Monday, June 22, 2009


I don't now what it is exactly I'm supposed to go on about today on this blog. I thought about the new entry all yesterday while working on a narrative page. If I had finished the page then this entry would be all about that. Having artwork to share is a no brainer for a blog post. But alas, I am still working on the page, and I can't show any snippet of it yet.

I woke up late for work again this Monday. This is the third Monday in a row I have woken up terribly late for my job. I have also been actively trying to finish comic book pages for the past three weeks. This is not a coincidence. This is the fine line I ride, where the time each night where I stop drawing and go to bed is directly effected by how afraid of losing my job I have made myself by being late late late. The more fearless I am, the more art gets made, the more productive I am with my passions, the more in jeopardy my health insurance gets.

So today I have done the usual - I have listened to a good chunk of my freshly harvested podcasts while I complete small (and I mean SMALL) graphic requests that don't eat up any time at all. I drove to work listening to my usual Adam Carolla podcast, then breezed through my BBC Global News podcasts, then spent a good portion of my time around lunch listening to an exceptionally long Smodcast (Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier's podcast, to those not in the know), recorded for the first time in front of an audience in Brantford, Ontario. Fun stuff.

As I moved on to my new "The Sound of Young America" podcast, I was interested to hear an excerpt of a lecture by the writer Merlin Mann called "Doing Creative Work: With All Due Respect to the Seduction Community."

It really spoke to me immediately because what he mostly addressed was the issue of how difficult it is at times for people to start doing ANYTHING, and how these difficulties make or break one's creative accomplishments.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I'm meticulous. I get anxiety when i don't produce, yet sometimes I can become so terrified of sucking that I don't do anything. So this lecture really spoke directly to these hang-ups I constantly am at war with. Interesting stuff.

Here is the gist of Mr. Mann's lecture:

It's hard to start.
What does it take to go from zero to something at some point?
Before you get awesome at something you've got to do something.
You want to make cool stuff but you're terrified at how bad you are at it.
What you need to do is get really ok with the fact that you will suck for a very long time.
Self-assessments are nothing more than mental barriers you set up for yourself to stop you from starting.
Don't worry about it.
Just get really good at starting creative work, knowing you suck and being fine with it, and being fine with seeing people seeing you suck.
First thing- You have to start. Get started on something.
You're not stupid.

Good stuff.


A new snippet of art will be up within the next 48 hours as I finish my new page.


1 comment:

Håvard S. Johansen said...

I had this experience once when working on a huge double-spread page:

I worked on it for several days, then when it was almost done I saw it didn´t at all turn out the way I intended it to turn out. So I scrapped it and started over. Then I worked on it for several (more) days and when it was almost done again, I once again saw that it didn´t turn out at all the way I intended it to turn out. BUT ...

.. I had to hand it in. So I said fuck it, it´s midnight, I´ve slept very little lately, I´m going to sleep for at least a few hours, knowing that I´d given up on this page - in a way knowing that it sucked.

But when I woke up a couple of hours later, after tossing water in my face and pouring some coffee in it, I went back in to look at the page - and it looked totally different to me. Even though it was the same.

Suddenly I saw the page for what it was, and not what I intended and wanted it to be. So with a few quick maneuvers I managed to make it work- on it´s own premises. It´s not a masterpiece, but there´s always another page, isn´t it?

Moral? At some point one has to totally drop the idea/ concept of what a work of art should be, and start working on what it´s actually becoming. I think we control art only to a certain extent - at some point, the art has to decide for itself, or else the piece is gonna be like a screaming kid who doesn´t want to do what you tell it: even if it does it´s gonna be half-assed ...