Angry Elf on A Shelf

I was out running some errands earlier this week, and a song came on the radio… as often happens with radios… Already Gone, by the Eagles was playing, and my mind started to wander for some reason to the Elf on the Shelf. I know it is a long way from Christmas, but one thing led to another, and when I got home that day, this happened!

Elf on A Shelf

Beware the consequences of plotting to put an elf on a shelf… there might be unforeseen repercussions! 🙂 Full disclosure, though, I’m really not that familiar with the Elf on the Shelf tradition. It really just started to creep into my radar in the last couple of years… but it just sort of fits the narrative of the song in my head as it was playing on the radio that day. Weird to think about Christmas in June, but that’s how it happens sometimes. At least I have a jump-start on Christmas-themed illustrations for prints and stuff this year!

Please let me know what you think of this random thing and remember, if you’d like an original commission by me or would like to hire me as an Illustrator, please use the Contact page and let me know as much as you can about your request.

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24 responses

  1. I know this is a “contact” page question. I’m curious, how long does it take you to draw something like this, where it’s not a big project? Also, how much would you sell something like this. Just your typical one panel drawing. No words. No story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Simple and tough to answer. I charge more sometimes for pen/paper drawings than digital ones, because on paper its completely unique vs digital I can retain rights to sell as a print unless I’m selling it entirely to you for more money. So, pen on paper for something like this might be $25… but something that I draw digitally and can create prints to sell at conventions I usually sell those $10-$15 for a glossy 9×11 print. A more complicated drawing that takes more time (this one probably was only about an hour start to finish) would run for more if I hand-drew it… but a digital print would probably still be in the $10-$20 range unless it was really complicated. And if I was drawing this digitally but for a commission (i.e. you want me to draw it for you, and only for you and I can’t sell it for prints later) then I’d charge for a digital drawing the same as I would for hand-drawn since it would be a unique one-time thing. I generally have 2 ways of pricing things… One is you give me details and I plan how I’d do it and how long it might take and I’ll quote you a custom price for a custom job. The second way is usually for when I’m at a convention and I’ll set prices for things like a headshot or a single-character drawing for that particular show. It will vary from show to show, though, because I don’t want to undercut a neighbor artist at the same convention nor would I want to overprice for a particular show… A lot of this floats in my head and since I try to be as fair as I can and not overcharge but not undersell myself, I like having more flexibility to price according to a job or a commission rather than just laying down a set schedule of fees. I don’t know if this was too much or too little info. I really probably should think and write a blog post on just this sort of stuff one of these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, this was an informative answer. You stated it took you an hour and the price which is quite affordable. I can understand why you would charge more for pen and paper (just for the erasing and supplies alone). You being able to draw this in an hour is experience or would you say you would still be able to even if you just started drawing? What is your opinion on drawing exactly what you see from a photo instead of what’s in your head? A popular artist on YouTube was very encouraging by saying it’s very rare people draw from memories and always use something to guide the process.

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        1. Two things come with experience… you get better, and in some things you get faster. At first, everything seems slow and not at all the way you want it to look… but with practice you get a little faster and a little better… with me, the better settles in at some point and I’m finally drawing a thing the way I want it to look and then I can work on being able to draw to that same level of quality in less time. As you get better and more known, you can also raise your rates because the ability to draw better and faster was earned through years of hard work. There are some things I can draw from memory, or create from scratch… but a lot of things require reference. The best artists in the world whether you’re talking comics or life-like paintings inevitably have to use reference. IF you want a person to look like a specific person, you use reference… IF you want to ensure certain anatomical things (muscles, perspective, etc.) look accurate you use reference… Some things you can get better over time at drawing from memory, but there is still no substitute for reference in helping you draw to a higher quality and complete the work faster. Worth it to use good reference than to erase holes in your paper trying and trying again to draw from memory.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I appreciate your response. Have you ever thought about taking your talents to YouTube? Not just showing the end product but the actual process. There are artists like you who have a huge following on YouTube especially showing kids how to draw.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. You’re welcome… I’ve thought about videos, but not so much as instructional things. I feel like there are a lot of people already doing good work there and I’d just be a face in the crowd. If I ever do some Youtube videos I want to come up with something that is uniquely me.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. I doubt you will be because you actually can draw. So you wouldn’t mind if someone paid you a commission and used it for YouTube?

          Liked by 1 person

        5. I’m not sure exactly what you are thinking… but if a person pays for a commission it’s generally theirs to do with as they please. If I do a hand-drawn one, that’s the only one there is and you buy it, you own it! IF I do a digital illustration, something that I might be able to use later as a print or on a t-shirt or something, then I generally wouldn’t sell you rights to use it for your own prints or t-shirts… but if you wanted to post it on a blog or make a Youtube video about it or those sorts of things would be fine and fair use just the same as if you’d bought an original unique hand-drawn illustration. If all that makes sense.

