State of the Fanet: This Time It's Serious

What. Is. Happening.

We were finally able to release the first episode of Like For Like just a few days ago! The response has already been pretty great so I'm excited to get into some actual interviews in the next month. Until then, we'll probably do one more Friendcast so I have time to schedule sessions with the people who will be joining us. We've already got five guests in the queue and more incoming! It blows my mind that this is actually happening. I've wanted to do a show like this (just talking to cool people about the amazing stuff they do) for so long and to actually put it together and have people who aren't in my immediate friend-circle listening is just great. I couldn't ask for more, so thank you, everyone who has been and will be involved. Let's see where we can take this podcast!

On top of that, Plantastic Fanet Media (the official name for the production/record company under which this whole shebang is licensed) has its first artist that isn't me coming to the label! More on that very soon. I've mentioned... well, somewhere on the internet... that I was forming a sort of musical collective and that's going well too. It started as Alex and I just getting together to help each other out with our individual projects and it's blossomed into a few afternoons of my living room being filled with various levels of distortion and consonance. It feels nice to just be jamming again, while also accomplishing something in the form of actually helping everyone improve as musicians (rather than my previous experience with noise-war practice sessions in other "bands").

Speaking of bands; when I first started working on WALLOW I did what one normally does these days before starting a project: I searched all of the places I'd be using for available names. I was already set on "wallow" so I was going to be pretty disappointed if it was being used anywhere else. I found the group Wallows and thought, "The 's' makes it different enough." I remember finding another band called Wallow, based out of Taiwan, on Bandcamp and not thinking much of it. "We're pretty different, in different countries, I don't think that'll ever be an issue," I remember saying to myself. Well guess who put out a full-length album on Spotify recently? The OTHER WALLOW. I already own "wallow.band" but that's about it as far as my usage of the name so far. I guess what I'm saying is... You should go check out the one true Wallow over on Bandcamp and Spotify. They're actually really good and their music tickles my post-rock fancy in a nice way. If I can get in touch with them I'll try to get one of their tracks or an interview with them on Like For Like!

If you have any other musicians/producers/bands that you want us to interview or play on the show please let us know! Knowing their fans are into the idea makes reaching out to those artists far easier than an unprompted  "HEY COME ON MY PODCAST."

I Guess A Lot!

So that was quite a bit about Plantastic Fanet Media and all of it's... goings-on. Yeah. Time for some personal stuff! I recently passed the 500 followers mark on Instagram and that's also pretty crazy to me. The idea that (were it not for the only-just-benevolent cage of code that is the algorithm) 500+ people could see my stuff every time I make a post, and furthermore that they'd stick around. That's some existential shit. So if I haven't said it enough: thank you, thank you, thank you! In the spirit of the event I decided to ask my followers which popular song they'd like to see me do a DnD/Fantasy-themed cover of and I got some truly great suggestions. I decided to go with Katy Perry's "Firework" this time (I say this time because I'm totally doing this again at 1K... or maybe 750) and I'm pretty happy with how well the lyrics already fit the theme. I'm honestly reusing quite a few lines because they can also apply to a wizard casting the spell Fireball, so if you're a fellow KP fan maybe you'll get a kick out of those sections. That'll be up on Instagram in the next week!

On the visual side, I have two patrons (thanks, Camille and Ivan!) currently signed up on the Patreon to get digital copies of this month's maps. There are going to be 10 of the Caves and Caverns Collection maps this month so get signed up if you aren't already! That tier also includes the full digital release once it comes out. I've started working on the MEGADUNGEON again which feels nice to come back to after a short dungeon art hiatus. It's very slow-going because I decided to stipple in a large section and there's really no going back once you've started something like that! There may also be some random sketches appearing on the page again. It was nice to get everything cleaned up for a bit and be solely about tabletop gaming but it is a tad more restricting than I'd like, so there's more weird body-horror and line-art designs to come!

Oh, Last But Not Least:

Take care of yourselves, everyone. I can't stress enough the importance of taking breaks and not allowing yourself to get burnt out. Yes, it's important to work through depression and lack of inspiration; it's important to stay focused and finish what you've started. But if that project, or that post, or that perfect image of completion you have in your head is going to cost your wrist, or your body, or your brain melting down to achieve then it is high time for some cost-benefit-analysis!

That's kind of why I'm taking the weekend of the 18th-20th to go hike and declutter. So if you don't see or hear anything from me that weekend, that's why! That is also why it's going to take a little longer to get out the next episode of Like For Like. I simply didn't plan a recording session early enough so that I could be editing before and after those days, sorry everyone! When I come back from this actual vacation I'll be at work a few days then I've got two more vacay days to work on my next single, In Hope! All that's left to do is reamping some guitar and tracking vocals so it's REALLY CLOSE. I guess I need to find a new name for the project now though, huh?

Anyway, I just wanted to say I truly appreciate all of you and that it's important to take care of yourselves so you can keep being the awesome group of people I know and love. Go partake in some sleep, some caffeine, and maybe a good vinyl. Until next time!

- JRS