Monthly Archives: January 2017

Laughing in the Pain

      There’s a reason I hate doing landscapes. I grew up in a nonstop version as a kid. Later, the military made sure I had plenty of alone time in various natural locations around the world. Your dad took your family camping for a few days? My “uncle” Sam took me for weeks, sometimes months on end. It got old.

    Still, I can appreciate the value of being able to create one. So occasionally I give it a go. It’s good to practice ALL your skillsets, not just your favorites.

     So when I was asked to provide a serene sunrise image for a customer, I didn’t have a problem with the issue. It’s good to be able to have a diverse portfolio, you know?

      Working towards a complete picture is such a struggle. It took a lot of time for me to understand that, to a certain degree, I was little more than a glorified Xerox machine. I could copy, but I couldn’t create.

    It took an uncomfortably long period of time to develop my mind’s eye. To imagine something or someone and bring it out into the world is highly satisfying. I would never have learned to do so if I had stayed in my comfort zone.

   So it’s okay to try new techniques. Give something different a try! You’d be amazed at how many times it proved immensely helpful in a form I was already familiar with. If all you’re doing is stuff you already do well, be prepared to see your peers surpass you.

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Bygone Be Gone

      This year I’ve started the process of reducing the amount of non-art in my life. I’ve also started to do those things I’d avoided until now.

     The first thingis getting my furnace repaired; it caught fire a couple of years ago and I’ve endured some bad winters huddled in one room of my house.

    I had avoided fixing things because to do so meant conversations with my ex. That’s it. 

   On a similar note, I’ve paid for my mental health and physical injuries myself. After watching my dad’s frustration with the VA ( veterans administration), I was loathe to visit them, even though I was medically discharged and had received extensive psychiatric care. I just didn’t want to be deconstructed for a couple of dollars. Plus I was fine, I continually lied to myself.

    I started working on the floors upstairs in my house this weekend. I always had a reason to procrastinate. But I’ve decided that my house isa physical manifestation of my mental health and self-esteem. So shit gets fixed.

   Broke up.

    My art is now on display in my nearby comic store. They framed it and had me sign it, so they must like it…

     And I have a few vehicles to get rid of. Maybe I shouldn’t, but honestly I feel that I need to. 

I’ve been asked to do the covers for a few indie comics. With pay! So there’s that. I’m feel like I’m starting to get a set of goals. We’ll see.

   Last year I lost 60 pounds. This year I’ll settle for 40 more.  And the hair.

   I still don’t know about the hair.

Stuck in Trade

     I’ve been asked to work on about three independent comics since Christmas. It’s a big deal to me. I’m pretty flattered by it all.

     My answer was no.

     Don’t get the wrong idea. I’ll never be too good for something like that. It’s awesome to even be considered!

    But I have so many projects and commitments that I would have to disappoint someone else. And I keep my promises, sometimes to my detriment.

      So I really don’t have the time to dedicate to someone else’s lovechild. It requires a devotion that is already spoken for in my life. So I find myself somewhere I never conceived of.

     Saying no to art.
    

    I have to let go of free art too. A few cosplayers are upset about it. So am I! 

    It means I don’t have time for my own projects. I waited so long to get to this point and it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t have time to have fun.

     I shouldn’t complain, right? I’m on the right track to fame and fortune!!

     To be honest, I just want to work on things that are fun and interesting. So far I have. Only a few customers turn out to be needy douchebags…

    Maybe next year I’ll do a book with someone. Maybe. My experience with my own short story was annoying. I actually would love to do covers.

      It’s possible that it’ll happen for me. I can kind of make it out in the distance.

     I’ll know my path. 

Liquid State

       Man, it is COLD!! 11°F this morning and the fun part is that it’s the same temperature in my home. Well, that’s an exaggeration; it’s actually about 50 in a few rooms. Can’t have a repeat of my pipes freezing again.

     Anyway, because of the conditions at home, I spent quite a bit of time at the gym. My girlfriend offered to let me stay with her, but….

    The funny thing is that I assumed that I’d created a lot of art last year. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been that productive in a long time. But this year? You’re looking at my eighteenth piece!

      My whole life is kinda coming unglued meanwhile. I’m sure I’ll recover, but damage control mode is getting old! My promise to not touch my business money or savings is being severely tested.🤑 

   My need for pain may have extended a little too far into my life. Hopefully I can get back under control.

       I’m doing okay. Most of my goals this year are mental. I just need to write myself reminders and make them into habits.

       But in a lot of ways I’m ahead.

Break[me]

      I’ve already made EIGHT images this year! Didn’t even realize it until someone else told me. It’s gotta be a new record for me.

    All of themare improvements over what I was doing at this point last year. I guess practice makes perfect after all. 

     In the interest of full disclosure, the end of last year required me to spend a few days checked into my favorite mental health center. I’m okay now. I’ll always fight to be okay. It’s my only real job: living.

      Last time you guys got to see the early version of my pricelist. A few of the upper range things changed; their price points were slightly off. But overall, I’ve gotten pretty positive feedback. The commission list is almost full for this month, with more work planned for next month. Dare I dream?…

      My life isn’t quite where I want it to be, but at this point its just a matter of tweaks. My business plan and life plan are on track and as long as I keep my PTSD and isolation in check, you guys can expect a better level of art.

    So if you have any questions, comments or requests, pass them along! You guys have been here for the ride and hopefully the finish line for this level is in sight 😊.

    I wish you peace and prosperity in the New Year.