This morning I was drawing and got to thinking that I should stop and write this week’s blog entry. It hit me with how much…stuff I have going on in my life. In addition to cartooning, I work full time, I volunteer on a regular basis and let’s not forget the whole being a husband and father thing. I am always doing something.
I have a hard time relaxing. I have a hard time doing nothing. Perhaps it’s a little OCD but I like having the dishwasher emptied before I go to bed, or the laundry put away before I do anything else.
I take a lot of satisfaction in working, I like earning things. I like being able to finish the week with a glass of wine and looking back at what I accomplished over the last seven days. Maybe I finished a project at home, or had a productive week at the office or inked four pages of comics. Maybe I have too many expectations for my life, or maybe my expectations of myself are too high, but it’s not always a good thing and not always a bad thing. I think it’s good to have things I want to accomplish…not only in life but on a day to day basis. Even after a 12 hour day and getting home at 9pm, I will still pencil a page or scan in some artwork. I am always working towards something, although it’s in really small bursts sometimes. On the downside I am always restless at home. I have to be doing something. When I wake up on Sunday morning, within five minutes of getting out of bed, I have laundry going and my scanner is scanning in artwork. My wife is up every day before I am during the week so she can take care of her mom, so Sundays are her day to sleep and to relax. She deserves it. I work hard too, but until I hit some level of success or have accomplished…something (not sure what, but I’ll know when I do) I haven’t earned relaxing yet. I think part of me thinks that I shouldn’t be watching a movie when I have 100 pages of the Retros to color or something.
Running at this pace will catch up to me. My day job isn’t helping, but it’s not really supposed to. I think having an office job motivates me even more to draw and to finish projects, so that’s good? I’ve been working close to 50 hours a week since April, and I go into work almost every Saturday. I’m tired. I do worry about my health and my stress levels but for now, I’m okay. Like Warren Zevon said, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. I’ll keep pushing myself on every level that I work and play.
Anyway, wow. I didn’t know I’d be writing this but there you go. The point is I am busy and I am happy and tired. My studio is filled with piles with stuff I am working on. Rather than list them (boring) I thought I’d show you.
- Uptown Girl – The Lazarus Heart. The small stack to the left are the six pages I’ve penciled and inked. They are also scanned/Photoshopped/lettered. The stack on the right is the first draft that I am revising and reworking. As the left stack gets taller, the right stack will get smaller. Six pages isn’t a lot, but I have over a year to finish. My target is 12 pages a month until the end of the year, and then 20 pages a month in January. Considering I didn’t think I’d be ready to ink until October, I am happy with my progress. I’m glad I’m scanning and lettering as a I go because once a page is done, it is DONE.
- The Retros strips that I need to scan/Photoshop/letter/color. There’s about…oh, 20 strips in that pile. These pages don’t need to be done until spring 2016 or so, so I have some time. The Retros will update online five times a week starting on November 16th and I have about 100 pages scanned in (that I still need to letter/color) but I am comfortable with where this project is at this time.
- More Retros stuff. These are the 100 pages or so I’ve already scanned that need to be lettered and colored. I’ll pick up the pace once the comic strip launches. Coloring the strips takes longer than I thought it would. I suppose I should start setting a goal for myself to letter/color a page a day in addition to drawing the strip itself and working on Uptown Girl. I would much rather spend my time drawing than doing computer stuff.
- Storyboarding the first Retros animated short. I’ve never storyboarded anything before so I am teaching myself how to do it. I also need to write the script. I decided to take a crack at both the script and storyboarding by doing a mini comic and then adapting the comic into script form. It might be a little extra work, but it’s more fun this way and plus I’ll have a mini comic to print. The plan is to write and pencil the comic, and then write the full script and then ink the comic.
So, that’s what’s going on. How are you?