2.09.2016

Full Time Artist: Ep.2


Welcome back....
It's been a productive week since my kid has been in School. I'm still getting into the groove of scheduling myself certain projects on certain days. So my goal for this week is to figure out priorities and what needs to get done, and when. Right now it just feels like I'm trying to juggle everything at once without any particular order. I have noticed that my creative drive to actually draw is at night. So I've been using up most of the daytime dealing with social media, creating ads and posts, going to the gym to get that out of the way, and the time left before picking the kid up from school I use to lay down sketches to dig into later at night. 

 I've been practicing my all digital sketching and coloring.
So here's a Harley Quinn tribute to The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, except she's called Queen of Diamonds. Just wanted to do a fun different take. When I first started sketching this I wasn't even sure where it was going or what I was doing. Just been getting into the habit of sketching out shapes and adding onto it. Just letting the hand and mind flow. It's been a great exercise to get the engine running. A lot of these sketches will probably end up becoming print concepts for upcoming shows depending on how many hits they get on social media...
Which brings us to the next point...
...I need help, advice, ideas to increase my social media following. Especially Instagram and Patreon.
So this here is a call to all of you who already follow me to please share my work. It is so easy to do that on instagram, just click the heart and tag a few people. It doesn't cost you anything and I keep providing you with stuff to look at for free. On occasions I do giveaways, which I plan on doing more of in the future, to give you guys incentives to help me out in return.
For those of you who would like to take the next level in supporting me, there's my Patreon page http://www.patreon.com/tobiasbearproject. Patreon will allow you to pledge a certain amount each month starting at only $1. This is in an effort to help support my habit of creating more content and go to more shows.
In return you will get access to exclusive content which I will not share on other social media sites. For more info on that, just click the link to Patreon above.

And to top today off....My next appearance will be in a couple of weeks at Long Beach Comic Expo on Satruday, February 20th and Sunday, February 21st at the Long Beach Convention Center.

So share this stuff with your friends.
Share my blog, share my instagram and share my Patreon. I will be forever grateful.

Thank You.
Tobias

2.04.2016

Full Time Artist: Ep. 1.5 PATREON


My Patreon is going back online. 
I've tried it once in the past and found it to be a bit confusing and time consuming to manage. 
Now that I have more time to dedicate to my business, I'll be able to update Patreon more frequently and offer better rewards. Plus, Patreon recently updated their interface and it appears more manageable. 
I want to apologize to the few of you who initially became patrons and contributed and I just kinda stopped updating. Just like my blog, I plan on updating on Patreon at least once a week. Probably the same days as the blog, which is gonna be Mondays or Tuesdays.



 So I'm ready to shake my money makers (pencils, ink and digital tools, lol) and get more exclusive art out there. Patreon will have artwork that you will not see on facebook or instagram and I will keep most of it at a $1/month to view. I will also be adding little bonuses and extras starting at $5 per month. But all of it will most definitely be less than your daily cup O'Starbucks or Chipotle.
If you don't know what Patreon is yet, head over to the site and check it out. In a quick few words I will describe it as "an online tip jar" or a "mini Kickstarter" 

My page can be found at http://patreon.com/tobiasbearproject

Thanks for checking in and hope to see you there. 

2.02.2016

Full Time Artist: Ep.1

So here we go.....
Yesterday I officially became a full-time artist. My little one is off to school, my wife is at work and I'm ready to rock n' roll from my home-office-studio (whatever you wanna call it).
This series of blog posts will document my journey of being a full-time artist. This should also encourage me to update on my blog more often. Now that I have the time there really is no excuse. I will make it a point to update this every Monday or Tuesday. And I will add a bonus image or video at the bottom of each post to make all the rants more BEAR'able (get it?).

