Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Just a Quick Note...

Yep. Still way too busy. Add the holiday to the mix and everything gets a bit more complicated. But such is life.

So, for the summer, the goal is to plow forward with the web comic (posted at www.timothydecker.com and on Instagram at #thehauntingoftimothydecker). For the time being, that is my thing. Of course, there are other things going on, but not much I can really get into at the moment. But at least you can follow along with my web comic work until such time as I start putting other work out there… somehow… somewhere…

Until then, it seems life is about making a few bucks and getting all my ducks in a row during the down time. What’s down time? I have no idea. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

As the Sign Says…

Which is basically my way of saying my creative world is again under construction.

Today begins my summer of toil as I start working two jobs. That’s 10+ hours per day, plus commute. Add to that things like eating and sleeping, not that I do a lot of either, and my time to do anything more than survive is essentially crushed.

That being the case, I’m doing something new. 2016 is the year of doing something new, right? So, what I’m going to attempt is to kind of take a vacation. Now, I realize that turning my brain off is nearly impossible, but that is the plan. More or less.

So for July and August, I’m just going to post my 3 comics per week (at my website and on Instagram (#thehauntingoftimothydecker)). And that’s about it. Honestly, if I can get those three images done each week, that will be something of a miracle.

Off to do stuff I don’t want to do… but only for a limited time. Then Tim version 2.0 will be ready to launch. I hope.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

America, What the Hell is Your Problem?

I mean, really? All this bullshit violence, it happens nowhere else in the industrial, civilized world… but here, you can go about your day, safe in the knowledge that you can be gunned down at a moment’s notice, without reason.

As a child, the game was to fear immolation from a nuclear holocaust, but at least that took the wherewithal of an entire superpower from halfway across the world. Yeah, the final result was the same kind of death, but in reality, starting a thermonuclear world was kind of hard to do. And so it didn’t happen. But any fucking moron can go to a gun show and buy everything they need to wipe out piles of whoever they choose, usually for less money than it takes to fix a broken transmission.

That’s right, I forgot our national motto: America, We Sell Fear. What a damn shame that there are so many pathetic people out there, willing to buy into whatever fear-mongering is in vogue.

Oh the joys of living at a time of great avarice and stupidity. Fuck the NRA and the arms manufacturing cartels and all their lovely friends in Washington. I’d rant about political change but no one with the power to cause change goes into politics. That said, I can’t wait until some yet unsung genius writes our “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” so we can actually force these knuckle-dragging bastards into the 21st Century. Sons of bitches. Dying of boner cancer is too good for them. 

My kingdom for a searchlight powerful enough to find a collection of Americans rational enough to combine their thoughts, actions, votes and cashpie to overthrow our deeply stupid tyrants. 

On to my life, which thankfully is much more peaceful except for my deep shame for my countrymen and their faith in fear and utter horseshit. So depressing. Let’s just say my crew list for a special space shuttle mission into the Sun is getting longer and longer.

Um… yeah. So the funny thing is that most of my creative friends chimed during that last few weeks to see what I’m up to because, apparently, I sound a bit frazzled. Which is true. The real world of work and earning an income have turned my life upside down. The upside of being upside down is that for the first time in I can’t remember how long, I don’t worry about financial issues. Five years of money woes can really give you the blues. The down side of being upside down is the sheer lack of routine. I used to know what each day would bring and just what I could accomplish in that amount of time. Now, not so much. Even my notion of having 60 minutes a day to paint is an illusion, once you take into account the scanning, photoshopping and posting time. I really have like 45 minutes.

When every second counts, shaving off 15 minutes is a killer. And yet, I must go on.

Which means changing my thinking. Ugh. So annoying.

As much as I like to think I have a clue as to what I’m doing most of the time, there are periods when that simply is not the case. Basically, there are two arenas for my projects: the project on my desk and the crap on the backburner. It’s been like that for a long time. One project to rule them all, usually a book, and a whole mess of ideas yet to be completed, simmering in the distance. I get into trouble when the backburner stuff pretends to be on the desk project and vice versa.

For instance, I have a few book ideas started, a few notebooks full of beginnings of plays, a few notebooks of cartoon studies, etc. Usually this is the stuff I do when away from my desk, mostly because my painting does not translate well to riding the subway. It’s far too messy. This would all be considered backburner nonsense.

Meanwhile, the acrylic paintings for art and illustrations are my A Game. They get my attention for those magical 45 minutes. When things go well in that small window of time, my world is right. When things go wrong, you don’t even want to know how horrible it is. Whether consciously or not, painting has become the on the desk project.

