Art Before Breakfast

art before breakfast

Art Before Breakfast. Image via Amazon.

I try to draw every day. Most days it happens, others not so much, because I get busy, blink, and I’m getting ready for bed. One of my goals for 2017 is to get better about drawing each day.

I got a book for Christmas which has helped get me drawing in the morning: Art Before Breakfast.

Art Before Breakfast: My New Routine

As the title suggests, Art Before Breakfast gets you drawing first thing in the morning. The book features simple drawing prompts, none of which (at least so far) take very long. This doesn’t mean you can’t take your time with the prompts. Go at your own pace, but know these prompts won’t take a long time to finish.

art before brekfast hogan

Day one of Art Before Breakfast in my sketchbook.

Making “Art” vs. Making “art”

There’s a part in Art Before Breakfast which explains about making Art (with a capital A) versus making art (with a lowercase a). The book wants you to focus on making art, meaning art made for fun or practice, not something to go on a gallery wall or to try to sell (Art). I agree it’s important to step back from trying to make Art and simply have fun and goof around (this is why I like keeping a sketchbook).

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For Patrons: Behind the Scenes – Foxes and Boxes page 6

My Patreon patrons can see a scan of my original drawing for this week’s Foxes and Boxes page. Pledge $1 or more a month and you can see the scan–and all of my other behind the scenes posts, past and future.

Here’s a sample.

behind the scenes.

See the full-page on Patreon.

Speaking of Patreon, I changed up my rewards a bit. The $5/month reward got switched up, here is the full rewards for that level:

  • Full access to patrons only blog posts, including pictures/drawings I won’t post anywhere else.
  • Satisfaction knowing you are helping me make comics!
  • Early access to the latest Clattertron comics and Foxes and Boxes pages, even before they go up on clattertron.com and my social media channels. (Usually the Friday before, Sunday at the latest)
  • (NEW!) Each month I will email you a digital, print quality, black and white, single character head sketch of your choice.

For $5/month, you get full blog access, early access to new Foxes and Boxes pages, and I will email you a digital sketch each month. If you want a physical sketch, consider the $10/month level.

And, $3/month patrons get full blog access and can read next week’s Foxes and Boxes page early too.

Thank you for your generosity! (And helping me buy cat food)

Extra Life 2016: Playing Games to Help Kids

It is time again for Extra Life, a charity event where I raise money for sick children by playing games for 24-hours. This is my second year, and I’m excited to help out once again. Here’s a recap of last year’s Extra Life (I played a lot of Magic the Gathering).

extra life 2016

Play games, help kids.

Want to help? Make a donation via my Extra Life page. Every bit helps and I’ve added in some different goals and “rewards” like last year.

Last year I raised $250 (my goal was $200), so this year I’m shooting for $300. If I reach that goal, while I play games I’ll wear the Doctor Who scarf Stephanie knitted me.

If I hit $500 in donations, I’m shaving off my beard (and I’ll post before and after photos).

Game Day is Saturday, November 5, 2016. Now, the rules say, because of health reasons, game playing doesn’t have to be for 24 straight, it can be spit up. But, I’ll give it my all to go as long as I can, and make up the difference on Sunday or Monday. I made it for 14 hours straight last year, and I will try to beat that this year if I can.

My donations go to Sparrow Children’s Center here in Lansing. Please consider donating if you can.

I will publish another post closer to Game Day too, to help get some last minute donations (you can still donate after I start playing too).

Art and Quote in Lansing State Journal Article

Some fun news on the eve of Capital City Comic Con, I have a bit of art and a quote featured in an article for the Lansing State Journal about the event (written by Anne Erickson).

The art I sent in is a page from the new comic I’m starting next month, Foxes and Boxes. This will still be on clattertron.com, it’s just a new story as I give long form comics a try (and yes, I bought foxesandboxes.com, it will redirect to Clattertron for now). It isn’t the full page, but most of the page. I’m hoping to start running the pages, one every Monday, starting in September.

The first six pages are finished, and I’m working on the next two. But, I really want at least eight pages finished before I start publishing them.

Anyway, give Anne’s article a read, and better still come and see me at Capital City Comic Con tomorrow.

A Short Intermission

There’s some changes coming. The big one is, Stephanie and I are (finally) moving into our new house in a couple of weeks. We closed on the house in mid-May, but spent the time after that painting and fixing things.

With the real move upon us, I decided to take August off from publishing comics. Comics will return in September.

The move will be a very draining experience, what with packing, moving everything (we hired movers though), unpacking, and getting our lives up and running again. Plus, getting the cats used to a house will be an adventure as well (see: stairs and hardwood floors).

To say the stretch of time since closing on the house in May has been stressful is an understatement. It’s been a rough road these past few months: spending all of our free time working on the house and packing, leaving little time for anything else. It affected plenty of things in my life, especially my output here.

I decided I needed to only focus on moving, and house things, for the short-term. This also means I canceled my appearance at the Michigan Comic Book Expo on August 6. I hated to do it, but our actual moving date landed right by the day of the show. (However, I am still attending Capital City Comic Con on August 27)

Regarding other changes, please note I said I would take August off from publishing comics. This doesn’t mean I won’t be working on comics (I will still write blog posts too, I’m sure). I’m going to use this “time off” to rethink my comics and what I want to do, and maybe shake things up.

I’m interested in giving serial, longer form comics a try. Stepping away from my usual ‘gag-a-day’ style and going more for character driven humor and stories. What this would actually look like, I’m not sure, but I’m kicking around a few ideas, and the time off will help me flesh things out a bit—or make me realize it won’t work.

When in doubt, I look at the content I’m enjoying. I’ve been reading a lot of long form comics (like Drive, Scary Go Round/Bad Machinery, He Is a Good Boy, and Back to name a few), enjoying cartoons with on-going stories (Steven Universe, Gravity Falls), and even serial podcasts (like The Adventure Zone, although interesting enough, not Serial).

Now, I’m not planning a 100-part epic or something. If anything, smaller stories, but maybe part of something bigger when viewed as a whole. We’ll see, as I said I still need to brainstorm this out.

After a little over four years, I think it’s time to experiment a bit and see where things go.