Monster App Artwork & Illustrations in Color

Monster App Artwork in Color

Finished Illustration of Monster Hiding in little boy's bedroomI am drained from working til 3 am so many nights in a row on this piece and even later last night. I thought I was done but when I looked at it again the next morning I realized there were quite a few more tweaks needed – I stopped having fun with it there for awhile. – Three hours at least and I think that’s when I was finally done. ..again! Success usually depends on what you do in your spare time.
I had to include several versions with various assets on different layers because there would be animations in this app.  I wanted to have animation but didn’t know how to do it or set up for it but hoped that someone would come into my life to help me. Well, it happened – I teamed up with a Disney animator and he is going to be teaching me and working with me to make this project happen! Kind of the, “If you build it they will come” model.

Don’t want any unnecessary animations

I am not interested in programming superfluous animations in my e-book.  One thing I’m constantly seeing in e-books and apps is animation and/or sounds that don’t move the story forward – in fact I’m guilty of that in my Monkey & Croc ipad app. On this one I wanted to create a story/interactive e-book that couldn’t exist in physical book format. Part of an on going exploration of this technology. It’s fun to think about the future and how I’ll feel about all of this ten years down the road, lessons learned, bumps, bruises, and hopefully a few smiles….ok, a lot of smiles!bedroom without monster or child for app

bedroom without monster or child but with cat for app

bedroom with monster without child for app

Did I mention, Art should be fun? I am having FUN

Did I mention how much fun I am having?

sketch, monster getting bit while trying to steel a pet rat

So anyway – working on this project is way more fun than getting hit by a car, twice. Wait, have I mentioned that I’ve been hit by a car? Twice? Well two different cars both while I was riding a bike? – not the same bike different bikes…and different cars – different years – and different drivers… I don’t think they knew each other… both times it was my fault. I did however learn two big lessons –

1) I am stupid

2) I want to be in the car the next time I get hit.

3) I don’t want there to be a next time.

Author’s not: There are three kinds of people, those who can count and those who can’t.

But wait – this is supposed to be about illustration, e-books, writing, apps, formatting, tablets, e-readers, illustratin, art wor doing, etc.

The story is about a monster

I am still working on the E-boo/ Monster app. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the story is about a monster that keeps steeling the household pets, and the boy just doesn’t notice.

The sketches are for an iPad / iPhone App

Ok, Status: All of these monster sketches are for an ipad / iphone app that I am making. It has a story, is interactive, in color, animal friendly, eco friendly, kid friendly, and car friendly…. It will have friends. but you know what? SPOILER ALERT! It might not be really successful. But will I learn something. Yes. Am I enjoying the precess? Yes. Does the little voice try to get me down? yes. Do I let it? NO! And HEY! Maybe it will be a HUGE success. Feel free to cross your fingers for me. 

And have fun, do some artwork.

Ebooks & Apps and Being a Selfish Artist

Ebooks, apps, and selfishness

sketch for app of a monster steeling the pet birdEbooks, Apps and Selfishness? Really? but we were always taught to be charitable, giving, and unselfish. Ok – I needed a provocative title but I’m going to defend it. How many times have you as an illustrator, graphic designer, author, artist, or creator allowed yourself to create under the umbrella of a studio, publisher, client, friend, spouse, parent etc.? In other words how often do you create for someone else? How often do you allow the parameters of the assignment dictate choice? How often are your choices influenced by what you think “they” want and not what you want? We all do it – even if you’re a gallery artist chances are you create “in step” with the body of work the gallery owner has accepted. Right?

Technology has give the POWER back to the artist

My message in this blog post is that the invention of computers, tablets, e-readers and the internet have given power back to the artist. It’s an amazing time my fellow artists. I now give you permission to be selfish – and it’s a good thing when it comes to your art. Never before in the history of the world have artists been given the ability to get their work to their audience so inexpensively. Because it’s so cheap it means we can do it on our own so we don’t necessarily need someone putting restrictions on our content. I’m not saying that it’s not good to get opinions from other professionals but now we can do what we want – the environment for complete creativity is autonomy. I’m embracing ebooks, apps, and whatever else develops in the future.

So be selfish – Have fun, your best art has yet to be created – what’s hiding in there?

Successful Artists have FUN while They Create

Have FUN while you create your artwork for more success

sketch, monster hiding behind the shower curtainI am a successful artist, Why? Because I enjoy what I do.

