You know that 3x5 Challenge going 'round? Where you post 3 pieces of art 5 days in a row? Here were two of mine yesterday. I love this Bible verse, and I think I've done about 5 art pieces of it so far (maybe more). these are art marker (Faber-Castell Artist Pens) and gouache and watercolor on Moleskine watercolor paper. Anyway, enjoy! I'm working on new ink pieces, and Magic Bullet 10 comes out soon! Be sure to follow DC Conspiracy on Twitter @MagicBulletDC; it's awesome comics by DC area cartoonists! Check it out! Meanwhile, I'm trying to live by Micah six eight. But I think it's hard to claim the humble part if you have a blog, and Twitter account, and . . . and a PLEASE Like ME PAGE . . . oh what a tangled web . . . I'm trying, anyhow. :) peace, trl
Freelancing FOR DECADES messes with your brain pan. For writers, actors, artists, musicians, singer/songwriters, comics, directors, filmmakers, cartoonists, poets, this is success: when you keep on keepin' on. Which is a sentence which may not convince you that I'm actually a professional writer. I actually get paid to write stuff. Mostly humor. I'm hoping to get paid to write some scary stuff, too someday. So, I'm writing it. The best money I usually make at my HUMOR writing is getting behind a microphone in front of a few hundred or thousands of people, and making them laugh for about an hour. But it still all comes back to the writing. And that's probably my favorite part, because it doesn't require SPANX or mascara or strip searches by the TSA. I want to encourage all y'all freelancers (yes, I talk that way) to hang in there. Don't give up. Keep on Keepin' On. Hang in There. (And other clichés! I'm picturing that stupid kitty poster from the 70s where the kitty is hanging onto a branch! Maybe this is why I like dogs better!!)
Mainly I say this encouragement crap because I'm saying it to myself. I know it's true, it's not really crap, but freelancing is such a roller coaster. Feast or famine. If you go by your paychecks, you mistakenly see yourself, alternating, from creative genius to pond scum (and not the pretty chartreuse kind.)
You may not be making untold kabillions, (which is certainly not to say that you won't) or get paid occasionally in coupons (which I have admittedly), but working in a field you love, or doing the things you love to do, on a daily basis, is a great thing. My son reminded me of this one day when I was bitching about a little bitty famine period. (It was a HUGE famine period, but I had you there for a minute, didn't I?) Really, creating for a living is a blessing, it's a blessing you have chosen, though sometimes it may feel like a curse. When you are discussing why it matters for you to get an advance against royalties for your writing, or why you should get paid for doing artwork for a greeting card company, or you're looking down the long list of outstanding submissions and emails which no one has answered, or replacing that printer cartridge once again, and thinking whuuuuuut the hell am I buying more ink for? This is RICH. THIS is optimism. This is wild, unfettered hope.
Is wild hope for creative types just eternally dangling a plastic carrot?
I don't think so. Maybe because I have friends all over the map, some of y'all have movies on the big screen as we speak, others have won Emmys and are now writing some of my OTHER favorite shows . . . others have several animation series under their belts, and new ones in production . . . or are in the storyboarding process of their next animated feature; others are negotiating with studios on sitcoms and movies and some are writing their 50th or 70th books - which are actually being published, and not just on their home printers. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) And I'm soooooo excited when I hear my buds interviewed on NPR or when I can buy a ticket to a movie they wrote on the big screen. And I think of the thousands of my creative friends (hey, Facebook) who aren't there yet, who are still waiting and creating, or who have been there, but aren't now. And I want to encourage us all. Because you know what? Once you get a movie or a sitcom or a cartoon or your own TV series or book tour - it doesn't mean it's all smooth going (has watching 30 ROCK taught you nothing, compadre?!)
The oh-so-scientific study I conducted in my head while I was writing this tells me that all these people have one thing in common: they are still writing. They kept on writing. They are writing now, and they were writing then.
Let's keep writing and drawing and dreaming and submitting. I have a file full of rejection notices and plan to ModPodge them all on a wall someday in a gallery installation I'll call, "Try, Try Again." Or maybe "Try, Try, Again."
Editor, pleeeez . . .
