let me start off by saying i have a tendency to neglect this tumblr. i don’t know if you’ve noticed, but i certainly have. guess we’ll hop right to it then…
[BEFORE YOU BEGIN READING know that this is an incredibly long post.]
since graduating SCAD i’ve been doing nothing much other than working retail and doodling. not illustrating, not painting, but doodling. in hindsight, i really ought’ve put my sketches and doodles up here - if only to prove that i’m not dead - but, well, i haven’t. so. yes. however, i haven’t been NOT doing art, so there’s a double negative for you. in the past month, i’ve managed to busy myself with thoughtlessness and a few art-type things. i was unfortunately unable to be apart of last month’s Pictures of Butts (the super butt-related illustrators’ collective i’m a part of, if you’ve forgotten), mostly because i was stressing over an entirely different collective called About [blank].
About [blank] is a guerrilla zine that’s all coordinated by an amazonian woman named Brittany. our first issue was comprised of a few illustrators (including Kenton Visser, Chris Loge, and a few others who should probably get tumblrs), a writer, and a graphic designer. our maiden issue, About Dreams, was a huge success - y’know, for being printed for free on campus, hand-folded, and popularized by word of mouth.
we had a zine-dropping party to celebrate (which will be later described in a different blog entry) and ate dumpster food. because, starving artists. this is what i was freaking out about:
this is my dream piece about my trichotillomania.
…i really must learn to make better quality scans… it was done entirely in pen. each About Dreams piece had to be done in grayscale since all of our free prints were going to be black and white anyway. the illustration is pretty self explanatory, so i’ll spare the story. all you really need to know is that i have not pulled out all of my hair. yet.
also in the may month, i produced a few t-shirt designs that were rejected because the guy wanted designs that were, more or less, hurley/volcom/billabong-esque. designs revolving around a brand name. this wouldn’t have been a problem had he mentioned that particular detail PRIOR to the designs’ conceptions.
as you can see, these designs weren’t taken to finish, which is fine, seeing as he didn’t want them anyway. i know it doesn’t look like much, but i went through a lot of different designs - none of which i was completely satisfied with. and, to be honest, that jellyfish one to the left wasn’t even a design for the t-shirts. it was a dumb doodle i did a while back to test out a new inking nib. deadlines will bring desperation, which brings me to what’s ACTUALLY going on in my life presently.
rather than working diligently on my illustration skills like most illustration graduates, i’m going back to school. for health sciences. for radiography.
why? because in the month and a half following my graduation, i found making art to be extremely stressful. this isn’t an uncommon feeling among artists - you strive to create something new and amazing and wonderful and so you search for inspiration. in searching, you find other artists who actually do create new and amazing and wonderful things and, honestly, the initial reaction of most artists is, “…holy shit. how the hell am i supposed to compete with this? i can’t draw like that. i’m-… i’m actually doomed.” this is a point where a few artists give up. do remember that artists have a tendency to be moody people and don’t you dare get all butt-hurt about it if you’re a moody artist. you’re only proving my point.
then, there’s the time/money factor. being a freelancer means looking for one-time starting jobs. gigs, even. clients who, hopefully, will want to pay you to make art again. it is extremely rare for an illustrator to land a job fresh out of college. so you have to make yourself known, get your name out there, all of that self-promo stuff. but self promotion does not pay the bills. you need to have a part-time job to help you survive while you pursue your passion. so you work and work and work and live pay check to pay check and come home - dead tired - and completely unwilling to create because what little zest you had for life has been sucked away from you in exchange for hourly minimum wage. bleak, no? making art uses a lot of energy - passion is involved, y’know? it’s not a monotonous, simple thing. you can see it, too. powerful pieces of art have a lot of energy in them, be it aggressive or passive. that energy has to come from somewhere, and there isn’t unlimited amounts of it. if it’s going towards a part time or being consumed by financial stress, there won’t be much left for art. so artists need to dedicate time to create. but that time to create could also be spent scrounging up a few extra hundred to pay off this month’s rent… this is the more common point where artists give up, for practicality sake.
