Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sabbatical 2016...

Or something like that. I'll be back in 2017 with a whole host of strange nonsense.

See you in January.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

And Suddenly, It Was November…

How in the world did that happen? A month ago it was May. Or worse yet, April. I remember it distinctly because that was the last time Mandy had her biannual Artists’ Salon… in the living room of our small apartment. Always the helpful artist, I usually put something on the walls to give the place a little character and to start the conversations. And so I did the same thing this past Sunday, taping stuff to the wall and talking about my “current” work with the diverse audience in attendance.

My corner of the world looked a little bit like this:

Yeah, not as grand as when I taped all the daily paintings to the wall or as intricate as when I taped all the pen and ink drawings to the wall, but putting all the Prince paintings in one place, where they could be taken in with one glance, did do something unexpected: it made me realize that the web comic is my “big book” these days.

It’s one thing to see the little piece of purple paper on my desk for the 30 minutes it takes to make the little comic. Then it’s scanned and tossed in a drawer with all the other little slips of purple painting. And since the whole notion of the Prince comic is that I don’t spend every waking hour deliberating what I’m going to write or draw next, each comic comes into being the second I sit down to work on it and is forgotten until the moment I need to recall what it was to make another. Unlike every other big project I’ve worked on, all of which were designed and thought about again and again and again, the Prince comic is all about improvisation. Which means, I hadn’t really understood just how many I’d made or how they would look en masse.

Imagine my surprise, as I taped the pages to the wall, when they just kept coming. All 78 of them. I mean, yes, they’re small and silly, but they are meant to be small and silly. Half of that is because of the nature of Instagram and half of that is because it’s high time I did something that wasn’t dark and morbid… though the story is about a ghost so I guess it is a touch dark. But at 78 comics, I’m halfway to my goal of a one year story, posted three times a week. They say, whoever “they” are, if you can post 50 episodes of a web comic, you’re past the point of no return and I blew by that a long time ago. My eyes are set on running this story until next April and perhaps beyond, you know, if I can figure out how to do other things on the side.

Strange as it is to say, the web comic represents a lot of work. Much of which I hadn’t actually accounted for until I saw it all before me. But there it was, six months of work, a concise body of work, a concerted effort toward a clear goal, all created in small chunks of time and almost instantly forgotten. Who would have thought?

Needless to say, I’m on to something. I’m not sure how to take what I’m doing and apply it to other projects, but I have ideas. The trick is to keep improvising and forgetting, to keep hammering away at things, all the while, keeping in mind that my time away from the desk is equally important as my time at it. And someday, without realizing it, I’ll have another wall full of paintings I never imagined creating. And then another and another, ad infinitum.