So where to begin?
Who am I? If you already know who I am, you may skip down to the next paragraph.
For those of you who don't...My name is Tobias Gebhardt. I am a freelance/independent artist based in Los Angeles, CA. As you may have read above, I am now TRULY an independent artist working from home. How did this happen? Well, I was born back in 1980 in a city called Leverkusen, that's in Germany. I have been drawing since the day I can remember. As a kid I always wanted to draw comics like Batman, Superman or Spiderman. Those were really the only comics I read aside from Lucky Luke and Asterix & Obelix. I used to also really love the cartoons. You can probably watch them on YouTube.
 Anyways, I'll skip a lot of my moving around, etc, etc. Point is, I ended up in the Good ol' US of A in Los Angeles, CA. Been living here since 1994 just starting High School. I took every drawing and design class offered in High School. And that was the limit of my education in the arts. Well, not true. I couldn't afford a big fancy art school like Cal Arts or Art Center and I was too lazy to chase after Scholarships, grants and loans. So I ended up taking one quarter at the Art Institute of Los Angeles until they fucked me over with financial aid and I spent the next 8 to 10 years paying off what I owed them. After that I took a few drawing courses here and there at Community College.
 But I pretty much wasted away all of my 20s doing stupid shit like partying and working minimum wage part time jobs to get by. And I was chasing after what people call "hopes and dreams & easy money" without actually putting forth any effort into anything. At age 27 or 28 when I thought all hope was lost I enlisted in the US Navy to run away from my problems and failures. But it turned out to be a mistake, It wasn't for me and I fell into a deep depression and was medically discharged for being unfit for military duty. After that, life pretty much started all over for me. At first it was hard. At one level or another I felt like a huge failure for quitting on the service.
I ended up going back to my old job in Cellphone sales. I was miserable and depressed. The only thing that kept me going at that point was my wife (then girlfriend). Watching her going through school and chasing her dreams was very motivating. So at first I started looking for "better paying jobs" and even attempted to take another crack at school. But I was completely ignoring the one thing I always wanted to be....an artist. I mean, I didn't completely ignore it. I was alway doing something on the side. For a while I tried Caricatures at parties and events. I did a couple of online comics with a friend. But none of it was done with real drive or real effort. The priority was always to go to work and pay bills, finding ways to make it to the next payday. Always thinking about the money first.
Then the biggest change of my life happened. I became a dad. My daughter was born on December 11, 2011. In February of 2012 I quit working my sales job to become a stay-at-home-dad. That is when everything changed. All my past regrets and failures turned into stepping stones. I pretty much reevaluated my entire life.
I started hustling a lot more with my art. I started doing Comic Conventions and started working on a new online comic with my friend John Kratky. This comic is still up online at http://coffeetimecomics.com and will resume production this year. Since, life has had a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns. If you want to catch up on the events of the last year, which were a true test of life, marriage and fatherhood, you can go back to my older posts and read up.
But today I sit in our new home (renting). In my own little room I call my Office/Studio. And I'm ready to keep trucking harder than ever.

Did you make it past my intro? Or did you skip here cause you think you know me?
In either case, I promise that my future posts will not drag this much. Just kinda wanted to start fresh and what better way to do it than with an intro. Besides, you had the choice to skip it.

Anyways, moving forward. Each week I will pretty much post progress on artwork or projects. Update you on any shows or events I have coming up. Maybe a few thoughts on life and art. If any of you want to submit questions maybe I can incorporate some Q&A, the Comments section below is open for that purpose. My following at this point isn't huge, so I'm not expecting many questions. Also, I think I will start posting art progress videos. If there's anything else you guys would like to see on here, comment below.

And I leave you with a little introductory progress video of a Deadpool sketch. Enjoy.


video


11.20.2015

12 Rounds: Pound for Pound

Welcome back to another rare episode of Tobias' random blog posts, lol. I'm still not giving this blog enough attention. At this point I'm not even sure if having a blog is even worth it.

But anyways, getting to the point...
If you're one of the few who has actually been here keeping up with my posts, you know that this has been a hell of a roller coaster year for my family and myself. There was so much that was suppose to change this year. But it has just been a non-stop tumbleweed of problems. I think I've done pretty well at keeping my head up as high as I could through all of it. I kept grinding away at my work. Kept doing shows. Kept looking for a steady job or stream of income. And I was hoping that we would've got over the hill by now.
If you're lost at this point and don't know what I'm talking about, I invite you to go back and read a few of my previous posts from this year (and there aren't really that many).

After a final yet semi-disappointing Comic Convention at the end of October, during this here month of November things finally started looking up. Both my wife and I finally started real jobs. So a steady stream of income will start flowing in. Next step is to get our butts out of my in-laws' house and into our own. And we have a potential lead for a house, but the process of obtaining that has turned out to be yet again another challenge. We were expecting some funds from a CLASSIFIED source to help us with the move-in expenses (deposit, first, last, etc). But that door of opportunity has closed. So now we're trying to figure out how in the hell we're gonna get in there if we get approved.

