June 30, 2007

Whip Cracking

I can's stress this enough, when you get the Big Mailer start drawing in it THAT DAY and mail it as soon as you're DONE. With 100 artists waiting in line, keep in mind that if everyone took only took a day to turn it around and mailing it took two days, that's a year. If everyone waited an extra day, that's 1/3 of a year you're adding to the length of the project. If everyone waits three days, you've added a year.

As it is now, 3 people other than me have had it and it's taken them over two months. If everyone took a month, that's 9 years.

I don't want to wait that long.

I know life sometimes gets in the way and you're unable to always do things at the drop of a hat, but I'm going to start being a hardass about the Big Mailer because the idea is to get money to the chosen funds and the sooner we do it the better. The sooner we do it, the sooner we can start another one.

So, from this moment forward, once you get the Big Mailer, you have a week to draw it and get it back in the mail. I'm really serious about this. Even at that schedule we're looking at two years. Once you get the book, email me and if I don't hear back from you within 7 days that you're done and you need the next person's address, I'll be contacting you and asking you to send it on. You'll be added to the end of the list and given a second chance but the book needs to keep moving.

I'm really sorry about having to be a jerk about it, but the first few stops along the way haven't inspired any confidence.

Carry on.

June 26, 2007

Grants and Plans

I was listening to NPR today (actually the story was local on KUT) and I heard a story about the Texas Art Commission and how Austin had been given the bulk of the available grant money for artistic endeavors. I'm sure most of this would go toward galleries, museums and other larger non-profits, but they said that because of the growing community, 98% of grant applications were accepted.

Now, what this would mean is that the 100 Artists Project would have to officially become a non-profit organization and have to file with the state and probably the federal government. I have no idea how that works, but my guess is in order to receive a grant, you need to be an official non-profit.

This would be a great boon for the project if I can swing it. Even a $5000 grant would cover everything the project would need for years to come. It would mean top shelf binding for the Single Mailer, it would cover fees for listing on eBay, it would cover equipment needed to maintain the gallery, and more importantly it would cover professional on demand publishing with a ISBN listing, a service provided by Amazon.com's BookSurge. What that would mean for the artists is more exposure. What that would mean for the foundations is more money from the sale of the books.

It's an exciting prospect, but it comes with a cavaet; I'm no good with money. My personal finances are worse than a kid in college with credit cards and loans. I'm apparently good at organizing the events, getting people together, making things happen, but if it were to come to filing paperwork, keeping financial and administrative records, I think I'd be lost. I may be selling myself short - I'd have to see what all is entailed - but I'm going to be humble here and ask for help.

I know someone who might have some non-profit info, so I'll ask them about it, but if you have charitable organization experience and would like to help me on this, I'd be glad to meet with you and talk it over. I wish the project were moving faster and we were able to help the funds we've selected quicker, but it's in its infancy and I'll have to make sure to plan carefully.

That's all. Carry on.

June 25, 2007

Halfway Point

Recent events notwithstanding, I'm proud to announce we've reached the big Five Oh in received artwork. The gallery only has 48 and I think I'll leave it at that. I had two more that weren't scanned, so from 48 on you'll have to buy a copy when it's available to see the rest of the work. I can only assume the rest will be as spectacular.

Technically we're at 52 with the one lost piece and the piece I've done but haven't included.

This is a good thing, thanks to everyone who's participated so far.


As much as this is probably not a good thing to post, I have to extend my sincere apologies to Bob Dahlstrom of the now defunct Think Tank. I had received his artwork about 10 days ago, and he was nice enough to include a small book, the last Think Tank. I met Bob two years ago at the Wizard World Chicago convention and he was a super friendly guy. He hung out at our table and we exchanged drawings and talked meaningless stuff, like you do.

Which makes this even harder, but I've lost his piece. I had a habit of opening them, writing their names on a label and putting the work into a portfolio binder for this exact reason. I have his name written, and I sent an email, but because he sent a book that I wanted to read, I left it out. In the shuffle of day-to-day mail, my wife's myriad photo businesses, commission art back and forth, and this project, I know it just got lost amidst a bunch of empty envelopes.

Just so everyone knows, if he decides to send a scan of his piece, I'll be including that in the single mailer complete book. I owe him at least that much; to be included without having to redo something. But I left it up to him, if he wants to redraw it, great.

I hope this doesn't mark the project unfavorably, but I thought I should come clean about it.

Carry on.

UPDATE: Bob resent a piece of work and it immediately went into the binder. I'm really glad he was cool about it and was able to send in something to replace the one that was lost.

