Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thinking about your future

Some of the artist that I know have now a little bit of problems right now since they are getting fewer and fewer art commissions abroad. Maybe it's because of the economic crisis that is happening.

While it is nice to have an income right now doing what you love to do. But for me, as you grow older, you get to think about the future. You will start to think "Can I still draw when I'm 50,60 or even 70 years old?"

We must start to think about getting a passive income. So what is a 'passive income' you might say? In a nutshell, passive income is an income you get weather you work or not. A good example of it are the interest money you get from the bank, rental income (if you have real estate that you rent out to other people), and for artist there is this thing called Royalty.

Royalty are given to a (for example) recording artist each time his album/song are sold. It is a certain percentage that is agreed upon by the artist and the recording company during signing of a contract. For visual artist, it is almost the same thing. Ryan Ottley, the artist of INVINCIBLE (under image comics) does not have any page rate (I can imagine some eye brow are raising now). He does not get paid immediately, no instant gratification you may say (more eye brow). But instead, he gets a percentage from the sales of the comics for as long as it sells. For me that is much much better than any page rate. Just imagine, even when he is already an old guy sitting on his couch 30 to 40 years from now. He will still be getting money from the sales of his comics even if he is doing nothing anymore. And man... the sales of Invincible Trades on bookstores and specialty shops keeps getting higher and higher.

So you only draws it once, and get the benefit of a lifetime. Can you say that to an ordinary art commissions? There was a commercial slogan of Nike... "Just do it". Well in this instance, it would be better if we would say "Just do it ONCE".

I also get motivated each time there is a new Pinoy Superhero TV series or Movie that is being revive from the old komiks that we know. Some of them are Captain Barbel, Darna and Panday just to name a few. I think if he is still alive today, Mr. Mars Ravelo is very much happy knowing that his family is getting the benefit of his hard work. That is one of the reasons I work so hard on my comics. I also want my children to get the benefit of a multi-million peso royalty deal even if I'm already gone.

So for me (and this is only my personal opinion), it is better to be on a part of a creator owned comics, rather than making art commissions. Please do not get me wrong.... there is nothing wrong on doing art commission (I actually did some commissions in the past). Those are a very good source of income and a dream job for other people since you do what you love. All that I am saying is that you should be a little open minded. You should be open for other options, and there are plenty of them out there. Do not relay too much on one income. We must have multiple source of income while we are still young. And just like what I said, getting old (or getting married and having kids) will make you think of the future. Not only your future, but also the future of your family.

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