As mentioned above. I've been trying to keep my head high. But I'm getting mentally exhausted. I feel like I'm back at the START line. My wife is now working full time. I'm working Part-time (Seasonal). And when I'm not working, I'm home with our daughter, trying to chip away at my own work and pending commissions. I literally feel like I'm working 4 jobs with nothing to show for it. Which is what I was doing at the beginning of the year, minus the part-time job.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not writing this to get sympathy. I'm writing this to vent. I'm writing this because it is easier for me to put feelings and emotions into writing or drawing than it is to talk to someone. It helps clear my head. Which makes me feel like I should do this more often, wether it is negative or positive. And I don't think all this is negative. I know there are plenty of people worst off in this world. But I needed to get all this out so that all of this doesn't turn into an excuse for not getting done what I need to get done. These past few weeks I feel like my mind and body have been slowing down. I've skipped the gym more days than I'd like. Which affects me mentally and physically. I've turned to eating crap food, which in combination with not working out has lead to gaining more weight than I would've liked. Which affects me mentally and physically, again. Which in turn affects everything else in my life including art. I need to get my shit together quick before it tumbles out of control.

So, I'm determined to finish this year out strong. After I'm done typing this I will be headed to the gym to sweat out all this negativity. When I get back, I will shower and wash all this negativity off my body. Then I'm gonna spend some time with my daughter, maybe play some Disney Infinity, and get my mood up. And then I'm gonna get back to the grind and stay up as late as it takes to finish up pending projects and commissions. I will no longer use the term "I don't have time" as an excuse to not get things done. The reality is, there is always time. If there isn't time, you can make time. As Arnold once said "There are 24 hours in a day. You sleep six hours and have 18 hours left. Now, I know there are some of you out there that say; well, wait a minute, I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well, then, just sleep faster"

I will not be defeated by this year. I've fought for 11 months,  I'm not going down in the 12th.
Lots to look forward to next year.

Tobias....OUT!
(please feel free to share your struggles below. Let's make this a positive and inspiring post to take us through the year)

9.03.2015

Upcoming Stuff

Here's a little rundown of things to come. Starting this weekend....
...I will be at 626 Night Market at Santa Anita Park. This is an awesome event to check out. Tons of food trucks and vendors. A huge Artwalk with a great variety of artists. Music all night long. This event starts Tomorrow (Friday, September 4th) at 4 pm to 1 am. Saturday 4pm-1am and Sunday 4pm to 11pm. I'll be there all three nights displaying and selling art prints and original work. 

The following weekend, September 12th & 13th I'll be exhibiting at Long Beach Comic Con. Find me in Artist Alley Table AA1. I've done this event the past 2-3 years and it has become one of my favorite ones. 
 Now for some upcoming brand spankin' new artwork.....
....My Badass Princess Leia Stormtrooper slayer will available starting tomorrow at 626 Night Market to kick off Force Friday and the fast approaching opening of Episode VII. This was inspired by Luke's line in Return "my sister has it..." 

Also...inspired by the recent trend and release of Straight Outta Compton, I present to you...Joker, Straight Outta Arkham.
This will also be available starting tomorrow at 626 Night Market. 

And to top things off. This is a TMNT print created based of a recent commission for a client. I have received permission from this client to reproduce and sell this piece as it got tons of attention on social media. 
And there you have it.
For more info on these events go to:
http://www.626nightmarket.com/ for 626 Night Market.
and
http://longbeachcomiccon.com/ for Long Beach Comic Con.

Tobias....OUT!!!

7.09.2015

Halfway

We're halfway through the year. Boy, what a journey 2015 has been so far. If you track back to previous posts you'll see what I mean. Things were looking down for a while, but the family and I held our heads up high. Now we embark into the second half of the year. Our plans didn't go quite as planned. I was suppose to be sitting on my porch in Washington state right about now growing out my woodsman beard, learning how to use a shotgun, hunt my own food, etc...But gonna have to put that off for a while. This here month of July should bring a whole lot of news. I'm gonna be optimistic and say that our dream of moving to Washington may not yet be 100% dead.
Anyway, If I haven't mentioned it in a previous posts, due to recent changes of plans, I am now signed up for a good 4 upcoming events. So it's safe to say that I personally will be sticking around here til about October one way or another. So you'll see me at upcoming shows like:
Central Coast Comic Con in Ventura, CA
FandomVerse Expo in Lancaster, CA
Long Beach Comic Con in Long Beach, CA
and
Comikaze in Down Town LA, CA

Possibly 626 Night Markets in Pasadena, CA
And don't forget to come see me this coming Saturday, July 11th at Earth 2 Comics in Sherman Oaks, CA for NonCon, that is if you won't be making it to SDCC this year.