June 24, 2007

Gallery Up

Ok, a gallery of sorts is up. I found an applet that would pull them all from Flickr. I couldn't make them private on Flickr or the app wouldn't work. But, in the end this saves me download costs. However, if you don't like that idea, please let me know and I'll take your image out of the gallery loop.

The images are small until I can figure out the code to change. Clicking on them takes you to a moderately larger size.


Let me know what you think.


So I'm in the process of scanning what work has come in to prepare for a gallery on the site. Hopefully it will show the level of talent we've collected and encourage others to send in work.

I'll more than likely be uploading small jpgs to Flickr into a private group and then using Flicrkshow as the gallery script. It's easier than having me write one myself or ask someone to write one. Hopefully it can work with private photos off Flickr, and if not I'll make sure to keep them smallish so no one can just print them off. I'll only be using the first 50 images on the gallery, save at least SOMETHING for people who might want to buy it later.

Plus, I don't want to scan 100 images on my crappy scanner (still haven't been able to get a larger bed scanner) and I've had to do some corrections to account for the bad fade I get on one side or the other.

Some cool news, Ian Shires over at Dimestore Productions - home of Small Press Idol - has said he'd like to run a full article on the project in Self Publish! Magazine. So if you're a subscriber to that, look for it soon.

We're holding just below 50 images with a lot of promises that they're in the mail or almost finished. Let's keep it going folks!

Carry on.

June 18, 2007

Mystery Artist

We've received a few new submission requests to the project, so the good news is the idea is out there and people are stopping by and appreciating the project for what it is and signing up. More good news is I've received more Single Mailers and we're up to 47.

On the down side, I got a form submission today that was blank. If you're reading this, please let me know who you are. Also, despite the fact that we're almost half way done with the first part, the momentum has slowed and I'm not sure when we'll get to 100. I was originally hoping to have them all by now, but it's not looking like we'll get done by the end of the summer.

Add to that the Big Mailer is stuck in Houston and I can't seem to get it moving any faster. (If you guys are reading this, check your emails please.)

So, it's not going to be the big flash some of us were hoping for, but another long project on which half the people don't follow through. Just like every thing else.

Chin up, let's keep those pencils moving, right?

June 14, 2007


This might be something that needs adding to the main site, but I thought I'd do a quick summary here of the questions that have come across.

Q. What size paper can I draw on? What type?
A. Type doesn't matter as much as size since these are going to be bound into a single book. The size MUST be 9x12. If you can see your way to leaving a little room on the left for binding, all the better. If it's bigger than 9x12 I might have to trim it.

Q. Can I do a drawing on both sides?
A. I can't stop you from drawing on both sides of the paper. However, if the art received is wildly different sizes and I have to mount all the art onto blank sheets, whatever you draw on the back will be lost.

Q. Can I include my web address or email on the drawing?
A. Yes. I'll be making a credits sheet to go in the back with the names, emails and web portfolios (if available) for all the artists. But you're more than welcome to sign it thusly.

Q. I only work digitally, can I email you a file?
A. Unfortunately, no. I feel bad about turning away artists, but the first two projects are geared toward analog art. There may be another project down the road that allows digital work that can be published online, but not this first push.

Q. Do you cover shipping?
A. Short answer, no. Long answer, if you have the Big Mailer and have absolutely no way of sending it, ie you're a 12 year old orphan with no income and no post office within 100 miles, I might be able to help with FedEx. However, the size of the project means I can't cover everyone's shipping, it'd run me into the several hundreds which I don't have.

Q. Can I only do the Big Mailer?
A. Not at this point, no. Think of the Single Mailer as the prerequisite for the Big Mailer. It's a way for me to gauge reliability and commitment. Later we'll have projects split up and you can take your pick.

Q. Can I draw nekkid wemins?
A. Yes. Nudity is fine as long as it's not explicitly sexual in context. Same goes for gore and violence. Keep in mind, I can't control who the book is eventually sold to. Let's keep it somewhere between PG-13 and R.

Q. I've done two pieces, but I can't decide which one to send. Can I send both?
A. By all means, send whatever you'd like. I may not use both in the book, but I'll keep everything I get on file and use whatever is left over for later projects.

Q. I've changed my mind about being involved, can you send my work back to me?
A. Absolutely. It's a volunteer based project and you free to back out at any time up until the books are finished.

Q. Can I have my friends draw something too?
A. You bet! The more the merrier. They'll have to sign up at the website and get their Single Mailer in just like you would. The more people you tell, the bigger the project gets and the more money we can raise.