I have opened my ETSY shop and filled it with drawings and collages of iconic women and angels. More cartoons to come, of course! I'm always doing my cartoon humor . . . but I obsessively draw angels and women, too. (You'll probably see some similarities!)
Here's the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LaughingRedhead
Meanwhile, HAPPY MONDAY!!!! (I know, that's not really anything to joke about.)
Thought note: Today's art journal post is an homage (a modest one, of course!!!) to Katsushika Hokusai's "Great Wave at Kanagawa," which is a gorgeous piece of artwork, which I never, ever get tired of staring at. I dunno if it's because it's such a technically amazing work of woodblock cutting and printing, or because I love the ocean so much, or because there's a picture of it on a ruler I got at The Metropolitan Museum of Art many years ago . . . but I love it. I doodle paisleys sort of obsessively . . . and am working on some acrylic works incorporating designs such as these. Will post when finished with those . . . I plan to start showing them publicly by early fall.
Tech note: Faber-Castell Superfine pen + a Faber-Castell grey brush pen (#272) . . . in my Moleskine notebook (thick pages, 5.5x8.5 each page); if you want to buy the thicker pages and they don't have a sample open at the store, just look at the page count. The ones with a lower page count (which are the same thickness) are the ones with thicker pages. These take watercolor and acrylic and gel medium, and Mod Podge, and collage, and almost everything else I've thrown at them.
thought note: i love to draw angels - and iconic women - Anywayz. Yesterday, i buried a little tiny baby bird - outside my studio window, between the daffodils. I found him on our driveway, i think he left the nest a bit too early - and just didn't make it. made me really sad, even though i'd like to be all philosophical and talk like The Lion King "circle of life" stuff (remember when Simba asks, "hey why do we eat our friends, Dad?" - Yep. "Circle of Life." i like to think he's in a better place now (the bird, not Simba), but i don't know how all that works . . .
tech note: Faber-Castell artist pen, "F" (fine)
Thought note: I've been drawing and doodling and designing things on the pages of an old psychology textbook I bought a few months ago. You'll see it sometimes in the collages I do, apropos sections of it worked into designs. This week I started taking out a page at a time and doing a random drawing, doodle, or design on it. This is a great way to repurpose an old book which otherwise doesn't have much else to do . . . and a great economical way to find drawing papers. I have for EONS repurposed my calendar/diary pages (many a card company has taken a cartoon submission from me on a dated repurposed page from Filofax!) I bought this big ole textbook at Mermaid Books in Williamsburg, an awesome used book store. The pages fascinate me for different reasons, the subject being one, but truth be told . . . I luh-uh-uv the smooth, toothless pages . . . great for marker art.
This is done on an old textbook page, with Copic Sketch and Faber-Castell brush pens, with shading in with water soluble pencils (Prismacolor and C'aran D'ache) - more to come!
Here's today's Psych Book drawing.
p.s. - HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!
Thought Note: In DC our apartment is in Capitol Hill, and I encounter the homeless every single time I leave the apartment. I keep quarters and Sacagawea dollars handy to give out, and I usually greet them. It's so little to do. My son volunteered at a soup kitchen in DC, and spent the whole day with a homeless man who had a Master's degree. I can never thank God enough for this man, and the impression he made on my son; how he sees a homeless person not as someone who "deserves" what they are getting, but as a human, like any of us, who has, for now anyway, hit on some very hard times. How close we can be to that - and how glad I am that I don't think I'll ever hear my son complain about the poor or their neediness.
This is an Art Journal spread I just finished this morning. The first line of the hymn is "Blessed be the man that provideth for the sick and needy;" and the words "Let Them Eat" speak for themselves . . . but remind us of the "Let Them Eat Cake" attitude that many people have - I've got what I need, so screw the rest of the world. It's a heartbreaking thing to see and hear . . . but, I do believe that most people have bigger hearts than that.
Tech Note: the background was made with watersoluble crayon scribbled, then brushed around with water; the dotted pattern is from dipping small-bubble bubble wrap into acrylic paint and using it as a stamp. I made the envelope from Satin Design 100% rag vellum, and then stamped a design on it with acrylic.