My Dire Wolf is now on a book cover!


My work, Dire wolf appears on the cover of Deep in the Wild: Dire Wolves, a novel by author Gerry Griffiths. You can check out the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Wild-Wolves-Gerry-Griffiths-ebook/dp/B09CZHD8CP/. The work is altered a bit for the cover, but if you want to see what the original looks like: https://daniel-eskridge.pixels.com/featured/dire-wolf-daniel-eskridge.html. 

By the way, here is what my original looks like:

Mammoths in a University of Cambridge Article

Mammoth
Lords of the Ice Age

It’s always nice to spot one of my art works in my newsfeed. This one is in an article on Phys.org by the University of Cambridge. Check it out: https://phys.org/news/2021-10-humans-woolly-mammoths-extinctclimate.html

Also, the same image is being used in a similar article on EOS.org: https://eos.org/articles/mammoths-lost-their-steppe-habitat-to-climate-change?mkt_tok=OTg3LUlHVC01NzIAAAGA-uNkx9a4-H3pgLOr9CBdgse2spAgJ2ziob1qVeAHvtYUVztplHm8Gmuq73Y8w18sQKTETxsn927MVUBshsH9eEvIYWKT4lwSrHPOsQ

I’m on Rarible now :D

What the hell is Rarible?

Rarible is a marketplace for digital collectibles.  That means you can buy digital art there, but you are not just buying copy of the image.  You are buying a certified version, that is the “original” (…or limited edition)

Wait? What? How do you do that with digital images? …Enter NFTs

NFT (Non Fungible Tokens)

They sound like some sort of medication for curing toe fungus.  But, no, are not that.  Rather, they are akin to crypto currency.  You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin, the most famous of these.  There’s another kind called Etherium.  Etherium however is more than just currency, it’s also a record keeping system.  In the case of NFTs, the Etherium network keeps track of who owns an NFT.

So, in effect, and NFT is a virtual Certificate of Authenticity (and ownership).  So if you buy the NFT, then you own the digital image that is attached to it.   It’s much like owning the original of a real world painting.  You own it (but you don’t necessarily own the copyright).

Buying and NFT

To buy an NFT on Rarible is not quite as straight forward as providing your credit card number.  You have to use Etherium to make a purchase.  That requires installing a digital wallet like Metamask, and then funding that wallet using an exchange like Coinbase.

It’s analagous to exchanging U.S. dollers for Euros, then having a special purse you use when traveling in Europe to hold those Euros.

Anyway, it’s new and interesting.  Right now, I only have one work there: Sorceress and Dragon.  As it cost about $45 to list a work at the moment, I’m not going to be putting much there.  You can find my profile on Rarible here: https://rarible.com/danieleskridge

I’m featured in Wild West Magazine!

Wild West Magazine
This is the cover of the issue I’m featured in.

In the June 2019 of Wild West Magazine, I’m the featured artist!  They show several of my works, some with full page displays.  What’s really cool is that I was able to actually find this on the newsstand at my local Barnes and Noble.

Apparently, there are quite a few subscribers who liked what they saw.  I had quite a nice bump in print sales almost immediately.

There’s a short interview with me included as well, but here are a couple of the works that were featured.

Guardians of the Plains
“Guardians of the Plains” — this one had a half page display.

The Eyes of Winter
“The Eyes of Winter” — One of my works that was a full page display in the magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Switched from Mailchimp to ConvertKit

Mailchimp and ConvertKit are both email list management websites. Such a site allows you to keep a list of subscriber’s emails, handle new subscriptions to those lists, send out emails, report on receipt of those emails, and much, much more.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp Fail
Mailchimp pissed me off.

For years, I used Mailchimp. Using that service, I kept a list of people who liked my art and had subscribed to my list. Weekly, I’d send out a newsletter featuring my latest art, discount codes, and free wall papers.

I was generally quite happy with them, but…unfortunately, I recently had some trouble with them. What should have been a small problem quickly turned into a huge headache.

Why I Went with MailChimp in the First Place

There are tons of sites that will help you manage your email lists. However, Mailchimp really is the biggest and most well established. The user interface is flashy and easy to use…most of the time. Occasionally, it was difficult to find something, but for the most part it was great. Furthermore, their email editor is quite powerful, allowing you to create some really professional looking emails.

