Sep 24 2020

Gneech’s Big Honkin’ Pumpkin-Spiced Spoopy Commission Sale!

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Gneech's Big Honkin' Pumpkin-Spiced Spoopy Commission Sale!

Like it says on the tin. :) I’m opening a limited number of discounted commission slots for October. It doesn’t have to be a seasonal-themed commission if you don’t want that, of course, it’s just a prompt to give you ideas. :)

One of my Patreon subscribers grabbed the first slot already, so that leaves five as of this morning. Hop on!

EDIT: All slots taken! Thanks, all!

-The Gneech

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Aug 04 2020

FurAffinity Hijinks Commission Raffle! Comment on FA to Enter! :)

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Shady is Best Artist. *nods*

Find the post here: https://www.furaffinity.net/view/37567551/

Lhexa has very generously sponsored a two-person fully rendered commission for… somebody! It could be you! :D The theme is “Hijinks.”

HOW IT WORKS: Comment below thanking Lhexa and saying you’d like to enter the raffle. On Saturday morning I will pick a random winner! Simple, eh?

If you have ideas for what sort of hijinks you’d like to be pulling, I’ll happily take suggestions. Otherwise I’ll just come up with something! My general list of “will/won’t draw” stuff can be found here: https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/9540159

Let’s have some fun!

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Jun 10 2020

Pirate Mooncat, Plus Audience Building!

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Pirate Mooncat D&D Portrait
D&D Portrait Commission for Mooncat! Speaking of, commissions are open: https://www.furaffinity.net/view/36111580/

Following up on Monday’s post, I’ve been taking stock of where I am in my art and writing career, and it’s clear that I need to attend to some things. Not the least of which is re-building my audience! I have a small-but-tight core of people who have been following my work forever through thick and thin (❤️ Jungloids!) and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. That doesn’t alter the fact that in terms of treating my work as a proper business, there are times when I need to look at it as a numbers game. Even with the crazy high ratio of followers-to-financial supporters that I have, the actual number of followers is tiny.

So, for an example, another artist I follow on Twitter posted a rough little sketch of a character they were noodling around with. It was a cute little drawing, nothing that exciting, but it still got something like 800 likes. I looked at that and blinked for several seconds—I get excited when a post of any kind, much less a doodle, gets over 20 likes. So I looked at their follower count, and discovered it was something like 12,000—compared to mine, which is currently hovering around 1,600.

Well, I mean, no friggin’ wonder.

Before people hop in with “Followers aren’t everything!” I want to make it clear that I don’t attach a personal meaning to have a low follower count on Twitter (or any other platform for that matter), I’m diagnosing a business problem here. :) Even if every one of those Twitter followers was converted to a $1 Patreon subscriber for instance (which isn’t going to happen, but bear with me), that still wouldn’t be enough for me to put food on the table.

I must grow my audience in order to succeed.

So my priority for a while is going to be doing that—but the truth is I have no idea how. O.o

I’m open to suggestions, and I’d love any help I can get. I’ve started posting art to Instagram to expand my horizons, and I am making it a priority to post at least twice a week there and other places, even if it’s just a little sketch-a-day piece. I also started up a fanart sketch request Ko-Fi, although I haven’t had any takers there yet.

So I’m curious! If you follow my work and don’t mind telling me, why do you? What attracted you and made you want to stick around? Do you have suggestions on how I can grow my audience? How do you do promotion? I’m eager to learn!

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May 29 2020

Fort Redemption

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Catra fits, so she sits.

Inspired by LizardBeth, I’ve decided to do semi-daily sketches, primarily fan art, but not necessarily so. The recent post of Shady and Silma was the first one I did; here’s another one, inspired by the series finale of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. I don’t expect to post them all here—gotta do some quality control after all—but I really liked how this one came out and besides, it’s Catra. There’s never a day that wasn’t made better by having Catra in it. <3 I've opened up a fanart sketch request Ko-Fi as a source of prompts. Tell me what you want, world! :)

-The Gneech

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May 20 2020

Everything I Wanted: A Spoileriffic Discussion of She-Ra

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Everything I wanted.
Yeah. So. Spoilers. The title warned you.

The show that asked, “What if Star Wars was incredibly gay?” and then answers, “IT WOULD BE AWESOME AS FUCK!”

There’s so much for me to say about She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, I don’t even know where to begin. I already knew, when I was defending Catra as A Cinnamon Roll Who Wants to Kill You that this was a show I was going to be very heavily invested in. Catra literally feels to me like Noelle Stevenson plucked her right out of my brain and put her on the screen—to the point that I wrote to Ms. Stevenson directly and leveraged all of my comics/animation contacts into trying to find a way to get onto the writing team… without success, alas.

