Friday, October 21, 2011

Art Books

I'm at Eliott Bay Books browsing the art books. There are a lot of boring books about art. This amazes me. When I open these books on every page extraordinary images stare out at me. They are full of authentically new images that no one ever though of putting into art before. I can't think of anything else more exciting. But the text is universally boring, obtuse, and meaningless. How can you write about something so interesting in such a sterile way? I think the only interesting book I've read about art in ages is Matthew's Collings' Blimey. Anyone know of any other good ones?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Too Big to Fail


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Microsoft Art Collection - Melissa Manful

One of the benefits of doing contracting work at Microsoft is that I get to travel around to a lot of different Microsoft buildings and see the artwork there. Today I ran into this gorgeous piece by Melissa Manful. It's a reminder to me that there are an awful lot of artists out there making interesting art.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011


O voyagers, O seamen,
You who came to port, and you whose bodies
Will suffer the trial and judgement of the sea,
Or whatever event, this is your real destination.'
So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna
On the field of battle.
         Not fare well,
But fare forward, voyagers.

--T S Eliot, The Dry Salvages

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Friday, October 14, 2011


I don't really have anything to say about this one. I think I was renovating our bathroom when I drew it.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Wonder

Maybe the people of this city scryed the annals of time and space and saw this wonder dimly in their orb. Or maybe this town is home to the famed Vacuum Cleaner's Guild, which has made it famous and rich. Possibly they are great believers in the greatness of ordinary tech. Or else their art is going through a richly ironic phase and this is what their choose to celebrate. Maybe they just like vacuum cleaners. Maybe it's just a joke.

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Fine Art Pricing

I'm trying to figure this out (fine art pricing), and near as I can tell it's pretty messed up. How do you figure out how to price your art? There's a lot of of contradictory and self-serving advice out there.

Some sources say you should just charge as much as you possibly can or even more than that. This is the same advice I got when I started as a consultant and again when I started selling games. It presumes a profound disrespect for the people buying your wares and it's also just plain bad business advice.

Other sources say that there are some very strict Rules that One Must Follow. They say that you start by pricing your art very low, then gradually raise the price over time and never, ever, ever lower it. Art is a long struggle, the story goes, and the rewards come only with time and must be earned, which sounds reasonable enough. The problem with The Rules is that they were created to support the industry of art is an investment, to be bought principally by people with money and to gain value over time, which isn't how I want my art to be bought at all.

And there's a whole camp that says selling art is the province of dealers and galleries and that the artist shouldn't deign to sully himself by getting involved in it. Which has the effect of taking the artist out of the loop and giving dealers exclusive control of the pricing and evaluation of art, which surely isn't to the benefit of the artist or the people the art was meant for.

All of this strikes me as extremely bunk. It grates my indie instincts to the core!

So here's what I propose to do. I'm going to start selling some art on a pricing scheme that makes sense to me and see how it goes.

I'm now selling original microdungeons for $25.00. I will keep this price as long as I can. Maybe forever. The goal is to sell original artworks at a price that is affordable, but still reasonable to me. Matted or framed individuals will cost a little more. Many originals won't be available until after my big microdungeon show in January.

Prints of individual microdungeons, including everything on this blog, will be $5, but just for now until I figure out how much trouble it's going to be to print and ship them and how many people want them. Maybe the price will go up a bit. These will be acid-free individually-printed by the artist archival prints that you can frame and keep for hundreds of years. I'm aiming for something a little high-end here because if you just want something quick and cheap, you can always just print the Web-ready images from this blog; I don't mind in the least.

Special projects, large originals, limited runs, and other such miscellany I will sell for whatever price I please, probably a high one, because if I can make a little money that way, I can spend more time making pictures.

PayPal buttons, storefronts, shipping rates, and that sort of thing will be forthcoming as I figure it all out, but if you're interested and want to jump in right away, email me at

How's that sound?

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jumping Jehosephat!

I never intended to print additional copies of The Purple Worm Graveyard. I mean, how many copies of a 12-page, half-pint D&D module can you really expect to sell? Apparently all of them! So a second printing is now in the works!

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Friday, October 7, 2011


Maybe not the most auspicious way to get back to the blog, but it is where many of my best ideas come from. There's room for one hell of an Otyugh in there!

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Moving On

So what was I whining about in that last post? I can hardly remember now, because this!

When you experience a setback, immediately go do something rash and irrevocable, I say.

It's got three shades of black toner! That's just crazy!

Also, the cat likes it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Something I'm learning about art: you get your heart broken sometimes.

My Capitol Hill art show for October has been cancelled--or at least postponed until January--because someone in the organization made some promises and then didn't keep them. After a couple of months of getting up at 6am to draw and then staying up an extra hour at night to matte pictures, you can guess I'm pretty pissed off about it.* Someone else was also scheduled for October, also signed a contract, and moreover they showed up first.

This isn't the fault of the fine folks at Cupcake Royale. The person who scheduled the show doesn't even work there any more). It's not the fault of other artist, who makes pretty cool looking mythic figures painted on big sheets of what appears to be plywood.

So 101 microdungeons have been packed away and three large professionally-framed pictures are going to hang on my living room wall for a while longer. Come January we'll do it all again, but this time with booze , homebrew, music, and dancing girls, and it will all kick even more ass, I swear.

Also, I'm waking this blog up again so I can show you some of the dungeons I've drawn in the last few months while I've been focusing on art shows and stuff.

* Actually the second time this happened with the same organizer. Fool me twice.