Picture This! San Francisco

Alright I'm ready to admit it. I have been sneaking out of our apartment at night and doing open mic comedy. It's a world I have always been fascinated by and now that I'm in it, I can't get enough. 

For now, I'm just showing up and doing open mics wherever/whenever I can (2-3 times a week). Nothing on the books specifically. However....

I will be drawing Live as part of PICTURE THIS! A new kind of standup show where artists draw live and their doodles are projected behind the comedians.  They're taking the show on the road This special San Francisco edition will be at the ultra-sexy Doc's Lab in North Beach and features headliner, Margaret Cho

Don't miss this! 

Get tickets ($10-$12 cheap!) at DocsLabSF.com
More pictures and info at nakedcomedy.org 

5 Jerks You can Identify by Their Halloween Costume

Grown-ups love Halloween because it's the day we get to dress up like someone or something entirely different from our true selves. Nope. It's actually the other way around. The truth is, people dress more like their true selves on Halloween than any other day.

Did I just explode your mind?

You see, what a guy choses to wear on Halloween can give us insight into what's on his mind, what he wants to be and what he wants from others. (Yes this article focuses on men. I ain't trying to unpack women's minds or fashion)

There are (at least) 5 kinds of jerks that can be identified by their Halloween costume.   

Do you have a second date with someone on Halloween? Or are you going to a party in the hopes of meeting somebody? Nice job! You will have the advantage of seeing what's really inside your date better than if you could administer a polygraph in that TSA security machine that sees people naked.

I now present your 5 jerks:

1. The "I don't really dress up for Halloween" Jerk

The "I don't really dress up for Halloween" Jerk has committed to going out for Halloween but has purposely put off procuring a costume. The night of the party, he rifles through his dirty clothes hamper and quickly puts something together that "works."

Don't believe this guy when he says he "just isn't into celebrating Halloween." If that's true he should have stayed home. The truth is this bore has no confidence or imagination.

Beware of:

  • The "Sports fan" Costume
  • The Half-ass (Afro wig and aviators only)
  • The 0-Budget Half-ass (Something "clever" written in Sharpie on a T-shirt)
  • The Clark Kent (This guy just doesn't want to change out of his suit after work.)

 

2. Too-Cool-for-School Jerk

The Great Escapist

Not to be confused with I don't really dress up for Halloween Jerk, The Too Cool for School Jerk puts effort into his costume. Well, more thought than effort. But the Too-Cool-for-School Jerk is driven entirely by the need to be desirable to the opposite sex. He is super-cool and available every day so he is going to be ultra-cool on Halloween.

The executive version of this guy got the idea for his costume from his favorite men's style blog complete with links to where he can purchase the (un)necessary, expensive, costume items on-line.

This guy is over-compensating for his fragile ego and should be avoided.

Beware of:

  • The Bob Dylan
  • The Paul Newman
  • Motorcycle Racer
  • King of Vampires
  • The Crow

 

3. Hall of Horrors Jerk

This Halloween jerk is tough to nail down. On spotting obscenity, a Supreme Court judge once said, "I know it when I see it." It's the same way with Hall of Horrors Jerk. Lets face it, at it's core Halloween is about being spooky. Horror-themed costumes can be great. But there are dudes out there who are WAY too into scaring people (particularly women). If he's wearing a rubber demon-monster mask with a hooded cloak, beware. If he stays in character all night, aggressively goth dancing or just silently staring at people, No. Fuck that guy. Hall of Horrors Jerk hasn't gotten over being picked on for playing Magic: The Gathering in the High School cafeteria. This guy had his dream job as a scarer at the local haunted house but was fired for "making inappropriate comments and touching patrons in an un-welcomed way."

Avoid:

  • The Fangoria-level monster mask
  • The Plastic Invisible Man mask
  • Anyone carrying a chainsaw
  • Scary Clown
  • ...You'll know it when you see it.

 

4. The Ultra-Clever Costume Jerk

(Yes, it's my idea, you can take it if you must)

You could do worse than Ultra-Clever Costume Jerk. At least, it's very unlikely that he will take you home, drill a hole in your head and pour the hole full of Mountain Dew in an attempt to turn you into his sex slave.

Then again, dressing up as Bitcoin is a billboard advertisement making sure everyone understands this guy has superior intelligence. What are the chances this guy is going to let you get a word in edge-wise in the conversation? Ultra-Clever Costume Jerk will never ask about your hobbies or job because he will be too busy telling you about the genius idea for a start-up he is going to launch as soon as he finds some angel investors. Or maybe that solar system costume, complete with working, orbiting moons is just a ruse to hide his gross body.

Specific costumes are tough to warn you about because these guys are "one of a kind." You will know Ultra-Clever Costume Jerk by his overly elaborate, clunky costume which usually boils down to some kind of word-play or punchline you have to ask for. "I'm One Night Stand!", "I'm a Cereal Killer!" ugh.

