Since 2008, I've been devoting myself to coloring comics and been through a lot, with positive and difficult experiences. And, in this regard, this post is intended to share with you these ones that are worth writing. Not every day you can say this: welcome to my new home!
I live in Chile, South America, at the end of the world (literally) where nowadays it's impossible to survive in the comic industry, so there is no other way of making a living than working for foreign comic publishing houses and small proyects. However, and according to what I've read in many blogs of foreign comic professionals, things seems not to be too so different from what happens in my country. Even American comic book artists have to handle two jobs to make enough money to live.
Consequently, the probabilities of stop renting a small flat to buy your own apartment in Chile are very low…but not impossible ^^
Look at the picture that accompanies this text. It's about the day my wife and I received the keys of our new home. Not kidding. What's the secret? Simple and difficult at the same time: saving and lot of hard coloring work.
A couple of years ago we were walking down the streets of our beloved Santiago (downtown rules!) with a dear friend of us, who is also a well-known Chilean Comic artist, and share with him our intention to buy a new apartment. Since that day, his advices and continued support were very important for us to start our new project. Thanks for that, Gonzalo! At that time, my wife had been laid off and just start building a career in Internal Communications field , and as for me, it was just my first year working for small comic projects and one miniserie of IDW. Certainly, our goal was not easy to achieve, but we focused our energies in order to get more and better jobs that allow us to save at least 20% of the total cost of the apartment. Of course, we had to tighten our belts, but not to the extreme to suffer with that. For example, we rent a very small 26 square meters flat for two years. About that, sometimes I just don't understand how my wife and I got along so well in such a small place!
In the last two years I have worked with many editors and writers in several comic projects. And, in order to have enough savings, I considered two job options in comics: working twice as hard for low rate projects or getting well-paid jobs that would allow me a normal routine. At the end, it was a mix of both situations. About that, I should like to take advantage of this opportunity most warmly to thanks all the partners and team works who I quite sure don't know how important was their support to my new-home-goal. Sorry, but I will never get tired of repeating how essential and totally advised is to create collaboration bonds and networking with your editors and workmates, particularly to those people looking for work opportunities in foreign comic markets. I wish networking were even easier and get more long-term projects with the same team, working on the same story or creating new ones.
In this section, I would like to sincerely thanks Chris Ryall, Drew Moss, Denton Tipton, Mark Andrew Smith, Mattew Weldon, Bill Geradts, Joel Gómez, Jon Parrish, Keith M. Dallas and Ivo Millicevic. Your support and reliance on my work along this two years were essential to save enough money to buy my new apartment. I hope to keep working with you for a long time, guys! I won't stop working very hard to get better and better in coloring and contribute to your projects. Muchas gracias!
I'd also like to offer a special THANK YOU to my friends and Comic artists, Gonzalo Martínez, Alan Robinson, Diego Toro, Diego Zúñiga and Diego Jourdan, who have allowed me to participate with my colors in their test pages, projects and 'just for fun' works for Chile and foreign clients.
Thanks to my friends Miguel Ángel Ferrada and Felipe Benavides who have let me be part of their projects and always pay my rates on time (I have to mention this because that's no so common in Chilean publishing houses). Hellis Leiva, editor of Tabula Rasa, also deserves my grattitude and admiration for all his hard work and support to Cabralesa's second book…you are the best, man! And thanks to Alfredo Rodríguez and his ongoing support, specially at hard times. Thanks for his many let's –change-the-world conversations that I enjoy so much.
However, if you think that buying a new apartment it's all about $$, you couldn't be more wrong. With their advices, interest, support and consideration, most of our friends gave us the energy and strength neccesary to keep going and fulfill our dream. Doco, Paula, Germán, Noelia, Alonso…thanks a lot
Although I'm already enjoying of our new home with my wife, we know it's just the beginning of a long-term mortgage payment. I also don't yet get used to my new space and neighborhood (but it's still Santiago downtown) , but I'm positive about what's coming. Of course, I have to increase efforts to get better and well-paid works. I started as Comic colorist four years ago, but still needs to learn and improve a lot of things about my work. However, having a better place to do it is undoubtely a great advance.
Lastly, I want to thank Daniela, aka 'Cabralesa', the love of my life. Without her support, all this would not have been possible. And of course….thanks God for aaaaall your help!
Well, let's keep coloring!