How to Make an App: Step 10: Make Another App

Nice Reviews on Our Story App & a Sneak Peek at “Gary’s Worms”

We are so excited to talk about the reviews Gary’s Place is getting as well as talk about the sequel to Gary’s Place. Gary’s Got Worms.

Gary’s got worms?

Starting my next app, Gary’s got Worms. It’s not what you think, In this next App, Gary has worms, but not the itchy bum type, the night crawler type. Either way, worms can be a pain, in the end.

Gary’s Place gets a 4.5 and a 5 star rating!

We have the new updates now that we’ve fixed the ending of Gary’s place and we submitted it to Digital Story Time and The iMums. Two of the top review sites for children’s story apps. Digital Story Time gave us 4.5 stars and The iMums gave us 5 stars! YAY! I couldn’t believe it! I had to start looking at the competition on those sites and found that many of the other apps in the 4-5 star range are being produced by big publishers like Harper Collins and Disney. It felt really good to be able to start and finish this project with Rick Walton and my son Aaron and a little help from Tabitha Thompson’s wonderful voice acting – and to be able to compete!


Since we’re finally rolling I’ll share our sales stats from Google Play, Amazon, and iTunes, but not yet, stay tuned. I will in future posts. I don’t expect to sell thousands of these, and certainly not overnight. I don’t think digital publishing works that way for the

most part. I’ve got my eye on the long term goal of steadily building a brand. Some of my peers ask me why I seem to be so hellbent on making apps. Why work on a project like this without any guarantee of success? Why not spend 
more time in traditional publishing markets? Or watch more TV? Why risk it? Do you hate traditional publishing? ARE YOU CRAZY?

I love these questions – keep em coming! :)

No I don’t hate traditional publishing – I illustrated 3 books last year and loved each one of them. I look forward to illustrating more in the future. I’m having the time of my life working in a medium that is expanding my knowledge and skill sets. I’m enjoying the collaborations I’m making with famous children’s book author Rick Walton, and my son Aaron – who, by the way, is very creative and is actually a major contributor on interactive, animation, and content ideas. I count myself extremely lucky to be able to afford the time to work on these. But probably the biggest reason is that in order to succeed in anything artistic there needs to be risk. I’ve learned to embrace it. This doesn’t mean that I don’t hear nasty things from the voices. There always there but I’ve learned how to cage them quicker and keep them locked away longer.Many are afraid of digital publishing. Some are wishing it away. Some are ignoring it. I would just like to point out that it took nearly 50 years for the automobile to become mainstream. The early contraptions were noisy, expensive, unreliable, and inefficient. People  made fun of the early adopters. Many were hoping they would fail so everything would go back to normal. I can’t predict the future but I doubt we will move away from digitally delivered and enhanced storybooks for children. This means that I won’t have to worry about my creations going out of print.

Build a Quality Brand

My plan is to steadily and slowly build a quality brand. Each new app will advertise the previous story apps and each previous app will be updated to advertise the newest story app. I guess that might be step 11 or step 12 but who’s keeping track? They “say slow and steady wins the race” – unless it’s a sprint – we’ll see. I keep hearing about artists who make an app and never make another one because they didn’t sell enough to justify the effort. I also hear about those who make one app and it’s their “Driving Miss Daisy” and they are suddenly rich, and famous and they are millionaires, but that is fluke-ish and it’s probably those guys that make the rest of us want to give up when we don’t hit a home run with our first try. I think this is a mistake if they can afford to continue. Think about some of the most famous picture book brands out there – like the Olivia stories…or the Skippyjon Jones books. They weren’t created in a year or even two – it took a LONG time. It took RISK from their publishers. So Give a Hoot, Take a Risk, and another, and another, and slowly and steadily win the race, it’s not a sprint. 

Story Apps Need (good) Ratings TOO

If you’ve bought a copy of Gary’s Place I’d love to hear what you think! Also if you wouldn’t mind giving us a rating in the app store – that will help – good or bad – Preferably good. My mom used to say, you must be able to think of something good to say about anyone, or any app. 
If you haven’t bought a copy, feel free to buy it, we don’t mind.
thank you
If you want to go back and see all the steps, start with step one and link from there. How to make an app-step 1.

The Folio boys road trip to Las Vegas

Las Vegas trip

It’s never a good idea to send Will and me to Las Vegas. We went once before and it’s the reason I’m listed in the Guiness book of world records under human appendage modifications. LOL.

We walked around.

The California Teachers Association chose one of Will’s books – Armadilly Chili for their Read Across America book for 2010 and 2011. What an incredible honor! They brought him out there two or three more times that and the following year to speak and to sign his book at their conferences. It’s was so fun to hang out with their committee members in Vegas. And eat.

We learned that the famous Faberge egg company had just gone out of business a few weeks earlier (still don’t know if this is true but the dealer made sure we knew that there is now a supply and demand issue) It would have been a good idea for us to have been rich before this trip. Either way, we came home broke so…

I must not have wanted my picture taken. Or I was just in a stupor of thought, or lack of thought. Or maybe I was trying to “act natural”.

