6.14.2016

Facebook No More!

It's official. My Facebook page is deleted. Although my account may take up to 14 days to completely vanish, I will no longer post activity on it. The decision to do so wasn't easy. I had to weigh out a lot of pros and cons. Pros being that it was the only way to keep in touch with certain people and friends that I otherwise wouldn't speak to. All the fun movie and comic discussions. Seeing what some of my friends are up to, like watching their kids grow, watching them travel. Some people posted inspirational stuff like cool artwork, cool cars, body transformations, positive lifestyle changes, etc...
The Con list may not be as large. But the few issues on the con list outweigh the good. Too much sharing of tragedy. Too many issues being shared that can truly ruin one's day. Too much political propaganda. Trump this, Trump that.....Hillary this, Hillary that......And the Racism and Sexism.....The list just goes on. I feel like Social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter, is giving a voice to everyone. Including those who'd be better off with their mouths shut. You can really see the evil and darkness come out of people. It's just a world I don't care to see. As a father, it's heartbreaking to see the world my little girl will be growing up in. 
Plus, my time spent on social media, in particular facebook, can be put to better use creating content and art. So if you want to stay up to date with my activities, please visit here frequently as well as my instagram @art.by.tobias. 

Take Care. 

3.30.2016

Full Time Artist: Ep.7 Moving on

Wonder Con has ended.
What was once my most successful and most anticipated show ended up being my biggest failure of this year so far. So one big lesson learned here is; What once was your best show could end up being your worst. And what was once the worst could end up being a gold mine. You also can't take for granted what other people say about certain shows because each show is different for everyone. One thing you CAN take for granted at every event is the networking, you always learn something new. So if you're not selling, go and talk to people and learn as much as you can.
A lot of times I focus too much on how much money I think I will make at an event when the goal should be to enjoy what I do, to have fun with what I do. I am personally guilty of expecting too much sometimes. And my wife constantly reminds me of that. I need to change my mindset in this game. And for anyone who is interested in stepping into this game, that is the one piece of advice I can give you. Do it for the love of it. Do it because creating art is what makes you happy. Stick around long enough and the money will eventually come (and if it doesn't, well, I can say I died trying, lol)
It is hard to figure out what went wrong at Wonder Con. All I know is that it was a huge shot to the ego. But these are the moments that count the most. These are the moments that can make you or break you. These are the moments when you need to stand back up, brush the bullshit that you tell yourself after a failure off and keep moving forward. So, instead of banging my head against the wall dwelling on what could've been or what went wrong I am now focusing on this upcoming weekend. This weekend I will face a completely new crowd and hope to captivate a whole new audience. This weekend is Days of the Dead in Burbank, CA. A Horror Convention with a nationwide following. So it's something to look forward to. And if I don't achieve financial goals, I know that I will at least learn something new about myself and about this new crowd. It is always fun to test new waters.

For the next few months Comic Conventions will pretty much be on ice until September when I go to Portland for Rose City Comic Con. So I have a series of Night Market events to look forward to. This will give me some time to recover from the comics crowd and truly focus on my original content and personal projects.

That's it for today. Enjoy some Alfred knowledge and my latest YouTube video below.




3.23.2016

Full Time Artist: Ep.6 YouTube and Stuff...

This isn't news news, but I'm now officially on YouTube, I'm just a week late on blogging about it. 
Most of the stuff on the Tube will be progress videos of me sketching. I still haven't decided if I want to personally jump on air. Not unless I develop some sort of presentable on camera personality. I may however film some action from Conventions and events. I may also do little voice-overs of me explaining the process of some of my pieces. I will inform you more on YouTube once I have more videos going and I figure out editing and all that stuff some more. But for now you can go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3xFqsNPyDMClb0bkj4AXxQ to enjoy the first couple of videos I've put up. 

In other news, I've decided to take down my Storenvy Store. With the growing rumors of the big companies going after bootlegger and copyright violator and also a story about a guy who's store actually got shut down by WB/DC, I just don't wanna risk the bad rep. Right or Wrong, I will continue to do fan art on the down-low because I enjoy it so much and people want more. But the quantities for prints will be very small runs. Maybe 20 copies per print tops. And I will make an effort to carry more original content than fan art. Plus, I'm finally working on piecing my sketchbook together as well as a comic project on the side with Wannabe Press.
Maybe all this is just a sign of change and evolution. I personally wanna make a living off my own brand anyways.



Ok, I need to get back to prepping for Wonder Con which will take place this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I'll be set up at Table E30 in Artist Alley.
Hope to see you there.
Also, TeePublic is having a SALE for the next couple of days. 60 hours I believe. All Tees are $14 compared to $20. Link is on the sidebar to the right.












3.08.2016

Full Time Artist : Ep.5 Tee Public and Horror Dolls

Welcome back!
Today I want to spread the word of my work on TeePublic found here http://tee.pub/lic/pgBKlcoFKAU.

 For those who don't know what TeePublic is. It's a Graphic T-Shirt print-on-demand site sort of like TeeFury, Threadless and TeeVillain. Except my shirt designs don't stay on there for only 24-48 hour or a week. They stay on there for as long as I'd like to sell them. The cool thing is, for the initial few days the shirts are only $14 plus shipping and then they go up to $20, occasionally dropping back down to $14 from time to time. So it's a matter of going back and checking the prices or subscribe to their email list. I personally do my best to update people on sales through my social media outlets, mainly instagram and facebook. I have ordered a few of the shirts myself and I can vouch that they are good quality for a print-on-demand service.
I started offering my art on apparel through TeePublic because at this point it's easy and your shirt is guaranteed to be on there. Unlike TeeFury or similar sites where the design has to be voted on or selected to be available. Plus, they deal with printing, packing, shipping and returns. Basically all the business aspects that I don't have time nor finances for. The only downside is that my designs aren't publicly advertised on their site due to overwhelming submissions. So I'm on my own in that department. This is why I'm always asking you guys to help spread the word. And I'm very thankful to those of you who do so. Please continue.... 





Along with TeePublic came the creation of my new Horror Dolls (best generic name I could come up with at this point), like it? The initial reason for me to draw these was to find a cool, original way to promote my crazy Teddy Bear at an upcoming Horror convention called Days Of the Dead, which will take place in Burbank the first weekend of April. The idea was to do Pin Ups with my Bear. But regular Pin Ups are just too......regular. So I wanted to bring a creepy factor into it to fit the theme. Thus, the Horror Doll was born. Now I plan on doing a whole series that will be available on both shirts and prints. Plug in feedback in comments below......

And to conclude today's Episode, a public announcement....
I will be in Granada Hills this coming Sunday the 13th for San Fernando Valley Comic Con. Held at 11128 Balboa Blvd, in Granada Hills. So if you're in the neighborhood, swing by.
For info check their facebook page at this link:



















Thank you for stopping by. 
Tobias....OUT!

3.02.2016

Full Time Artist : Ep.4 Dear America

This Episode will not be all too much art related. But just something to get off my chest. It is sort of a Letter to all of us. A letter to America, and it goes a little something like this....

Dear America, 

I have been obsessed with you since I was a child growing up in Germany. I loved your Saturday morning cartoons and comics, which are big reasons for who I am and what I do today. I used to listen to American music although I didn't understand the lyrics. Yes, back then I listened to David Hasselhoff's music, watched Knight Rider and Baywatch, he was all the rage. Let's not forget about Star Wars. Had to have the toys and watched the movies hours on end. Pretty much everything I did except for Soccer and speak english was American at heart. Yes, I supported the Troops back during the Gulf War (fuck, I'm old). And I never once imagined that one day I would actually end up in you (yeah, I just wrote that). 

Now, you have been my home for nearly 21 years, more than half my life. I moved into you in 1995, the beginning of my high school years. Clinton was President (yes, Bill), who in my opinion was the man. The economy was amazing. America was great. Not only did I move to America, but I moved to LA. I was close to every major studio that produced the awesomeness that I call my childhood. I used to prank call WB and Disney to give me a job (hehe, yes that was me). I ended up visiting the Disney Animation studio during Career Class in High School. But I don't work there, so you could guess what happened. 

In America I watched the internet flourish and watched the iPhone be born and.....flourish. I found my creative calling. I made many great friends. And most importantly, I built or am building my family here. America, my home, my family, my life. 

After 9/11 I have witnessed this great country slowly crumble. Now, I am not writing the following as a government or political expert, I'm far from it. Politics and Government have become so complex and confusing, I'm not even sure politicians know what the hell they're doing anymore. I'm writing this as a human being with some common sense and basic life knowledge. 

This country is crumbling and the great vision and admiration I had of this country as a child growing up across the ocean is crumbling with it. I've already witnessed one complete idiot take power in this country. Followed by a guy who I think had the right idea at the wrong time. I have no beef with Obama, he was dealt a dirty hand when he took office. He was left with a huge mess. I don't think any other candidate could've done much better, maybe worst. I dunno, has he made mistakes? Sure, who hasn't? No matter who the people vote for, four years later they're not happy, yet they vote for the same person again. Who's the real idiot here? Voters? yes, that's the right answer. It is us, America, that put these people in charge. And it is us, America, who then sit on our couch and get pissed when we watch the News. Then we do what? We go on the internet and troll around, we complain (like I'm doing right now, but this doesn't count cause this is a heartfelt letter and I don't vote) and then four years later we put another asshole in power. So how many times does this lesson need to be learned? I dunno, I don't think there is a cure for Stupid. When you do find the answer, let me know. 

So this brings me to the NOW. I personally don't know many of the Candidates. I know Trump and I know Clinton (yes, Hillary), which at this point seem to be the only ones we need to know cause they're leaving all the other ones in the dust. Personally, I don't like one or the other. So it appears to be a choice of the lesser of two evils. I personally don't vote. Not because I don't want to, but because I'm still not naturalized. I'm still what people would call an Alien or immigrant (legal that is). And according to Trump I may end up getting microchipped or some shit. At his point, even if I could vote, I don't think that I would. And If I did, I would vote for Hillary just to not give a vote to Trump.
To finalize this. I'm not writing this to tell anyone what to do. People will be people and we all have free will (for now) and our own opinions. But come on, has America really dropped so low that a person like Donald Trump is actually in the top two for President? Donald Trump guys. Now, I'm not even gonna bash Trump. Good for him and his own personal goals in life to get this far. We should all aspire to greatness. And that is the foundation of this great country. The land of opportunity. But he isn't just taking charge of a Company. He's gonna take charge of this country, not as a president, but as a business man. And he will run it like a business and we're all gonna be employees. 

Anyways. I needed to get this off my chest and mind so that my creativity can kick back in. It won't make a difference, I know. Had I not turned on the News this morning I probably wouldn't even be writing this. Maybe this country hasn't changed, maybe I have. Just wish I could look at America the way I did as a child from a distance. 
Hope I didn't offend anyone. 

P.S. I did end up meeting David Hasselhoff when I worked at Starbucks and again at another job I had where he gave me a completely unsolicited autographed picture, lol. 



2.18.2016

Full Time Artist: Ep. 3: Fan Art and Such...

What's up folks.
A little late this week. Had other priorities earlier this week getting geared up for Long Beach Comic Expo this coming weekend.
This won't be a long episode as I still have lots of stuff to organize and get ready.
But I wanted to bring up the issue of Fan Art and the Law being that this issue has been popping up quite a bit on social media recently.
I'm at a point where I'm sort of playing both sides of the field on this issue. I love doing fan art. I love drawing my favorite characters, especially Star Wars and Harley Quinn. And people keep asking for more....So what can someone like me do? I don't own the rights to any of these characters. And it's hard to justify this issue being that most artists at your typical Artist Alley at Cons sell Fan Art prints. I've been reading a few articles lately on the issue and they all come down to the same thing; It's Illegal and there's an "unspoken Rule". I don't wanna get into a heated debate. I honestly feel weird about drawing other people's characters sometimes and a make money off it. But then I think to myself, how many times have these characters been re-issued, re-invented and republished? So many variations in styles. Let's take Batman as an example. He has so many looks, outfits, tools, vehicles. So say you take the Bat logo off certain outfits, he could easily become Cat man, Owl man (which exists), hell...even Black Panther. So if I draw Superman without a logo, is he still Superman? People could say he's Superman. But if I just say "he's some dude in a Blue, Yellow and Red suit"? Who else has those colors, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman....I don't know if this is making sense, maybe I'm just talking out of my ass here. Harley Quinn doesn't have a logo.....No, the Diamond is a diamond...yes, from a deck of cards. That doesn't count. So anyone could draw a "Harley Look-a-like", keep the name out of the picture and BOOM! she's someone else.

But in all seriousness and honesty. I want to change my ways. The plan all along was to use fan art as a means to get into the game and build a following, style and a name for myself. Then I wanted to introduce my own stuff as I already have been with my Teddy Bear. This year I will be working on my own book in collaboration with Russell Nohelty at Wannabe Press. And that will mark a new era for my work. I obviously still have a good stack of fan art prints to get rid of. And I will continue to sell them at cons while they last unless someone sends me a letter and tells me to stop. And apparently doing one-off sketches such as custom blank variant sketchcovers is legal. And from what I've gathered, giving fan art prints away (let's say along with a piece of original art) is still legal as well being that you are not taking money for the fan art itself. So I will shift a lot of focus to one-of-a-kind originals. And I won't stop taking commissions. So we need to find a way to bend the rules, not break them. This is America and there are loopholes in everything, LOL!

Peace,
Tobias

2.09.2016

Full Time Artist: Ep.2


Welcome back....
It's been a productive week since my kid has been in School. I'm still getting into the groove of scheduling myself certain projects on certain days. So my goal for this week is to figure out priorities and what needs to get done, and when. Right now it just feels like I'm trying to juggle everything at once without any particular order. I have noticed that my creative drive to actually draw is at night. So I've been using up most of the daytime dealing with social media, creating ads and posts, going to the gym to get that out of the way, and the time left before picking the kid up from school I use to lay down sketches to dig into later at night. 

 I've been practicing my all digital sketching and coloring.
So here's a Harley Quinn tribute to The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, except she's called Queen of Diamonds. Just wanted to do a fun different take. When I first started sketching this I wasn't even sure where it was going or what I was doing. Just been getting into the habit of sketching out shapes and adding onto it. Just letting the hand and mind flow. It's been a great exercise to get the engine running. A lot of these sketches will probably end up becoming print concepts for upcoming shows depending on how many hits they get on social media...
Which brings us to the next point...
...I need help, advice, ideas to increase my social media following. Especially Instagram and Patreon.
So this here is a call to all of you who already follow me to please share my work. It is so easy to do that on instagram, just click the heart and tag a few people. It doesn't cost you anything and I keep providing you with stuff to look at for free. On occasions I do giveaways, which I plan on doing more of in the future, to give you guys incentives to help me out in return.
For those of you who would like to take the next level in supporting me, there's my Patreon page http://www.patreon.com/tobiasbearproject. Patreon will allow you to pledge a certain amount each month starting at only $1. This is in an effort to help support my habit of creating more content and go to more shows.
In return you will get access to exclusive content which I will not share on other social media sites. For more info on that, just click the link to Patreon above.

And to top today off....My next appearance will be in a couple of weeks at Long Beach Comic Expo on Satruday, February 20th and Sunday, February 21st at the Long Beach Convention Center.

So share this stuff with your friends.
Share my blog, share my instagram and share my Patreon. I will be forever grateful.

Thank You.
Tobias

2.04.2016

Full Time Artist: Ep. 1.5 PATREON


My Patreon is going back online. 
I've tried it once in the past and found it to be a bit confusing and time consuming to manage. 
Now that I have more time to dedicate to my business, I'll be able to update Patreon more frequently and offer better rewards. Plus, Patreon recently updated their interface and it appears more manageable. 
I want to apologize to the few of you who initially became patrons and contributed and I just kinda stopped updating. Just like my blog, I plan on updating on Patreon at least once a week. Probably the same days as the blog, which is gonna be Mondays or Tuesdays.



 So I'm ready to shake my money makers (pencils, ink and digital tools, lol) and get more exclusive art out there. Patreon will have artwork that you will not see on facebook or instagram and I will keep most of it at a $1/month to view. I will also be adding little bonuses and extras starting at $5 per month. But all of it will most definitely be less than your daily cup O'Starbucks or Chipotle.
If you don't know what Patreon is yet, head over to the site and check it out. In a quick few words I will describe it as "an online tip jar" or a "mini Kickstarter" 

My page can be found at http://patreon.com/tobiasbearproject

Thanks for checking in and hope to see you there. 

2.02.2016

Full Time Artist: Ep.1

So here we go.....
Yesterday I officially became a full-time artist. My little one is off to school, my wife is at work and I'm ready to rock n' roll from my home-office-studio (whatever you wanna call it).
This series of blog posts will document my journey of being a full-time artist. This should also encourage me to update on my blog more often. Now that I have the time there really is no excuse. I will make it a point to update this every Monday or Tuesday. And I will add a bonus image or video at the bottom of each post to make all the rants more BEAR'able (get it?).

So where to begin?
Who am I? If you already know who I am, you may skip down to the next paragraph.
For those of you who don't...My name is Tobias Gebhardt. I am a freelance/independent artist based in Los Angeles, CA. As you may have read above, I am now TRULY an independent artist working from home. How did this happen? Well, I was born back in 1980 in a city called Leverkusen, that's in Germany. I have been drawing since the day I can remember. As a kid I always wanted to draw comics like Batman, Superman or Spiderman. Those were really the only comics I read aside from Lucky Luke and Asterix & Obelix. I used to also really love the cartoons. You can probably watch them on YouTube.
 Anyways, I'll skip a lot of my moving around, etc, etc. Point is, I ended up in the Good ol' US of A in Los Angeles, CA. Been living here since 1994 just starting High School. I took every drawing and design class offered in High School. And that was the limit of my education in the arts. Well, not true. I couldn't afford a big fancy art school like Cal Arts or Art Center and I was too lazy to chase after Scholarships, grants and loans. So I ended up taking one quarter at the Art Institute of Los Angeles until they fucked me over with financial aid and I spent the next 8 to 10 years paying off what I owed them. After that I took a few drawing courses here and there at Community College.
 But I pretty much wasted away all of my 20s doing stupid shit like partying and working minimum wage part time jobs to get by. And I was chasing after what people call "hopes and dreams & easy money" without actually putting forth any effort into anything. At age 27 or 28 when I thought all hope was lost I enlisted in the US Navy to run away from my problems and failures. But it turned out to be a mistake, It wasn't for me and I fell into a deep depression and was medically discharged for being unfit for military duty. After that, life pretty much started all over for me. At first it was hard. At one level or another I felt like a huge failure for quitting on the service.
I ended up going back to my old job in Cellphone sales. I was miserable and depressed. The only thing that kept me going at that point was my wife (then girlfriend). Watching her going through school and chasing her dreams was very motivating. So at first I started looking for "better paying jobs" and even attempted to take another crack at school. But I was completely ignoring the one thing I always wanted to be....an artist. I mean, I didn't completely ignore it. I was alway doing something on the side. For a while I tried Caricatures at parties and events. I did a couple of online comics with a friend. But none of it was done with real drive or real effort. The priority was always to go to work and pay bills, finding ways to make it to the next payday. Always thinking about the money first.
Then the biggest change of my life happened. I became a dad. My daughter was born on December 11, 2011. In February of 2012 I quit working my sales job to become a stay-at-home-dad. That is when everything changed. All my past regrets and failures turned into stepping stones. I pretty much reevaluated my entire life.
I started hustling a lot more with my art. I started doing Comic Conventions and started working on a new online comic with my friend John Kratky. This comic is still up online at http://coffeetimecomics.com and will resume production this year. Since, life has had a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns. If you want to catch up on the events of the last year, which were a true test of life, marriage and fatherhood, you can go back to my older posts and read up.
But today I sit in our new home (renting). In my own little room I call my Office/Studio. And I'm ready to keep trucking harder than ever.

