Monday, February 23, 2009

Drug-Crazed Mutant Elbows Chewed On My Face While the Princess Slept It Off

Indeed, it has been a while.

I understand that the world at large has been waiting with baited breath for my re-emergence on the radar, and here I am. The last time I posted my rambling brain slippage it was under darker clouds that threatened to come down from the heavens and fill my throat with thick, viscous rain. Well, the clouds have thinned, and details of the world around me present themselves as they are, rather than how I thought the might be through the blinding condensation of stress. Which is nice sometimes, but only in retrospect. Comforting is the thought, "Well, I'll never have to go through that again."

It was all simple enough. Money, time, expectations. The triumvirate bane of artists worldwide. And while all three have not been vanquished from the forest, they have been cast out of the city.

I have an earning job now, one that suits my needs as an artist rather well. It is not an artistic job in itself, but it affords me the energy and time to be what I want for more time than I have to be something else. I work three or four days a week behind a desk at a tutoring center, from 4:30pm to 10pm, thus giving me free reign to work on my profession till the sun rises to ask me exactly what I'm doing while everyone's traipsing through dreamland. I catch a few hours sleep, get up, work on some more pages, head to the office, listen to music, eat candy, greet teenagers and talk with teachers, come home, etc. etc.

A fine break indeed. I was quite fortunate to find such an accommodating gig at the last financially stressful moment.

And as for what I'm doing with my graphite and ink stained fingers: I am currently drawing a 6 page sample of a story for a guy in the UK. I was firing links of my work to writers all over and he was one of them. He dug what he saw and now I draw some of his funny book for him. There are also a small handful of my own malformed brain-children littering my desk. "Quietus" being one of them. I've only laid down the first 6 pages (minus page 2- due to technical reasons {I'm thickheadedly determined to figure out how to do a Tracking Shot with the images needed for page 2, the obvious problem being it's images, plural, as in a series of consecutive static drawings thus defying any kind of motion, such as, say, a Tracking Shot}). Another is "Critical Theory", which has no images yet immortalized on paper. Just words, lots and lots of words. I'm writing, and will subsequently draw it, with my brother Benjimonkey, from Austria. It's a relatively complex story, so I'll spare everyone the pain of having to wade through it before getting back to the the news of a world that does not exist exclusively in my skull.

So I guess that brings me to the part where I say something about being an artist and staying an artist. Well, hell. I guess the resource I tapped, or learned to accept, through these strange, dark and quiet months is friends. Or 'Chosen Family'. That fits better. If it were not for the small tight circle of people that I have packed myself in I'm not sure how I would have fared through this personal tempest. And looking back at it, it wasn't even that big of a torrent. It was quite compact, making it's density high, and it hit me just right...or wrong, I should say. Ben, Nettie, Nadja, Abe, Michelle, Leon, Mom, Dad, Kol, Elsa, Rachel, Schiemers, a fistful of names that have been mentioned already, or will be mentioned again. These specific people on Earth that I have kept in arm's, or word's, reach. I didn't reach to these people when I was in the thick of the mental turmoil, but there was a marble of recognition in my brain that they were there. And then they reached to me and I dodged it. And then they didn't stop and I finally stopped spinning in place. And nobody died, and nobody lost, and nobody turned away in spite or bitterness, and everything is fine. All the elements that threatened to constitute themselves into the end of the world realized that I'm me, and I have these people next to me, and the elements became very small and got in line. So, after all that sappy spillage I will distill it to the point, sans the heartfelt hullabaloo:

As an artist I think it's almost necessary to have the gumption, strength & ability to stand alone in your self-made world, as well as the mass-construct we live in together. I also see now that a warrior without a tribe is just sort of...well, an asshole on a hill, blinded by their own meat curtains. That's not to say the Ronin is wrong, far from it. But the Ronin travels alone to learn and grow so they can become an even stronger post for their chosen family when they need him or her, when the real war comes. And to put that in relation to being an artist, I say that I stopped drawing and painting and writing, because I was too busy scraping my face across the pavement, until my family came and pushed me into bed, picked up the little pieces of my derma and viscera from the street, told me the real score and sat me down at my desk again. Now I'm on it like Bubonic, and closer to making the art take over payments then I ever was.

So there's that.

I think I go now. I have many messages to tailor to the individual recipient, a task that I look forward to in the build-up, but inherently drag ass in the execution. I'm sure all those expecting word from me are quite used to such selfish behavior from yours truly.

I leave you with some pictures of where I'm calling from,
Till next time,