There's something about auctions (which raise money for worthy causes) that make people spend money on art that they might not/probably wouldn't buy if they weren't being pressured to do so by the whole "auctioneering" vibe. Well, be that as it may, I'm very happy that the auctioneering vibe and about a dozen pieces of art (including a drawing of Blink) helped to raise $650 for purchasing art supplies and games for the Prairie Norton Elementary School in Grove City and other participating mentoring programs sponsored by Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The event wrapped up a few hours ago (Saturday night) at the Kafe Kerouac (I took my damn sweet time getting home, thanks to the Columbus bus system*). The auction was organized months ago by local writer/artist/"organizer by day" Patrick Roach and the actual auction was officiated by local funny guy Zachariah Baird. There were paintings, photographs, screen printed t-shirts, a knitted purse, and my little pen & ink & pencil drawing. I also threw in some copies of the Blink books (because I couldn't expect the purchaser to know who the cute blonde was in the drawing). The seats were pretty well filled up in the back room of the Kerouac, where the auction was being held, so that was comforting-- and every piece of art was bid on at least twice (nothing went for the "starting bid").
Ooookay... So, it's mighty damn awesome that a significant chunk of change was raised for BBBS and the Praire Norton Elementary by selling art. The amount my piece went for surprised me quite a bit (in a good way); I felt well compensated for the time I spent drawing the picture. On the ride home--or, maybe I should clarify: as I waited and waited and waited for the bus* to arrive, I got to thinking, "Sure, I sell plenty of Blink books (at the low price of $3 for one or two for $5), but why am I not selling more original art/sketches (for a high price)?" and "Why am I not selling lots of prints of my art (for a medium-sized price)?" I guess it's my stupid/crazy/silly nature to not try to make money and just try to make people happy. Further along my "ride" home, I thought, "Wow. That was pretty cool seeing all that money being spent for a good cause and all that art being purchased in order to people happy... I should do that--for myself."
I've been drawing comics for over 20 years, but have never quite made what's called "a profit" in all that time. Maybe it's about damn time I begin turning this thing around. Well, as I'm thinking about doing that, my computer is breaking down a piece at a time. A few months back, the machine stopped recognizing my scanner (so I've had to use my roommate's computer to scan drawings) and now--last week-- the damn thing won't even recognize my printer! On top of that, it's running slower and slower and so on and so forth and boo hoo hoo. (I bought the thing about a year and a half ago, it's a bottom-of-the-line machine and needless to say, it does not age well.)
SO! The first "Max Ink Fundraising Event" will be to raise the funds necessary to buy me a new computer. (If anyone who reads this has a deal on a good, reliable used computer, I'd be fine with that, too.)
I don't have any plans worked out for how this "Fundraising Event" is going to work yet (I just had the idea a few hours ago...gimmie time...), but I think the way I might go about this is to draw some swell doodles of Blink and the gang (maybe a half dozen or so to start) and make the original art available for auction on eBay (possible starting bid at $50?) and after the winner has purchased the original, sell prints of each piece to all the losers/ non-participators. (The whole idea is for me to raise money here...) I'll need to utilize as many of my Facebook friends (I'm approaching the 700 mark!), my real friends (I think I have about 7 of those...) and anyone else out there in cyberspace and real space to help promote this idea.
Say.... speaking of Fundraising Events, my friend, Shawn Schulte, is having a fundraising situation of his own (for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)/Lou Gehrig's Disease). As his weblog states:
Since my mother’s passing in 2006 it has been my passion to try and bring hope to those who are suffering and my efforts while steadfast to finding and end to ALS do not end there. This site is an attempt to give life to a project that I hope will unite Ohio in an effort of compassion, to celebrate the lives and the stories of families and individuals who have battled against this disease, and to prove that such action is the birthplace of healing. I welcome every voice and every effort in this fight.
At the end of July, Shawn will be one of the many athletes participating in the ALS fundraiser, TRI-STATE TREK-- a 270 mile, three-day bicycle ride from Boston to New York. Shawn needs to raise a little more than $1,000 in the next 4 weeks to make it happen. I think to kick off my "Drawing for Fun'Raising" challenge (or whatever I'm gonna call this ongoing Max Ink art auction thing), I'll draw a nice picture of Blink and Sam bicycling and auction THAT off first. With whatever money I make going to Shawn's worthy cause. Then I'll get going on my own needs (selling prints of the drawing to all the "losers/non-participants").
As the great Mohammed Ali said, "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."