I sat down to write an update providing some info about the many working pieces of my career currently. I want to fill you in on Oneshi Press, what it is, how we got here, what we’re doing. My part of it, the rest of it, etc. I realized that it’s a big picture to present, and that perhaps some backstory might help frame the current page we’re on. Bear with me, as I do my best to catch you up as succinctly as I can.
Flashback Montage (Backstory Info)
To summarize my backstory with regards to my individual career: I am a Multi-Media Visual Artist, but then if you’re reading this, you probably know that. Let’s talk about what that means. I’ve always been an artist. I have my BFA in Illustration from SVA. Since graduating, I have freelanced for the past 15 years. During that time I have excelled at Illustration, Graphic Design, Animation, VFX, and Web Design. Notably, I’ve worked on Visual Effects for Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and did lead animation for Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men (motion comic). I’ve worked for various publishers and content creators, some quite well-known in their respective industries, including Neal Adams (comicbook living legend). Over this time period, I’ve been developing my own IPs (intellectual properties) and tempering them with the skills I’ve honed along the way.
In 2015, I teamed up with Lynsey G (CCed here), whose career had run a similar track—except where mine was visual, hers was literary. She had worked for major publishing houses, done freelance editing for just about everyone, and run her own online magazine. She’s a renowned writer in the field of feminist-porn journalism, with bylines in McSweeneys, Glamour, Vice, Bitch, Bust, Refinery29, Autostraddle, and others. Currently she has a book out that is swiftly climbing the charts called “Watching Porn”—a memoir-slash-informative-book about the porn industry.
Building the Team
In our partnership, we realized that between the two of us we had more than enough skill and experience to make fantastic graphic novels out of our ideas. The graphic novels we wanted to make, however, were fresh both in style and content; most of the big publishers seemed to want more of the same to fit their own branding and image. So, we decided to create our own publishing company, Oneshi Press. We have three IPs that we are working on and have already released installments of: Tracy Queen, a graphic novel of Lynsey’s invention, illustrated by myself; PACK, a comicbook of my invention, written by Lynsey and illustrated by myself; and Children of Gaia, a series that has been in the works between myself and Chris Covelli for 20 some-odd years now, having since been joined by 5 other writers including Lynsey G, Peter Lampasona, Laure Bersig, and Jenny Williamson.
What We’ve Done So Far
As Oneshi Press, we’ve already released 1 illustrated novel from Children of Gaia called The Great Nations of Rendaraia, as well as two comics anthologies. The anthologies are slated to be released quarterly. Each anthology contains 8-page installments of both Tracy Queen and PACK, as well as curated submissions of creator-owned comics licensed to us in exchange for royalties. We’re finishing up the 3rd anthology now and collecting submissions for the 4th one.
While I’m creating the visual artwork for future installments of Tracy Queen and PACK, as well as illustrations for future Children of Gaia books, I livestream my work on twitch.tv/jayeldraco, which has garnered quite an audience and formed something of a growing community.
How it’s Going
All of our releases have had nothing but fantastic reviews, including podcasts, newspaper articles, personal letters, etc. We are confident in our productions. The problem at this point is reach. For each of these projects we have websites and social media accounts, etc., and I am confident that with the right stimulation, our hundreds of likes and outspoken advocates can be converted to hundreds of thousands of likes and sales. I am also fully aware that between Lynsey and myself, despite having all the ingredient to create and publish these works, we are lacking a major ingredient—funding. The funding for professional marketing, the funding for larger print runs to increase our profit margin, the funding for contracting production assistants and supplemental artists to lighten the workload.
So, what we’ve done so far toward this end (aside from selling kick-ass products that we and those in our collective have put their best into) is launching a Patreon Campaign where our subscribers get all kinds of rewards including a subscription to our Quarterly Anthologies, signed prints, discount commissions and more depending on their subscription level. We’ve gotten distribution through Amazon, Kindle, and Comixology.
So, Whats Next?
The picture is far from complete, we need to expand our audience greatly if Oneshi Press is to survive. Our next focus is marketing these wonderful materials that we’ve created, to whatever capacity we can, and hopefully be able to use whatever success we can garner at this point as a metric for future investors. To be able to market accordingly, our own ideas about our products, our image, and our appeal in general need to take a backseat to yours. That’s right, your opinion matters far more than ours where this is concerned. The very fact that you’re reading this sentence means we’ve stirred something in you, connected with you in some way. As we move forward, we need to make certain that we never lose that, and if we can, even improve upon that.
Get Involved, Come Hang Out!
This Thursday (10/12/2017) I’ll start my normal scheduled live-stream at twitch.tv, working on illustrations for our next book in the Children of Gaia series at 5:30pm Mountain Time (7:30 Eastern, 4:30 Pacific). Then at 7:00pm Mountain time (9:00 Eastern, 6:00 Pacific) I’ll switch over from my #creative stream where I make art, to an #IRL stream where we can have an open discussion. Lynsey will be joining me as we fill in details about our back story, ask each other questions and answer questions from the audience (I hope that might include you). At the end, we’ll wrap it up with some questions for our audience. Aside from general shenanigans and just having an all-around blast, we’re hoping for a mutual exchange where you can walk away with a better picture of what we’re up to, and we can walk away with a better picture of what’s working for us, what’s important to our audience, and what we need to develop better. Mostly though…we’re gonna have fun. Please stop by and say hi. It’s free and easy to make a Twitch account; you can even use your Facebook credentials to log in if you want. We hope to see you there: twitch.tv/jayeldraco