On December 2nd 2016, I announced the following in my newsletter (wanted to ensure it was here on the blog for any customers that missed it):
“I draw pictures for a living, but I’m also clinically depressed. I posted about this in my Depression sucks! Also, where is my poster? Nov 16 post on Kickstarter. I am overjoyed and humbled and thankful for the dozens (perhaps hundreds) of messages and encouraging emails I have received since then.
My closest friends are a handful of people. My family is ~ dozens of people. But my customers and fans of my art in general are over 5,000 people! So it’s weirdly important for me to explain my situation to folks like you, who may not know me personally, but might have my art hanging in their hallways or offices.
I had the ACME Kickstarter with over 3,000 customers, and the Apollo 11 Kickstarter with nearly 1,000 people. In between then have been dozens of fun personal projects that thousands more folks have added to their homes. My company has grown from just my side project to a real company with employees, and I can’t even count how many countries we have shipped art to. It’s surreal and fun and amazing!
But in the past year my brain decided “welllllllll shit”. And I can barely function. I rarely see friends, make any art, or even get out of bed on a bad day. It happened gradually but still quickly enough to be absolutely terrifying. It’s been nearly impossible to have a good day, or create new artwork, or even just pay the bills and be a human being.
Depression REALLY sucks. Like, holy shit. And if you have friends or family members suffering from this, I deeply encourage you to reach out and say hi to them, and that you care about them. The tiniest forms of gratitude or encouragement have helped me quite a bit, and I’m sure the same is true for other people in your lives.
I don’t know what this email is about, or why as a business owner I’d email it to 5,000 people without promoting any product or artwork or whatever. But right now I need people to know I am working my ass off to fix myself. I went to an actual hospital and got a legit psychiatrist and therapist, I’ve joined an amazing depression support group, and I’ve been reading as many books as I can to learn more about how to stop this. (If you have advice or suggestions, PLEASE let me know).
I want to draw cool pictures, and print cool shit, and make everybody’s life .001% better. And the reason I haven’t done that much in 2016 is just my impaired brain. But I promise (with your help) that 2017 is going to be better. And I am excited! So stay tuned.
– Rob Loukotka – person.
PS – If you’ve ordered art this past quarter or so and it’s been delayed, this is why. I am doing my best and can obviously refund folks if gift deadlines were missed. I have recruited close friends to help me ship artwork, so please thank my girlfriend Jenn and my other friends when your art arrives, as they surely are responsible for anything positive right now.”
In the blog post following this one, I announce a new poster (first one in 8 months) that was created specifically to raise funds for Fringe Focus to ship all remaining old & late orders. Appreciate your patience!