Sorry, made some additional changes, and I couldn’t figure out how to update the last post.
Next week’s wedding is in Chicago. Which means time to see the baby bro! He’s 30 years-old and missing his front teeth. No, he’s not a hockey player. My doppelgänger knocked them out with a beer bottle.
In the interim I’ve started drawing with blue lead. I stumbled upon the fact that they sell blue mechanical pencil lead (even on amazon)- which surprised me. The lead should be invisible to scanners if they are set to black/white. But some sources contest that point. I hope it does work, because I suspiciously believe erasing the normal lead (that scanner typically pick up) damages the ink.
More so, due to actively preparing written material to send to publishers I am tinkering with placing the graphic novel online. I would love to publish it. But it will be three years until I finish and the reality is if I can’t find a publisher it will mostly likely surface here anyways. Also most indie comic cartoonists don’t make that much money. I have a decent job and can draw in my spare time. I’m lucky I can do this. It would be great to be paid for it, but this industry is built off people who love the media and love making it- not dollar signs.
When I first began “Sacco” it was to open avenues for future illustration assignments. But now I like telling stories with images. If I get an illustration job- great! If I get a book published- even better! Nonetheless, Illustration-wise, drawing 250+ pages has definitely helped my process and placing myself on the regiment of two pages a week has really sped up my delivery time. (It used to be about two weeks for one illustration- one!)
Erin’s Wedding in Wisco this weekend. I’m still dragging my feet here- only finishing two pages in three weeks. I feel like a snail. But after this I have three weeks until the next wedding so six more pages will get done and then seven to go (or three more weeks).
Why is it still hot, New York? 92 degrees today, really? Fall hurry up!
Nervous Wreak City. I’m planning on visiting it this weekend. I heard the weather sucks there but after the week I had at my day job I might as well get hyper-critical about my drawings and buy a one-way ticket to NWC.
From my recent frolic in Central Park with my old friend Blair, I was reminded of an interview with Shane Carruth, the creator of the films Primer and Upstream Color. His first film, Primer, he made for under $7,000- but during the process of putting it together he had nervous breakdowns almost every three weeks. So much so, he came to the point of possibly scrapping what film he already had finished due to the stress.
Being an artist and working alone is hard. You are your own motivator. And unfortunately you are the last person you want to trust to keep you motivated.
My remedy for this?
It’s much easier to be like those fitness gurus who place motivational signs in front of their treadmills like “Run Fatty Run!” or “One last mile!” And that’s what I largely attempt to do.
Instead of tossing everything out I recall what Craig Thompson said at a book reading. Things become clearer perspective-wise once you finish the work- but you must finish the work first. Just imagine if Shane didn’t finish Primer, the world would have lost such a great film. So even though I don’t feel like drawing at all right now I need to look to the post-it on my computer that say: “Run Fatty Run!”
As I said before, numbers make things important.
I counted this week and I have seven weeks of work to do before I finish drawing chapter Three. I can’t believe it. (alright I can- I’ve been barely sleeping). If I can finish prior to November, which will be a stretch with a vacation weekend in Rhode Island, two weddings in the Midwest to attend, and Packer season about to begin, then I might have enough time to revise the beginning twenty pages and start the fourth chapter process before 2014.
This weekend my wife’s friend from med school is visiting, so hopefully I can disappear for a while and draw like a maniac.
My good friend from art school, Blair, visited NYC this past week. He’s easily one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. Besides the innovative work he did in college, he’s done graphic design/web work for a good size list of companies over the years and he started his own successful retail internet site (Check it out: Pillowmob.com) with a second one on the way.
The last time he was in New York we met at Angel’s Share, a speak-easy south of Union Square hidden in a Japanese restaurant. He showed me his new handshake that involved slapping his hand back and forth between the other person’s legs at about knee level. It was not a crowd-pleaser he informed me. And in practice I have come to the same conclusion.
This time we met up at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park and we did what New Yorkers typically do in the park, gawk at gypsies, take pictures of models, and jam our pockets full of free samples of cologne. I then got him a bit more drunk than he wanted to be and sent him skipping back to his wife- who probably isn’t too happy with me now.
Do you like novels with talking sheep and cities that have a population consisting entirely of cats?
Well I do.
Or course I’m talking about, Haruki Murakami, Japan’s most famous novelist. Here’s an excerpt from a recent article where a journalist describes why Haruki began writing:
And then there was an epiphany. “Yes, epiphany is the word,” he says.
It is, he says, the only truly weird thing that has ever happened to him. He was watching a baseball game between the Yakult Swallows and the Hiroshima Carp one day in April 1978. A US player called Dave Hilton hit the first ball way out into left field. And at that extraordinary moment, Murakami realized he could write a novel.
That’s the foundation for his literary career- a man hitting a double. It doesn’t sound like a momentous action that would stir someone to write a novel. It’s absurd.
And yet in 2006, on a Friday night after getting home from my day job, I saw a man hit a double too.
My girlfriend (now wife) popped in with a friend. We were having a drink before that evening’s plans of going to some sort of themed party- if I had to guess, which I’m not, because it’s not important, because we never went. The man hitting a double happened first and it erased all of that night’s activities with it.
That moment was when I walked to the kitchen to get a beer.
I began feeling an odd excitability in my head. My mind wasn’t analyzing or assessing. It wasn’t categorizing or filing. It was acting remarkably different. And in an instant, before I even got to the kitchen, it was 5:30 on a Saturday morning and I was sprawled out on a gurney in the Masonic Medical Center on Chicago’s north side. Apparently, I passed out.
This bothered me for weeks.
Why? Why did I pass out?
My girlfriend and her friend told me they heard a sound like something heavy falling hard to the ground. When I walked back in the room I started talking in loops and when questioned about certain topics, such as a recent vacation to Costa Rica, I couldn’t recall ever being there. They brought me to the hospital where I kept this up until the next moment I remember, around 5:30, when I woke up.
Like I said it bothered me for weeks. But what compounded the situation was a week later I saw a person faint on the brown line on the way to my day job. I’d never seen a person faint before and it freaked me out. Let alone the fact that she woke up 10 seconds later, stood up and pretended nothing happened. People offered her their seats insisting she should sit down, but she refused, as if this was a common occurrence and everyone should get about their day.
A few weeks later I was crossing the street as a man on a bike was going through the same intersection. He was on the other side the street from me. And right as he was crossed the middle of the pavement- he fainted! While riding his bike! It’s okay- he was going quite slow. He didn’t shoot off his bike or pummel a pedestrian. And you couldn’t really call it a busy intersection for car traffic either. He just sort of crumpled on the cross-bar and tipped over. By the time I got to him he was already on his feet shaking his hands at me to indicate “it’s cool, it’s cool- no worries.” He jumped backed on his bike and pedaled away.
In twenty-seven years of life I never saw a person faint or faint myself. And yet in a matter of weeks three incidences occurred. This is the only truly weird thing that has happened to me.
And then there was an epiphany.