11 Fun Facts about Rusty Doodle (Part 5): Sharing is Caring

7 Apr

comic strip on the polite way to reply to how have you beenThe fun fact series is back even though there is no demand for it! Lol.

Anyway, fun fact number 3 – I avoid talking about my troubles to my friends because I know that once I start, I become super whiny Rusty. And nobody likes super whiny Rusty, not even myself. But alter ego does come out sometimes but lucky for my friends, he interacts mainly with my family.

To lighten the load for my family, I shall unleash super whiny Rusty just a little on the blog. Anyone, who don’t wish to meet him, please stop reading from this point.

For the kind souls, here goes…

Lately, I do feel stress and pressure even though I am working on something that I am passionate about. I know it is tough to make a career switch and it is going to take time to see progress. I did set a timeline of 1 year (which is going to end in August 2013) to evaluate if I am on the right track with my passion. What I am targeting is not to resume my previous job salary but rather to be able to cover minimal expenses. I mean it is one thing to be passionate about some thing but if I don’t have the necessary skills to make it work, I still need to move on right?

It is already April 2013, over the halfway mark but things are still progressing very slowly. Doubts are definitely creeping in as to whether I can make it. So far, the only success (albeit a very small one) that I have is with myΒ Rusty Doodle store. No results with the various other channels (my friend’s website, 3 other print on demand companies) that I have tried. There are still 4 to 5 more things that I am planning to try if time permits.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful that I am seeing even some results and for everyone who has supported me one way or another. It is just that the uncertainty over the future means the job stability mentality and the hamster wheel is calling out to me. Friends around me, relatives and my parents are also encouraging me to get a job and do the doodles on a part time basis. And indeed I am toying with that idea. But it is actually rather tough trying to make it while doing it full time. How many years will it take if I am doing it part time in order to reach my goal?

I am still trying to figure things out but in the meantime, I will be FIGHTING!!!

Thank you for braving through my rants.


24 Responses to “11 Fun Facts about Rusty Doodle (Part 5): Sharing is Caring”

  1. Hannah Sterry April 7, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    Keep it up! I’m in a similar boat – I use Zazzle, Cafepress and Redbubble at the moment and have had a few small successes with them so far, but it’s nowhere near enough to live on!

    I think it’s just a case of persisting. We all have little moments of doubt like this, but just believe in yourself and doodle! You can do it! πŸ™‚

    • rusty April 7, 2013 at 1:06 am #

      Thank you Hannah for the encouragement! πŸ™‚

      I use Cafepress too but with no success. Other 2 that I am trying are Spreadshirt and Greeting Card Universe. But I must confess that I didn’t spend even a quarter as much time on them combined compared to Zazzle. I guess I will because I have been hearing that they work too.

      • l1or April 7, 2013 at 2:47 am #

        I’ve also *just* joined GCU – no idea what it will be like yet – still waiting to get approval for my cards – fingers crossed it will be good for both of us! πŸ™‚

      • rusty April 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

        Same here. Hoping to have good news for my cards. I only submitted 6 designs cause I am not sure how is the approval system like.

  2. l1or April 7, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    hey Rusty : )

    First of all, about this statement you made:
    “it is one thing to be passionate about some thing but if I don’t have the necessary skills to make it work…”
    From what I’ve seen of your work, I have no doubt you have the necessary talent and skills to make it work. No doubt at all. Plus you’re just starting out! So whatever skills you have will only grow from here!

    Second of all: it takes a different amount of time for different people to really take off. For some people it takes a couple of months, for some people it can be a year and for some people it can be a couple of years. (I know for me it was a over a year before I started earning properly). It depends on a lot of things – and not just about quality of drawing but also about learning “what sells” and learning certain tricks like the quickcreate function in Zazzle. If you have the luxury to continue pursuing illustration / cartoon work full-time even during the tough times before you’re making proper money yet, then go for it – but if it’s important to you to earn something in the meantime, perhaps a compromise would be a part-time job and being a part-time illustrator so that you are making some income from another source whilst also having enough time for illustration?

    The main take-home message I would say is: I think you can do it Rusty πŸ™‚ if you are patient with yourself and continue learning and making things you love making – I truly believe it’s only a matter of time before you will be able to earn a full living from it.

    • rusty April 7, 2013 at 1:26 am #

      Thank you l1or for always taking the time to help me along and for the words that make me feel much better!

      I do have a safety net to try this out full time for 1 year. Most people around me see that as an opportunity cost for not doing something else but I really do love what I am doing now though. It is like I am fulfilling my dreams and my bucket list.

      Indeed, there is much to learn besides just drawing, Like what you say, I am also trying to find a middle ground to match what people like commercially and what I like to draw. Tagging and description is also one of my weaker areas. I mean I have photos of lots of flowers for my new Zazzle store and I have no idea what type of flower they are. Been hunting the internet (aka wasting time) to search for the answers.

      It is so nice to have you all to chat to. πŸ™‚

      • l1or April 7, 2013 at 2:54 am #

        I’m happy if my words can help : )

        (PS From my experience, apart from the obvious ones like “rose/ daisy / sunflower”, most customers dont know the technical names of the flowers either so it doesn’t matter too much if you don’t tag a flower’s picture with its proper name – unless it’s fun for you to track the names!)

