Do you ever get an idea in your head and then it just grows and grows and grows until you feel like you need to do something about it? That's how this whole sch-bacle started. I'm a big advocate for not wasting skills that we each have, so I set out to put my personal skills to use.
A short introduction, my name is Kristy and I go by the name kzli888 (which you may have already realized if you landed on the homepage and saw pretty much kzli888 or the 888 logo slapped onto almost every image). I work as a Marketing person (my title is specialist so it's equally as generic) for a packaging company. It's a simple 9-5 job, but was looking for a new hobby.
In the beginning of 2019, I was reading a lot of comics on Webtoon and was inspired by the slice of life comics to make my own. I doodled a lot as a kid and never got very far past 2D 'cutesy' drawings because I just didn't have the patience to hone my skills. Well, my skills haven't evolved very much since then, but I felt my doodles were recognizable enough. Fast forward to about a month or so (late Feb / early Mar 2019), I bought a tablet to streamline some projects at work. As I got more comfortable with the tablet, the idea of my own webcomic came back. I finally decided to invest in the adobe suite program with access to Photoshop, Illustrator, and other powerful tools. It was time to dust off my drawing skills once again as I set off to capture my own mini daily experiences thus EXP Gained was born!
I decided to name the comic EXP Gained because I also spent a lot time playing video games and watching animations when I was growing up. Playing mainly RPG's (role-playing game) and dabbling in MMO's (massive multiplayer online) I enjoyed connecting similarities between the virtual world and real world. EXP Gained became a play on how we see life as a game. It became a collection of 'experiences gained' so far along my own personal journey.
After about a month of drawing, I ended up buying an external drive to store all my drawings. I decided to name my drive 'Cactaur' and thought it would be great if I had a cactuar sticker to identify the external drive if it was just sitting around. As I searched the internet, there wasn't anything I could find to my liking, so I ended up drawing my own design and getting it printed. It was during my search for a unique design and going through with the process of creating something on my own, a spark of why not try selling a few designs?
And so I set off to create a store and some products, which is how EXP ShopCo was born. I originally had some fanart I would have loved to sell. I saw fanart sold on all sorts of platform, but a friend warned me about intellectual property so I did a little more research. In the end, out of respect and love for the original sources, I decided against it. Here's a set I would have liked to sell:
So instead I designed other original pieces to setup shop and sell. I was now on a bunch of different platforms, but it was a doozy to keep track of what I was doing and where. I pulled the trigger and ended up buying this domain so I could build a hub to connect all the platforms I'm working on. I also didn't make it easier on myself by using three different names: kzli888 as my artist name, EXP Gained for the comic, EXP ShopCo for the shop. It's not complicated, it's just more than one.
Just to give some insight on my side of the fence, I'm operating between those three names on the following platforms: personal website, instagram, webcomic, tapas, pinterest, teespring, facebook. Why so many? Realistically, I'm just greedy and want to tap into all the different populations of each platform, which may bite me in the arse down the road.
However, with all that's going on, you can bet that this website will be the hub to connect you to everything! This blog will also be where I'll be updating new products or projects to add to the experience of my work. In the end, the goal is to just share and bring new creative work into the market.
It's a new adventure with new experiences to be gained and I'm excited to share it with everyone!