How do you break into comics? Post your comics on the web. Poof! You’re in comics. How to make any money in comics? That’s the big question.
–Evan Dorkin, in a Twitter post.
Evan Dorkin is a comic book artist who is probably best known as the creator of Milk and Cheese and, more recently, as the writer of Beasts of Burden. If you know nothing about comic books beyond what arrives in the movie theaters, you more than likely haven’t heard of him. Nevertheless, I think that Dorkin’s Big Question is one that every creator in just about any artistic medium in this Internet age needs to start asking and coming up with better answers for.
How do you break into publishing? Write some books and upload them to Amazon or iTunes. Poof! You’re in publishing. How to make any money in publishing? That’s the big question.
How do you become an artist? Make some art and sell it online. Poof! You’re an artist. How to make money as an artist? There’s that big question again.
How do you break into film? Shoot a movie and put it online. Poof! You’re in film. How do you break into music? Record some songs and put them online. Poof! You’re a musician.
How to make money at it? That’s Dorkin’s Big Question.
I spent this past weekend down in Alabama for my third go-round at the Doo-Nanny. I made twelve bucks selling bottles of water and soda and somebody tipped me a buck when I gave him one of my ten thousand flowers. I didn’t sell a single piece, not even one of my wishing stars which I usually sell at least one of at these sorts of things.
The Monday after my return, I hung my art up on the walls, propped up what I couldn’t hang and decided to just leave them there. And it felt so good to do it I should really quit things more often. Not that I’m quitting the word art, exactly–I still have some ideas I’d like to try out and there’s one recent piece I’m quite proud of that I’ll be posting about Real Soon Now–but I’m giving up on any hope I ever had of taking this up as a day job.
And I’m finer than fine with that, and I’ll tell you why. Because even if this art thing had taken off as a day job, it would only have been to sustain my writing habit. So maybe I should just cut out the middleman and turn the writing habit into some kind of day job and then I’ll have this word art and flower-scribbling hobby to refresh myself when I need a break from doing that.
Now, how to make money writing? Well, that’s Dorkin’s Big Question again, isn’t it?