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        6. It’s an idea I’m considering. Yeah, I was referring to digitally drawn. Referring back to my last comment, what about if someone wanted you to show your process of drawing it with a highlight video condensing hour long footage to minutes or just buying the raw footage from you ? Or the purchaser can edit it down. What would be the charge for showing your process?

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        7. This requires a bit of thought… I’ll have to get back to you on this one. What would the footage be used for? Would it be sold? Would it be combined with some other footage?

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        8. Used for a YouTube art series. No, it won’t be sold. Only once and that will be to me. No, it will be just the process of drawing this particular art. Now the drawings will be focused and YouTube-centric so it won’t any random artwork. The twist is I am considering commentary while the video is playing. This commentary won’t have anything to do with the art itself at all. It will be two different things going on. Something for the eyes and something for the ears. Neither related. I once saw this popular YouTube artist using this format. Now I’m not ripping off his idea cause it was unconscious on his part. He was just drawing something and giving 20 tips on how to be a good artist. He not once mention what he was drawing. Now this commentary is the twist of it all cause it may be whatever topic. I was think these videos will be no longer than 3 to 5 mins.

          Liked by 1 person

        9. Interesting… that answers another question I was curious about. It would feel weird recording a video and not talking about what I was doing… but then I don’t normally talk to myself when I draw (unless I mess something up or the power goes out!) but it sounds like you might not want narration.

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        10. I’m always seeking creative formats. I think that is cool how you draw something and talk about something else unrelated. The key to this narration though is it has to be INTERESTING. I actually don’t mind who does the narration but it has to be as interesting as the drawing itself. Example: You drawing something as interesting as batman but talking about mudane things like the eggs you had for breakfast (unless, of course, it’s a funny anecdote). I’m thinking more so current events, that way the titles can be played with. I can either name it after he drawing or the narration. Either is a SEO win. You see where I’m going? The drawing itself will be highlights only. Showing the blank canvas then the progress. I think that itself could be reduced to a minute of video. So whatever the narration is has to fit the timing

          Liked by 1 person

        11. I think I see where you’re going. Do you need to see me doing anything OR since it is a digital commission is just seeing the computer screen enough? There are capture programs that record what’s going on the computer screen that work pretty well, and I’ve used those before to create tutorials. IF you don’t need to see me, then that negates the need for a physical camera and proper lighting and all that stuff that is more costly and time-consuming to setup.

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        12. Well, I was going to do this all myself but since you are a better artist than me at this point I thought I see your opinion on it. What I was going to do was record my screen through QuickTime Player. I don’t know if you have this or anything similar. I don’t need to see you but that will be the visual for the videos. I want people to see the process. Then the commentary can be added later.

          Liked by 1 person

        13. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this, it definitely sounds different to me… drawing a thing while talking about some unrelated thing. At least from what you’d want from me, it sounds like you’d want a drawing, and want me to record the screen movements and just keep quiet and then you can cut down the video and add your own narration later, right?

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        14. Yeah, for instance I had a cool narration for game 6 of the NBA finals but no visual for it (besides a static image). I don’t know how you would record screen movements but I revelry discovered I can with QuickTime. Yeah, I would just need the process of the drawing documented then it can be edited to exclude minor steps in progression

          Liked by 1 person

        15. I would have to check and see what software I currently have on the Mac. I used to have several different programs that would do live screen capture, but I haven’t played with them lately so I need to make sure what I have.

          Liked by 1 person

        16. Okay, cool. Remember we’re just having a friendly convo. Just curious to your opinion on the idea. No rush.

          Liked by 1 person

        17. I can’t pretend to fully understand the entirety of the concept you’re going for here… since it’s new to me… but as long as I would know what the narration/concept was going to be, it’s something I could probably do. If you ever want to discuss more specifics, please do contact me through the “Contact” page and we could discuss an actual concept and associated art and timeframe.

          Liked by 1 person

        18. I will definitely contact you there. I’m thinking of actually posting a demo of this idea tomorrow. Not the process aspect but exactly the type of drawings

          Liked by 1 person

        19. Don’t know if you received it but I sent you a message through your Contact form some days ago

          Liked by 1 person

        20. Hi… I did get your message and I replied to it a couple of days ago. Check your spam folder. IF you don’t find it there, let me know and I can re-send the email I sent.

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        21. Went to spam. Just replied.

          Liked by 1 person

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