FREE WEBINAR! 10 Step Digital Painting

FREE STEP BY STEP Digital Painting Webinar

 March 1, 2014 7:PM MST (mt. standard time)

Dragon Rider

You know that feeling you got when you were 5 and you got to run downstairs on Christmas morning to open presents? Not to diss on past memories but WOW – I have that feeling again! I’m so excited to be able to create a lesson and share it with people all over the world! Our last webanar “How To Draw Everything” by Jake Parker gathered 879 people from countries on just about every continent – I even saw someone named “Penguin7493″ so… (Okay, maybe that wasn’t his, or her, real name… but then again, maybe it was)

How to, Step by step, Digital Painting Process FREE!

My ten step, how to paint, digital painting course webinar is absolutely free. And the video we make of the webinar is not free, but you can get a $10 discount if you act smart, I mean fast. Anyway, we have another webinar coming up on March 1st at 7:00PM MST and this time it’s my turn to share my digital painting process. I’ve broken it down into 10 steps. You know that old saying? The one that I’m about to butcher – “eating an elephant is hard unless you eat him one step or spoonful at a time…” or whatever but you get the point. If you learn to do something methodically it can not only make the task seem easier but also give you results you can replicate, and really, that’s what’s important right?

You can also purchase the video with added perks. 

Dragon Rider 02
For those who decide to purchase the video recording of the webinar we’ve decided to throw in some extras this time (we’re learning). You’ll get 3 things: A PDF study guide with a verbal description of each of the 10 steps. A bonus video explaining in detail how to set up Photoshop to use the texture settings in the brush pallet and my FULL Photoshop painting with over 30 layers from sketch to finishing touches. This is a high res file over 300 mb  – my working file so you can deconstruct the Dragon Rider and see what she’s really made of. Don’t be dissapointed if you don’t find any bones or entrails. Use it as your own working file to replicate my layers if you want to. This is a great way to actually see how someone paints in Photoshop.
DragonRider 03I realize that many people will think I’m crazy for letting my artwork get out there to be used by anyone for any purpose. I think most artists get a little too attached to their work and subsequent self importance. In the end it was 25 hours having a blast doing exactly what I wanted. If someone makes T-shirts out of it in some other country good luck – send me a picture of all the cash – that’ll put a smile on my face! And send me a T-shirt while your at it. I take a size “pretty freaking big”.
Pre-Order the Video & save $10 – The Webinar is FREE
It is absolutely FREE to attend the webinar, but if you would like to pre-order the video, PDF, Bonus Video, and Dragon Rider Photoshop file, you’ll get a $10 discount using coupon code “10step10” – but this will expire the end of the day of March 1 – check out the details in our store.
DragonRider 04
So you need to get registered for this event in order to be sent your individual joining link from GoToWebanar – simply click here and follow the instructions! See you soon!

Illustrate the word, Confined.

How would YOU Illustrate the word, Confined?

What do you do with your spare time?

This is a “Quick and Dirty” that Will Terry did in his, otherwise, spare time. He did this a long time ago for Illustration Friday.
You would thing that he wouldn’t have any spare time with his busy schedule. He deals with FolioAcademy, teaches college art and Illustration classes at Utah Valley University and he spends a lot of time in the boardroom. That is what we call Mother Nature. So a nice hike to clear you head is basically a trip to the board room.

Illustration Friday word or phrase to illustrate

Every week, Illustration Friday has a different word or phrase that they put out there for all their followers to have a go at. The thing is, they don’t really pick a winner. I mean, they don’t choose the winner for it’s merits, I think. In fact I think they just randomly choose one each week to display as the winner.

Artist Jim Madsen, I’m his best friend, has been submitting almost every week, and he his Dang good. They finally chose one of his paintings, (Last Friday, Feb, 14, 2014) for the “random”, pick of the week.


We Should do a Folio Friday weekly competition 

I have thought that would be a good Idea and a lot of fun to allow any and all of our peeps, that is, those follow this blog or use Folio Academy, to enjoy a similar thing but with some kind of judging system that chooses the winner. And they win something like a trip for two to Florence Italy, a brand new car, or our art courses at Folio Academy. (Which ever costs less)


Naturally there would be a lot of times when several pieces are near equally good and we would inevitably choose one that may not be the exact best but rather, the best according to our judges opinion. And I don’t want to ever hurt anyone’s feelings, especially one of my peeps. So if we ever do this, and I do want to, I am just apologizing in advance for not choosing YOU every time.

Any way, it may be awhile till we get that, or not, what say ye? I am still pretty stupe when it comes to running a blog, so if you have an opinion, you should let me know via my personal email. wayneandreason at gmail dod com. (that is in code to keep bots from spamming me.

