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About Hobbyist Artist Core Member R. WatsonUnited States Groups :iconvisualstorytelling: VisualStoryTelling
The Art of Story Telling
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Fragmented Reality by merrak
Fragmented Reality
Can you escape the mind of a madman?

Fragmented Reality is a short game made in 48 hours for the Ludum Dare 33 game development contest. The theme for this contest was "you are the monster".

Contest entry page is here: ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare…
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Rise by merrak
Rise
Created with MyPaint 1.1 with touching up with GIMP 2.8; Ubuntu 13.04
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So... How's That Self-Publishing Thing Going?

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 9, 2015, 10:00 PM
It's been a couple of years since A Foundation in Wisdom was released, so I thought I'd drop an update on how things are going. It turns out, there's no easy route to publishing. Fortunately, I already realized that long before jumping in the pool. But it's important to reiterate to anyone else who has caught the "I want to publish myself" bug--it's not easier--or harder--but it is different. So, know what to expect. Of course, that's good all-around advice.

I'm actually not doing too bad in Eastern North Carolina. Publishing is a business. And, like any business, you can expect to lose money while it grows. Somewhere I read that the average business takes three years to become profitable. I'll be entering that third year in a couple of months. While the financial side of things is not where I'd like them to be, all the indicators for the future are definitely pointing in the right direction--which isn't a bad state of affairs at all.

I've done three book signings recently, had my books featured in the newspapers on multiple occasions, and have consistently made sales since An Ember in the Wind was released.

The downside--almost all my sales have been in Eastern North Carolina. It just goes to show that results are proportional to effort. I've recently started making a stronger effort to spread the word online. It's too early to see how my efforts will pay off, if I'm doing the right things, etc. Unfortunately, time spent marketing is time not spent writing.

Hence, I've learned one of the keys to succeeding is to be very efficient with your time. It helps if you have multiple talents, skills, etc. At my last book signing, I was surprised by how well my artwork was received. I never considered myself more than a "hobbyist" artist, but I was invited to show some of my digital paintings at a local gallery.

I'm also a programmer. My latest endeavor: I wrote an app--a sliding puzzle game--for iPhone/Android devices. I was then able to set up my own "advertising network", which advertises my books. We'll see how that goes.

I once read that the biggest contributor to success in self-publishing is to publish... a lot. And, now that I've started publishing apps, the same advice applies. If you want to get noticed, you have to produce--which leaves less time for procrastinating. (Hence, my absence as of late).

It seems difficult to think of good answers to the question "Why should I self-publish?". After all, there are plenty of bad answers. (Avoiding rejection is probably the worst answer. It'll find you one way or another; If you're not laying your cards on the table, then you're not playing, and you'll never win).

So what's a good answer? Well, I'm still happy with my decision. It's a lot more work--but it should be. After all, I'm reaping all of the reward. Why should I expect an easy route that nobody has noticed before?

But I also still consider myself a "hobbyist". I'm a mathematician and educator first, and have no plans for my priorities to change. If anyone ever asked me for advice on whether or not to self-publish, or go the traditional route, my first response would be to "identify your priorities". If you self-publish, then you're also the publicist, marketing department, etc. If you like doing those things, then go for it. If you don't, then maybe you should let the experts help you with that. Of course, you'll be doing a lot of that work yourself--but I imagine it's easier when you have people telling you how to do it, then trying to figure it out on your own.


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Flying Dachshund by merrak
Flying Dachshund
Neece is one of my parents' two dachshunds. I'm only able to visit about twice a year, so it takes her a moment to remember who I am. I think it clicked mid-stride one time.

MyPaint 1.1 on Ubuntu 13.04. About 5 hours.
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Into the Clouds by merrak
Into the Clouds
I've been invited to do another book signing for An Ember in the Wind in November at Barnes and Noble. Last time I learned just how much attention a couple illustrations can draw in. This is an update of the old Thunder Storm City that I'm playing around with.
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So... How's That Self-Publishing Thing Going?

