEAD prints for sale.
Also this week is surf week! Lots of fun surfing competitions and hangouts going on in Long Beach! I may or may not be able to make some of these events, but if I do, I’ll let you know!
This weekend June 15-16 I’ll exhibit at Brooklyn Comic Con with my friend Nadia Burgess of Toughspirit Creations at table A29. Brooklyn Comic Con is a new show that’s quintessentially BROOKLYN - focusing on local eats, music, and videogames! Brought to you by Sexy Nerds, this is sure to be a scene. It’s in Greenpoint at the Brooklyn Expo Center. Take the G to Greenpoint Ave (the G has improved A LOT over my time in Brooklyn - probably due to the L being messed up).
I’ll be debuting my new AER HEAD banner at Brooklyn Comic Con! I’ve been wanting a banner like this for YEARS and now it’s finally here! All the comics pros have free standing banners like this. I wanted to hold off on spending $ on one until I made the cover for AER HEAD #1 and now I’ll use this for years in all its glory. See the process of how I made this banner and the cover by joining the “See the Future” tier of my Patreon!
In other news, did you know that this Saturday is International Surfing Day? This is an environmental day to focus on protecting our oceans (while having a fun beach day!) Looks like it’ll be half-sunny 80° weather in NYC, so here’s the plan - go to the beach on Saturday (International Surfing Day) to enjoy some rays, swimming (and surfing if you surf!) and please pick up a few pieces of trash while there. Then on Sunday, go to Brooklyn Comic Con (it’s supposed to rain). You’re welcome for planning an awesome weekend for you ;)
So after the NY ESA surf challenge went so awesomely last week, I decided I’d like to exhibit in more beach locations! What a fun theme for the summer, right? I’ll be at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar this Sunday June 9th! It’s in the Rockaways: 16702 Rockaway Beach Blvd. Queens, NY 11694. This Bazaar actually goes on every day from 11a-6p, and I’ll be trying it out to see how it goes. Going to sell AER HEAD prints and also draw summer themed sketches! There will be music too: Screamin’ Rebel Angels from Noon- 5 and two DJs! Also there is food and other cool random stuff that’s quintessentially NYC.
You know how most of summer goes by and then you’re like “omg I haven’t gone to the beach yet” in late August? Don’t let that happen! NYC has tons of great beaches, so please visit the Rockaways this weekend and stop by the Riis Park Beach Bazaar!
Very excited to announce that I’ll be participating in a surfing event this Sunday June 2nd! No I’m not competing (ha after only one surf lesson!) but I’ll be onsite creating surf themed “flash sketches” and offering AER HEAD prints for donations. If you’re in Long Beach and want to check it out - should be a fun time! It’s run by the NY Eastern Surfing Association and is sponsored by all those companies with the logos on the graphic (look I’m there too! :D ) 10% of donations will go to NY ESA.
This is a prime example of creating your own opportunities as an artist (of any kind). I’m doing freelance social media marketing for others, and am coordinating some events for my clients, which got me thinking I should “level up” my own game in terms of marketing on and off line. So I googled around for any surf events going on and this one appeared. I emailed the organizer just to see if I could participate somehow and here we are! You just never know! It never hurts to ASK. The worst someone could say is “no.”
At this event, I’m hoping to get more people interested in my AER HEAD comic and Patreon. I’m also curious about the event vibe, as there is a scene at the end of AER HEAD #1 at a surf competition. Research! And also fun! One challenge will be to keep all my prints and paper free of sand and water droplets. Yay for Krystal Seal protectors! Also wrapping everything in plastic. Super pumped for this event! Oh and the site for NY ESA says there is another “craft-vendor” fair on the board walk, but I’m NOT part of that - I’ll be under a tent with the ESA team chilling on the beach!
The “flash sketches” will be of similar detail to this “ROCK LOBSTER” doodletune I did recently (so many people loved in on instagram - if you’re not already following me there I’m @mindyindy_art . I’ll be drawing simple sharpie sketches of animals surfing, and you’ll see more examples on all my social media this week.
I always love exhibiting in my home state of Michigan for Motor City Comic Con each year! I’m table L7 in artist alley. The show floor is different this year than before, maybe for it’s 30th year? Doubly exciting is that I’ll also be speaking on a panel this Friday! It’s called “The Trouble Shooters” from 2-3p in room Legacy III. Check out the description below - it’s me and other indie creators talking about making comics! More program schedule info here. Hope to see you there!
It’s that time of the year where there’s some comic event going on each weekend! Join me for X-Con this Saturday May 11th at Xavier High School! It seriously has the coolest name for a convention, and that’s reason enough to go XD
$5 admission - Noon to 5p! 30 West 16th St.
This convention is in honor of the school’s art teacher, Renzo Ventrella, who passed away last October.
Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2172450112817441/
What? FREE COMICS? Yes indeed! This Saturday all comic stores across America are celebrating Free Comic Book Day, or FCBD for short. FCBD is a great mix of free comics from the larger publishers and in-person connection with local indie comic creators. Anyone Comics in Brooklyn is extending this to a whole indie arts fair in their lower level! I’ll be exhibiting with my new AER HEAD prints along with around 15 others - it’s a party! Here’s some info:
Anyone Comics 1216 Union St. Brooklyn, NY 11225.
FCBD & indie arts fair hours: Noon - 8pm
FREE ADMISSION! Note that only select comics are free. If all the comics in the store were free, the store would go out of business XD Also some creators may or may not have freebies. Rest assured though that you’ll walk out with SOMETHING free + a smile!
Here’s their Facebook event.
MAY THE FORTH BE WITH YOU!
Does anyone else think that FCBD is the first Saturday in May JUST to say that phrase every few years?
Are you a freelancer and haven’t done your taxes yet? If you’re near NYC, please come to this special edition of Business Basics for Freelancers that’s focused on taxes! The tax deadline is approaching, but there’s still time to get organized and file for an extension if you need it, and even make a payment plan so you don’t have to pay all at once. Please join me at Caffeine Underground this Wednesday 4/10 from 2-5p (yes, freelancer time!).
Tickets are $50 online and walk-ins are $55. If you’ve taken my other classes before, you can get a 50% discount with a special code.
As a freelancer myself, I’ve figured out a bunch of stuff for my own taxes that I want to share with others. Taxes are probably some of the hardest things to tackle as a freelancer, but I’ve found a way to streamline my taxes so they’re more manageable, and I can help you formulate a plan to do so yourself.