Sunday, March 11, 2018

Wrestling With The Interwebs

Hey gang. I've been in the internet trenches. I've decided I'd like to consolidate everything about me into one place on the web. My portfolio, podcast, youtube, blog stuff, etc.
I've been working at getting a blog set up on my domain and boy I am rusty at web stuff. I remember now why I steered away from that path a number of years back.

I've been battling with wonky themes in wordpress, trying to wrap my head around RSS feeds and setting up my blog to run my podcast feed. I assumed, wrongly, that it would be a simple thing to do to post my podcast audio on WordPress and have iTunes pick it up.

Every platform out there wants money from you. Typically in the form of a monthly subscription and as I'm doing this on the cheap, that's not very good. I haven't yet puzzled out if I can do all this for free or not. I think I may not be able to.

Bottom line is, the thing I thought would be simple has ballooned into a three headed monster that threatens to eat all my time, money and patience!!

And I forge ahead. :)

Monday, March 5, 2018

Failing Toward Success Blog post - Social Media Sucks

Two weeks doing humanitarian work in a 3rd world country can give a person perspective. This podcast deals with the snares of social media. Listen at your own risk. You may want to stop using social media while you listen to it. I encourage you to stop the audio midstream and shut it down! But if you listen to the end, give some serious thought to your interaction with the media around you. Cutting down your usage may give you more time in life for more important things.

Blessings all!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Failing Toward Success Interview: Kelly Mellings on Craft

This long format interview is with the multi-award winning illustrator Kelly Mellings. I ask him a bunch of questions about growing in craft as an illustrator. We chat some about style and he talks about the national best selling graphic novel, The Outside Circle, which he illustrated. The graphic novel was written by Patti LaBoucane Benson and presents a sobering story of intergenerational trauma. 

Find Kelly Mellings on twitter

Find The Outside Circle here.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Patreon for Possum Awesome and the Tome of Tomorrow's

Hello all! It's been an excessively long while since I touched this blog.

Last week I opened the doors on a patreon page.
 It's in support of a story I'm writing. I'd be so pleased if you checked it out.

Also! I've been creating youtube content for over a year now. Please go check those videos out too! Thanks so much!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Time, 10,000 hrs, Craft

Last year, I faced the turning of my years from 36 to 37 with humour. How many of you recall the scene in Monty Python Quest for the Holy Grail where Arthur has a conversation with Dennis the peasant. “I’m not old, I’m 37” Dennis retorts after being called old by his King. Well. I’m now 38 and wish I could still reference that scene when confronting my age.

Awe, well time passes. I was reminded of this yesterday as I listened to Chris Oatley’s artcast where he spoke to Robert Simon’s One of the things that struck me was the age of these two very successful storytellers. I started to dwell on the fact that until about 7 years ago I started working more seriously at the craft side of illustrating. The fear that sprung up in my thinking is that I’ve missed so much time at the drawing board that I have missed a window in which to develop my potential as a visual creator. I think this is compounded by dwelling on the 10,000 hrs required to become masterful at something.

Age and time are against me it seems. I can’t fault myself for the choices I’ve made in where I’ve invested my time over the past 7 years. I’ve poured considerably into my children, my relationship with my wife and the other important relationships around me; to the best of my ability. Those hrs maybe matter more in the long run. They most certainly do if I consider them in relationship to my idea of what a successful life looks like. Nonetheless, the distance I feel from where I think I should be as a creator and where I am currently, stings.

Having Our 1984 closer to realization hasn’t seemed to lessen this sting any. The cold fact is that Our 1984 is one tiny piece in fulfilling the dream of one day being a full time storyteller. I need to qualify this, I do an awful lot of storytelling in my work at Pulp Studios Inc. and I’m grateful for that, but there is an unquenchable thirst to tell my own stories through children’s books, novels and graphic novels. This just won’t go away, and so, I have chosen to face it head on. Face it with the skill I currently possess, such as it is, and try to make a way to the other side of the fence one day.

In reflection and conversation with my wife and fellow creatives, I think it is highly possible that the stories I want to tell would possibly not have been feasible when I was younger. In spite of my belly aching about time, I have grown as a creator. Also, my maturity level has increased (for those who know me, you may laugh at that, I hear your mocking chuckles) and my understanding and distillation of what I want to say is far more clear.

I have resolved to just continue to push myself in spite of time, age and self doubt. Insert smart proverb about “Do or do not, there is no try.” or whatever. Bottom line, I won’t quit and I’ll continue to hold my dreams tight and water those suckers until they grow.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bending Through the Process of Publishing a Children's Book

Nine weeks had come and gone, several attempts at communication went unanswered, the story had begun developing a thin layer of dust and my optimism wavered. Then, finally, on Friday last I made contact with my editor. *Phew* - deep exhalation. I can finally breathe again. 