In the meantime, this week’s winner for the word, confined, is the above cat in the cage by my good and probably best friend, Will Terry.

How to Make a Story App, step 9, fix it.

Gary’s Place Now Available For Android

In this post I’m going to write about what we’ve been doing with Gary’s place and some of the mistakes we’ve made along the way – and give information on how to contact my son Aaron for help with your app.

Now Playing at Google Play and Amazon app stores near you.

First: Gary’s Place can now be found in the Google Play and Amazon app stores for Android devices – YAY! We are charging a dollar less since it’s optimized for iPad and stretched a bit on many of the android phones and tablets.

Still not a best seller. 

Second: I’m not sharing sales data yet because we really haven’t gotten off the ground yet – I’ve been holding back because of all the problems we’ve had – ARRRRG! Sales data coming after we start advertising. Naturally I hope it sales like “Where the Wild Things Are” but I am also realistic. So don’t hate me if it flops. I already know that it might. That’s the beauty of free enterprise. We are lucky to have the freedom to buy, the freedom to sell, the freedom to try AND the freedom to fail.

So lets talk about the problems and subsequent updates:


When we first uploaded to iTunes and waited and waited for the approval we were horrified when we downloaded the app and saw that it was called “Build 17” on my iPad in the title below the icon. NOOOOOO!!!!! Let me just say, that while Apple is “user friendly” for consumers they are 180 degrees from that for developers (User UNFRIENDLY). It really feels as if they don’t care about helping you AT ALL! Or even like they want you to fail, give up, eat worms and kill yourself. When we uploaded the app file, Apple asked for the title of the app – which we filled in with “Gary’s Place”. But they don’t use that to put under your app icon – instead – they use the file name -BUT THEY DON’T TELL YOU THAT.

Now available, an awesome children’s story App, “Build 17”. No, it’s not sci fi. 

Therefor, update number one, change the name to something a little more appealing, like “Gary’s Place”.

Update #2: fix the ending and reducing the overall size

The story of Gary’s Place is about a small fur bearing animal that lives with mom and dad, and eventually moves out into a place of his own. Hence the name. Gary’s Place.
Well one of my online friends – Elizabeth – informed me that at first she interpreted the ending as Gary moving back in with his parents at the end. “Hmmm”,  I thought, “that’s not good.” So I asked Jan Watford who had reviewed Gary’s Place on her blog if she read it that way as well – and she said, “Yes, isn’t that what you intended?” …..Crap!
So…Update # 2 was to fix the ending and reducing the overall size of the app…and that update just went live for iPad. Yay!

Update #3: add a navigation bar

Then my app builder guy, AKA my son Aaron (who’s been working really hard on all of this) thought we needed navigation to make it easier to pick a specific page in the app and go directly there. (It will disappear after a few seconds so it’s not in the way.) That was a GOOD CALL. I’ve been so busy with a large freelance assignment that I haven’t been able to give it as much attention as it deserves. So luckily I have him around, and yes, I compensate him for his brilliance and work. He went ahead and did added the navigation, and it makes using the app Sooo much easier, and user friendly. Take that Apple. Below is a screen shot of what update #3 will look like. So Update #3 will add a navigation bar to quickly jump to any page and reduce the size even further.

UPDATE #4: TBA and in the mean time, Start my next App 

My writer/partner, Rick Walton has now written the next story and I’m starting to layout the entire app – and loving it! Gary’s has Worms.

My son Aaron has decided to help other people with their apps as long as they’re using Kwik. He’s spent the last 3 months working with Kwik and has gotten pretty good at it. He’s offering to coach you or build your app – you can visit his site right here: or copy and paste or click this>>> and here’s a gratuitous link to where you will find art lessons online.

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day

P.S. Happy Valentines Day. Thanks to Photoshop, I was able to customize a candy heart pic for my wife and valentine RuthAnn.

I will post step 10 on Feb, 21, 2014, put it on your calendar, and put that on your fridge. See you then.

I Love Presenting Art to Children

 Presenting is The Funnest Part of Being an Artist. 

School Visit in Katy TX

I love presenting to kids because of the honesty…like…”you’re cat sucks!”…with all the sarcasm and BS we adults feed each other – sometimes a little brutal honesty is refreshing. Painful, but refreshing.

Of course it is funner, (are funnest and funner real words? Good question, let me answer that right here in the middle of my sentence since you so kindly interrupted and pointed out my ignorance. According to “For now, the fact remains that funner and funnest are, erroneous and still considered unacceptable by many editors and other careful English users”.) to get comments like, “your cat is cool!” or You are the best artist EVER!” And some times the children say things like that too. So much for brutally honest.

So these pics are from a school visit I did in Katy Texas. Here is a little picture of a child’s work. I love the Kids drooorings.

School Visit in Katy TX Child Drawing






School Visit in Katy TX Librarian

Met some awesome librarians in Katy TX… Everything is bigger and better…and sweeter.