Catra would look at Leona Lioness or Tanya Regellan and say “Oh, you too?” She is also directly the inspiration for Shade-Of-the-Candle, whose own transition from snarling murdercat to laughing bandit has parallels to the arc Catra actually follows. As Emmet Asher-Perrin so aptly put it, “Catra was an instant favorite on the show among its fans. But there was something about it that nagged at me, something more specifically related to her type, and what that type said about me, and what it meant that I kept returning to it.”

And I’m not gonna lie, I was scared for Catra. With every season ending with her in a worse place than the last one, and knowing in very personal detail exactly the self-destructive cycles she was going through, I was terrified she was going to go down with the ship. Redemptive Suicide is such a terrible trope, but such a common one in fantasy and SF, that I was at least 65% convinced that was going to be her fate.

(Mere words cannot express how happy I am to read that Shadow Weaver’s final fate was intentionally written as an “Up yours!” at that specific trope.)

I stopped watching the show halfway through season four, because Double Trouble pushed too many of my buttons—I didn’t have it in me to watch these characters I was so fond of just unravel and tear each other apart, and after the end of season three I couldn’t bring myself to watch Catra do any more horrible things without some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. So I suspended my Netflix account and waited. There was no way I wouldn’t watch season five when it came out—but I couldn’t finish until I could actually finish, if that makes any sense.

So… where do I stand, now that the show’s over? Like the title says, it gave me everything I wanted. Catra to have a true redemption. A true, explicit and undeniable romantic relationship between Catra and Adora. Adventure, excitement, and really wild things. Strong characters, deep and compelling villains, beautiful animation. The first ever canonically and unambiguously queer protagonist in mainstream western animation. On some level, I must face that I resent that I couldn’t be part of it. When I knew getting involved in the show wasn’t going to happen, I created The Reclamation Project to redirect that energy, so good has still came of it, but for me She-Ra will never not be “one that got away.” It’s a historic, once-in-a-lifetime event, a revolution that I was only able to watch and not participate in. And there’s nothing I can do about that except get over it.

On the other hand, the sheer joy that S5 has filled me with blots out those dark thoughts. Scorpia going from doormat to utter badass. Entrapta—who I’ve historically been very down on—not just coming to grips with the difference between “people” and “things,” but also giving Catra one of the most understatedly but purely kind moments in Problem Cat’s whole life.

Wrong Hordak. Just freakin’ Wrong Hordak. He’s another character who feels like he was ripped out of my brain.

Catra’s sheer desperation for Adora in the final two episodes—and that Catra’s (requited!) love for Adora literally saved the universe.

I could do this all day. I’ll stop. If you’ve seen the show you know all these things.

What does it mean to me? I don’t know. I know that Suburban Jungle has touched lives—but not on the scale or sheer power that this show has. Is there still something useful for me to do? If so, what? And how do I do it? What can I bring to the table in a world that already has this in it?

I’ll find something.

Apr 01 2020

Back to Good

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My best self.

I… might do art streaming again tomorrow.

It’s been so long since I did art streaming, for so many reasons.

It’s been so long since I did art, for so many reasons.

With “social distancing” and my jobs drying up, I need to do something, and I need contact with people. But mostly, I just need life to be good again. “Back to good” is a slogan coined by the D.C. metrorail system’s attempt to renovate their systems and rehabilitate their reputation with the public, and I gotta admire the ballsiness of just coming out and saying, “Yeah, we kinda suck right now, and we’ve gotta get back to good.”

That’s what I need to do, too. I’ve spent the past three years in an almost constant state of “tryhard,” watching my fortunes dwindle, my attempts to get anywhere be frustrated, and my mental health and creative drive evaporate. In late 2019 it just completely came crashing down around me, and in January and February I began the long climb back out of the wreckage… only to be greeted by the pandemic. Wow. XD

But to be completely honest, I feel strangely peaceful about it all. I’ve got a roof over my head and food to eat for the time being, and unemployment checks coming in at the very least while I continue my hunt for a day job. It’s not the “frugally comfortable” level I’m used to, but it could be a lot worse, and I can build on it. I can get back to good.

So what makes life good? Fun, friends, art and writing, creativity and gaming. I’ve got a big ol’ queue of art I’ve promised to folks, and with everyone doing Stay-At-Home Con, the best way to get some socializing in is while sitting there getting work done. :)

I hope if you’ve enjoyed my art streams in the past you’ll come back, and if you’re curious you’ll come around and give it a try!

-The Gneech

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