Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Panic Mode

When I was young and dumb I thought working from home, drawing and painting, would be the best job in the world. It is, but it isn't easy. In fact, I would go so far as to say it's a lot harder than any other job I've ever had.

There is no set time to start, and especially no set time to stop. I work when I can, as early or as late as I can. Sometimes for hours at a time, other times just a few minutes here or there.There are no set coffee breaks and no boss to keep you on task. In fact, there are so many distractions and temptations to cause procrastination it's ridiculous. Not to mention all the distractions of family life ... kids, pets, theWIFE ... everyone takes a little time and can interrupt the flow.

Ahh the flow ... some people call it the mood, the groove or whatever else. I like to think of it as that state of mind where the world is tuned out and everything is coming together perfectly ... the artwork is being created and everything is awesome. It's not hard to get in to the flow, it's just hard to stay there. When you have a family and you work at home, any moment the kids can explode, or the pets get in to something they shouldn't, or the wife needs help. Interruptions are everywhere.

It's tough.

There are a lot of people that have given me advice over the years, whether I wanted it or not.
Work at night.
Get your own room for working.
Tell the family that from this time to that time you're not available.

It all works on paper perfectly ... it just doesn't work that well in real life.

The best I have come up with is to be portable with my studio and flexible with my time. Meaning ... I have a small box that holds most of my pens and paints and pre cut art paper that I can take in to any room and start working. In the studio room downstairs when things are quiet, to the living room floor or kitchen table when things are busy.

As for finding the time, I grab it when I can. If it means I only have a few minutes before I get the kids ready for bed then I might have just enough time to tape down an new paper to prep for painting, or put that quick extra coat on a background, or maybe even just add the white highlight to an eye.

It has taken me years to figure all these things out and to find a system that works for me. A long time ago I used to bemoan my lack of space and time and privacy. No one likes a whiny adult and the more a person complains the worse things usually get. So I learned to adapt and go with a new flow.

While it does not allow me a full 8 hours of just drawing and painting, it does allow me to get things done and still be a member of the family that helps my wife, and interacts with my kids. 

But the job doesn't end when the artwork ends. Oh no. The artwork was the easy part.

Next post  I'll talk about all the stuff that comes AFTER (as well as during and before) the art is done.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Joyfully Angry

If you could live on, even after death, would you be happy about it? Perhaps. But if you knew you were going to have to eat brains and human flesh for the rest of your unnatural life ... it could get a little upsetting. You might even get angry about it. But then you could take comfort in knowing that you can now destroy your enemies. That might put a smile on your face ... which could quickly turn to anger knowing that now you're stuck in the apocalypse and your enemies are zombies too.

So conflicted ... smile or frown ... what would you do if you were a zombie?

Monday, February 6, 2017

hanging the zombies

One thing that has helped me get back on my feet and is encouraging me to start things anew is an upcoming local comic convention and art show. I have gathered up and sorted through the hundreds of artworks I have created and put some of my favorites in frames for the upcoming show.

You can find more information about the show here.

The image above is a collection of my bookmark zombie paintings in a great big frame I found at the thrift store. I also framed some of my older works like this one, You're a Zombie Charlie Brown.

The artshow runs from Feb 8 - 24th and the actual comic convention that I will be attending is on the 20th. More information about the convention can be found here. I'm a little excited about this even though it is a rather small town event. Hopefully its the start of something good and can grow over the next few years. At the very least its a first for the ultra conservative mennonite community.

I really do have to much artwork ... and I would really like to get rid of it and start fresh. To that end I'm selling most of my work at discounted prices in my store ... and I'm even willing to make a deal if you want to buy more than one piece. Check out the shop and let me know.

Friday, February 3, 2017

starting to reemerge from the depths of my own hell

I don't know if you've noticed, but I haven't been around much lately. There were a lot of things that suddenly happened in my life and I just couldn't find the strength to do the online thing. The whole life thing was a little touch and go for a while too. 
Things have settled down a little and I'm fighting with every fibre of my being to get back online and start creating artwork again. So ... to those that have offered their support and wondered how things have been and where I've been ... I appreciate each and every one of you ... and I should be getting more active now.

In the mean time, I'm trying to get rid of all my old work and start fresh, so check out my new store here and while you're at it ... I've started a new portal for all my works and it will continue to grow as I do. You can find that here.