Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Steven Oaks, Comic Book Colorist!

When I first met Steve one of the first things he told me about himself was his passion for coloring comics. I didn't know much about it but thought it was great he had a creative side to him. Soon he started showing me each piece he would be working on while we dated. He was great, I don't know if I understood how amazing he was until later.

When we got married Steve continued school and I stopped and started working full time. As time went on we decided school was doing nothing for Steve for his career path to be a comic colorist so we decided to stop. No one was really happy with our decision but we did it anyway. We took a chance and I kept working full-time and Steve just worked on improving his talent and getting a little bit of money here and there. He would spend 10 hours a day just coloring. Everyone would tell me to get him a job so he could help me more with finances since we were living on very little money, hardly enough to get by. I thought yes that would be wonderful but who am I to stop my husband from pursuing his dreams. I could never get anyone to understand how important it was for me to support my husband in his dreams no matter what. Only the best artists in the world make a living, if Steve's life-long dream was to succeed, he would have to dedicate 100% to improving to make it afloat.

As he got better he started getting more work and things were looking up. We moved to Utah because there were better paying jobs down there for me and to be close to family. May 4, 2013 Steve wanted to go into a comic book store for free comic book day. I thought why not and we drove to the nearest one. When we got there we saw a few artists selling their work there. As Steve looked at the work he turned to me and said "you know I am way better then them. Why I am I not doing this?" He asked one of the employees if he could come back later and start selling some of his work and they said he could. We ran to the print store and printed out some of his work. I wasn't happy with how much it cost but we had to try. We got there later in the day after most of the crowd but we ended up selling most of our prints and made a good amount of cash for how many people were there. We were both surprised and pleased with how much people loved his work. I felt it was a good starting direction for Steve.

Not too long after that they announced that there would be a Salt Lake Comic Con. Somehow I found out about the artist alley tables and asked Steve if we should do it. We decided it would be worth a try to see what happened. It cost us at that time a lot of money to buy his set up and all the prints we thought we would need. When we got to the convention we got a great corner booth and started setting up. When the convention started, each day we were needing more prints as we would sell out so quickly. We made many times over what we had hoped. Since then Steve has used the money from that show to build a traveling business where he is able to provide for our family and continues to grow.

It was so great to see so many complete strangers fall in love with his work and ask for his signature on the prints they bought.

As we planned more conventions I would go with him, but over time we realized Steve wouldn't be able to do as many if I went cause of my job and we would lose money with me going cause of the extra plane ticket and food. He now tries to do 2 a month and next year is going to be crazy busy now that we have found out more about different conventions.

I am so proud Steve is living his dream and I have loved meeting all the people that buy his work and the great friends we continue to make at each one. Yes, it's hard having Steve gone so much and it will be even more so when we start our family but I wouldn't change it for the world. Very few people get to live their dreams and my husband is living his. I am glad I never gave up on him and told him to go 'get a job' or continue school. Steve does better now than if he had gone to finish his major in PR. I wouldn't change a thing. It is amazing how far we have come in just one year with Steve doing these conventions. I mean come on we bought a house and are planning to start our family next year. What more can a girl ask for!

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