I had a good, short, conversation with the editor who was apologetic for the lack of response to my communications. She expressed a struggle on her end to articulate her thoughts on the story in it’s current incarnation. However, she managed to put those reflections together for me over the phone. 

Working with an editor has been an interesting process. The story is most certainly changing and I believe for the better. The process has challenged me on many levels. I’ll try to share some of them as concisely as possible.

BE FLEXIBLE - As a creator, it is sometimes hard to separate myself from my ideas. This process has pulled me away from my story and forced me to stand back from it and consider it from new perspectives. In doing so, the original vision for the piece has changed, insomuch as the delivery of the story. What I mean by that is that the nuances of the story, the events, the characters and the sequencing is evolving. At the same time the heart of the story seems to be growing. The process is pealing away cloudiness in some areas and increasing focus in others to allow the story to come through. 
BE PATIENT - Working in the commercial field, I am used to high pace of creativity. Often, I am working under much tighter time constraints during my day to day at Pulp Studios Inc. This process couldn’t be more different.
BE OPEN - I believe I’ve mentioned before that I am a huge proponent of collaborating. I’ve been collaborating with the editor through this process and have also found my friends and family a great source of inspiration and reflection on the story. Talking through the story with people has helped me along greatly. Their ideas, input and questions help me find nuances I wouldn’t on my own and help me push it to the next level. In the end, this story will belong to many people. Not just me. That is really special.
BE HUMBLE - Writing is hard. Storytelling is hard. Rewarding beyond anything I do creatively, but hard. I’ve had to take a step back, realize my shortfalls in this area and work at growing my understanding of story, character, plot, pacing, etc. etc. etc. There is so much beauty in this because at the age of 38, I feel like I’m only just beginning to grasp some of these concepts. I feel as though I have so much to look forward to learning over the years ahead. 
BELIEVE - I’ve had to have faith, in the story, in my ability, in God’s timing, that this can work, that I shouldn’t give up. This process has stretched my faith in many ways. It’s not easy. The work is fun but very challenging. It’s a labour above and beyond my day to day. It’s time that is already sparse and precious spent in the pursuit of a passion. It’s late nights and early mornings. It’s strategizing how to fit this all in and not lose my connection with my kids and wife. During the lack of communication over the last nine weeks my resolve has been tested and proven to posses zeal and resilience. 
BE PERSISTENT - I’ve proven to myself an ability to stay steadfast in the face of uncertainty. This will serve me well through this journey, I have no doubt. I’ve maintained a professional level of decorum while maintaining consistency in my attempts to connect with the editor. This has been hard but valuable. 
BE VULNERABLE - I am very grateful to my wife, my business partner and my family who have listened to me belly ache over the last nine months about not know what is going on. They have consistently held me up and pushed me forward.

I hope these reflections prove useful to someone else starting their creative journey someday.

Now, moving forward I will be reworking the manuscript and page roughs. I’ll hopefully have this done before the end of October and then see where things go from there. 

In regards to number 4 above, here are some resources online for you writers who may be looking for tools to help you grow. 

In the meantime, I’ve been working at improving my drawing skills. You can see my work at my instagram account. 

If I only had a ... #sketch #trainmyeye - jumped in with graphite today.

A photo posted by Corey Lansdell (@coreylansdell) on



Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Good day!
Happy near end of summer!
Hope you had some water fights this summer.

It's been almost 2 months since the last feedback I received from the editor. Since then, I did some reworks to the book and re-submitted my script to them, which was about 5 weeks ago. I've exchanged a couple emails with them since then and the last indicated there would be further feedback. I'm finding the wait to be challenging. I really want to move forward on this book and I feel as thought time is slipping away.

My understanding is that the world of publishing operates at a slow pace. This could be an exercise in patients for me.

In the meantime, I did begin writing another story about a girl, her horse and a blizzard. I think I need to work on focusing on other projects as I wait to keep my mojo going.

I've also been working on a graphic novel script with my good friend and business partner, Kelly Mellings. It is going to be sooooo awesome! At least I think so.

Since Toronto, I feel a little bit broken. Haha. I feel as though I've seen the pasture I want to be in but between me and it there is a pack of wolves, a mountain, two raging rivers and possibly a troll under a bridge. It feels like it's going to be a good bit of work to get from here to there. I'm estimating that a full on transition from creative service work to full time work in children's books and YA literature will be about 5-7 years of HARD work.

Being 38 now, that feels rather daunting. However, if I can get there, I could have a good 20-30 years of productivity in that market.

I'm praying and struggling to be patient. I trust for the best and will keep my nose to the grind stone to do my part.

Blessings all!

P.S. If you are interested in writing fantasy novels or stories, check out this podcast. Great bits of information on writing in short 15 - 20 minute stints.