Hello everybody it's Kyle. I have a big announcement to make today so lets get right into it!
Today, I am announcing my first for sale product, "100% inked: Illustrations of esoteric entities". This product also happens to be my largest project to date and my first solo project in 4 years, around the time I was a sophomore in college. This will be a pure and simple digital illustration book. The book will not have any prolonged text besides the preface and there will not be any panels like a comic or an overarching story. This book is simply for your viewing pleasure. The book will also only be available in PDF format. I will have a little F.A.Q. about this book at the bottom of this post.
In the beginning
I began planning the book around the end of June and started putting physical work into it in July. Originally I had a sister book to this one called "Disney Girls in Hip Hop World" which I canceled. Originally I wanted to participate in inktober, a little social network project a bunch of artists do in October where they draw and ink their illustrations for the entire month (the title 'Inked' is inspired by inktober). Unfortunately, due to how I handle my social media, I would be unable to participate in the usual time frame. That didn't deter me, and I realized that I'd have even more time to make nice illustrations and polish them. That is when I went into full on production of this book. Another motivating factor for me was that I had never put out a single cohesive body of work before, and I was dead set on doing so before the end of the year.
A tale of two books
100% Inked will come in two versions. A basic version and a deluxe version. Originally there was supposed to be only one version, the basic, but I felt that I could give even more life to the pictures in color (coloring is also my favorite part of the illustration process). Here is a quick breakdown of what you get with each version.
100% Inked Basic- Price $2 (USD). 31 inked Illustrations (Black and white). Basic Front matter (Cover, Preface, Dedication pages) and Back Matter (about the artist and contact pages).
100% Inked Deluxe- Price $5 (USD). 33 inked illustrations + all illustrations in color, totaling 66 Illustrations! Basic Front matter (Cover, Preface, Dedication pages) and Back Matter (about the artist and contact pages).
At the time of this post I'm still hard at work on the deluxe version. Given the time between now and release I will do my best to squeeze in even more nifty features and make the book even more polished. I will detail more about the release date and features in a future blog post in October.
L. Basic logo R. Deluxe logo. Both are subject to change
100% Inked is a book crafted purely by digital means on a Cintiq 13hd and Photoshop. I also got a little help from this wonderful artist, Kyle T. Webster. I don't know him personally, though we do have in common a most excellent first name, but he makes Photoshop brushes. Not just any Photoshop brushes you can find by an amateur on deviant art. Kyle makes damned fine brushes. This book would not have been possible if I didn't have his brushes to use, so if you like drawing or painting digitally, I strongly suggest you throw money at this man and buy his brushes. For the creation of this book, I used his Megapack brush set and his Screentone brush set; although I also have his watercolor brush set and several other smaller one shot stuff.
You can buy his brushes: Here
And you can follow him on tumblr: Here
New store page
Ok, so now that the announcement is out of the way, business talk. Starting with 100% Inked I will be selling items directly from my website (through the magic of embedded links). Inked 100% will launch the store, and I will be updating it with things like prints, videos and so forth. Now if you are uncomfortable with using a card on my website, you will also have the opportunity to buy from the distribution website. For digital items that will be Gumroad (if I ever switch distribution services I will make a post about it).
The goal of the store is to make purchasing my content seamless and painless. Once it launches, there will be periodic updates and changes to its formatting (along with the rest of the website) to make it nice and cohesive.
Yes you read that right, I will be selling other products in my store such as prints, videos, apparel and so forth. I do not have a set date for when I will be rolling that stuff out but you can expect things to start appearing there sometime in 2015.
What does this all mean?
2014 has been a year of erratic change and growth. Making this book has been a huge step toward me reinventing myself as an artist. The creation of this book more or less establishes the ending of an era of plans, projects and dreams that I had been affiliated with when I was part of a larger but fledgling company, called Stellar Universe. This book brings forward my first step in a hopefully long, successful and innovative career as an independent artist. The changes this project has set off will start from me and how I identify as a person and those waves will ripple to the core and nature of this website and hopefully to you too. I am very proud of the work I put into this. I hope that those who read this blog post can find the same satisfaction if they decide to purchase one of the ebooks.
- Question: Kyle is this all you have to say about this?
- Answer: Originally I had written a much longer post about this a few weeks ago, but in a split second all of it was deleted. A small wave of depression and existential angst had set in following that day but I hit all of the beats in this current post.
- Q: An art book? What am I supposed to do with that? There are only pictures.
- A: I like to think of art books as little fountains of inspiration. I buy them just to have more art of the person I like. When you go to a museum or gallery, you look at the work, take it in, and try to find out what the artist is telling you through their images. Sometimes it can also be a good reference on how to approach a subject you have had problems with.
- Q: Why an ebook? I don't value digital items at all.
- An ebook is the best method for me to bring my art to you. Ebooks have the ability to be carried with you where ever you go and you can add really nifty flourishes to them that you couldn't do for regular books. I do think there is something special about physical books, but the proofing, printing, and selling process is a nightmare. Digital items are faster and more convenient for both parties. This allows me to focus more on the content and not the format. Digital items also have the perk of being cheaper. If I were to print the book, I would have to charge a lot more to make up for printing, shipping and other costs.
- Q: Why are you charging for this? You put all of your art work on social media for free.
- A: Good question! I'm charging for this because this is a nice, unified body of work where the quality is way above that of my social media. The art on my social media is more or less doodles and things I can make in 20 minutes. All of the pictures in this book took from 4-13+ hours(per image) making from start to finish. Also, I can't make a living giving all of my art out for free on social networks. I would love to bring you guys bigger and better projects but I need to also be able to provide for myself and people I care about.
- Q: Does this mean you're going to charge for everything?
- A: Nope! I have split my art into different families including but not limited to social media/for sale/ for promotion. Social media art is content that I make to satiate and grow my fanbase between larger projects. Little fun and creative doodles basically. Larger and more elaborate projects will carry a price tag, depending on a bunch of factors but mostly I have to feel that the work is incredibly polished or if it's cool enough to be a physical good. I will also say here that my art on social networks will start looking better as I make them in advance now (and through the magic of data accumulation), though I may be updating less frequently.
- Q: When does the book come out?
- A: Right now, I don't have a set date. The book will drop either on November 4, 2014 or November 11, 2014 . I will write another blog mid-October with the final date.
- Q: Are you sure there are only pictures?
- A: Yes. 100% inked will not have any long text aside from the preface. The book is about the art itself only.
- Q: Can I see more?
- A: Yes! In October, I will be previewing 23 images on my website and social networks. If you don't like waiting you can see every preview on October 1st under monthly art.
- Q: Anything else?
- A: Yes! I will be having a giveaway in October on my Instagram. Instagram is the best place to follow me or ask questions as I'm always looking at my phone. I don't know what the terms of the contest will be, but I'll officially announce it sometime in October.