Watch out for:

  • Anyone with signage explaining their costume
  • Anyone who's costume requires help getting through doors

 

5. Whatever is in the News Jerk

This guy is a bit like Ultra-Clever Costume Guy in that he thinks he has come up with something that will get a laugh. The problem is he doesn't have the brain-power to pull off anything truly clever and he is definitely not one-of-a-kind. Last year there were 500,001 Robin Thicke costumes. This year there will be none. Because these jerks have moved on to dressing as Ray Rice or Ebola Hazmat workers. Whatever is in the News Jerk should be avoided because he has a short attention span and is not smart.

Keep your distance from:

  • Ice Bucket Challenge
  • Anything Ebola
  • A Bent iPhone 6
  • iClouds
  • i-Anything

Bonus: Made-in-China, Store-Bought Costume Jerk

Do I have to explain why these are lame? Bonus-Bonus lame points for store-bought sexual innuendo costumes. You're a key. Your girlfriend is a lock...awesome.

 

-Written & Illustrated by Ben Walker-Storey

Trail of the Jackalope - Honeymoon Fund

I'm getting married in about a week. After that we are exploring the American West (Colorado and beyond) to track the mighty Jackalope.

If you would like to receive a Jackalope postcard (hand-drawn and personalized) while we are on the trail, just contribute any amount to our HoneyFund account. Be sure to let me know where to send your card! Don't worry, the postcard will be sent in an envelope to keep it from getting jacked up. Thank you in advance!

-Ben & Amanda

 

Branding: Butler Bites

Butler Bites

When Michael and Athena Butler wanted to expand their business, they came to me with three things:

1. High quality, home made, all natural, dog treats

2. A tongue-twister of a product name

3. Photos of their Saluki

The Butlers came to me for just a logo but for their business to be as successful as it should be, they needed a complete branding package. By re-branding the treats Butler Bites, I made sure their product is easy to remember and pronounce. The clean, iconic artwork and type treatment conveys high quality and whimsy.   

Artists: Be Your Own Design Company

Do good work and get it out there. That's what they say it takes to be successful as a creative, right? Being a self-employed illustrator takes more than the ability to draw awesome bears (The good work). It means spending 20-40% of your efforts on graphic design, blogging, photography, convention exhibit design, even guerilla marketing in order to promote yourself (get it out there). Over the next few days I will be posting some examples of design work I have done for self-promotional purposes. I hope you find it helpful in your own pursuits.

Part 1. Print-On-Demand services can help you be your own brand, regardless of you budget

It's looking chilly. Have you seen my Cover Letter Hoodie?

In late 2008 I launched my own T-shirt brand, Snake Oil Clothing. I sold screen-printed Tees at conventions like Comic-con and through a web store. Three years ago I moved into a small San Francisco apartment with very little storage. I just can't print and store large amounts of shirts like I used to. But I still get emails from people who are bummed that their favorite Snake Oil shirt is now mostly dryer lint. I didn't feel good about telling my fans that they were plain out of luck, so I made designs available through Redbubble.com

It turns out, their quality is amazing! If you gave up on print-on-demand T-shirts five years ago when P.O.D could only be done on light colored shirts and had weird, off-white boxes around the image, it's time to try Redbubble.

I can put up new designs just see how they do. If I never sell one it doesn't hurt me. If 400 copies sell it's all up to those guys to print, package and ship the T-shirts out! All I have to do is wait for a Paypal payment of around $4.25,  per shirt sold, $11 when someone buys a hoodie! That's pretty much the same profit margin as when I was having shirts made through a screen-printer.

How does this help with self promotion and branding?

  • If you have a collection of solid work, you can make it all available as T-shirts, phone cases, pillows, prints etc. as P.O.D merchandise. Now you have a nice portfolio of work that shows a) what you are about (that's your brand) and b) that you can create finished work. Showing that you can start and finish a solid collection of artwork is huge on its own.
  • Your T-shirts sell. Not only do you now get some sweet "mailbox money" coming your way, now someone is walking around with your artwork on their chest. That's free advertising, son! Maybe that person works at Marvel, Pixar or LucasArts (Jeez, I guess I should just say Disney), wherever you want to get work. If your designs are strong people will ask about that T-shirt. Now you have fans who work at Lucas or wherever and see your artwork every week or so. That's Huge! And it totally happens.
  • Redbubble allows creators the option to upload artwork that is only available to the creator, private-style. So you can make one-off, high quality T-shirts that no one else could possibly have. For about 30 bucks!  That was unheard of a few years ago. I took advantage of this by printing one T-shirt with my resume emblazoned on it (pic above). I am not above this sort of shameless, meta, self-promotion. And I'm chok-ful-o-more ideas for using this technology and service to do things people could have never done before.  

Are you getting your artwork out there by using Print-on-Demand services? Let me know what kind of experiences you have had. 

Follow Ben Walker on Instagram and Twitter: @ArtofBenWalker