“Learn to love work and you will love life.” ~L Carl Andreason. “Find a way to make money doing what you love, and you will love work.” ~G. Ken Nuttall


Successful artist having a blast

I am having a blast working on this little project – I’m not sleeping much lately because I’m busy doing real stuff too, but I am having fun, or at least, that’s what I keep telling myself. As I get older I realize that we only have a short window to make it happen – whatever “it” is. I love the challenge of developing good instruction for my college classes, pleasing my freelance clients, pleasing myself on personal projects and my continued involvement on the day to day workings of Folio Academy.

I found a programmer and animator to help me see this picture book become an app, and see this vision through – I’m having so much fun – at work!!!

I am calling this project, “Monster App”

I’ll be Making my E-Book into an App too

I am going to make this E-book into an App too

monster pulling dog by the tail sketch for app

I’ve decided to make this e-book (see last blog) that I am working on into an iPad and iPhone app as well. Here is another sketch for the ipad/iphone app I did awhile ago.

I do not have a programer yet – have talked to a few but I want to find someone who believes in my project enough to go all in with me and share the loot we most certainly will rake in.

“We’re going to need a bigger rake!” This is certainly another leap of faith but I’ve found that if you have a dream and can see – really see the vision of it, you should go for it! I’ve been learning this over the past year and have enjoyed a fair amount of success with this method of working. I’m sure I’ll have my fair share of failures – wait – I’ve done that:

My Failed books: “The magical world Inside Abandoned Refrigerators”, “Daddy Drinks Because You Cry”, and “You Are Different and That’s Bad”…..ok ok – I lifted these from the internet but you get the picture. I’ve had failures and I’ll have more and you know what? That’s OK.

I will try to post my updates on this each week, thanks.

for more help with your art, visit us at

Making Our Story App, “GARY’S PLACE”, Was it Worth It?

Is it worth it to put all that time and effort into a story app that probably won’t sell?

It’s Time to reveal the sales for Gary’s Place, my children’s story app.

garys place 01Twenty some years ago when I was going to school, the illustration students had an ongoing debate with the fine art students about money and art. The illustrator’s argued that illustration was art in spite of the commission and art direction. The fine artists said “By nature an assignment takes the artist out if their vision – so it’s not art that’s being created.” I think both sides were right and wrong depending on the individual project but I think it sets up an interesting way for artists to evaluate the value of their work.

 We’ve only sold a few hundred apps at $2.99

This is the blog post where I reveal my sales for my Gary’s Place children’s story app. Even though we have gotten a handful of 4-5 star reviews –  we’ve only sold a few hundred apps at $2.99 each in the past two months. This is no doubt disappointing for many of you who are planning on making an app and retiring, and I won’t pretend it’s not a little disappointing for me too but it’s only part of the story. Okay more than a little, but…

Since 2010 I’ve sold over 60,000 e-books.

I’ve sold tens of thousands (60k to be exact, well, to be close to exact) of my ebooks starting back in 2010, and that, I concluded was mostly due to market timing – aka “luck”. Now that we’ve had about 4 good years of story app and e-book creation, the marketplace has obviously gotten a little noisy or crowded. But, most of the noise is coming from e-books and low quality story apps.

I still believe that an audience can be cultivated over time with a great story and good art. My long term game plan is to keep working on the series of Gary apps and Rick and Aaron are equally committed. Each new app released points back to the earlier ones and thus each new app becomes a marketing piece for the early ones and the early ones will hopefully intrigue consumers to purchase the new ones.  The total project should gain traction over time. (I hope)

Why would an Artist take such risks with their time and effort? 

Over the past 6 months I’ve received questions such as: Will you be able to make enough money? Aren’t you worried that your self publishing will be looked at as a downgrade in the publishing world? Seems like a tough road are you sure this is a good decision? Many people aren’t recouping their time and costs what will you do differently? The marketing seems like the hardest part – are you ready to spend twice as much time marketing your apps? What’s wrong with you? Are you mad?

These are all good questions, all but the last two, but none of them address the most important aspect of creating art such as: Are you having fun with it? Are you creating the art you want to make? Do you think children and parents will respond to what you’re doing? Are you committed to doing this for several years? If it doesn’t make any money will the enjoyment be enough compensation? The answer to all these important is YES!

We artists need to ask ourselves the right questions. 

