Saturday, January 22, 2011

What komiks people need to know

First, my apologies for a late blog post. I attribute this to negligence, but also partly to just having so much to deal with IRL. If you guys follow me on Twitter on FB, I committed to one blog post a week until I'm back on track, and although I remain very much busy, I'm sticking to making that weekly blog post.

I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with Jonas Diego last week about his feedback on my blog. I felt a need to verify if the assumptions I made in setting up the blog corresponded to things as they are, and I wanted to see what effect it had made upon blog makers thus far.

What struck me most about our conversation was so obvious that I would have definitely missed it. At a certain point, Jonas got to talking about SSS requirements, and I got to asking, "what does that have to do with komiks?" "Kasi, yung mga gumagawa ng komiks, freelancers. Kelangan nilang maintindihan ang pangangailangan nilang magkaroon ng SSS."

So komiks people were freelancers? I kind of took it for granted that most of them have day jobs, but this refreshed my memory as well to my prior interactions with komiks people and learning that quite a few of them do this for a living.

After the talk, I was also reminded of Adam David lamenting that one of his prior employers had failed to pay his income taxes for his work. This is not so much Adam's mistake as it is his employer's (grossly negligent IMHO), but still a serious mistake that could have been avoided.

So, for komiks people who do freelance work, it's just as important that we understand everything there is to know about freelance work as much as it is to know everything about working in komiks. This does not just mean we have to be competitive in the freelance marketplace. It also means we have to understand our rights, make sure we pay our taxes, etc. Going freelance means sacrificing a lot of things people with 9-to-5 jobs take for granted. You can't afford to take them for granted either, not if you want to make sure you and your family has a good life in the years ahead.

I may write some freelance articles targeted to komiks makers in the future, including SSS, TIN, business registration and all that. For the moment, I'd like to recommend everyone follow Fleire Castro. Fleire is a classmate of mine in the Ateneo/DigitalFilipino course on Blogging Entrepenurship. Mother, blogger, and homeschooler, her personal blog always has a helpful article to people beginning and active in the world of social media. Even greater than that, she always shares articles on these same topics by others on her Twitter.

In fact, the first thing I'd have you read that I discovered from her is the Sex and Cash Theory. From Hugh Macleod's book  Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity, it describes a practical action plan for people who want to follow their dreams (as komiks people are wont to do).

Fleire's blog is here. You can also follow Fleire on Twitter @likke.

Having gleaned all this from my conversation with Jonas, I'd like to bring this question to you guys, my readers: what do you komiks people need to know? Anything about making komiks or working freelance that needs to be demystified and cleared up? Any particular needs for artist, writers, komiks people with websites, that remain unaddressed? What would you need to learn now,whether it's available elsewhere or unexplored before, that you feel would help you, not just in making komiks, but on personal and professional levels as well? I will help you guys find resources to help you out on these and other endeavors? I can't promise to find everything out, but we can get the ball rolling somewhere.

For those of you who have these aspects handled, I ask for your patience. I had learned that many komiks people, even the prolific ones, are new to freelancing and need help in these areas. If anything, I might come up with things that might be helpful to you as well.