Commissions Open; or, Come Buy Some Art

I was asked to do my first ever commission the other day. It was a surprising but gratifying experience. So, in light of that, I’ve decided to go ahead and open up commissions!

I’ve included the menu for pricing for my services, so if anyone’s interested, feel free to peruse and get some custom artwork done. Shoot me an email at observations_in_retail@yahoo.com or drop me a DM on Twitter or a message through here, and I’ll be happy to see what I can make for you!



I figured it might be time for a new photo

2020 proved to be a personally challenging year, one of stasis, of survival. 2021 has already begun to present itself in a similar fashion, while simultaneously feeling completely different. Gone are the days of shelter-in-place and being a somewhat-revered essential worker. Now, there is motion, and both the exhaustions of last year and this young year have begun to finally catch up to me. The situation is untenable and will not last, for I will not last through it. Therefore, it has become a time of growth and transition, and I will survive, as will this website.

Through 2020, I didn’t produce much. I was exhausted and unmotivated. I’ve heard that referred to as “COVID fatigue.” It’s a pretty accurate moniker. The virus changed our way of life, in ways that we won’t even fully realize or understand for years to come. For me, it changed the way I looked and felt about art. The time I took away from this project helped me understand just how important creating is in my life. I needed to find a way to get it back.

With the dawn of 2021, I took a dive into the deep, icy pool of digital art. I have done very little on traditional, physical media in the last six months, and it honestly has turned things around for me. I’m enjoying this far more than I had before. It’s truly wonderful. So, when I say it has been a rollercoaster getting to this point, you know what I mean.

I had started doing three comics per week. I had so much free time back then. Gradually, that dwindled to twice a week, and then to once per week, where it currently sits today. 300 comics was a distant goal for the longest time, trudging slowly down the path toward it over the course of the past six years. But I got there, and I am there today. To commemorate this 300th comic, I felt that perhaps it was time to update the group photo, which proved to be a bit more of a challenge than I had anticipated. However, it is done, and it is delightful (for me, at least).

Anyway, enjoy the comics, as I plan on continuing them for another 300 comics, and another 300 beyond that, and beyond that. It’ll be a long time before you’re rid of me. Thanks for reading and sharing these characters with me. Your readership truly means the world to me.

-The Retail Explorer


The Human Toll; or, They Don’t See Us As People

The above tweet is incredibly telling about the kind of selfish twats anti-maskers are. It’s the kind of statement that, if you didn’t already know what kind of person you were dealing with, lets you know everything you need to know about that individual.

And it’s not an uncommon occurrence either. I have heard this from a number of other service industry workers over the past eight months. As much as I hate to say it, it’s incredibly unsurprising.

Especially when you consider where they take their cues regarding the pandemic, starting with the anti-masker-in-chief, Donald Trump, it’s so unsurprising to the point of being mundane and normal, sadly. 2020 will be studied by economists and sociologist for decades to come.

One thing is abundantly clear: Service industry workers are not viewed, by some, as people. We are merely a means to an end. And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the problem facing food service workers these days. (We’ll get to that in a future post.)

I don’t want to ramble on about this, because I’m just repeating myself at this point, but I wanted to bring light to this that these people only view themselves as worthy of consideration. As with many things during this pandemic, the selfishness wins out, because they believe that service industry workers are lesser, that they are beneath them, the customer.

It’s not a new attitude or revelation. Otherwise, Karens would represent an entirely mew phenomenon and not one that’s been there for years the way it has. No, this pandemic has just solidified the divide between worker and customer. It explains a lot. When people wonder why I’m so angry all the time about working with the public, this is why. I’m not seen, generally speaking, as a person. This isn’t to say all customers are like this, but there are more than enough of them to erode us from the inside into the hollow husks you see before you. All it takes is a few.

So, my point is, we’re all people here going through the most difficult of times. Please, work with us to make this as easy as possible, and show a little respect to service industry workers, ya know, the ones y’all forced to work with a deadly virus on the loose because if we didn’t, society would’ve collapsed because our jobs were deemed more “essential”. Please, just be kind.-The Retail Explorer