• Category Archives Drawing
  • Posts showcasing drawings and art.

  • The Toughest Part About Being a Writer/Artist

    A.P. Fuchs Books
    Some books from the A.P. Fuchs library.

    Full transparency: I’ve never deliberately looked up blog topics (so far as I can recall) but for fun, this morning I decided to do that and see what’s currently out there for blogging ideas. “The Toughest Part About Being a . . .” prompt was something I came across and, maybe because I’m still groggy, resonated with me the most this fine winter morning.

    So that said, here is the toughest part about being a writer/artist as per how I feel at the moment I’m writing this:

    Getting respect.

    When people ask what I do for a living and I tell them I write stories and draw, I’m met with two general responses: “Oh man, that’s so cool!” or, “That’s nice. Maybe one day you’ll get a real job instead of playing all day.” The latter isn’t explicitly stated but is certainly implied by tone, facial expression, and body language, all with an air of disappointment.

    The first crowd is, of course, the most pleasant to deal with. Their eyes light up and they smile and are genuinely happy for me. They often become my readers and usually follow up with me the next time I see them and ask how things are going and if I’m still doing it (the “still doing it” part hinting they understand it’s an unstable job but they have my back and are in my corner even if my answer is “No”).

    The second crowd is the one I don’t understand. The general formula for a working adult is you get out of bed, go to work, come home, eat dinner, then get on with your evening, which may or may not include doing more work. That’s the formula I’ve lived by my entire working life–whether working in the arts or elsewhere–and the formula every working adult I know follows. The only difference is I work from home. So when I “go to work,” my commute is measured in hallways and staircases as I make my way down to the Central’s bunker to get started. I work all day–and get paid for it–turn the computer off, then reverse my commute and wind up back upstairs with the rest of the household. But mention you write stories and draw pictures for a living and suddenly you don’t have a real job (see the “On Freelancing for a Living (This is a Job)” blog post). Upon thinking about it, it’s not even the working from home part that seems to rub people the wrong way (though this can happen). It’s the specific what I do for a living. I’ve seen firsthand where others who work from home who don’t write stories and draw pictures are met with a metaphorical handshake. Me? It’s a metaphorical hands-in-their-pockets.

    There is a disconnect that happens–usually with the older generation(s)–where, in the old days, work was something you left the house for and something you didn’t always enjoy. Work was actual work, like a chore, or work was something that demanded such a hard effort that every day ended the same when one came home: a collapse on the couch from mental and/or physical exhaustion. I believe the disconnect also happens because a lot of people tend to forget the entertainment they consume had to be created by somebody. Those books you read? Somebody took a lot of time writing them. Those comics you love? A group of people had to spend a lot of time writing, drawing, coloring, lettering, and printing them. Those movies you go to every Friday night? A whole slew of people had to go somewhere to play dress-up and pretend for a camera to tell you a story. That video game? Tons of people. Tons of artists. Even the very computer or smartphone this entry is being read on was dreamed up and sketched out by people who went to work. Somebody had to write all the code used in that phone. Somebody had to draw all those app icons. Somebody had to make science fiction science fact. Oh, and they got paid to do it because they need food and shelter, too.

    Why is my job not normally respectable? Is it the non-steady paycheck? Is it the fact I like it? Is it because I’d rather spend a third of every day enjoying myself versus dragging myself through the motions? Is it because I made up my mind and chose what I was going to do with the old statement that you can either work towards making your own dreams come true or you can work for someone else to make their dreams come true?

    Why does a lawyer get the handshake and I don’t? Why does a doctor? Or an accountant? Or a factory worker or a mechanic? Their job puts food on the table and keeps a roof over their loved ones’ heads just like mine does. My income goes towards food and bills, getting stuff for the kids and gas in the car. It buys Christmas presents and pays for date nights. It funds life just like their job funds life.

    I work. You work. We all work.