I don’t think most people ask the right questions of themselves in regard to their art. They’ll question my decision to venture down this road while they themselves have been working for years trying to get picked by a publisher – that sounds like a tough road too. They’ll question how much money I’m making with my apps while they aren’t making much or any money with their artistic ventures. One question I’m never asked is: What are you doing different to engage parents and children? I think people don’t ask this one because they are afraid that they can’t create something remarkable. I’m afraid of that too and we do spend a lot of time discussing it and working on it!

It’s not a successful climb unless you enjoy the journey. ~Dan Benson

I can’t think of many successful companies or products that came from following a proven method. Most success stories share a lot of personal struggles and negative criticism. Apple came from a couple of guys following their dreams of tinkering with computers the professionals insisted that thought nobody would want a personal computer. Stan Lee kept Marvel comics going when everyone told him there was no market for comics. If U2 hadn’t won a $500 contest and had the guts to risk it all on their art, they wouldn’t have been able to record their first demo tape. The stories of artists working on their dream projects and finding success with them years down the road is endless. Yes I hope to be one of them. I’m a dreamer. I work to be able to afford to work on speculative projects.


Should an artist even be talking about money?

But what am I talking about money for? I’m in this for the sheer joy that it is to find time to tinker with a new medium that allows me to express creative ideas in so many new ways! That’s the gold! I just wish you could spend that at the grocery store. lol.

But perhaps this kind of speculative project is in my comfort zone because I’ve had a few successes with my own projects in the past. Starting a freelance illustration business was supposed to be nearly impossible. Making my ebooks was a total unknown in 2010 but has generated a tidy profit. Making and selling illustration video tutorials on my website that lead to starting Folio Academy with Wayne, which has been a wonderful addition to my income. That has lead to starting SVS online teaching with Jake Parker which is also been an amazing project. Each one of these projects has been born out of a labor of love. I love creating art and teaching.

Trust me, you don’t want it to be easy. 

There is no such thing as great talent without great will-power. ~Honore’ de Balzac

So can money corrupt your art? I think so – if you base your artistic decisions on money you may never explore the projects that your audience will love the most. If you play it safe your art will be more predictable. If you follow the “proven” method you’ll find yourself competing with many who can do what you can…that seems risky to me. You are unique. You have an artistic fingerprint that nobody else can generate. I’m not willing to make all of my artistic decisions based on financial compensation. But I have to consider it in order to maintain my art ventures.

If this thing we call art was easy it wouldn’t be of much value. If it were easy to make lots of money as an author or illustrator it wouldn’t be special. Trust me – you don’t want it to be easy.

I will keep you posted on Gary’s sales. 

We should be releasing Gary’s Worms sometime towards the end of March! I’ll continue to give updates on sales throughout the year because I do think that it’s valuable information if not to understand the potential both for risk and reward. I’m a realist. I know you have to eat to live but artists also need to create to live. The trick is to make sacrifices to afford the time to create in your down time.

Make no mistake – Gary’s Place has cost me much more than time. I’ve turned down numerous freelance projects to afford the time to work on Gary…and now that this blog post is finished I’m going to dig in!

See the process in the previous step by step how to make a story app blogs.

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.

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.


For links to steps 1-7 found scroll to end of post. 

Step by Step, How to make your own story app, part 8. The final step, I hope. 

How to Build and Upload Your App to Apple

Garys place

Building and Uploading Your App to Apple is the part that scares me most. I am no techno genius, In fact I am a right-brained techno phobe, like all good hearted artists. So I am hiring my son Aaron, who also happens to be no techno genius. But unlike me, he is willing to learn.


You can use any app building program you want for this process. We My son Aaron and I, Okay, my son Aaron, not we but he, used KWIK. One reason for that is because it is a WYSIWYG program, (what you see is what you get) so you don’t need to be a programming genius to use it. That is KWIK created by Kwiksher see kwiksher dot com for more details. Alex Sossa is the president and founder.

I had my son Aaron do the “programming” for me. Okay, I paid him to do it for me. Hey! I’m an artist. I will let him tell it in his words. Now that he has gone through the learning curve he will be doing my next app soon and he will also do this for hire as well as coaching for hire. (in-case you don’t have children of your own to do it for you)

So Aaron, what do you say?

I say that Kwik works as a photo shop plug in, you can use layers to move things around, and you use the tools within the plugin to build the app. You can show and hide images. It is pretty neat.