Also, stay tuned for a lot of new prints coming out in upcoming months.
I know I said I was gonna try and stay away from doing so much fan art. But it's hard to stop, especially when it pays some bills and pretty much helps finance all my Convention trips.
But I do promise that my own material is coming.


I'm also excited to announce that I officially have a banner. So I'm really stoked to put that up on display at coming shows and get rid of my obnoxious wire cubes that I appear to hide behind. The banner features the Harley Puppeteer as depicted on the image.

Anyways, here I conclude this post. Have a great day. Hope to see you at upcoming shows.















6.23.2015

When Life gives you Lemons that don't make Lemonade

Greetings people who read this blog.
If you've been keeping up with my rants recently on social media and my blog, you know that I was suppose to be heading up north in a U-Haul. But I'm not. My family's plans of moving to Washington have come to a hold. I won't get into too much details about why. But for some reason it seems as if it simply wasn't meant to be. At least not now.
But we need to remain optimistic and see the good in everything. So on that note, instead of sitting around asking the universe why it gave us some bad lemons, I booked up a bunch of upcoming shows. And the show must go on. As far as family, we are now in the process of coming up with a plan B. Not sure as of yet if that includes staying in California for good. But we are rolling some dice and see how they come up.

I am now working on some new designs for Cons with the intent of plugging some more variety into my arsenal. Having been running the Con circuit over the past two year has made me realize that success comes with variety and being able to reach out to a larger audience and relate to more people. I will also be looking into making a banner or two for a nicer display so I can ditch my annoying Wire Cubes. I will continue to produce more variety in my bears and am still in the process of finding a name or branding for them, but no promises there. But all in all, I'm aiming to make this a full-time career by attending more cons and more events. Life has put me in a position that allows me to pursue this and I plan on taking full advantage of that. I have two kinds of fire under my ass right now. 1) being that neither my wife nor I have a job right now and 2) that the reality of perhaps having to get a 9-5 is knocking at my door. So I'm officially putting the most important rule of success into effect "WORK YOUR ASS OFF."

Anyways. Here's a list of where you'll be able to find me in upcoming months.
C4 Central Coast Comic Con in Ventura, CA
Long Beach Comic Con in Long Beach, CA
Comikaze in Down Town LA, CA

Maybe's
626 NightMarkets in Pasadena, CA
FandomVerse Expo in Lancaster, CA

And whatever else may come up. So stay tuned.

So, when Life gives you lemons.....Say fuck the lemons.....and make shit happen anyways.

Till next time
Tobias.....OUT!!!

5.11.2015

The Next Step

...Convention season is over for me right now and the waiting game begins. Our planned move to Washington state has been put on a slight delay. Until that becomes a certainty I can't plan any events at this point in time. 

On the upside, I will have time to redirect my energy towards my own personal project, now referred to as the Tobias Bear Project. Developments on that project will be posted up on my newly created Patreon page, so if you would like to be part of my support system you can visit http://www.patreon.com/tobiasbearproject.

I will also be starting back on our online comic Tales Of Hammerfist which has been on hiatus since about January. For those of you that have only met me recently you can catch up on those pages at http://talesofhammerfist.com and  also be sure to check out our other projects at http://coffeetimecomics.com.

By buddy John and I have been working on those projects for several years. But life has been getting in the way of really putting a 100% of effort into it. We will both be going through some big moves and life changes over the next few months. John still has one weekly updated comic up on the site, so please go and support him on that at http://blackwallcomic.com. But by year's end, everything on that site should be back in full gear. 

