Work, Work, and a bit of Blah

It has been a crazy busy year. I have been working hard, both the day job and art. I have run myself down a few times.
March was busy with Emerald City Comicon prep, deciding that a commission plan was not working and starting it over, some personal stuff, and just trying to take some time off the day job to relax.

April has had just as much going on. ECCC was this month, I am deep into the reworked (and much better commission.) I have taken time to relax and try refill my energy reserves. Life keeps throwing me “curve balls” and it is taking me longer than I would like to recover. This last one was a doozy.

I have had an attack of negative self talk. With my birthday coming up I have started to plan a nice little event. Nice dinner at my house with some friends, talking and playing some board games. Just some people having fun.  The bad side is that if I plan it, no one will show. Things will happen and they will bail at the last minute. I think that even if I have someone else coordinate it, it would fall through. Thinking about it makes me really sad.
I feel like a loser, doomed to be friendless… alone… an emotional desert.
Then I look at whatever art I am working on. No one who is a loser could make something this cool. An emotional desert cannot create anything… and I create amazing things.
My value is not based on the number of friends I have or their willingness to be with me. My value is in what I can do and how I feel about it.
It keeps the negativity at bay and I survive to art another day.

Here is a sneak peek at what I am working on right now.

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SoapboxFriends

Friends

Yesterday I realized that last week was pretty negative.  I did get some funny stuff out of it, but it was still negative.

This week we are going to try a be a bit more positive… maybe.

I drew a bunch of stuff over the weekend.  If I get really busy I will use them for posts.  My goal is still to try to do a drawing everyday, even if it does not get posted.

SoapboxFriends

“As long as you are moving it is easier to steer. ~unk”
Friends are always willing to give you a push to help you get moving so you can make a course change.

Tonight’s drawing I started on yesterday.  It looks WAAAY better once it was inked than it did in pencil.  The children were horrible and fat, no eyes and shapeless.  They are still not perfect, but I am going to just accept that I may never be a good drawer of people.

This is a tribute to some friends that are having a rough time of it lately.

I just want them to know that they have friends who care about them and we will totally push their soap box car until they are able to move under their own power.

Sorry it is so small.  It will not get bigger without rotating 😦

Musings II

The Thinker Auguste RodinI had a several things that I wanted to post about.  None of them were fully fleshed out.  I thought I would include another post on my random musings.

1. Pet Peeve: Lazy dog owners Most dogs are really territorial, especially if they are protecting families.  If you are going to let your dogs out of the yard, near you house, you should probably be out there with them.

2. Running out of…  Working under a lot of stress for a long period of time can cause your work personality to fracture and bits of your true self (irritated short tempered self) to show.  My workload has been quite high for the past two months.  I have finally run out of … well… its no a good thing to run out of. I am kind of surprised that I lasted this long.  I am also surprised how much my increased workload effects my relationship and work with my co-workers.  Needless to say that we are all having a rough week.  We all ran out of _____’s to give.

3. Friends are Awesome  I do not make friends easily.  Quality over quantity in my world.  Recently I realized that I have a few more friends than I thought I had, and that it is awesome to have friends.  You never know what skills they have to enrich your life.

4. Personal Dilemmas Artist risk a lot when they put their art out for all to see.  Trolls like to hunt them down and do what they can to undermine the confidence of the artist.  What should the artist do?  Take the trolls to heart and change their content to go with the main stream ideals or maybe break all the rules and risk everyone and everything. I would like to say be yourself and do what you planned, but it is hard to ignore what people say and not let it change your works.

5. Cat in a bag

CatInBag

Just my cat Guido in a grocery tote.  I carried him around the house in the bag.  He loved it.

 

Shooting Myself in the Foot

No, I am not really going to post about self sabotage.  Not directly, anyway.

This title has more to do with how someone could take the contents of the post.  Basically what I have to say is probably going to be a bit of professional self sabotage.  The topic has been weighing on my mind so I am going to post about it anyway.

