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I am MOVING! What does this mean for YOU?

Ok guys, I know I haven't posted any blog posts here for a very long while. BUT!!! I have some big news I need to drop up on you right off the bat:

I'm Moving to North Carolina!

For those who don't know, I've been living in Michigan with some friends for about two and a half years. Those friends are now moving back to the east coast, and I decided to take this opportunity to experience a different part of the US. I was encouraged by friends in the Raleigh area to give North Carolina a try, so that's where I'll be headed.

The current plan as it stands right now is: find a part-time job to supplement my art income (I am in NC now until the 15th doing just that), head back up to Michigan for 2 months to sort, downsize, and pack up my entire life AGAIN (this will be the 7th time in 6 years), and move everything down to NC in mid-march with the assistance of my friend Kevin, at which point I will look for an apartment, get settled, and begin the next chapter of my existence down south. Exact dates and timelines are currently up-in-the-air, but that's the general game plan as of now if everything goes smoothly (which it rarely does, but one can hope!)

This move will affect a lot of things I do online in various places, which is why I wanted to make one large blog post to keep you guys informed. I will do my best to keep this post updated if anything changes, but if you want up-to-the-minute updates, the thing to do is to follow me is on Twitter.

 

COMMISSIONS

My current commission queue has just 4 or 5 things on it, and these items are my top priority. New work between now and some-unknown-point-after-my-move-when-I-am-settled-and-stable will be accepted on a very limited basis, with specific “get something like This for $X” themes/styles and limited slots available (for example, “Get a 6”x12” cute character drawing like THIS for $200” or “3in by 4in portrait badges for $40!”, etc) with priority given to Patreon subscribers (more on this later).

I may be able to take work outside of these spots, but ONLY if I feel confident that I can complete them in a reasonable amount of time. If you want something outside any specialty commission spots I make available, it may be a good idea to wait until after my move is over and I've settled into North Carolina.

 

TWITCH

Very soon I will start streaming 3 days a week on Twitch. The current schedule I have in mind is Monday-Wednesday-Saturday, from 2pm to 7pm EST (7pm to 12am GMT). Monday and wednesday streams will continue along the “Art'n'Chill” theme I've been doing so far, where I'll be working on either commissions or my own stuff, whatever I'm feeling at the time. Saturdays will be “Sub Appreciation Saturday” Streams (still trying to figure out an appropriate Y word so I can have a reason to use SASSY as the acronym) where I will do random custom art give-aways for any active Twitch subs who enters.

This schedule will likely last up until I have to take a break for my move. I can't say when they will resume, or if I will be able to keep the same streaming schedule once I'm settled; this will depend greatly upon what part-time job I get and what schedule they put me on. Whatever that new post-move schedule happens to be, I'll make sure is kept up to date on my Twitch page.  Following me there is also a good idea if you want to know when I go live (Following is free!) 

Beyond Twitch subscriptions, you can also donate or “cheer” with bits (which is just another form of tipping) during streams, all of which will be going to help fund my move and all related expenses. If you happen to catch me live any day while I am streaming and feel so inclined to show your support, it would be very much appreciated!

(OH and I should mention, even if you can't catch me live, past streams are recorded and archived for 30 days, so you can still watch them.  So even if stream times aren't ideal for you & your timezone-of-residence, you don't have to miss out on any of the recorded video. Yay!)

 

PATREON

Due to a variety of factors – from my loss of trust with the service over their New-Fee-Rollout mess, to my growing distaste for monthly-paywalls (especially with sites specifically designed to circumvent these walls & steal this content), to sites like Twitch and Gumroad seeming to deliver the content and bonuses I distributed through Patreon in an easier, more streamlined fashion (like, for example, changing my Patreon/YouTube request streams to be all-inclusive on Twitch via SASS), to the inability to predict how much time I will have coming up to catch up on and continue with Patreon-exclusive rewards, among other things – I am moving Patreon onto a one-tier-fits-all monthly tip jar system.

You will still get a little something as Thank You for your support – Commission spot priority and discounts, free downloads of any Gumroad shop items, and some previews/WIP of up and coming projects, to name a few – but these will be available to ALL Patrons, regardless of the amount given. How much you choose to contribute will be 100% voluntary and not tied to how much you can afford.

I will be doing one last large Thank You dump near the end of January for ALL Patrons to express my gratitude for the months/years of support, and then will move to this new system. Edit your pledges however you see fit; I still <3 you guys and appreciate every $ you chose to give, for as long as you may choose to give it.

 

SHOPS & MERCH

I will be closing down the store here at lizzie-bean.com at the end of January so I am not having to deal with inventory and shipping in the middle of packing for a cross-country move. I would strongly advise anyone who is thinking about purchasing something from the store to do so before then, as I don't know exactly when I will reopen it.

