Friday, February 28, 2014

March 2014 Desktop Wallpaper for Download: Sakura

sakura March 2014 Desktop Wallpaper for Download
With calendar:
320×480768×10241024×7681280×8001280×10241440×9001920×10802560×1440
Without calendar: 
320×480768×10241024×7681280×8001280×10241440×9001920×10802560×1440

Sakura will start blooming in Tokyo from late March onwards!
You can check the progress here: http://www.jnto.go.jp/sakura/eng/index.php

Meanwhile, if you like my sakura wallpaper, you can consider buying the print at my website:
http://www.eva.sg/EN/shop.html
So I have income while working on my book and other webcomics m(_ _)m

More March wallpapers from Smashing magazine here: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/02/28/desktop-wallpaper-calendars-march-2014/

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fan culture of supporting artists

Accurate as of yesterday, people usually prefer to buy things that are cheap and practical here.
Of course, I hope my comic can be proved wrong.

Buy prints: http://www.eva.sg/EN/shop.html
Donate paypal (SGD): kraystone@yahoo.com
POSB savings: 042-26859-3

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Bee grade adventure as a full time artist


Well there is always up and down in life so I thought I will just blog about my current down in life:
Cash-flow problem.

I am pretty sure I will laugh at myself when I become successful and looking back at how crappy I had managed my small business so I am going to document about this experience for future book material and reference for other people in the same situation. And yes, I had to sell my old art materials to generate some income and quit buying things that I don't need, which I suppose it's good (optimistically speaking).

The first ridiculous incident. A government school contacted me to ask if they could print my comics into A1 size to decorate their training rooms. The only problem: there will be no payment. Instead, just a credit to my website, claiming that it will help to advertise my work to more people. Sorry, I don't work for free unless it is for a good cause, and supplying you with free designs so you can earn more money from training adults is a commercialised activity. It is unethical for a school to even think about exploiting your own people. No wonder parents frown when their kids say they want to do art and design.

The second funny phenomena. Over the past one week after announcing that I am available for hire, I had had Ad and PR agencies emailing me to ask about my rates. But all decided to ignore my quotes after knowing how much I charge. Why? Because there are other artists who can do it at a cheaper rate. For example, how much do I charge to draw a comic strip about a bee shopping in a mall!? Hello, I am pretty sure many artists and amateurs out there can draw a decent bee (assuming their bee doesn't have long limbs with fingers) so I quoted how much time I have to spend on your client's bee and making sure that the comic strip will be funny enough so people will bother to share it. So I quoted: 
A) $350 (approx. US$276)
  • 1 Comic strip with 4 panels
  • 5 expressions of bee mascot (body doesn't change, just the face) 
  • redesign fee
I even said that I am open to negotiations. But dang it, no reply. Nevermind, because I am sure that there are very few people out there with my kind of humour, skill and social media marketing know-how to make a viral "B" grade comic strip. But anyway, here's your bee:
So Ad and PR agencies, before you contact me, please make sure you have enough budget and let me know the amount of details you want (e.g. the more characters appearing, the more work; the more complicated the setting, the more work). And yes, if I think your story is not interesting enough, I will suggest to you how to change it. Otherwise, you can pay an intern $600/month to churn out more B art. I am different from them because people now recognises my characters and my style, and I have a fan base. This is something that I had been working on for almost my entire life, so I will charge you the professional rate (and my rates are said to be very cheap by other artists). Not to forget my equipment: Macbook Pro + Cintiq 13HD already cost a whopping $5,000.

This is an example of how comic strips can be used to advertise business:


Comics are great because they can simplify complicated ideas and convey them in an entertaining fun way. Businesses in Japan and Taiwan had been using comic characters to advertise their products and services for many years now but it is still a novel idea in Singapore and people are still not willing to pay much for it.

The advantages of using my already established characters are 1) Fans are already familiar with them and can connect more readily 2) You don't have to pay for a mascot design.


So my client's FB page gained 91 more page likes within 24 hours of me sharing her post on my page. It was seen by 20,376 people, clicked on 7,381 times and 78 clicks to visit the website, which is very important because you want people to not only like your page, but also visit your website to shop there. The story on her page generated 77 likes and 18 shares, versus an average of about 2-5 likes and 0 shares per story on a regular basis.

Of course, she could have paid Facebook $32 or so to get that 41-100 new likes. But it would not be as engaging and interesting like a comic strip would. People now not only know about their mascot (brand) and services, but also understand their unique selling point: 1) You don't have to leave your house because everything can be completed online and 2) They can help you source for out of production collectibles. 

Finally, I DO NOT DESIGN LOGO *unless it is a fictional element in the comic. Designing logo is not easy, I can recommend you to my friends who do them professionally. Don't ask me to do your logo because I won't be giving you a cheap price neither. Alternatively you can pay $5 from fiverr for a cheap quality that is exactly NOT what you wanted.

And for haters out there who think artists are cheap, I curse you with ugly surroundings for the rest of your life, because you don't deserve anything beautiful.

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But for my fans and supporters, please help out by buying a print or postcard set from me:
Your purchase will help me tide over this difficult time while I work on my first book and continue to convince businesses to work with me so I can survive and bring you more entertaining comics. Thank you! :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Izumo Taisha Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
Continuing my previous post about sunflowers, our tour brought us to this shinto shrine called "Izumo Taisha". This one is a subsidiary branch in Ibaraki prefecture and the main branch is at Shimane Prefecture. Hence, they call it Izumo Taisha Hitachi branch...(出雲大社常陸教会)...urgh…long name.

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