“Aaron is an average kid, mediocre grades in school, not a Genius by any means, no offense Aaron.” ~Will Terry

Non taken, Dad.

He is not a programmer, he didn’t and doesn’t know coding. He is not into math, he is a lot like me, he didn’t do TOO WELL in school, was never interested in math etc. He was able to learn Kwik he says, “it is a powerful tool, like photoshop”, he was tired of working at HomeDepo and I was willing to pay him. (his motivation) ~Will Terry

Thanks dad, I’m dumb as a post, I think they get it.

It was a pretty hairy process at first, I was using a mac for the first time, photoshop for the first time and Kwik was new to me too. But I got some immediate gratification when I got started and I could see that I was making progress. On the first day I was able to get something to animate. That was cool and motivating.

You are not going to be able to just take Kwik out of the box and roll with it, but within a week or two you can get pretty good at it. There are a lot of forums and help, most questions are addressed. There are a lot of newbe questions, especially for artists on there.

I started before my dad was actually done with the art part of the app and some of his work wasn’t done when he sent it to me, I even had to send it back to him and tell him to finish it or clean up some over spray on a few layers. I think we work well as a team. That was a little weird, telling my dad to finish his job rather than him telling me to finish something like mowing the lawn or cleaning my room.

Getting your app ready for the build.

You should have all your stuff together and well organized. Maybe even story board or sequence or flow chart.

You need to make sure that any object you want to move better be on a different layer. You can compress them later or whoever puts it to the app can compress it later. (like if you have your daughter or son do it for you)

My dad decided to only have one animation per page so’s not to confuse the child, or end user.

Timetable to learn and use Kwik

If He had everything finished, it would have taken about a month for me to do it. Now that I am familiar with Kwik I could do it in half that time. There is definitely a learning curve. You won’t be able to just open Kwik for the first time and build away. But it is a good program and it is learn-able. I would give it a week before giving up. By then you should be empowered and start liking it.

Kwik does the PROGRAMMING for you,

It would take me about 10 minutes to make a page and for example I looked at one page that took about ten minutes to put together and the program generated about 238 lines of code, and I didn’t have to write or code any of that. Go WISIWYG!

Your work-space is inside PS (That is code for PhotoShop) and you test a page by exporting it to Corona. Just get in there and open it up and look around. It is pretty self-explanatory.

We also used a highlighted text feature. That was kinda hard and I wouldn’t have been able to figure that out without the tutorials, but once you get it, it is pretty easy to implement.

In my honest opinion, I would say you need to give it a chance. Then it is fun, watch some beginner tutorials, you can find them on the Kwik website. There are classes too. My dad helped Alex make some of those videos so he recommends them as well.

Would I use Kwik if I had it to do again?

In Kwik you combine all the voice files, the text files, animation files etc. I used Kwik and I will use it for the next app which we will be starting soon. So that should be a good testimonial for Kwik. Kwik doesn’t take any of your profit percentage like a lot of the other programs out there. Other programs aren’t as robust either, but you do have to buy Kwik, it is an annual subscription, I don’t know how much that is but you can surely find out on their website. One more reason to hire out. Hey! You’re an artist/app creator, have a trained professional like Will Terry’s son do the grunt work for you.

needs, if you are using Kwik to Create your app.

You need Photoshop SC6 or CC installed on your machine, it can be a PC or a Mac to make your app, you have to have Kwik, and then you have to have Corona SDK, the software developer kit, installed which It will give you an iPad and an Android and all major devices simulator.

Email Alex, the President and founder of

Rather than emailing me or asking any technical questions here on this blog, to which we Will or Wayne wouldn’t know how to respond anyway, you can email Alex if you have any questions about Kwik. His email is alex@kwiksher dot com Contact him especially if you have technical questions you can’t get answered anywhere else. He is great about responding and helping.

Another plug for Audacity, 

I also want to mention Audacity again, it is a free sound editing program. We used it to manipulate sound files. We used our voices and then altered them. It is a great program too.

Publishing to the apple app store. The fun part. Sarcasm intended.

Not fun at all. Apple is big, they don’t care if it is tough, there is little or NO help. They are big, they know they are big and they don’t care about you or me. I ran into a roadblock, at one point they just returned my money and said that they can’t accept a technical report request. I had to go back and redo a bunch of steps and look online for help. There are a lot of online forms to fill out. They need a lot of info.