    And like I posted to social media forever ago, I want to repeat here: Everything is art. Every. Single. Thing. Creation is God’s canvas and nature is His painting. The stuff humans have made? It’s all based on someone dreaming and asking themselves, “What if . . .?” Then writing it down and drawing it out. Designing your couch is an art form. Writing the code for your car’s computer is an art form. Coming up with how to safely make a handheld drill is an art form. And so on.

    Everything is art.

    In the end, I’ve learned to live with the hits and learned my career choice will be frowned upon by others. But there are also others who don’t frown and instead smile. Those are the people who give respect. The others? I’ll still respect their work because they are my fellow human beings, and perhaps one day I’ll get the same occupational respect in return.

    Author’s note: This article isn’t about complaining. It’s pointing out a disconnect that some people seem to have and is hopefully encouraging to those who might be in the same boat.


  • Heavy Broadcast Mode Initiated – Welcome to Winter

    November Winter Tree
    From outside the window this morning.

    Awhile back I decided that November 1, 2019, would mark the day I officially went into winter hibernation mode aka Heavy Broadcast Mode. My work plate is mighty heavy and I need to keep my head low and just get things done. That said, I will be off the social feeds until spring. However, that doesn’t mean my feeds will be an empty desert. I’ll be broadcasting social content to you from here at the Central, but if you need to interact, please send me an email as I won’t be checking PMs.

    One of the major tasks I need to do this winter is overhaul the website. The content will remain but the programming language is dated and I need to bring things up to speed if I’m to stay relevant as we progress down the Timeline of All Things. The aim is to do that this weekend, so if you come by the site between now and next week, don’t fret if things look in disarray. I’m hoping for a smooth transition and nobody is none the wiser, but I’ve also been around Web stuff long enough to know glitches happen when all you want to do is execute what is supposed to be a simple procedure(s).

    Today also marks the beginning of a new month, which means a new month starts up on my Patreon page, in turn opening the gates for new chapters in my ongoing serial novel, Gigantigator Death Machine, essays, behind-the-scenes stuff, and more. Please join me and my other patrons as we embark on November’s journey by going here.

    What is all this winter stuff I keep talking about? I don’t want to give away all the surprises, so I’ll give you a vague summary instead:

    • Plan for the 2020 convention/book signing season
    • Bring projects old and new up to speed
    • Release new book(s) and comic(s)
    • Build up the YouTube channel
    • Deliver solid content on Patreon
    • Partially rebuild the media machine
    • Engage in interviews through various channels
    • Try not to die from overworking

    There. Straight forward. Just work.

    Enjoy the weekend.


  • Inktober 2019 has Concluded

    Inktober 2019 Pumpkin Cake
    Fred (Fredrikus) the dog as a pumpkin cake.

    Earlier this month, I invited you to join me on my Inktober 2019 journey. Today, that journey comes to an end. This was my first year doing Inktober and it was honestly a lot of fun. It has been nearly two decades since I drew in a sketchbook every day. The last time was in animation school way back when people still carried swords to fend off invading armies. And while the daily Inktober sketches are done, I have a little more work ahead of me. My Inktober efforts were shared via social media every day this month, but I realize not everyone saw them, so the next step is to create collage images showcasing the month as well as a video for my YouTube channel. Stay tuned for those. Feel free to check out my social media in the meantime if you can’t wait/want to play catch-up.

    Thank you to everyone who followed along this year!


  • On Writing About Creativity

    A lot of what I share on here has to do with the creative journey and stating what I’ve learned through experience. The reason is rooted in my passion for the creative industry. I’ve been making stuff up since I was a kid running around in a Superman costume (something I did even when my other friends had grown out of it). It’s all I know.

    Making up stories, drawing, and thinking about how to better get my imagination onto the page takes up most of my time and is my preferred activity. Some guys work on cars or model kits to help fill the hours; I work on imaginary worlds. It’s just how I’m wired and I don’t know any other way to live my life.

    Is always talking about creativity beating a dead horse? I honestly don’t know because in my world that horse keeps coming back to life. All I know is writing out my thoughts on the creative life helps me organize them, and if they can benefit or entertain someone along the way, then I’m more than happy to take them on the journey with me.


