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Down the Artist Alley: Erik Lervold (Monkeyman Labs) | MetaCon 2015

My name is Erik. Erik Lervold. I’m with Monkeyman
Labs. Right now, at Monkeyman Labs it’s just a group of people, mostly writers, artists,
and stuff like that. I have a couple of friends that do art with me. We make comics, we’re
also part of a company that does websites and we do website graphic design, edit, do
work, you know serious stuff. We also do a lot of web content. We are right now working
on that and the podcast and everything. It’s just a lot of stuff. Right now we are able
to grow faster, a little bit faster. But, it’s been very very organic for the past three
years. Right now, what we mostly do is, we do a lot of prints and stuff like that. That’s
our bread and butter. And we also have the web comic that we just made a print. Because
everyone was asking for it to be in print. So we made it. We also have our comic series,
Ghost Strands,” and basically we have prints of our stuff to promote our original properties.
I started doing them in 2003, it’s been like 12 years. I stopped for like a period of like
5 years. Got really tired. But, now I’m back, I just had to grow up a little bit, you know,
back in the day I just brought some art and that’s it. Now we have mission, we have something
to do. Something that we are working towards. So, we are more serious about it, before it
was like all party, all you know. And again, you know, we use it mostly to be able to grow.
And also it’s great that people see us. Because if you have your own comic, it’s really hard
especially to promote your own comic. Most people don’t care. But if you show them, “oh!
Here we have a Batman, it’s really cool, you may like this comic,” a lot people move towards
that way. Personal experience? Find what you are good at. A lot of people, like I have
friends that grab a bunch of Lego stuff, Lego pieces and they just do Lego stuff. And then
they sell it. So making prints, it’s great, there’s a lot of people who are really artistic,
but you don’t have to. You can make books, you can make little books and sew them together
with a Xerox machine. If you want to be an artist and you want to show off your love
for what you do and your craft and you want to start like to lead the life of an artist,
which is not easy, the best thing you can do is just to start a small, like buy a small
table somewhere at a small convention. See what sells, see what doesn’t sell. See if
you like it, because a lot of people do it once and they go, “Oh, this sucks.” The first
time is going to be expensive. Drink water. That’s the most important thing that I can
tell you, have a giant thing of water. Eat properly. That’s like the most important thing.
It gets hot every now and again. And you know, have fun about it, I’m mostly more of a painter
but there’s a lot of other people, like that do a lot of fun stuff. Fan art is great, but
your original stuff is better. It’s always better. If you have a comic idea, you have
a web comic, if you have illustrations of dragons that draw yourself, you have a little
story- just make it! It’s right now super easy to do all that stuff. If you want to
write a book, just write a book! And go to Amazon and publish it. Sell it there. You
know, like, “Oh, I don’t have money!” Get a job delivering pizza. Two months of that,
is enough to pay for your whole stuff. I mean, two months is nothing for a lifetime of having
something yours.

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