A Letter from Jan Fries

tl;dr verzija - ako vam se sviđaju knjige koje pišu savremeni autori, odvojte neki dinar i kupite ih. Knjige, ne autore. :D To je najbolji način da ih naterate da napišu nastavak.

Hvala Janu za godine inspiracije. :heart:

preuzeto sa https://janfries.home.blog

Dear visitor, friend and fellow mind explorer,

you are welcome. I’m glad you are here. This is a digital picture gallery and, unlike similar institutions, you are free to copy the pictures and use them any way you like, under the condition that if they appear in publications, you will give your source, cite the title and credit me as the artist.
If you print the items on T-shirts, cups, mousepads and similar items, or have them tattooed on yourself and others, credits won’t be needed.
So here you are; I paid for high resolution imagery, meaning 600 whatever it is, offer crazy visions, and I am glad if you enjoy them.

Let me elaborate.
These pictures were done for fun, between 2015 and 2019.
The illustrations in my books, done in pen, pencils and ink, tend to be precise.
I worry about them.
And I keep repairing or redrawing them, until I, and hopefully you, are happy.

That’s because good line drawings define. Unlike them, brushes and paints can easily suggest.
It’s a different way to convey information, and it touches different parts of the brain.

To relax, I like to slap and slosh acrylic paint around, fast. Generally, I think very little while I’m busy.
I listen to Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Dio, Deep Purple, Dengue Fever, Kumi Koda, Mari Boine, Mother Destruction, Alan Stivell, Tangerine Dream, Christian Vander’s Magma, the Chinese singer Kankan, the 12 Girls Group, Indian rāgas, and plenty of Chinese, Vietnamese and Bollywood music. I use Schmincke paints, Goya acrylic pens (most of them are ok but the bright green won’t cover anything) only three brushes (da Vinci Cosmotop spin 20; Boesner Schriftenpinsel 4 and a thick bristly thing for thickets and texture) plus fingers. All 28 pictures in this collection are small, meaning DIN-A4, on Daler and Rowney Acrylic Paper.
Well then, that should satisfy art historians.

These pictures are my way of sharing.

Unlike them, my books are not freeware.

Please consider. Each of them costs me more than 2000.- € just for the source literature. Then there’s more than a thousand hours of work. Plus extra costs, like my PC, printer, photocopies at the university library, travel expenses and so on. Sure, it’s great fun to write. I love it. And I get carried away. That’s the fun part. But while the writing goes on, the critical parts of my mind come in. It means that every damned sentence is examined and edited at least a dozen times. Authors don’t produce blissful prose just like a snail travels on slime. Writing is work. If it’s any good, it requires effort, and training. I rewrite some passages more thirty times. It’s not much. Hemingway rewrote his short stories between fifty and seventy times, before he sent them to the printer. Now, luckily, I’m not Hemingway. In fact, I don’t like him, and other big game hunters much. But I admire his persistence. That’s because talent is fine, but endurance will beat talent anytime. So I go critical, and uneasy, I worry and doubt. I rewrite, and rewrite again. Just to make each line sound easy and natural to you. There’s the surface, and there’s the deep structure. Good books are more than information for the rational mind: they touch the deep, they suggest, by whatever oblique and weirdish symbolism, and they make things happen.
And there’s proof reading. It happens when you are totally fed up with the manuscript. This process is anything but fun. To produce quality books, you have to distance yourself from what you produced, and be merciless. Usually, I tend to delete around a hundred pages. It’s not a happy job. Each word hurts. While the book expands, I get upset, and unhappy, and by the end of the process I wonder if I wasted years of effort, on some obscure dipshit topic, for nothing. Who the hell will ever read the thing? It’s too innovative.
Then, finally, the item is printed. I look at the pages, everything seems new and strange, and I relax. It’s not as bad as I thought.
And I focus on the next book, already in the making, and hope it will be better.
Good authors don’t lean back on leather coated sofas, smoke cigars, drink cognac and gloat. They write. Every day. Even if it’s total rubbish. That’s because authors write. Their next book will be an improvement. It will be needed. No matter how painful it gets.

Lo and behold, these days we have the internet.
I’m not online, but I hear some people are.
Within three months, my books get pirated.
I understand you ain’t wealthy. Most magicians, occultists and free-thinkers ain’t.
I’m not wealthy either. In fact, most of my wage goes into books.
They are needed to write the next book you’ll enjoy.
You have my sympathy. Do I have yours?
And honestly, have you ever considered how much an author makes?
If you get 7,5% of the retail price, you are almost lucky (but doomed to poverty).
Unless you write international bestsellers, you will have to devote your spare time to writing, as your days will be wasted on some stressful job that pays the bills.
That’s how I live, and so do most creative people. We barely get by.
And we appreciate a small contribution to our expenses.
Just like you, your small publisher will only get a penance. Most can’t afford to print real books. They do publishing on demand, meaning cheap paper, bad bindings and low standards of illustrations. It isn’t right, or good, but it works. It means that risky books, for small markets, have a chance to be published, and remain in print. Those who use real printers, and do quality volumes, invest large sums and have to store thousands of copies. They end up with a vast stock that costs rent, every month. And finally, unlike those who did the real work, the distributor will pocket between 40% and 55%.

That’s what publishing is like in the real world.
Creativity is a badly paid hobby.
Before I make a ‘profit’, I have to sell thousands of copies, and that’s going to take decades or centuries.
Can you imagine learning to read Bronze Age Chinese oracle bone inscriptions and investing more than seven years for a book on early Chinese magick which sells less than 40 copies a year?
That’s what life is like, if you explore unusual subjects.
And, funny thing, whenever one of my books appears, it only takes three months until it is pirated.
People whom I never heard of make a profit.
Some insist you to leave your address, and sell it. Others pretend to be terribly spiritual, and offer works of loonies, like me, for free. They claim it’s their spiritual duty. Damn those hypocrites!
Do I come round to their places, empty their fridges, drink anything moderately digestible and pocket all valuables that I fancy?
What gives ‘spiritual’ organisations the right to steal other people’s work?

All right. I’ve had my speech, and I hope you are still there, and breathing.
As I said, these 28 pictures are free. Give the credits and enjoy. Unlike the pirated books offered in the net, they are a gift. For the world, for you and me, for the goddesses and gods, for the future, and for everyone.
I hope you like them, leave a comment, and enjoy.