Could You Love This Person?
This weekend I have turned into the crazy reclusive artist fiend I hopefully prophesied in the wake of my breakup a few months ago. It kind of always happens at crunch time, the deadline (which generally means second or third deadline) for my comic which is published in the quarterly $pread magazine.
This time was especially fun though, and it felt really good to get into the place I had seen as the best-case scenario in the depths of my heartbreak: I would retreat from society, and finally spend tons of time locked away in my house doing art. I have a hard time focusing on any one thing, and I'm sure I've mentioned that finishings and endings are not my strong point. Additionally I have a hell of a lot of guilt and blockages around art. I won't even start with my feelings about my relationship to the word "artist", that is rain-soaked paperback of its own. So it feels like a real accomplishment to get into that zone, and really enjoy being there (starting every comic takes at least a month of procrastination and then a couple of days of making the template and the initial pencil drawings which always feels like I'm trying to gnaw off one of my own feet and pass it off as my prom dress.) This time, once I started it was easier to get in the happy place, I think because the comic came mentally to me organically almost fully formed a couple of weeks ago, and I had new style ideas I was excited about. I think slacking around, reading a bunch of other people's comics, aka "research", is finally paying off.
Generally, if there is any chance I can wile away the hours talking or engaging with other humies, I have a really hard time helping myself from doing that. This is possibly one of the reasons my therapist thinks I might make a good therapist. I hope that "switch" of being able to focus on and practice art is finally getting flipped.
The circumstances that really helped this time were: a big storm made leaving the house even less appealing than usual, as well as completely unnecessary (I actually did make sure to leave the house with a friend for greens or chocolate, but after nightfall, once every day), all of my current dates, hook-ups, and mojo subscribers are either out of town or sick, many of my close friends are out of town or very busy, and one of my copious new years resolutions is to try to get better at making deadlines. Also the previously mentioned excitement about this particular idea, part of which was that it seemed like it would be easier to draw than usual. Every time I draw a comic I think "I need to develop a simpler style, something recognizable, but really easy to draw" (which always comes in the voice of one of my comic mentors and companions, Dr. Hal), but every time I am totally stressed out and kind of just spit out whatever comes because that's all I got and every time it seems more complicated and time-consuming and difficult and crazier than the last. Except this time. Let this be the first movement of a trend for me.
Anyway, I wasn't really trying to write about me and art and comics. I was trying to just set the scene for this horrible picture: me, up at 4:30 a.m., eyes twisted and strained, alone and half-crazy and covered in ink stains, talking about Marcel Duchamp's idea, infrathin, my intense love/hate of David Byrne, and the genius of Rev. Dr. Splashy-Pants over g-chat with Aundi in England. Aundi left to get some coffee, and in my desperation for stimulation I took these super-unflattering photos of myself with my personal archival mirror; photobooth. They confirmed the recent realization that I am starting to look my age. As I described it to her:
me: i am starting to "look my age" especially when tired, which is most of the time
me: my face gets simultaneously puffy and saggy, like its been out in the rain and is sodden and is slipping from its moorings
I will talk all about my revised position on vanity in the future. And no need to tell me I'm good-looking, I mostly know that, but I'm also noticing the changes with interest. Recent ex used to tease me with prognostications of my eventual Bea Arthur-dom; I'm still hoping for a chance at a mix between Blanche and Dorothy.
So for Aundi, I post the above picture. He described me as "an angry old Russian woman who shopped at Trader Joe's in West Hollywood."
May I never turn into that woman.
Worry not-spousettes, I look much, much better today. Much better. I'm going to go take some vitamins and drink a big glass of water.
Much, much, much, much better.