I want to say a few words about this Kickstarter Campaign, it has overwhelmed me, surpassed my wildest dreams and left me very humbled. Ken Whitman, a friend of mine, had tried to talk me into doing a Kickstarter campaign several years ago, because many times I had spoken to him about doing a big hardback book that would cover my life’s work. Then another friend, Jim Ludwig of DarkSword Miniatures, started calling me about Kickstarter.
When I crunched the numbers, for me to publish a big book on my own dime, I simply couldn’t afford it. I had certain publishers approach me to do a big book during the past few years….they would publish it, and of course, make all the money. But I wanted to do it my way. I never had a real agent during my career, I never particularly cared for someone telling me what to do (art directors were enough), so I have done it all my way the best I could. With an agent, I may have made more money over the years, perhaps done covers of “bigger books” and maybe, more popularity could have come my way, I don’t know… I wanted to paint and draw. I just kept working and never ran out of work.
I was worried about this Kickstarter project, I didn’t want to be the first guy to loose money on Kickstarter . I was hesitant on the whole deal. I knew I had fans out there, because I have attend a lot of conventions over the past 25 years, but I didn’t really know just how many and I didn’t know just how strong and true they were. It really takes your most dedicated “hardcore” fans to pull off a project like this. I didn’t know if there were that many—”left”. Even though I still paint every day if possible and I will paint and draw until I die.
I basically got out of the publishing world a few years ago and lately I have been painting my own work and selling the originals. I love it. But I know that many fans have missed my work being published on books and game covers. I guess some of you thought I had “retired”!!! Well, I haven’t! I never will. I worked as an illustrator for over 40 years, now I am ready to do my own work. I will still be around, while you sleep, I will be painting and drawing, and I will continue to do that until it becomes physically or mentally impossible for me. In the future, I will publish books of my newer works, both paintings and drawings, I will continue to make prints of these pieces, available at my website.
Well anyway, this campaign was greatly successful ONLY because of you guys. The MAIN reason I am writing this is to THANK ALL MY FANS…all over the world!! My family and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts, I am seriously overwhelmed. I think my family didn’t have a clue that this would happen, they are just as surprised as I am. Now, I have “pad money” … and that means this, when I try to do a painting every month to pay the bills, and if that painting takes me a month and a half or two months to finish, I will have ” pad money” to carry me over until I get paid. And that, my friends, takes a load of stress off me, and frees my mind up to do more creative work.
I am planning other Kickstarter Campaigns later on, some special books, like a NEW color Snarfquest graphic novel, and we are working on card games and board games, which I am greatly involved in. One of the most important projects, that may go up on Kickstarter next year, will be a large hardback black and white book. I wanted to get all my black and white work in this book, but there was no way…the book would be TOO thick. So, I want to do another hardback of all my black and white art, pencils and inks. The black and white book will be a matching book to this hard back color book. If you have purchased this color book and you purchase the black and white book, you will have a matching set of hardback books that cover around 95% of my life’s work.
Again, I Sincerely thank each and every one of you ALL your support in this Kickstarter campaign, not only for this campaign, but THANK YOU for supporting me through all those years of fun and games that covered most of our lives!!! Did you ever think we would all come together one more time? I love you all!!!