Housekeeping

Hey, I’m going to break away from normal emoji release schedule for a short while to do a few things that need to be done, both with the project and personally. I also need to think about how I can approach this project in a way that will make the production of certain emoji easier and so this project fits into my life better.

Moving on from Redbubble and Society6 merch

Doing merch the way I did was a good starting point for me, but the money I’m making from selling merch on these services isn’t making it worthwhile continuing.

There are many emoji designs that are outdated and instead of spending the time to update them, I’m going to take them off the store instead. I’m also going to be closing the Society6 store, because it has an inexcusably bad artist cut (~10%).

What I gather from talking to patrons and fans is that stickers at the sizes that places like Redbubble and Society6 offer generally aren’t what people would like from my emoji – they’re too big. People want smaller sizes that can be stuck on portable devices.

Below them are a variety of sticker sheets splayed out, each sheet has a grid of 15 emoji, and a little strip on the bottom with a title for each sheet.
Concept for what these sticker sheets could look like and what size they would be at. (This concept uses Mutant Standard 0.2.5’s emoji.)
I’ve been exploring options for doing small stickers, which would involve making custom sticker sheets and getting them printed and shipped myself.
To get this started, it would involve a bunch of things I can’t immediately do, but want to start working on in the near future:
  • Talking to and finding a printer that can make what I want
  • Getting a quote for a test run
  • Saving up enough money for the test run
  • Creating sticker sheets that are up to spec and getting them printed
Then, with the test batch, I could consider doing a small crowdfund of these for people to buy.

Rethinking goals and rewards

I’d like to see if I can change up goals and donation incentives to be more appealing or interesting.

Most of the rewards work fine, although VIP emoji rounds aren’t being used by patrons (especially since I’ve offered emoji commissions in a personal capacity), so maybe there’s something else I could replace it with. I’d also like to think of possible higher tiers to reward the many patrons who donate more than $5 a month.

I’m finding that the monthly funding goals for this project don’t necessarily reflect what people want the most out of the project. For instance, everyone asks about if there are fonts for Mutant Standard or if there are going to be fonts, and they aren’t offered right now and there are not even any goals for them.

I don’t think there are any easy solutions to this kind of thing right now. The kinds of things that people want the most from the project are technical (which involves kiilas, not me), are really involved and would require significantly more funding than the project has right now, and I also can’t make them tangible goals because kiilas isn’t able to commit to something like that right now.

It’s something I’d like to think about nonetheless. Let me know if you think there are better goals I could do than what I have atm.

 

Tidying stuff

The Mutant Standard files and folders are a mess in a bunch of different ways, and it seems like a good time to fix that.

I’ve also got to do some personal errands that will probably take at least a week out of me because my mental health and sleep condition makes that kind of thing much more exhausting than it otherwise would be.

Figuring out how to spend time creating riskier and higher-effort designs

I want to get more nonhuman emoji out and I want to finally start making human emoji, but these are pretty risky, and could fluctuate a lot and could take a lot of revisions.

A lot of what I’ve done for the project, especially recently, are safe (meaning that I know that I can deliver some emoji from these experiments in a short time frame), or are the result of things I’ve been researching for a long time (like 0.3.0’s PUA encodings and new colour modifiers).

Risky emoji would also take longer to design because I haven’t got as many solutions to the design challenges of this subject matter than I have for other subject matter, or because (like with human emoji), they are very politically complicated and coming up with a solution that works will be tough.

Maybe elongating at least one release cycle (beyond the 1 month cycles I currently have been using atm) to make room for this kind of experimentation would make this easier to do.

 

 

Work/life balance, mental health

A few months in, I’m still trying to settle into my new makeshift job as a freelance emoji designer (which wouldn’t have been possible without this project, so thank you all).

As surprisingly good as it has been, I’ve been struggling to work enough to make ends meet. This isn’t for a lack of clients, but because my poor overall mental health makes most kinds of work much harder and more time-consuming than it would be otherwise.

I probably need to consider working a bit less on Mutant Standard in general atm so that I’m making enough money to make sure that I’m fine. (The more recurring donations, the more time I can afford to spend on Mutant Standard~)

My mental health has been improving quite significantly over the last few months and I’ve taken some significant steps to ensure that it keeps improving, so hopefully things will keep getting easier, but I still have to work around my limitations.

Maybe this is another reason to consider elongating Mutant Standard release cycles at this moment in time.

 

 

 

Thank you all for your enduring support, It’s always been a pleasure to see the ways in which you’ve enjoyed Mutant Standard emoji. If you have any ideas for the merch and goals and stuff, feel free to let me know.

­čĺÜ