You have to make an Apple developer request for which you pay them $99 per year and… You generate a signing request, you generate a certificate using that signing request, you download and install the certificate, then you generate a provision profile using the certificate and you will include that certificate in your app and Corona will search your system for that certificate so when you click build you will include that code in your app without having it put it in there manually, which is pretty nice.

It is not intuitive at all. It took me a week and a half to get it in there. Very frustrating!

That is pretty much what we did. Good luck. Back to you Dad.

In Closing…

Thanks Aaron. OK so, I will be sharing my sales and success or lack thereof in upcoming blogs, so stay in touch and wish me luck.

A way to build momentum in a really noisy market place like we are in, is to build your brand. I don’t see you getting rich quick with apps as there are so many out there. But the playing field is level and you can still play. Get up and do it and keep doing it and enjoy being a producer. There are a lot of consumers out there. We are all consumers, so we need producers like you to produce good products.

Why not hire a coach or an app builder?

My business partner Wayne Andreason has come to say, “If you want a job done right, don’t do it yourself.” Unless of course, that is what you do.

Aaron TerryMy son Aaron Terry no longer works at Home Depot, so he will be assisting others with their apps.  He is building a website now and will be offering Coaching for a fair price, and if you get frustrated or don’t want to bother with it, like me, he will be offering his services as an app builder as well. Right now he is reachable at aaron-terry@live dot com (that is code for his e-mail. use a . for dot and no spaces.)

So if you want to learn art now, go to, if you want your windows washed, go to if you want your teeth fixed go to But if you want your app built, go to Aaron Terry my son and office partner.

If you want to jump to the next step, Step 9, check back around (Feb 14,14). I knew I would never finish. So when I said step 8 was the final step, well it WAS, but it ain’t anymore.

and if you want to read see the previous steps, 1-7, here they are, click on the following links. Step one, two, three, four, five, 5.5, six, and seven.


links to previous steps are at the end of this post. 

Add sound effects to your story app.

Adding the sound effects was one of the funnest parts of the creation process. I was amazed at how the sound can “sell” the animation or idea – it’s pure magic. Watching your little animations is great but they are silent by themselves – adding the right sound brings them to life.

A few tips for finding and applying sound effects to your apps.

I used for a bunch of the sounds in my app. The sounds are free to use as long as you give credit to the artists in your project. I only used “public domain” sounds and “creative commons” licensed sounds. The agreements can be easily viewed and read on their site.

I also created some sounds using tinyvox on my iPad and then altered them in Audacity. I couldn’t find a good digging sound for Gary but I knew what I wanted – so I scratched my pant leg  – I know – weird right? But it made a pretty good sound and I could kill tow birds with one stone. (don’t really kill birds) I could get that sound I wanted and scratch that itch on my leg at the same time. Then I doubled it up in Audacity, changed the pitch, and cleaned up the front and back end and it was perfect!

Kwik allows you to use both mp3 and wave files which you can create in Audacity. My total learning time in Audacity was about one hour from fooling around with the program and watching youtube videos produced by 8 year olds.

One of the most important things you can do with your sound files is to chop off the dead space at the front and end of the clips. You don’t want the users of your app to hear hiss or crackle before the actual sound is about to play.

Stay tuned for more Steps. Coming soon.

Cover Picture of Gary's Place







I’ll keep sharing my progress on “Gary’s Place” which I plan to submit to Apple, In fact, It is NOW only available on IOS But – we’ll have it up on Amazon for android very soon!…did I mention – IT’S DONE!!!!, Google, Amazon, etc. in a few weeks. Just in time for Christmas (Next Year) I’ll continue to blog about this process even sharing my sales stats when it hits the various app stores!

A few reviews already:

“My Kids adore Gary.” ~Sabrina Chamberlain-Parks

“Great job Will! I loved the page/scene transition especially.” ~Jan Clifton Watford

I bought the app for myself, I don’t even have kids and I loved it. Gary pulls you in and you can’t wait to turn the page to see what he’s up to next. Great job Will, I’ll pass it on to my parenting friends! ~Zulu Zulu

See how to make a story app from the beginning.

If you’re wondering where the first steps are I started this project back in September 2013 – check these links: And if you just want to brush up on your nun-chuck skills, or rather, your art skills, take a course at, art lessons online.

Now available, Step 8. The final step, till we add more, are you ever realy finished?

Step 1Step 2Step 3Step 4Step 5Step 5.5Step 6