Some of you have asked me, “why do you always post about prints and merchandise”? The simple answer is…merchandising and to help bring money into the studio. Having your own business or in my case, studio, is not cheap. You basically have to do what you can to bring money in (legally…haha). One of the quickest and best ways I know, is simply by opening up an online store of some kind and sell through there. Pre-Covid, I’d set up at conventions around the country and sell the ARToons and talk with people about the studio and characters. Now that’s the REAL “facetime”, “facebook”, whatever you want to call it. Talking to people face to face. I love that.
When I decided to open up my own online stores, one of artwork (BalkeStudiosArt.com) and the other merchandise (through TeeSpring), I knew it was going to be extra work, but work that I’d love doing. It’s not that I just post an image on a t-shirt and call it a day. No no, it’s much more than that. You have to set it up, design the graphic and choose which items are best you want to sell. I make it sound easy, but it’s pretty time consuming. So when I post a piece of merchandise like a t-shirt, there’s been a couple of hours invested in that piece, not to mention creating the art itself. Same goes for the ARToons (the cartoon art) I sell.
Not by any means am I complaining. I’m just letting you know why I post a lot about the ARToons and merchandise. I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. Even though the animation side is taking longer than I anticipated, I’m not letting it get me down. There are SO many other ways my characters are reaching you guys. We have our weekly comic strips featuring Stanley and Friends starting back up coming this March with a WHOLE different approach and story. Of course like I’ve been talking about, I have merchandise and ART so you can take home and enjoy the characters and art at home all the time. Plus a few different projects coming out this year.