My stores at Redbubble and Gumroad will remain open, and might possibly have new items available for purchase soon (this, as with everything else, will depend on how much I can get done in the next couple months). As moving is expensive, now would be an excellent time to snag that little something you might have been eyeing for a while!

 

EVERYTHING ELSE

I will continue to post art – both finished and sketchbook doodles – on my Instagram, time allowing. This also happens to be my primary art-posting place, so make sure you're following me there if you're not already!

Twitter will continue to be the place to watch for the most up-to-date information, updates, and changes if/when my carefully laid plans explode into a hurricane of chaos. If you're reading this blog post, chances are you're already following me on Twitter, but just in case you're not, hey, I would highly recommend it.

Last but not least, if you want to help make this up and coming move less of a financial burden and want to tip in a thematically-appropriate way, I have a Ko-Fi page where you can tip in increments of cups of coffee ($3). This last thing is of course, as with everything involving the voluntary giving of money, 100% optional, but I like to let you guys know that the option exists, if you are feeling so inclined.

 

So... I think that's everything? This is the second time I have had to write this blog post (the first version got eaten by SquareSpace goblins... ::shakes fist:: ) but hopefully everything important is here. If I've missed something, I will post it on Twitter or update this post, OR create an entirely new post if it's something that is super-extra important (but hopefully not because I'd feel like a huge dummy.)

2017 was a huge steaming kiddypool full of turds, and I'm not exactly sad to see it go. 2018 has the potential to be great, IF we can make it great. I've got some things I really want to create for you guys, and more than anything I hope I'm able to make as many of them a reality as I possibly can.

As always, thank you SO MUCH for checking out my work and for your continued support, whether it's financially or just in liking & sharing my work with others. It helps me out tremendously, and it really does mean the world to me. You guys are awesome, and I hope to continue to make awesome things for you.

Here's to a year of hopefully awesome things. Woo!

-Liz

 

PS: for those who need it, HERE'S A MASTER LIST OF LINKS!!

(basically if I have an account somewhere, the username is probably “LizardbethArt”)

 

"The Dreamer" : Broken Plot Device issue 2 OUT NOW!

Issue 2 is out and online right NOW!!  Go read it online and/or download the PDF for FREE.  

 CLICK HERE!

Remember, Broken Plot Device 2.0 is supported 100% through the generous patronage of our Patreon subscribers.  If you enjoy BPD and want to fund this & future comics, please consider signing up for an optional monthly donation of the amount of your choice.  :)

Hugs & high-fives all around!  ^_^

-Lizzy B.

Sleep is a luxury, and Stress stole my wallet.

What am I doing.

The first night, I was so wide awake and stressed out about all of the work I SHOULD have been doing and how PRODUCTIVE I COULD have been doing if I weren't wasting my time lying in bed, I stayed up until 10 in the morning doing thumbnail sketches for commissions and outlining the script for the 3rd issue of BPD (I'm about 1/3 of the way drawing the outlines for issue 2).  I'd hoped that forcing myself awake at 2:30pm (only allowing myself 4 hours of sleep) would make me so excausted that I would crash into bed at a reasonable hour, which for me would be anywhere from 10pm to midnight.  

Yet somehow, I still found myself at 2am, wide awake, and mind racing about what a LAZY GOOD FOR NOTHING ASSHOLE I WAS.  Since it was that weird "I'm wired and yet somehow not able to focus on anything" drunk-ferret type insomnia, the best I could do was read the first 3 chapters of Ursula Vernon's Digger anthology before forcing myself to at least lie the fuck down and pretend to sleep.  The sun had risen before I managed to drift off.

Now, it's night #3.  It's currently 3:23 am as I'm writing this.  I have the "you haven't slept well in days" shakes (because well obviously) and my eyes feel the dry sort of tired.  I also had 2 glasses of wine at around 10:00 and felt pretty sleepy come 11:30, and yet once the head hit the pillow, NOW it's time for the brain to remind me "hey, asshole, you got nothing done today!"

Well, obviously I got nothing done today, jerk.  I haven't slept like a normal person in 3 days.

If I keep digging, maybe I'll find the sleep...

If I keep digging, maybe I'll find the sleep...

....ok, full disclosure: I haven't slept like a normal person in months.  But it's only been full-blown insomnia for 3 days.  Or at least I haven't actually called it insomnia until 3 days ago.

I'm pretty sure it's stress.

When I have a To-Do list that doesn't get done, it makes me feel guilty. Guilt leads to stress.  When I have a To-Do list with multiple things on it that all seem of equal priority to finish, I have a hard time deciding what to do first, because as I actively work on one, I can't shut off the guilt over not doing the other thing.  More stress.  Then as the To-Do list gets longer, the guilt grows, because things aren't getting done as quickly as they should and now I'm dreading all of the angry e-mails demanding where their work is and why it's taking so long.