now, don’t get me wrong. it’s not like this an all or nothing type deal. in fact, i know of many illustrators who can work part time AND still create kick ass illustrations. it’s all about dedication and working hard. pushing through one’s personal bull shit. actually trying. so on and so forth. if you’re an artist, you know exactly what i’m talking about. you need to be passionate in order to make this work for yourself. being a young freelancer is in fact possible but effort dictates success.
and i am extremely lazy. and a moody artist. and i work a part time job. and i waste what little energy i have stressing out over things like money, cats, unhealthy decisions, etc. the odds are against me.
however, i am not giving up art.
how could i? it’s extremely rewarding. and it comes naturally (for the most part). but so does depression, anxiety, financial burdens, fatigue, and zits (which may or may not be related). i don’t want to spiral into a depression because i’m too tired to create. i don’t want to be so stressed out about money that i completely forgot about art. this is what almost happened to me after i graduated. i’d come home and have no will to draw, let alone do ANYTHING except vegetate after working all day. i’m lazy and well aware of that. but i’d force myself to sketch to keep myself from neglecting my art. before long, sketching became a chore and the drawings stopped all together. after a few days of not drawing, coming back to it was odd and uncomfortable. believe it or not, drawing requires practice and if you don’t do it regularly, you get rusty. being rusty, i’d draw things that looked like shit and become intensely frustrated because i know i can do better. frustration turns into depression, and so on and so forth until i just wouldn’t want to draw anymore. plus, all the negative emotions stifled what little creativity i had been harvesting after graduation. i had no pressing projects to tend to or deadlines to meet, so i wasn’t exactly nurturing my imagination. and, since the plan was to depend on said creativity/art/energy in order to live a happy existence, i was freaking out. how do i expect to make it as an illustrator if i’m working all day and tired all night and, all of a sudden, hate drawing? and, if i hate drawing, how am i supposed to strengthen my portfolio? how am i supposed to get an illustration job if i don’t have a strong portfolio? how am i supposed to live if i don’t get any illustration jobs - or, more realistically, if i’m not looking for any illustration jobs because my supposed inability to create is taking hits at my self-worth?
recall that all of this happened in only a month and a half. more like a month and a week, really… over-dramatic, i’m sure. i don’t feel the need to justify my craziness, so i digress.
i’m going back to school in order to establish something more stable in my life, as far as income is concerned. y’know, because i don’t have the work ethic to make art all day everyday since it is emotionally taxing for me. i thought i did. honestly. i really did believe that, once i had the tools and knowledge (and a BFA) to score an illustration job, i’d get right at it. i’d make art everyday. i’d develop a new zest for life and be a fantastic self-starter. i would be the winner of life management and self-actualization. but, i’m not. at least not at this point in my life. so i’m going back to school to study radiology (because, bones, fuck yeah!). the plan is to get a radtech job and discover financial security (for the most part). because i believe that if i have that one big, stable thing in my life, i won’t stress out so much. reducing the amount of stress in my life means i will have energy to spare (because stress is awesome at sucking away energy). and that means ART.
…yeah, so, going back to school to get a better job so that i have more energy (not time, mind you) for art. doesn’t really sound quite right now that i’ve typed it all out, but i have a good feeling about this and my intuition has yet to serve me wrong. and maybe in going back to school, i’ll learn better life management skills. i’ll learn to live well and better myself as a person. i’m only 21 - there is still a whole mess of growing up to do. i’d hardly call myself an adult, so how can i expect to run my own freelance business? i simply am not ready.
…don’t get me wrong, though. i’m not putting art on hold, either. as a matter of fact, i’m reviving my comic tumblr. but the comics i’ll be posting will be closer to journal entries than anything - the more natural i allow my art to be, the more naturally it’ll come to me. no more trying to fart out stories that i think tumblr will like. fuck you, tumblr, you’ll look at my boring comics and like them! or be indifferent to them… whatever, they’re going on your dash if you follow me.
i guess that’s about it then. i’m feeling pretty scatterbrained. i hope i didn’t forget anything.
-haven’t done much art in the last two months
-going back to school to study radiography but not giving up illustration