I also have a lot of other ideas and concepts in my head that I will slowly start putting on paper. As a matter of fact, today I will run out and get a new notebook dedicated to ideas and goals. I need to start learning how to plan and set short term and long term goals. I've never been much for writing, much less handwriting. But I'm hoping even that will come with benefits. But this year I will not just be an artist, I will also become a fully fledged entrepreneur. I have to come out of this shell of mine. I'm too quiet, too shy and not very outspoken. I think that is the big problem that turns most artists into starving artists. And I don't want to be that anymore. And only a solid plan in black and white will get me there. 

I am now in my second...or going on third year of pursuing my art full time (for the most part aside from taking care of my daughter). I am giving myself the standard 5 years to make significant progress. Or at least make it a means for surviving and paying bills without having to go get another 9-5 blue collar JOB! (aka, Just Over Broke) If I'm gonna be just over broke, I'd at least like to be happy doing what I'm doing. But the sky is the limit. 

So far this year I have set all my plans in motion and accomplished a lot of what I wanted. But I need to keep climbing. A call for a 9-5 is approaching and soon inevitable due to life changes and our situation. And it may become a necessary evil I will have to battle for a while. But I am making it a point for it to only be temporary. But big plans and changes are on the horizon. I appreciate everyone's support so far. I have gained a lot of loyal followers and friends since I started putting these plans in motion and attending cons. And I will appreciate your continued support. 
Thank you all for sticking by me. Your comments and "likes" have helped me overcome times of depression and artist's block. You make me want to improve every day and you make me want to push the limits. So Thank you All. 

And a huge thanks to my wife for putting up with me during good days and bad days. She supports me no matter what. And my daughter for continuing to inspire me every day. I feel like my imagination over the last couple of years has sparked tremendously because of her. I don't know if it's because of watching so much Disney Jr. But in any case, a lot of what I do and plan on doing is for her. To make her proud and to give her a good life. 

If you're still here reading my rant, thanks. But that's what blogs are for, right?

Tobias.....OUT!






3.23.2015

My life, Art and......stuff!

Ok, once again I have abandoned this blog for way too long, probably since the new year. Why? I dunno, probably cause nobody really gets off instagram and facebook anymore, LOL. Yeah, yeah, I know, always blaming the other guy. 
Anyways, So a bunch of stuff happened since the new year. We had to move out of our Apartment because of a new neighbor with a bad chain smoking habit. Started making our daughter sick. Started making my wife sick and myself included. And since we are more than likely moving to Washington state in June, there was no point in signing another lease anywhere else. So we tossed all our stuff in storage and moved in with the in-laws while we await our next big and hopefully final move. 
But none of that has stopped the art. I still pulled off Long Beach Comic Expo with great success and am now gearing up for Wonder Con next week in Anaheim. 


At Long Beach Comic Expo, a buddy by the name Sammy The Bull (on instagram @sammybull1) introduced me to the famous cosplayer Hip Hop Trooper. I had done plenty of custom art work for the Bull and the idea of making a Hip Hop Trooper Print came about. 
So to kick off Wonder Con, I am now taking Pre-Orders for it. $10 and you get ONE of two Companion Prints for FREE. For more details visit my instagram, where I have been promoting the crap out of it. Or email me at artbytobias@gmail.com 
This print is limited to 35 Copies, three of which have been claimed as of today. Print will be $12 at WonderCon and each companion is $5 a piece. 
Also added to my inventory are these two new prints below. Both are sketches I did at Phat Con at Dave & Buster's Back in January. I tricked them out a bit and will be selling them as 5.5x8.5 Prints for $5 each. These will also be eligible for FREEBIES if you Pre-Order the above Hip Hop Trooper Print. That's in case you don't care for Darth Vader or DJ Wookie. 

I'm also brining back some old Classics in new sizes. These three prints started it all for me. Although no longer in large 11x17 format, they will now be available in 5.5x8.5 sizes. And will also be eligible for a FREEBIE if you Pre-Order the above....above Hip Hop Trooper Print.

Moving on, remember my BEAR?!!! Yes, he's being made into a collectible figurine. Courtesy of the awesome 3D modeling skills of Adler Romero (aka @eagle_3d on instagram) of Eye 5 Toys. 
Behold and gaze at the glory that is the 3D prototype of the BEAR. 

The Prototype should be available for viewing at my Wonder Con table. So if you're going, please stop by and say what's up. Artist Alley Table B-22, April 3-5 at the Anaheim Convention Center. 

And....if nobody read this, well then this was just a huge waste of time, haha.