I think you get the idea.

Here's the thing;  I got into being an artist because it was something I genuinely enjoyed doing.  It's been something I was passionate about since I was a kid. I knew I wanted to be an artist professionally even at the start of High School, and then later went to college to pursue this thing that, had my parents not been the type of people to save for that kind of thing since I was in diapers, I'd be in debt to my eyeballs.  This is a career I have very stubbornly pursued for the majority of my life.

So what is my problem now?  Is it because I'm not where I thought i'd be professionally by now?  Is it the fact that my audience and the demand for commissions has dropped significantly since I initially put BPD on hiatus?  Is it because financially I'm barely scraping by every month because of that lack in demand, and am at a complete and total loss at how to change that?

I started drawing because it was something I enjoy.  But I can't draw for fun anymore because even THAT joy is sucked out by the fact that I SHOULD be doing something else.

The only step I know to take at this point is to not accept ANY more commissions until my To-Do list is 100% empty.  I realize that will not help the "I'm totally broke" stress, but if I can at least not have to worry about a buyer becoming upset that their art is taking too long, or a BPD fan wondering when the heck issue 2 is coming out (which, by the way, will be done before I go to Anthrocon the 2nd weekend in July)... that's something I can control.  My income was never something I could predict, but at least I can try to get control of my workflow.

I'm not asking for charity.  Nor do I expect it.  Honestly, the greatest thing anyone who's reading this who enjoys my work and wants to show their support is to just post so in a comment.   The tip jar in Lizzie-Bean.com side bar is there if you feel inclined to use it, as is my Patreon subscription feed, but don't feel obligated to do either.  Any assistance you feel you want to offer, even if it's just a few kind words, would be appreciated more than you know.

So now it's 3:43am.  I'm currently debating if I want to try to sleep again now, or stay up as late (or early?) as possible and just get a LONG sleep Wednesday afternoon into night, as I have to be out of the house at 7am on Thursday.    Given that worrying about that is just another cherry-on-top of the stress cake, it'll likely be the later.

Anyway, um.... thank you for reading this.   I'm gonna go send out a bunch of e-mails and... I dunno... try to not feel like a lump. 

-Lizzy B.

Monday Art Dump!

You know I haven't posted art in a while when, upon finally doing so, it's 4 months worth of stuff.

Take a gander at everything I've been working on commission-wise (or at least the stuff I've managed to finish).  Of note is the fact that all of the real media stuff, unfortunately, was taken with the camera on my cell phone because I am a horrible person with a lack of forsight and did not think that perhaps packing my scanner under all of my things in the garage was a bad idea.  In my defense, I really did think I'd be in my own apartment by now, but that's another story...

Oh, right! I went to FWA in Atlanta a couple months back! I did even more art for people there!  Here's just a few of them that, once again, were photographed on my phone.

fwa2014_conStuff.jpg

On the topic of conventions, If you're curious, my up-and-coming convention schedule includes Anthrocon in Pittsburgh July 3rd-6th, and FA-United in Whippany, NJ August 15th-17th.  I don't have a set table for the later, so I'll most likely be wandering around and possibly camping out in their Artist Alley for a day or two.  On one hand it'll make me harder to find, but it's a smaller con so there won't be many places for me to find.  But if you're going to Pittsburgh, I'll be at my dealer's den table all weekend!  I'll probably make another post as the con draws nearer...

And yes, I'm still plugging away at the BPD reboot.  I'm hoping to have it done by Anthrocon, but I don't want to make any promises, especially given my volatile living situation.  But keep an eye on this site; you guys will be the first to know.

Until next time, my lovelies!

-Lizzy B.

A Con, a Podcast, and an Album (none of which are mine)

How ya doing, Internet?  

Long time no talkie.  My bad on that, by the way; due to some apartment-hunting nonsense and uncontrollable delays, I've been living out of boxes and suitcases in my mother's office since mid November, which makes most attempts at staying organized end up in failure and sadness.  

In any event, here's a few things I've been doing!

* * * * *

FURRY WEEKEND ATLANTA

This already happened!  A couple weeks ago, in fact.  And it was awesome!  FWA is one of the more casual, "fun" cons I used to go to, and I was very sad to miss it last year (TL:DR version - the Life-altering-stuff-that-wont-be-elaborated-on happened right during dealer's sign-ups for 2013, and I was... well... distracted). Didn't have a ton of new stuff sadly, though it was more of a chance for me to see so many familiar faces - and NEW faces - from year's past, and remind myself that I don't just throw what I do into a void where nobody cares.  YOU care! Or at least, I hope you do... right?