  • On Scheduling

    It’s important for every creator to make a schedule for their creative time. The idea of “creating when inspired” or “in the mood” doesn’t work. (Been there, done that.) Not very long ago I was mocked on-line for suggesting a creative schedule to someone who was having trouble creating. The answer I proposed to their problem was to treat it like a job and just do it. Most seasoned creators will tell you that you have to create whether you feel like it or not if you want a career in this business.

    The formula is simple: Approach this casually, you’ll get casual results. Approach this diligently, you’ll get diligent results.

    There is no way around this. And, usually, once you get going on a project after deciding to start working, the project starts to flow on its own anyway.

    Schedule out your time. Schedule out your projects.

    It’s worth taking the time to do this step. In fact, it actually saves you time later in a multitude of ways.


  • Inktober is Upon Us – An Invitation

    As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m participating in Inktober this year. This is my first time. For those who don’t know what Inktober is, it’s basically NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) but for artists. The goal? Draw one inked drawing a day and share it with at least one person on-line or off-.

    Today is Day Three so after I post this blog entry, I’ll be working in my sketchbook to create a new offering. Days One and Two are posted to my social media, which is where you’re invited to check out my daily drawings. My Inktober efforts show up on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr feeds.

    Join me.


  • On Freelancing for a Living (This is a Job)

    Though this demands a full article, here is the brief version on creative freelancing for a living.

    It’s a job. A fun one, but a job. The common misconception people have of those working from home is that it’s all playtime and games, sleeping in and working here and there. This isn’t true. During the day, home becomes my workplace. There is a start-of-work time and an end-of-work time. (Except during deadline season, then it’s work until it’s done.) I have clients who have me on the clock. I have personal projects on the clock. Everything is scheduled. If I don’t adhere to the schedule, I lose the job with a client and/or I lose income generated from regularly releasing books. I have my Patreon to attend to with hard-earned money being spent by people who have trusted me with it in exchange for entertaining them. I have a career built on a reputation and if I wreck that reputation, I can’t get it back. This is all taken very seriously. My career is zero without my readers and clients. My ability to eat rests on ensuring they are treated well and quality work is being brought to them.

    While working at home has some advantages like not needing to commute or not needing to pack a lunch, or endless coffee and the ability to vape inside, it’s still treated like an out-of-home job. It has to be. I’m working whether I feel like it or not. I’m putting the time in whether I feel like it or not. This idea that working from home isn’t the same as a “real” job needs to stop. What is a job? It’s a task(s) you do in exchange for something. It’s a task(s) you’re depended upon to do. Any freelancer who knows their next meal is dependent on getting the job done knows this.

    Thought I’d clear the air.


  • On Planning Ahead

    Usually, I have a mental road map as to where things are going with my career, projects on the docket, and other things that need tending to. Using this foreknowledge, I try and automate as much of it as I can, then clear off the small tasks so I can then work on the bigger projects. For me, this has been a good method to get time working for me instead of me trying to find the time to get it all done.

    And, of course, setting up a planned chunk of time to be offline also helps because the Net’s rabbit hole is deep and addictive.

    Presently, there are things that are on my “looking ahead” agenda, things in motion, all to be revealed and/or released in due time.


  • On Juggling Multiple Projects

    I used to work on one novel, one short story, and a poem at the same time. Then I switched to working on one book and/or item at a time. Now I’m back to working on multiple things at once. It’s a stretch of the mind, to be sure, but also a method of getting a lot done because you are multitasking. These days I usually have one personal project, something freelance, and something art-related all happening at the same time. Thus far, things are working out okay. This will probably change in the future as the project schedule changes, but until then, I’ll stick with this method of working.

    On a personal note, I am looking forward to things slowing down a bit. Can only go hard for so long until you burn out and, frankly, that’s already happened several times over. Gonna need time to recuperate but this going hard is all part of my masterplan so you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Onward.