      • rusty April 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

        I must confess, I thought one of my photos is a daisy, until I check it out on the internet and realise it is not. I keep a look out for the technical names because I find it hard to tag flowers. I want to ensure that I have the maximum 10 tags.

  3. imconfident April 7, 2013 at 1:45 am #

    If you are following your dream, don’t give up, especially if you are making progress. It takes a lot of time and effort to reach your dreams and you will experience a lot of setbacks and disappointments along the way.

    However, it is also important to be doing something that is bringing in an income unless you are wealthy, which certainly doesn’t include most of us. You have to decide what situation your finances are in. I’ve been working on my self-esteem project for a few years now and even through I see progress, I haven’t seen much of an income, so I have to work part time. It is difficult to do both, but it is possible if you are really dedicated.

    • rusty April 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

      Thank you Brenda!

      I am not wealthy but I did save up during my hamster wheel days. I am also very fortunate to be without any debts that I need to finance currently. But definitely having a part time job may help to make things less stressful.

  4. warmginger April 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    I loved this cartoon – you have the talent to make it, but it does take time. The reality of needing to earn an income may mean planning your dreams differently. You don’t have to ditch them, but the reality is that we often to need to figure out how to fit them around work that actually pays.
    Have you approached good old fashioned media – local newspapers, national magazines etc with some cartoon ideas? Look at what’s in their pages and develop a few ideas that might appeal to the readers. Use your family and people around you for some ideas if it’s a demographic you don;t really identify with. Editors usually like a cartoon somewhere in their publication – why shouldn’t it be yours?
    The part-time idea is a great one, but try and move into a field where you’ll still be learning and inspired (even if it’s not illustration – no-one’s completely two-dimensional are they). You could allocate an hour a day at the moment to teaching yourself skills that you could use in a job that you would like, IF you have to work. Avoid a dead-end job just to give you cash to pursue your dreams – they really do sap the life out of you.

    • rusty April 7, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

      Thank you warmginger for the encouraging words!

      Yes, another part I am stuck at is which route to take. There are so many of them available till I am not sure which one to pursue is the best for me and how much time I should allocate to it.

      Coincidently, my friends have also suggested the local media for my cartoons and it is definitely one area that I have jotted down in my sketchbook and hope to work on. Those mediums in English are highly competitive. Whereas my punchlines in Mandarin are weak and I don’t know if I should develop totally new characters for it. My procrastination nature is kicking in again!

      • warmginger April 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

        Forget about the competition, just focus on doing your thing and doing it well. If I thought abuot every brilliant piece of journalism or copywriting (or blogging come to think of it!) I wouldn’t write a word anywhere except my journal.
        Could you team up with someone who can do your punchlines in Mandarin? I work with a super creative animation company – they do the amazing graphics and pictures, but they need me to help with the words.

      • rusty April 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

        That is so true! Wonderful suggestions! Will work on it!

  5. BeWithUs April 8, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Believe in yourself and just keep fighting!! Hoosh! Cheers~ πŸ˜€

    • rusty April 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

      Thank you! Will definitely continue fighting as long as I can!

      • BeWithUs April 11, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

        You’re welcome! Cheers~ πŸ˜€

  6. Irene @ In A Different Place April 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    They said it all, Rusty. I am yet about to try zazzle. I wish the best for both of us!

    • rusty April 10, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

      All the best to you too!

  7. Iron Cheftress April 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Oh yeah and of course be persistent πŸ™‚

  8. Mr Oh April 25, 2013 at 6:29 am #

    Hey Rusty. Just read all these comments and your post. It can be challenging feeling like you are not progressing, but the fact is, you are. Every day. The sheer fact that you have chosen to dedicate yourself to this brings enormous momentum, incremental shifts towards your goals. If you search for well-known cartoonists and their early years, I bet there are loads who suffered initial knock backs. Persistence, resilience, re-shaping your plan are all key. So long as the passion and will is there, things will happen. Have you tried talking to or finding a mentor you admire? I spent two years in London trying to forge a career as a cartoonist whilst being a chef. It didn’t work out then I spent years in marketing, deep down knowing that my passion lay in cartooning. Now, at the age of 42, I’m back and dreaming of making it happen again. Just keep going! With or without a part-time job, whatever keeps you sane.

    • rusty April 26, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

      Thank you Mr Oh for sharing your story and the encouragement! Indeed, I was looking back at the things that I draw about 8 months ago and the things that I draw now and there is progress. I suppose it is a matter of framing what is success.

      Like the last sentence “whatever keeps you sane”. It sounds like a line for a comic strip! Hehe.

  9. ioanna aggelidaki April 27, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    I definitely don’t think that you don’t have the necessary talent and skills to make it work. You do! And following your passion, making it your everyday life is amazing and it’s a job for the bold ones. Keep it up, i am sure you are going to have it running smoothly by August! πŸ˜‰

    • rusty April 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      Thank you for the well wishes! I hope so too! ^^

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: