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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