Week 97 + 98 – Keep on truckin’

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator. For illustrated depictions of these events, visit my daily comics page.

Week 97 was mostly spent truckin’ forward on the artwork for Home Rule. We tried coming up with a better name for the project but nothing really jumped out just yet. It was tough to have everyone scattered all over the place and working on the project at different times, but this week things are coming together.

Over the weekend I saw some movies and spent time with friends, something I had been neglecting a bit due to all the work lately.

Week 98 started off with me helping another creator, namely my girlfriend, in selling her artwork at a market on the second Pentecost day (yeah in holland we pretty much double down on every national holiday). She sold a ton and we had fun, the very direct contact with customers is always nice. The rest of that week was more of the same.

Inbetween I sowed the seeds for some new projects in the latter half of this year and early next year. If even one of them goes through it’s going to be a good year. But they’re largely dependent on subsidies so we’ll see how it goes. Just the fact that I’m being asked for these things more and more is a calming thought in the black void of freelance work.

At the end of the week I decided to make work of upgrading my legacy hosting account. I’ve been displeased with the speed of my websites for a while now and considered switching to a different provider, but then I decided to call Godaddy support and see what I could accomplish. And I came out with an upgrade to their latest server technology, locked in for 5 years for the price it would normally cost for 2 years, and a free file and database migration worth another 150 bucks. Plus a fun conversation about art with the tech support guy, an amateur artist living in Dublin.
I was surprised that nothing broke in the process; the only thing I had to do over the weekend was re-hook-up the posts database to the off-stage wordpress. So now all my sites are back online and working spiffy.

I’m going to stop doing dailies for a while, or at least discard the backlog when I pick it up again.

Next week: Home Rule beta 2 wrapup.

Week 70

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator.

I started last week off feeling kind of drained, a condition that’s been developing for the past few weeks. Rather than write it off on fatigue, I had it looked at, and turns out it was the most freelance-creative thing it could be – a vitamin D deficiency. So hopefully the doc has me back at 100% soon.

I spent the day prior to the diagnosis playing catch-up with all my favorite shows. And sadly most of them are entering their final season. I’m gonna miss The Newsroom and White Collar. But Constantine has captured my attention, and Agents of SHIELD and Bob’s Burgers continue to be fun. They’re also recharging my creative vocabulary with situations, characters, shots and poses I can draw from in my own work.

On thursday I went by the new Paladin Studios office to catch up with my old colleagues. It was fun as always and it’s great to see them doing well now. I miss having them in the same room to sparr with, but I don’t miss the travel time, woof.

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Inbetween I’ve also finally started reading The Webcomics Handbook by Brad Guigar, which I backed (and received) ages ago, to polish up my webcomic skills. Most of it sounds like a familiar tune, but there were some useful morsels in there.

Then I got to the chapter on Google PageSpeed and I fell down a WordPress optimization rathole for an evening. In the end the site is running leaner and nicer though, I think it was worth it.

Over the weekend we celebrated my grandparents being married for 60 years. What a feat, wow.

Next week: searching for ad revenue and trespassing mice

Week 46

<This is a weekly recap of the goings-on in my professional life – to keep track of what I’m doing and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creative.

This week I wanted to set a new goal to work towards and just generally figure out what to do next, but everything surrounding me moving to the new place took up all the space in my head, so I’ll defer that decision to the near future. I’ve got some money coming in so I can idle for a little while.

I was thinking the other day about the ol’ saying ‘time is money’, but I realize for me, as a freelancer, it’s mostly the reverse – money equals more free time, the stretching out of my independance.

The good people at Gamesys contacted me to do more illustrations for them, and I’m having fun with it. Their mascot is really turning into a fleshed out little character.

I also tinkered with Unity a bit, trying out Ben Esposito’s first-person drifter package for a project I want to do, and considering whether it would be doable for me to make a 3D game. And I think it is. I would only need geometry, and even with my limited 3D skills I think I could pull that off for a short game. I just can’t shake the feeling that that particular story needs to be in a first-person perspective.

In this lull of a week I decided to take the time to clean my server up a bit. I had originally started out with my first comic at dinerdate.net, and then over the years added on more domains using the same hosting account. As such, my portfolio site was a subfolder on that account, which didn’t make a lot of sense. Plus I hadn’t touched dinerdate in about 5 years? So it was time to drop that resource-hogging wordpress install and database, and reorganize the file tree. And everything seems to work still! It’s a miracle.

As a send-off, here is a small selection of my favorite strips from dinerdate.