They have all of the major features that such a provider should have: Subscription Form editors, reporting, autoresponders, etc. but, most importantly, they have a free tier where you don’t have to pay a dime until you have over 2000 subscribers. That makes it great for getting your feet wet when it comes to email marketing.

They do have a few issues:

  • If you want to have multiple subscriber segments, you need to have multiple lists and a subscriber who’s on both gets double counted.
  • The general consensus is that mail from Mailchimp tends to wind up in spam boxes a bit more often than some of the other similar services. I think that the free tier may behind this. Having no need to pay has likely drawn a lot of less-than-reputable users who have signed up and sent out junky emails using it.
  • They have some unusually restrictive rules. They have the usual stuff, of course, like no spamming or illegal activity, but they also ban users who have sites about making money online and sites who do affiliate marketing.

What Happened with Mailchimp

That last issue is what MAY have been what got me. They have an automated process called Omnivore that monitors their system for terms-of-service violations. At the time, I had a page on my website describing how print-on-demand sites work for selling art. (This was before I started offering my ebook on the subject). Perhaps that is what tripped Omnivore. I’m not really sure though. I sent off several requests to Mailchip’s support desk. After a month of no responses…I was forced to give up on them.

Enter ConvertKit

ConvertKit to the Rescue
ConvertKit to the Rescue

I had a few choices of where to go, but I decided to go with ConvertKit.com. It’s been getting a lot of buzz lately. Plus, it was easy to move my existing list over from MailChimp.

Its chief feature is the ability to segment your audience. Instead of having to maintain multiple lists, I can just have one list of subscribers with certain ones being tagged. This appeals to me for several reasons.

For one, I really produce several different genres of art. I have western art, wildlife, fantasy and so on. With Mailchimp I was sending out every genre to everyone on my list. The problem is that Western art fans don’t generally want to see pictures of dragons. Now, I can tag the western art fans and the fantasy art fans and send them separate series of art.

Also, I have a lot of content about making and marketing and selling art. Such content really only appeals to other artists, and, while quite a few of my subscribers are indeed artists, many are just patrons. With ConvertKit, I can have the artists use a different subscription form and get just my artist content, while my patrons still only see my art.

ConvertKit is definitely more oriented around automation. Setting them up is way easier than it was with Mailchimp. Yet, I can still send out my newsletter on an ad hoc basis.

I do have a few gripes about ConvertKit, though.

For one, it’s a bit expensive to start at thirty bucks a month for the first thousand subscribers, then sixty a month until you hit 3000.

Also, I’m a bit underwhelmed with their email editor. It’s easy to use, but the emails are nowhere near as flashy as Mailchimp’s.

But, otherwise, so far, I’m happy and looking forward to creating genre themed email series for my fans.  If you want to give it a try, check it out at ConvertKit.com.

Yours in Art,

Daniel

P.S. Now that I’ve talked about it, do you want to get on my new email list? If yes, then click here: subscribe

Dinosaur Moon

Dinosaur Moon
Dinosaur Moon

Check out my newest artwork…Dinosaur Moon!

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Somewhere on a moon orbiting a world far from earth, dinosaurs live again. Long necked sauropods roam through orange fields edged by strnge purple trees. Ornithopods too run through the long alien grasses. In the skies a pterosaur glides over strange rock structures that jut up from the ground, and, in the sky, the horizon is dominated by the ringed planet around which this sci-fi nature preserve circles. 

So, I haven’t played video games much in the past twenty years, but, as a software engineer and IT professional, I still get lots of articles about them in my news feeds. One that I’ve seen pop up a lot recently is science fiction game called “No Man’s Sky”. While I don’t know anything about how the game is played or its backstory, I was very impressed with it’s visuals: alien worlds with strange flora and fauna. So I was inspired by those visuals to create this scfi-fi/paleoart mashup. The dinosaurs, by the way, are giraffatitan and altirhinus. The pterosaur is an anhanguera.

If you’d like to know more about the technique I used to make this, here is a link to an overview: http://fineartbydaniel.com/2017/12/18/how-i-make-art-3d-rendering/

To see about some of the software tools I use, here is a link to my resources list: http://fineartbydaniel.com/resources/

Thanks for looking!
Daniel Eskridge