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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


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