Q. I'm not a comic book artist, can I still participate?
A. You bet! This started as a project on a comic book forum, but it's by no means a comic book project. Draw whatever you like.

Q. Can I paint something?
A. Yes.

Q. I'd like to scan it anyway for myself. Would you like it if I sent you that scan?
A. Aboslutely! The way I'll be scanning is at 300dpi and saved as a TIF file with LZW compression. From what I've been told, that's the best lossless format for printing (which we'll be doing later.) Those files tend to be very big, probably around 25-30mgs, so if you're going to do that, I'd suggest using a big file sharing tool like Send This File or Mail Big Files. They're free and you can then send me the info on how to download them.

Q. Are you going to have a gallery of the artwork?
A. Not to start, but eventually yes. After the initial book sells at auction and there's a digital copy available online, I'll also have it online at Flickr more than likely. But, those files will be smaller and only web quality. Hopefully it won't stop them from buying the book.

Q. Are you making any money off this?
A. I wish. I have a donate button for the project to help cover costs, but that's only to make sure the project moves forward. 100% of everything recouped from auctions or sales of the book online will go to the foundations.

Q. Are you going to pick different funds for later projects?
A. Maybe, that's a ways down the road though. The Big Mailer is going to take years to complete and we might only get a couple Single Mailers done in that time as well. For now, the CBLDF and the Hero Initiative seem the likely candidates, but I'm willing to take suggestions.

If you have questions, please email me.

June 13, 2007

Update and Request

Greetings all!

I hope everyone is diligently working on their submissions. We're up to 45 now and I want to make sure we get to 100 soon while the project still has a little momentum. If you've talked it up at your online hang outs, give those threads a bump. I suspect a good number of the original 100 people to sign up have either forgot about it, had a life changing event prohibit them from participating or have considered it not worth their time. Whatever the reason, I've got roughly 130 names on the list and 45 pieces of art after three months. Not bad, but not done yet.

Also, on a humbling note, I've add a Paypal button to the blog. There's one on the main site as well in "Shop" but it's set to "donate" and I believe Paypal now has a restriction on who can receive donations. Either way, it's there.

The project will need some funding to keep it going, I hate to ask this of people, but it's true. The main thing needed is a scanner, or the cost to scan 100 pieces of art at 300dpi. I had planned on buying a Mustek A3 as they are pretty reliable and the only 11x17 scanner available. The scanner I have now is not the best for artwork and is not large enough to handle the size we're working with. It's close, and can be used in a pinch, but I'd rather not skimp when it comes to assembling all the artwork digitally.

Donations will also go toward site hosting, book binding, auction fees, printing costs and store front fees. The scanner is the most important and immediate need, but the other costs will show up as the projects complete. Binding may be the biggest cost as the odd sizes of the art so far received is going to present problems when creating a single book.

That's the deal and I apologize for asking this of the artists and viewers. It's not mandatory to participation in the project, it's just there if you're feeling like you'd like to help out.

Thank you, carry on.

June 08, 2007

Site Update

Greetings all. I hope you're taking the time to bookmark the blog or add it to your feed reader. I know the updates are thin and few, as the project moves along there will be more to add.

For instance, I've just added a Single Mailer counter to the main page and updated the Big Mailer map. I'm looking for automated ways to do this so if anyone is good with web coding or know someone who is, please drop me a line.

We're up to 43 single pieces, enough to fill up a large portfolio book. The differing sizes and paper may still present a binding problem, but I'm confident we'll find a solution for it.

If you're reading this and you've already sent in your work or if you're new to the project, I'd like to hear about some things. This is my first stab at running something this large and I've little experience with it. I don't want to over communicate but I find myself updating the main page of the site, this blog and sending emails. If anyone has done something like this before and has some good organizational tips (user databases, newsletters, etc) please contact me.

Also, if you'd like to have your portfolio or page added to our links just let me know.

Thanks, have a greet weekend!

June 02, 2007

New Format

With the unofficial Single Mailer deadline past, we're currently holding at 33 pieces received, so a third of the way there.

As mentioned on the site and in the Penciljack thread, the Big Mailer is going to be put on hold until 100 Single Mailer pieces are received. It's a way to gauge reliability in the project. You're more likely to want to be involved if you've already sent something in.

With that in mind, if you've signed up but haven't sent something in, you will not be receiving the Big Mailer, so get that Single Mailer in. However, since the Big Mailer has already been sent, it will be held until such time as the 100 artists have sent their work in.

That's all the news for now, carry on.