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Ottawa Comic Con 2015

Ottawa Comic Con is just around the corner( May 8th-10th). This year will be my 4th year attending (I’ve been going since it’s inception) and each year seems to get better than the last. In addition to having Concrete Martians Part 2, I’ll also have What Does Slog Do? the second children’s book  in the Up-In-The-Sky series available. I’ll also have my Monster Prints, Pooh in Space Prints, and will be doing commissions, as well as signing up people for personalized illustrations! For those of you that are interested in animation, I’m also hosting a panel with Kurt Lehner called Breaking into Disney Animation which will be held on the Friday at 5:15pm in Meeting RooM B. It’ll be moderated by the boys of  the End Credits Podcast. You can listen to my first chat with them here.

So if you are going to the con, you can find me at table 2510 in Artist Alley. I hope to see you all there!

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The Business of Being an Artist – Doing a Chapters/Indigo Book Signing

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.

On April 18th I’ll be at the Burlington Chapters/Indigo doing a book signing for my second children’s book “What Does Slog Do?” For those of you interested in coming and getting a book signed, I’ll be there from 1-5pm. The great thing about Chapters is that they do allow for single day consignment, which means that they will allow you to sell your book at full price for a single day in their store. To find out more about this all you have to do is talk to either a manager or someone in charge of the children’s book section. FYI, they do take about 30% of the book cost, but it’s a great way to get your work out their outside of conventions and comic book stores. It’s also a great way to build a relationship with your local bookstore. Some of the stores also allow a certain amount of self-published authors to carry your book on their shelf. Every store is different in regards to how many self-published author’s books they will carry and for the length of time they will allow your book to be in their store. You’ll have to inquire when you do your book consignment. All in all, it’s been a great way to get more people’s eyes on my book, and to make a bit of extra cash as well. Here’s the link to the Burlington Chapters/Indigo I’ll be at. Hope to see you there!

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The Business of Being an Artist – Toronto Comiccon and ECCC 2015

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.

Whew! Wow! Those are the words that pretty much some up the last few weeks of going to cons. Both Toronto Comic Con and Emerald City Comic Con were successful and exhausting both in it’s own right. I’m happy to be on the other side of them, so that I can focus on Arcane Awakening for the next month, and so that I can gear up for the next wave of cons in May and June. But I’m also still absorbing the lessons learned from each one, and that’s what I want to go over in this post. Continue reading

Keith Grachow's Biography

The Business of Being an Artist – Toronto Comic Con 2015

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.
Convention season is starting up for me, so what that means is that I will be on the road for the next several months, meeting lots of new artists and fans as well as selling my wares. First stop is Toronto, which is my old haunting ground. It’s always fun to do a show in T.O. because I get to see friends I haven’t seen since the last Toronto comic con. I also get to apply some of the tweaks to my table presentation, as well as try out elevator pitches on new products. It’s all around exciting and scary, even though I’ve been doing this for half a dozen years now. For next week’s blog I will report on how Toronto went, the trials and tribulations of the show as well as my take a ways to apply for the next con. Hope to see you all there!

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The Business of Being an Artist – Updating My Website

Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.

Every few years I like to update my website. I find that as my art evolves, so does the way I want my website to represent my art. This time, I’d like to use it more for a gateway to my business; a place where prospective clients can see my portfolio, or purchase items from the store. It’ll be where I blog about my process as well as let everyone know what events I will be at in the coming year. I’ve decided that I want my social networking to be more about personal things; articles that I share because I find them funny or informative or photos of me involving beer. I also will use it to put sketches or illustrations that are just for kicks and not necessarily business related.  Updating your website is kind of like spring cleaning. It allows you to lift away some of those cobwebs, get rid of the clutter and things you’ve outgrown. It’s a way for you to refresh and feel like a new person!

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The McFarland Family

Recently I was approached by my good friend Carrie, about doing a personalized illustration for her husband, Chuck’s, 40th birthday. They love going to Disney World and one of the things they always related to while there, were the Incredibles. The McFarland’s have 3 kids, so it kind of makes sense. And when I started visualizing a scenario of them as superheroes, it easily fell into place.

One of the things I’ve done often is match up living people with characters from movies or tv shows. This takes help from the client if I don’t know the people they want me to caricaturize in the illustration. But there have been times when I do know the client and their family, so it’s always fun for me to take someone I know and match them with characters that have similar traits as they do.

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“What Does Slog Do” arrives tomorrow!

The release of me and my mom’s second children’s book will be tomorrow, Friday the 24th of October! If everything looks fine, we’ll be able to get it in your hands by this weekend. So for those interested feel free and email me at kgrachow@jnkimagery.com to get yourself a copy. We will be bundling the first and second book together as well for a great price.

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Personalized Illustrations without the person (Part 2)-The Bishops

Sometimes I get personalized commissions that are still personal, but don’t involve having any likenesses. This will be a two part series, highlighting two different commissions that are personal, but are approached differently. Next up are the Bishops.

Colleen Bishop contacted me to do a commission for her husband, Carl, who was turning 40. I’ve known the Bishops since living in Japan, almost a decade ago, but haven’t been in a lot of contact with them since. So it was a bit of a surprise to hear from her. What was even more surprising was the request. Colleen wanted me to draw a dream that Carl had had, and make it a personalized illustration for his 40th birthday. Continue reading

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What Does Slog Do?

In a few weeks, the next book in the Up-In-The-Sky series will be out, “What Does Slog Do?”. Slog the Slerpent is minding his own business when he inadvertently causes problems for Never-Behaves and his friends. Braver-Than-Brave jumps in and helps her brother to see that Slog may not be the bad guy that he seems to be. It’s a story about acceptance and not judging someone who is different then you or making accusations without knowing the whole story. The book will be available for purchase at the Miami Book Fair in late November, as well as through the website kgrachow.com. Or you can contact us at kgrachow@jnkimagery.com. And of course you can get still order our first book, “On a Planet Named Up-In-The-Sky“!spreadcover-web

Welcome to My New Site

Hey everyone,

I want to welcome you to my new and improved website and blog. I’ll be using this blog to post up coming events, new commissions, comic book work, illustrations or anything that relates to my world. Coinciding with the launch of the new site is the release of my new Children’s Book, ‘A Planet Named Up-in-the-Sky’. It was written by my mom and illustrated by me.  Purchase your copy today, from our U.S. book fulfillment service and use our discount code friends & family. This is a  limited time only.  Let us know what you think by leaving comments here or on our Facebook Fan Page.

Happy reading!

Keith