My father is a constant source of inspiration. There are a lot more “Life w/Dad” strips brewing… just like kombucha.
We all know what is said about lemons. But when something bad happens, this is usually how it goes:
- Stay in bed with your very unwashed sheets.
- Drink all the Fireball.
- Only eat brownies.
- Shuffle your feet and look down when you walk.
- Never pick up the phone.
- Do not shave. Or shower for that matter.
- Blame others/blame yourself to a state of debilitating self-loathing.
- Adopt a pessimistic view of the entire world, its ways and everyone in it.
- Contemplate becoming a smoker.
- Contemplate becoming an escort.
It is only when you’ve had enough of the above and realize that it is simultaneously exhausting and stagnating can you turn to the inspirational side of the lemons:
When life gives you lemons, don’t be a pussy!
A few posts back I stated that while I was gone I didn’t read or write or draw. I have to tell you now that that is a fib.
I did these:
Thank you, National Geographic magazine! You always did inspire me…
Behind every creative person there is a looming shadow of spiders and ghosts and other scary things. I suppose you could call it insecurity. During SNL 40, did you see that ad with the feather creature which is actually an “idea”? It’s so sad and limp when it’s neglected or made fun of. And I thought to myself, that’s so true! The creative spark inside of us is so easily bruised. Maybe its because the rest of the people in the world do useful things like build bridges, and it’s hard to remember that when you are someone who is solely good at drawing cartoons.
When I get to feeling limp like this is when I stare wistfully out of windows. But then all it takes is one compliment or speckle of encouragement to make me feel those rainbows! My tail feathers light up just like that feather creature’s tail feathers. I feel like I have been put here to draw my cartoons! And you know, I honestly do think that there is room for everyone. Bridge builders, doctors, car salesmen, strippers, nuns, comedians, cartoon draw-ers, etc. It’s good!
Just remember that people like me are made of both rainbows and spiders, which hang in some sort of delicate balance most of the time. Even the tiniest smile helps, so go compliment that person who is always posting their poems or fancy photographs on Facebook!
Two days ago I realized what I am.
It’s what, I’m realizing now, I’ve always been but never quite put together. Now I know! I can’t remember what caused this clicking-into-place, but I’m so grateful. Before, my creative identity felt rather amorphous – Artist/Illustrator/Writer/Humorist/??? Way too many slashes. But now!
And it makes sense, as I look back over myself. Maybe it’s obvious. I read every Far Side and Calvin & Hobbes and Foxtrot anthology as a kid. I was obsessed with manga as an acne riddled junior high school student. I was “in to” graphic novels from ages 15 to 18 (anything that Fantagraphics Books or Draw & Quarterly put out… I had my hands on it.) When I draw, a distillation of all of the above is what appears on the paper. And maybe a few other things.
It’s been unseasonably sunny and warm these past few days in the PNW, and I feel good. I know what the mountain I am walking towards looks like!
Cheer me on?
SATURDAY JANUARY 10th
Cozy morning – wet outside, inside warm with flannel robe and loose wool socks. Finished my book (Gone Girl) last night. Too sensational/climatic towards the end. Felt rushed and so excitable. The kind of book that is written to go to Hollywood. I don’t hold the highest respect for that form. Pretty good writing though, creative VERBS and not overdone with lame-yet-hoping-to-be-interesting-ADJECTIVES. The kind of book that offers escape, a portal from whatever’s going on in your real life. It’s nice to have that on a cozy morning when it’s wet outside.
Last October I ran away. I felt as though I had completely annihilated my life as I knew it for various reasons which I won’t go into here, so I decided to keep-on-keeping-on (and yes, I did listen to “Tangled Up in Blue” too many times in a row.) I needed to GO anywhere, so I did.
I worked on a boat for three months. From NYC to Jacksonville, and then I hopped over to the Mississippi. Seven days a week, fourteen hours a day. It was hard, but good. I didn’t read or write or draw – I just worked.
During this time I learned the following things: the Mississippi River is mostly boring and brown, a “Pickleback” is comprised of a shot of Jameson followed by a shot of pickle juice and is truly delightful – particularly after a lot of drinks, about 70% of New Orleans is voodoo and/or Tom Waits reincarnations (both male and female) and a first tattoo feels like fire.
So now I am back and ready to create. Bursting at the seams, rather. I hope you haven’t forgotten about me!