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 9, 2015, 10:00 PM
It's been a couple of years since A Foundation in Wisdom was released, so I thought I'd drop an update on how things are going. It turns out, there's no easy route to publishing. Fortunately, I already realized that long before jumping in the pool. But it's important to reiterate to anyone else who has caught the "I want to publish myself" bug--it's not easier--or harder--but it is different. So, know what to expect. Of course, that's good all-around advice.

I'm actually not doing too bad in Eastern North Carolina. Publishing is a business. And, like any business, you can expect to lose money while it grows. Somewhere I read that the average business takes three years to become profitable. I'll be entering that third year in a couple of months. While the financial side of things is not where I'd like them to be, all the indicators for the future are definitely pointing in the right direction--which isn't a bad state of affairs at all.

I've done three book signings recently, had my books featured in the newspapers on multiple occasions, and have consistently made sales since An Ember in the Wind was released.

The downside--almost all my sales have been in Eastern North Carolina. It just goes to show that results are proportional to effort. I've recently started making a stronger effort to spread the word online. It's too early to see how my efforts will pay off, if I'm doing the right things, etc. Unfortunately, time spent marketing is time not spent writing.

Hence, I've learned one of the keys to succeeding is to be very efficient with your time. It helps if you have multiple talents, skills, etc. At my last book signing, I was surprised by how well my artwork was received. I never considered myself more than a "hobbyist" artist, but I was invited to show some of my digital paintings at a local gallery.

I'm also a programmer. My latest endeavor: I wrote an app--a sliding puzzle game--for iPhone/Android devices. I was then able to set up my own "advertising network", which advertises my books. We'll see how that goes.

I once read that the biggest contributor to success in self-publishing is to publish... a lot. And, now that I've started publishing apps, the same advice applies. If you want to get noticed, you have to produce--which leaves less time for procrastinating. (Hence, my absence as of late).

It seems difficult to think of good answers to the question "Why should I self-publish?". After all, there are plenty of bad answers. (Avoiding rejection is probably the worst answer. It'll find you one way or another; If you're not laying your cards on the table, then you're not playing, and you'll never win).

So what's a good answer? Well, I'm still happy with my decision. It's a lot more work--but it should be. After all, I'm reaping all of the reward. Why should I expect an easy route that nobody has noticed before?

But I also still consider myself a "hobbyist". I'm a mathematician and educator first, and have no plans for my priorities to change. If anyone ever asked me for advice on whether or not to self-publish, or go the traditional route, my first response would be to "identify your priorities". If you self-publish, then you're also the publicist, marketing department, etc. If you like doing those things, then go for it. If you don't, then maybe you should let the experts help you with that. Of course, you'll be doing a lot of that work yourself--but I imagine it's easier when you have people telling you how to do it, then trying to figure it out on your own.


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merrak
R. Watson
Artist | Hobbyist
United States
I'm a mathematician. Writing and drawing are both creative diversions for me.
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Add a Comment:
 
:iconnikkistinger19:
Nikkistinger19 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Hey Merrak! :greetings:

I knew it. I was in the middle of job hunting then I found you here! =) Your paintings are amazing! :buymyprints:
Reply
:iconmerrak:
merrak Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2015  Hobbyist
Thanks! :)

I found the Tomokei icon and thought "I recognize that picture!"
Reply
:iconsamhainstar:
SamhainStar Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thankyou for the :+fav: (River Study)
Reply
:iconsallyannester:
sallyannester Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014
Thank you for the watch
Reply
:iconomgitsjenn:
omgitsjenn Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the favorurites :)
Reply
:iconmishrito:
Mishrito Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the :+fav:
Reply
:iconsparrowstew:
SparrowStew Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013
Thanks for the Llama!!!
Reply
:iconconbagui:
conbagui Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013
Thank you for adding me.
Reply
:iconmerrak:
merrak Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013  Hobbyist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconneomerlin:
neomerlin Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Student Writer
Yo, thanks for the watch!
Reply
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