Go to a psychologist because you suspect you are crazy (spoiler alert, you are because we all are) and they’ll address biology before Freuding you up. Ditch the carbs, sugar and alcohol, & get some exercise and this meat robot that your waking mind is back-seat driving for your subconscious will push the darkness down so you can more effectively ignore and/or hide the crazy.
So I did that: I’ve been in ketosis, exercising, getting a lot of sleep, drinking apple cider vinegar (the sweety says it’s snake oil, maybe it is) and all the rest and started feeling great last week… then my kid came home from school like a gift blankets from the British settlers and womp womp, now I’m sneezing my head off with kleenex jammed up each nostril. Having a running nose with a full beard is awesome, you should try it.
In that same time we had a polar vortex so the temperature dropped to -20 (with wind chill) and looking out at the winter wasteland brought on the same dread as does looking over cliffs, or realizing your driver is drunk while he’s going eighty, or being in the National Guard and realizing the men around you with the loaded assault rifles and grenade launchers all work at Burger King… not to get oddly specific about things that have made me nervous in my life. (Not to be critical, I was a busboy). But then the temperature soared up to 60 and suddenly you could pretend that it was spring until the sun traitorously went down at five. And the world became mud, my chicken coop is the 7th plane of hell, those poor chickens. An unconscionable chunk of my income is going to dried larvae and corn for my poor chickens by way of apology.
Ketosis and intermittent fasting bring on for me this slightly stoned, hollowed out feeling of awe wherever I go, I’m both dazed and sharper then normal at the same time, like I say and do the right things but am slightly surprised by it. “Wow what just came out of my mouth made total sense, amazing”.
A grab bag of art stuff happened:
I’m working on ten drawings for a book called Mr. Bensins Toy Emporium, sort of a tweeners chapter book, which is fine, the pay is fine, the art concepts are fine, everything is fine. Bad for social media: Pencil sketches pre-inking do not do well on Instagram so I’ve nothing to post. I set up an automatic twitter and instagram post scheduler that will post an artwork per day of the 65 best artworks in my portfolio… and it’s doing great so far, lots of good fake internet points to give me useless video-game like dopamine. Good networking, I suppose. Not from Facebook, though. Facebook is sick of my shit. I can hear my friends and family (and all of their friends and family) saying “We get it, jesus, move on, talk about Tom Brady and anti-vaxers like the rest of us”
A takeaway from my glorious instagram is holy moly there are a lot of artists out there. The market is saturated. I console myself in that I am at a far advanced level of art above and beyond the great majority of them… and if you were to point out there are lots out there better then me I would snort and say “Competition is the death of creativity” and carry on blithely. This profession will be the death of me…. But lots of professions are the death of lots of people so who cares?
I went to a “Rising Tide” meeting. Rising Tide is a network of creatives which sounded great, but what it turned out to be was twenty wedding photographers, all them hot young women, and me, mister snagglebeard. It was enjoyable enough, they were fawning in a “You’re an adorable fatherly type” kind of way, which in theory assaulted my youth and vigor, but actually I kind of wanted make them all mac and cheese and make sure they had their leotards for gymnastics so they’re not far off. Only a few years ago my picturing of them naked in the shower would not have focused on the huge mass of hair in the drain and what are all those bottles cluttering up the tub? Pick up your dirty clothes, this bathroom is a mess!
In a bit of luck one of them asked me for a business card, which I don’t carry on me (dumb dumb dumb) so I gave her a print of my rooster and chick artwork because it had my contact info stamped on the back. She took a photo and sent it off to her- ta da- Art Director (she’s in publishing!) and he immediately wrote her back to say I would be right to illustrate a book for them. And now we wait. Pretty good though!
I hope he doesn’t want a portfolio review, ugh. Twenty years ago I used to lug a portfolio around the San Francisco Bay Area to publisher after publisher looking for that sweet illustration gig and got to sit in waiting rooms for hours until whatever big-wig would send out the secretary to let me know the big wig was too busy to see me today, and could I come back tomorrow? I’ve got bad associations, in my mind, with that time… but Concord isn’t San Francisco and New Hampshire isn’t California so maybe it will be easier and we’ll all drink maple syrup and ride a moose together, in the snow.
New Hampshire Art Associations next show is ‘“Rhythm & Hues is a play on music ~ movement, patterns and colors”. If I want an artwork in that one I’ve got to get on it, I’ve only got a couple weeks. My kid is playing the saxophone, maybe I’ll do a saxophone with some sparrows, all glowy. Gotta better idea? Send it to me! If I like it I’ll give you a print.