But lately, because of the time crunch and the distractions, I’ve been making the mistake of thinking that my backburner nonsense is more important than the paintings. In some ways, this is not surprising. I didn’t expect a silly web comic to dominate 3/5ths of my creative time. And because of that, I hadn’t realized that something as silly as a comic about being haunted by Prince was actually important to me. I just thought I was being clever. And I am. But it took until this past weekend to realize that my silly web comic is pretty much the “book” that I’m working on and will be working on for some time to come. It’s clearly the desk work, not a backburner project.

Of course, once I figured that out, all the stress that had been building over the last few weeks melted away. All those pesky questions, me trying to figure out what great project I should be working on, vanished. I seem to have found my project and started on it, without telling my conscious mind what was going on.

There’s something delightful about that. I mean, yes it sucks to be stressed out because you think you should be doing one thing while you’re doing another; but to figure out that the thing you’ve already begun is exactly what you should be doing is extremely reassuring. It’s that Taoist thinking again: if you think you’re on The Path, you are not on The Path. I sure as hell didn’t know where I was, but I was looking high and low for The Path. And oddly enough, I’d already found it, long before I even had the notion to look for it. Now the trick will be to forget that I’m on The Path, to not expect it to take me where I want to go, and see what sort of adventure it sends me upon.

Ah… unlearning what I’ve learned. Not a bad lesson for some other idiots out there to work on.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Happy Prince’s Birthday.

May flights of angels... clad in hot pants...something something... Poor Purple One.

OK. Where to start…? I find it amazing that I spent the last two years working diligently to create a painting style which was functional and beautiful… and would allow me to create finished pieces in a very short period of time, if only because I now find myself very much pressed for time across the board. I’m not sure if my newfound sense of focus allows me to be far more busy with real world nonsense or if real world nonsense finally caught up with my newfound sense of focus. Either way, it means things are crazy and I need to get stuff done in a hurry.

I have to admit, for the last two weeks, this has been driving me nuts. I was backsliding into the mindset from the inking days, which is not a good place for me. It took a little doing, but I got my act together.

Part of the trick was simply sitting down and doing what I do rather than daydreaming of very convoluted ways of doing things which never really pay off or when they do require enormous amounts of time. By “keeping things simple, stupid”, I get things done.

It’s hardly rocket science but it works.

The more difficult task was keeping my head in the right place. I spent the weekend with Adam the Photographer in Reading at an airshow of WWII planes. I know, it sounds exciting. But you need to keep in mind, I’ve been a sucker for WWII planes since I could find books about WWII planes, which was at least kindergarten if not before. So, my obsession with these planes is old school crazy.

Knowing I was going to have an opportunity to bask in all things radial engine-y, I had about a million ideas as to how to best use my limited time. I jumped around from idea to idea, almost without pause, for the last two weeks or so. I thought of drawing piles of linear sketches. I thought of busting out the watercolors and paint box. I thought of buying some large format film and carrying the largest camera I own all over the tarmac. For every idea I came up with, I figured out how to make it work. Which inevitably gave me more ideas.

As I alluded to in a recent post, nothing good ever comes from me having too many ideas. As much as I try to keep that in mind, I can get distracted. Especially when I know that I have the chance to do something cool. Like everyone else, I want to be awesome. But there is no guarantee for awesomeness. It happens or it doesn’t. The best we can do is prepare for the awesomeness and take advantage of it if we get the chance.

With that in mind, and knowing my thoughts were spiraling into jackass territory, I shut it all down. I made things simple. I would attend the airshow. I would take a digital camera. I would photograph anything that caught my eye, knowing full well that the odds of making a good photograph were abysmal since the airfield would likely be awash in awful, Trump loving bastards (and it was). And that most of my time would be spent merely being there, seeing things and tucking visual memories into my brain.

Which is exactly what I did. Surprisingly, it was a very low stress way to gather a massive amount of inspiration and information for future work. I don’t know what that work will be, I’m assuming that it will be painting related, but that hardly matters. I have the raw material to do something cool.

Needless to say, if you see any WWII themed imagery on my twitter page or elsewhere, do not be surprised.

My aside, I think I found the dream desk. Who knew it existed? Not me. But it seems that everyone else did, at least those from the 1940’s who worked on desks designed to fit into military trunks. Genius! Check these things out! I so need to get my greasy, little mitts on some of these… so cool. So small. So functional. Like Prince.