While having dinner with an artist friend, the topic of what artists talk about when they hang out together came up in passing.  He joked that he would talk about the latest hot chick he had drawn.  If I drew people I would probably do the same (well maybe hot guys instead) but I do not draw/paint people.  This was just a passing topic, but it stuck with me.  Why don’t I like to draw people?

The answer is pretty simple.  I do not like people.  I do not see beauty in the human form.  I see aggravation and stupidity.  I suppose that is what happens when you work customer service your entire life.

Here comes the part where I “Shoot Myself in the Foot.”

This painting was tons of fun to paint.

This painting was tons of fun to paint, until I added the hand holding back the hair.  It just looks so wrong.  I know I should practice painting people, but they irritate me so much!

I wonder what happens to people when they become customers.  It is like they lose all sense and become dribbling idiots, that cannot process a simple directive or thought.  I am always amazed at how someone can transition from being an intelligent, logical and sophisticated individual to a bumbling idiot when they walk up to a person standing/sitting behind a desk waiting to help them. This phenomenon is not exclusive to people who do not work customer service, even we fall victim to being stupid when we become customers. Anyone can become a customer.  You do your best to be a “good” customer, but those are few and far between.

What does this have to do with art?

Artists create things that cause some kind of response, be it emotional or logical.  Some people think that the human form is amazing and find it beautiful and even relaxing.  Others (like me) do not see that.  The human form is complicated and only causes negative stress. It is hard to keep things in proportion, features create odd shapes and getting the skin tones correct is difficult. I paint scenes and things to get away from people.  No people in my paintings means no stress in my paintings.  Nature is much less stressful for some artists to draw/paint.  I can spend hours driving myself insane painting hundred of tiny tri-colored flowers and be perfectly relaxed.  The second I start adding human elements like a hand or bit of arm I start getting stressed out and stop having fun. All because I have negative thoughts associated with people.

Trick-or-Treat: A thought about All Hallows Eve

When I was younger I loved Hallowe’en.  Not because of the candy (it was a bonus) but because I got to dress up in a crazy costume and hang out with my friends.  I got to stay up late and be outside after curfew.  I got to see all the cool things that people would do to their house to impress the kids and it was just fun.

I suppose that I was able to enjoy this freedom during Hallowe’en because we took time to get to know our neighbors and my parents would place limitations on where I could go without them.  If I wanted to visit the apartment building a parent had to go with us.  No running around in the forest.  Not that we wanted to, it would mess up our costumes!  My parents let me run around in the freezing cold to teach me to make sure I dressed appropriately.  I learned easily how to tell if I was aloud to go to a house (lights on and decorations out) and which ones were off limits (no lights and no decorations.)  Most of the time we knew if someone was going to be away for the night and would not even wonder if it was okay to visit their house.

In this day and age we are bombarded with news about how dangerous it is for kids.  We have had a knee-jerk reaction and decided that we should protect them from EVERYTHING, even fun.  Just because the news says something is bad does not make it so.  News stations have to sell and bad news sells.  So people  putting razors in candy apples sells and reenforces the ideas that Hallowe’en and Trick-or-Treating is bad.  It may have happened once, to a friend of a friend’s second cousin’s (twice removed) kid sister.  This does not make it a true story.  That is how myths get started!  Start fact checking the news and you will find that half the time they are just spinning a story to sell more air time and line their pockets.

I promote Trick-or-Treating.  It helps establish roots in the neighborhood.  I helps teach children who is a safe caring neighbor, someone they can go to if there is trouble.  It helps you interact with your neighbors and become a stronger community.  Neighborhoods need to be close knit to survive a disaster (like a fire or flood.)  If no person is an island then no house is either.  Trick-or-Treating also is a way for grown-ups to show their appreciation for the younger generations.  A way to pass on traditions to the next generations. 

Let the children enjoy their childhood.  Be parents and look out for them.  You do not need to keep them from experiencing things.  Just be there to help them if it was an unpleasant experience.  Let them Trick-or-Treat.  Let them get a sugar high and not be able to go to school the next day. 

I turned out alright.  I bet you did too.

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