Did you make it past my intro? Or did you skip here cause you think you know me?
In either case, I promise that my future posts will not drag this much. Just kinda wanted to start fresh and what better way to do it than with an intro. Besides, you had the choice to skip it.

Anyways, moving forward. Each week I will pretty much post progress on artwork or projects. Update you on any shows or events I have coming up. Maybe a few thoughts on life and art. If any of you want to submit questions maybe I can incorporate some Q&A, the Comments section below is open for that purpose. My following at this point isn't huge, so I'm not expecting many questions. Also, I think I will start posting art progress videos. If there's anything else you guys would like to see on here, comment below.

And I leave you with a little introductory progress video of a Deadpool sketch. Enjoy.


video


11.20.2015

12 Rounds: Pound for Pound

Welcome back to another rare episode of Tobias' random blog posts, lol. I'm still not giving this blog enough attention. At this point I'm not even sure if having a blog is even worth it.

But anyways, getting to the point...
If you're one of the few who has actually been here keeping up with my posts, you know that this has been a hell of a roller coaster year for my family and myself. There was so much that was suppose to change this year. But it has just been a non-stop tumbleweed of problems. I think I've done pretty well at keeping my head up as high as I could through all of it. I kept grinding away at my work. Kept doing shows. Kept looking for a steady job or stream of income. And I was hoping that we would've got over the hill by now.
If you're lost at this point and don't know what I'm talking about, I invite you to go back and read a few of my previous posts from this year (and there aren't really that many).

After a final yet semi-disappointing Comic Convention at the end of October, during this here month of November things finally started looking up. Both my wife and I finally started real jobs. So a steady stream of income will start flowing in. Next step is to get our butts out of my in-laws' house and into our own. And we have a potential lead for a house, but the process of obtaining that has turned out to be yet again another challenge. We were expecting some funds from a CLASSIFIED source to help us with the move-in expenses (deposit, first, last, etc). But that door of opportunity has closed. So now we're trying to figure out how in the hell we're gonna get in there if we get approved.

As mentioned above. I've been trying to keep my head high. But I'm getting mentally exhausted. I feel like I'm back at the START line. My wife is now working full time. I'm working Part-time (Seasonal). And when I'm not working, I'm home with our daughter, trying to chip away at my own work and pending commissions. I literally feel like I'm working 4 jobs with nothing to show for it. Which is what I was doing at the beginning of the year, minus the part-time job.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not writing this to get sympathy. I'm writing this to vent. I'm writing this because it is easier for me to put feelings and emotions into writing or drawing than it is to talk to someone. It helps clear my head. Which makes me feel like I should do this more often, wether it is negative or positive. And I don't think all this is negative. I know there are plenty of people worst off in this world. But I needed to get all this out so that all of this doesn't turn into an excuse for not getting done what I need to get done. These past few weeks I feel like my mind and body have been slowing down. I've skipped the gym more days than I'd like. Which affects me mentally and physically. I've turned to eating crap food, which in combination with not working out has lead to gaining more weight than I would've liked. Which affects me mentally and physically, again. Which in turn affects everything else in my life including art. I need to get my shit together quick before it tumbles out of control.

So, I'm determined to finish this year out strong. After I'm done typing this I will be headed to the gym to sweat out all this negativity. When I get back, I will shower and wash all this negativity off my body. Then I'm gonna spend some time with my daughter, maybe play some Disney Infinity, and get my mood up. And then I'm gonna get back to the grind and stay up as late as it takes to finish up pending projects and commissions. I will no longer use the term "I don't have time" as an excuse to not get things done. The reality is, there is always time. If there isn't time, you can make time. As Arnold once said "There are 24 hours in a day. You sleep six hours and have 18 hours left. Now, I know there are some of you out there that say; well, wait a minute, I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well, then, just sleep faster"

I will not be defeated by this year. I've fought for 11 months,  I'm not going down in the 12th.
Lots to look forward to next year.

Tobias....OUT!
(please feel free to share your struggles below. Let's make this a positive and inspiring post to take us through the year)