Holiday Challenge

I recently received a postcard that made me smile. I'm not at the office and don't recall the name at the moment (Kevin T. Chin is the artist), but I sure do remember the image. Santa riding a giant scary monster Rudolph/Krampus. The piece was done in a nice friendly and accessible style that helped accent the monstrous nature of Rudolph. Great card! Went right up on my wall. It made me think about one of my favorite challenges from last year, the Krampus Challenge. I know that we've got the Dungeon Delve challenge winding up December 14th, but I'd love to toss out a simple little Holiday Challenge to wrap up the year. Like I said, I want to keep it simple. Holiday Challenge concept: Take one iconic element from the holidays (Abominable Snow Monster, Snowman, Krampus, Santa's Elf or simple Santa coloring pages) and do a riff on it. It can be fun and accesseble, or dark and horrible. It's wide open. This one is just for fun. Specs: Final size should be a minimum of 7" (wide or high), 300 dpi, adobe rgb, either .tif or .psd format. Note: Please include how you would like to have your name displayed as a credit, and a url you would like displayed. The top 10 pieces will be selected for publication in the next publication. Artists that are selected for publication will receive a free pdf of the publication. Speaking of Cartoon Coloring Page publications. I received a ton of folks requesting to be involved in creating cartoon publications. Don't worry if I haven't responded to you yet, I'm still digging through the responses. In the meantime though, I've got a few folks digging in on some of the past challenges. Aaron Miller is working on the HP Lovecraft challenge, Belinda Morris has taken on the Hook Horror challenge. Chris Simmons fought me for the Pin-Up challenge, Christina Hess is wrangling all the images for the Krampus challenge. If you hear from one of these folks, jump on the opportunity to have your work included in one of the next ccc publications. And on that note, I'd like to answer a few questions that have popped up concerning the publications. 
What compensation will the artists receive for inclusion into the publication? Sorry to say, but there will be no monitary compensation. Currently I plan to only charge $5 over the cost of publication for each book. That $5 will be used in one of two ways: To pay the monthly fees incurred running the community, URL and hosting fees, and other costs directly incurred for the day to day operations of the site. No, I don't pay myself. Any funds that exceed those costs will be funneled into an account, and set aside to start a scholarship fund to send artists to the Illustration Master Class, or IlluxCon. Will the artist receive a complimentary copy of the publication? This was a great question, and really got me thinking. Since I don't make any "profit" on the products it means that I would have to take the cost of samples out of my own pocket, and I just can't afford to do that. Instead, I've decided that I can create a pdf of the publication and will provide that to each artist that gets into the publication. I'm putting that together this weekend for those artists that were selected for inclusion in the Discover a Muse publication. How many artists will be included in each publication? That's a tough one to answer. We are currently limiting the book size to forty pages. This may change in the future, but until I can find cost effective ways to produce these publication and keep from losing my shirt (like I did on last years calender), I've got to limit the scope of these early publications. Currently we are looking to highlight 10-20 artists in each publication. That's a nice selection of work in each publication. Will every challenge get a book? At the moment, that is my goal. I'm hoping to have the publication available within a month after the challenge ends. Of course, hitting that goal is dependent on you guys. If we send out a call for artwork, and folks drag their feet. I have to make the decision to either drop them from the line-up or hold the publication of the book. If there are only one or two folks missing. It won't break my heart if I have to enforce a deadline, but if 22 out of the 30 are still missing, that's a bigger issue. If a challenge is not well attended, I may decide not to do a publication, but Like I said, the plan is to do a book for every challenge.

Steaming The Town

There are things we look forward to and as they approach we dread them and while in them we hate them then we can't wait to do them again. Such is the beast of the marathon. I ran Steamtown on 10/10/10, just now I am realizing the sequence of numbers, that alone should have been a lucky token. And maybe it was, the fact that I get to do them is good luck. I trained for this devil in the heat of the summer, no less. Since many of my runs were partially in the company of my friend Suzy, I did the Jeff Galloway with her. Galloway is a training program in which walks are incorporated after each mile run. It slows down fatigue in the muscles. The night before I sat in the auditorium at the request of a group of friends with whom I met and listened to the experts tell us to slow down, do not, do not under any circumstances let the first 8 downhill miles take you. Well, I had trained on downhills but still the experts scared me. We talked about it, all of us had different plans for those hills planning to "bank time" but the experts seemed to know better. On race day, however, it seemed I was the only one who followed the advice. One of my friends, the one who motioned me to sit down through the speech, took off like a bat out of hell. I figured I''ll find her later… and I did but 25 minutes after she had finished. Between holding back and calculating my running pace for the Galloway walk breaks my energy was draining out of me. By mile eight I told my friend waiting on the sidelines that I was a bit more tired than I should be. My half marathon time was good. But by 20 I had fallen behind 3 miles from my goal and I knew, a product of touring the course the night before which I never do, that the last 4 were challenging so my mind was already saying "you want me to run how fast?". And so a new goal was considered. I knew I could do the last 6 miles in 12 minutes but I had already missed my goal and any other goal was a compromise I didn't need to make. So a new attitude took place by 22 and with that the fun began, if there can be fun in pain. I talked to the volunteers when I took my walk breaks, now more frequent than the Galloway thing. By 24 I ran into another friend drinking beer so I hoped for wine but not a chance, I did get a nice cold cup of diet coke at mile 25. I finished strong, with no cramps, smiling, content. Didn't hit my goal but still had a decent race. In retrospect, I don't think the Galloway thing is for me and the advice of the elite experts is for elites. I am just one of thousands running by feel and by heart. By the way, dont let that smile fool you. It hurt.