When Art is Difficult

There is a lot of art out there that was hard for the artist to create.  Well, maybe that is just not quite right.  It is easy to create, but hard to look at afterwards.  It is to close to something true within and causes pain to see it out in the world.

Today I show a bit of something very true, a bit of my core, my soul, whatever you want to call it.

There are times when one can feel  trapped, chained down, by life or perceived restrictions.

I was having one of those times when I planned and drew this.

I remember every time I look at it or think about it.  I think about it when I am feeling chained down.  It causes a type of pain to look at (think about) if I am emotionally susceptible.  Writing about it brings up anxiety.

Now for the technical stuff on the drawing.  It was done with Micron pens.  It took about 50 hours to draw, 10 hours to digitally edit and color.  I used a photo of a rusty dock pylon for the texture and a bit of color to make it more “rusty” colored.  Yes I have some water marks on it.

Here you go.  The bit of my soul (a creepy bit.)


When life ties you up, dries you out and stuffs you in a box, draw it.


A Long Day

No new drawings today.
I had a late meeeting (yay overtime) and I worked on a new big drawing.
I have syarted a series on phobias. The first one is a clown. I expect to be done later this week.
i will post an image of it when I am done.


I did this right before I drew the chained mummy.  I was trying to visualize labels and how we chain ourselves to them.



Today was the kind of day that made me realize that most of the things that make a day difficult is self induced.  I do it to myself.


Flying on wings unfettered, metaphorically speaking.

Today was the kind of day that made me want to throw off all my chains and be free, spread my wings and just fly away.  I am not sure if or when it will happen, but the thought is there.

Thankfully I have outlets that let me “be free.”  I can draw my thoughts, desires, feelings and dreams.  I can make my feelings into an image and share the feeling with others.

Images have this really neat ability to transcend language and race barriers.

I share my longing for freedom from my self imposed chains with everyone.


Cutting the Dead Wood

Today is just like any other day.  I got up, wishing to go back to bed.  Finished my morning routine (mourning the loss of my freedom routine) and went to work.  I have not felt optimistic about work in a long time, very long time.  I went to the gym after work, came home ate, read for a bit and went for a walk.

A book inspired me to ask myself a question.  What is your dream?

follow-your-dreams When I was a child I envisioned myself as an artist.  Drawing everything under the sun and making worlds with my pencils and crayons.  People would travel far and wide to see my work.  I did not conceive of making money of my works, just sharing a new world with everyone.

Now my dream is to make stuff.  I dream of making art in a variety of forms. I want to make useful things, pretty things, things so ugly they are cute.  I want to paint images so big that you lose yourself in them, you see the tree within the forest, the light when blinded by the sun.  That is my dream.


The desire for fame and fortune can enslave us all. Sir Meliagrance Kneeling before the Queen by Helen Jacobs.

Today I decided that I will stop LOOKING for a job.  I will stop minimizing myself to one page, Arial, 11pt.  I will stop defining myself in keywords and buzz words.  I will no longer prostrate myself before big businesses that cannot see and employee as a person, an investment instead of an expense.

I will make things.  I will suffer my day job, to pay for materials for my dream.  I will paint the tree in the forest, the light that shines from the sun.  I will knit a scarf, a hat, a blanket.  I will build a website, bird house or cat tree.  I will stop wasting my time one an endeavor that is not going anywhere.  I will use my energies on  making things.

I will make them because I want to and because I can.  I will make things for friends and family.  I will make things because they sound interesting or fun.  I want to share the bit of my ‘soul’ that went into making the thing.

If someone wants something I have made, they can have it.  If they want to pay for it, so be it.  But it was not the reason the thing was made. It was made so I could share the world.

No more dead wood blocking my path.  I am going to work on my little dream.



We measure ourselves off the successes and failures of others. We forget that we are not on the same path and our successes are meaningless to someone else, just as their failures are meaningless to us. I will start following the path that works for me and I will enjoy the journey.


If any have taken (or take) a Project Management course you will be introduced to a new way to think about some of the simplest activities.  Your morning routine turns into a daily project with tasks that have lead times, schedules, order, resources and constraints.  Wait, a constraint in your morning routine? How is that possible?Constraint

Well a constraint is anything that limits or restricts your project (in this case a morning routine.)  The bathroom may only hold one person (size constraint), so task sharing is out of the question.  There may be only a little tooth paste or shampoo left (quantity constraint) and you choose to make it last one more day, until payday (money constraint.)  There are tons of things that can restrict the simplest activities.

Most of these things you can plan for.  You know when you are getting low on tooth paste and when you are getting paid next.  You know that the bathroom holds one, or that the hot water disappears when the other bathroom is in use.  You adjust your schedule and activities to account for these things.  Get up earlier, stop by the store on the way to work, plan for revenge…

What happens when you don’t foresee a constraint?  Or maybe you chose not to plan for something that you did foresee.  Well, you break promises and fall behind, basically messing up your day, and possibly the day of a few others.

This month I had a plan to create a WordPress template and have it up and functional by September 1st.  Well, I failed.  Here is why;

  1. I did not anticipate how hot my office was going to get this summer. It got so hot that the computer would shut down!  I don’t know about you, but I cannot work when it is that hot in an enclosed space.  I would get an hour of work in and everything would get weird.  I was dehydrated and the computer overheating.  This does not make for a good day.   Anyway that took me from 12-20 hours a week to  7 -10 hours (late nights mostly.)  That right there is enough to derail any project.
  2. I did not anticipate how hard it was going to be for me to learn and understand the WordPress system, as a developer.  WP is easy enough as a user, it is VERY different on the developer side.  I counted on my past as a quick study to move this project along.  Well I did not do so well on that respect.  Maybe the heat and short study times were part of the problem.  Either way, I did not succeed.  I spent a lot of time researching the smallest things and doing tests that would fail, because of the smallest things.
  3. I did not account for other projects.  Even though I budgeted a lot of time for this project (well over 30 days.)  I did not take into account the other projects that I ended up doing.  I did a lot of other stuff during this time.  2-3 days were devoted to events, and many hours to graphics for each event.  I was happy to be out of the office most of the time, since it was so hot, but that still took away from the project time.

There were other things that caused problems.  I had personal things (updating my site, creating business cards, blogging, family time etc) that I needed to do.  Events that I had scheduled months in advance (RenFaire, Family visiting, house hunting, and PAX(is so close!!)) took precedents over the project at hand.  And I LET IT!

That is the big thing.  I let other things become more important than my WP project.  Now I am paying for it.  I have to tell the team that I do not have the product I was sure would be ready next week.  Now I have to beg for another month to get the product done (the basic product,) and more time to get the improved version done.

It sucks.  It really sucks, that we (everyone does it a some point) let things distract us from what needs to be done.  Things like this is why people with great ideas get no where.  We let ourselves be distracted by the small things. 

Well it is time to get back in gear.  I have already broken down my project into small manageable tasks, and those into sub-tasks.  I have set up a schedule that includes all of the expected (and some improbable) constraints.  I am going to finish my project.Done!

I invite everyone to join me.  Get a project DONE in September.