...Right. I was talking about the con.  

Jon also accompanied me for his first furry con in almost 10 years (his prior one, and first one ever, was also MY first one, in Canada.  RIP, CACE!)  Jon is what you may call my new "gentleman companion."  He seemed to enjoy it.  I mean, he was pulling out a small flask to freshen up his coffee periodically throughout the day, but that's fine.  He's 30.  You can do things like that when you're 30, just so long as you don't go and try to drive a car or operate heavy machinery.  Nowhere in those warnings does it mention "conversing with furries".

In any event, the con was a lot of fun, and I got a lot of positive feedback about BPD coming back.*  And as an added bonus, I made just enough to be able to pay off all my taxes for the year so I don't have to be dragged away kicking and screaming by the IRS!  Joy!!

That leads us to the next thing....

* * * * * 

KEVIN & URSULA EAT CHEAP

My dear friends Kevin and Ursula allowed Jon and I to crash with them on the way to and from Atlanta, a welcomed half-way break from what would have otherwise been a 14 hour drive from our starting point in New Jersey.  On the return trip, we were invited/tricked into doing their podcast "Kevin & Ursula Eat Cheap".  I had been on the show once previously, back in November of 2012, and I'm not exactly sure why I did it again other than the fact that I love Ursula and Kevin and I'm a glutton for punishment.  And bad food aparently.  Jon joined us as well, and being he's heavily strict on a Paleo/Primal diet, it was rather interesting.  There was angry ranting about things.  I won't tell you what.  You'll just have to listen.

http://kuec.libsyn.com/episode-147-the-paleo-show

 

* * * * *

MJ NERD OPINION TIME

This last thing isn't a thing that's happening to me. I'm not involved in any way.  But it does involve something - or rather, someone - that I have strong opinions about, so I hope you can excuse me for a bit of ranting.

In case you don't know, I'm a huge Michael Jackson fan.  I'm of a generation that grew up with his music; granted,  I'm young enough that I just barely missed the "Thriller" era, but my first videogame memories are playing "Moonwalker" at a friend's house, and I remember seeing "Captain EO" at Disney World as a young child when it was still relatively new.  I was more of a casual appreciator until the mid-90's "HIStory" album came out, when I became well and truly obsessed, which also happened to be my awkward & formative teen years.

I won't go into a lot of detail, but I'll just say that Michael & his music really helped get through a lot of things and informed a lot about who I am and the values that I hold. He meant more to me than just an entertainer, and when he died it pretty much ripped a giant black hole into my gut that very little else could possibly fill.  (You're allowed to roll your eyes if you want; it won't change anything on my end, but if it'll make you feel better than I'll allow it.)

Anyway, there's a new album of music coming out in May, called "Xscape".  From what I've been reading, they've taken a bunch of tracks (8 I believe) from unfinished songs Michael had recorded finished vocals for over the decades of his life, and given them to various producers to "contemporise" them.  I don't follow many MJ fan boards so my gauge of his fan response is based on the MJ pinners I follow on Pinterest, but most of them are of the mindset of "OMG CAN'T WAIT!!!"

I'm sort of torn.  Part of me really does want to hear new music from Michael, and is curious about these songs, some of which could have been originally recorded in the 80s or later.  But the word "contemporise" scares me, particularly since these producers, some of which I don't think have ever worked with Michael, don't know or share his musical vision.  The final songs will, at best, be parodies of a Michael Jackson song; they'll be what that producer things a MJ song "should" sound like, which could be in a totally wrong direction from where Michael would have wanted it to go.  And given Michael was very picky about the quality of the content he put out, he might not have wanted ANY of this material to get out.  

Yet Sony insists on mining his corpse for as much profit as they can squeeze out, insisting all the while "Michael was always a valued friend to us" (which I could go on a rant for days about how that statement is pretty much bullshit, but I'll spare you).  It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and doesn't fill me with a lot of enthusiasm over paying money for this.

If I could guarantee that 100% of the money I paid for the album went to his 3 kids, I'd do it.  But I can't, so... I don't know.  Like I said, very torn.

* * * * *

So we have a brief con report, a link to a podcast about bad food, and a probably too-long opinion piece about a new Michael Jackson that isn't really a Michael Jackson album.  All in all, a good blog post, I think.  ^_^

I'll be back into doing more regular posts soon.  I missed these talks.  With you.  I hope you'll join me next time.  And I hope that didn't sound as creepy as I think it did.

I'll be going now. ;^_^

-Lizzy B.

 

*YES IT'S COMING BACK!  I had preview pages at the con and everything!  I don't wanna spoil too much here too early so I'll just say LONG FORM FULL COLOR 30 PAGES and let that simmer in your brain pot.  I am excite. OH YES.