Monthly Archives: September 2016

It’s Not a Table Set for Ants

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These items are still too big for daily use by ants.

My actual kitchen table is 50% kitchen table and 50% workbench/junk drawer/stuff The Man doesn’t know what to do with, but I can set some lovely miniature tables with dishes and fruit and vegetables. Last night, I made this cute bowl and a single lemon and 3 roses and a vase, all out of the little scraps of clay left over from other projects. I didn’t fire them last night because it was pretty late, here they are now. My tiny vase-making skills could use improvement, but I think I’ll try some other, more complicated kinds of flowers and fancier vases in the future.

Yesterday I sent what I believe to be the final files for the Bonnie Jo Campbell comic book to the printers. I can scarcely believe it, but they should exist as physical objects in meatspace within the next week or so. I’m terrified there’s a mistake somewhere, or that I could have made them better with more work. It’s a strange balance, since I started this blog with the intention of giving up the drive for perfection, but somehow, print seems more momentous than pixels.

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Night with Robert Frost: Autumn Bulletin Board

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I’ve also been acquainted with the night. 

People seem pretty eager to jump into the spirit of October this year, and my last bulletin board was looking kind of shabby, and I’m just completely focused at this moment, so I took 3 days this week (just under 6 hours total) to put up my October bulletin board, which is always my favorite one of the year.

I was thinking bats, because it’s practically the only trope I haven’t hit in the many years I’ve been doing this. Then I looked for a poem, and found “Acquainted with the Night” by Robert Frost. You can read it in the link; I was working in the rain, so the lighting was terrible when I took this photo. But you get the gist. I decorated the calaveras with Sharpies; everyone in Tucson loves calaveras and I could envision them amidst the candles and piles of marigolds, although I wish I had more time to work on them, maybe make a couple more.

The poem is also in Sharpie. It’s not my best lettering; I’ve kind of been doing a lot of lettering lately and my hand just wasn’t in the game and I was feeling really rushed. The school is having a 60th anniversary party on Sunday and there’s more work to finish up the comic book: resizing the cover and editing the blog posts down to 400 words a piece.

When I wrote those words, it didn’t occur to me that they would exist off the internet. Hard copies seem to change everything.

Mermaid Sushi

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Whatever you do, do not Google “mermaid sushi” unless you really, really want to see mermaid sushi. 

Got the book files out today and then had to double check to see if I still remembered how to draw without the Wacom tablet. Sketching is easier on paper, but lettering is harder. I could mess with this picture for another 2 hours but I just wanted to remind myself that it’s possible to quick tell story in pictures without digital help. Although I fixed the lettering up in Photoshop. Plus, it’s almost midnight. So here is a silly comic.

No nipples on these mermaids. I’m not sure if that’s self-censorship or just a simple fact of life. Like, do mermaids lactate? Presumably they lay eggs like most fish, because their reproductive parts have to be located in the fish section, but the human section has hair, so maybe they are mammals on top even if they don’t get live birth. Although you never see mermaids drawn with armpit hair. But obviously they eat sushi every night, and raw steak would be a glamorous, unusual foreign treat.

2 Rainbow Zentangles

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Just trying to unwind here. 

I hope these scans are high quality, because in the process of making them, I got my knee tangled in the cable and knocked the scanner off the shelf and onto the floor. It still seems to function normally, but who knows? Every piece of digital equipment I own seems to be malfunctioning lately. I’ve got a phone with a shattered screen, a laptop with an almost useless battery and a frayed power cable and very limited memory, and suddenly I can’t get any decent macro images out of my camera. At least my brand new Wacom tablet is still under warranty.

Anyway, I’ve been pretty focused on finishing up the book, but it seemed more or less done so of course I spent 2 hours drawing abstract rainbow designs. Tomorrow I can prepare the files to be printer and probably get them sent off. It could be printed this week. I may have to take a break from using the tablet for a little while so my hand doesn’t fall off. Maybe some photography is in order. That camera will do my bidding.

Killer Clover Mandala

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In hindsight, I notice the alien quality of some percentage of this project. 

My head is pretty much swimming from working to finish this comic book. There were sixteen pages for the Mothers, Tell Your Daughters project, plus the original Susanna comic, plus a front and back cover for the book, which leaves one blank page. Wednesday at the latest, though, I should be through. And I might have to take a break from the Wacom tablet for a while, just to ensure my hand doesn’t fall off.

Maybe I could have gotten more done today, but the Fox randomly showed up before I had even gotten out of bed, and we ended up on a magical journey that included being comped into the roller rink and visiting the Misseses Kitties, who have both been sick. That’s probably good, though. Any more work in one day and my hand might have really fallen off.

Progress

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Does anyone still get psychoanalyzed? And where does one buy a psychoanalysis couch? Do they sell them at Ikea? And, if so, do psychoanalysts fight about them in the middle of Ikea?

Sometimes I do feel like I’m cursed. I’ve lost track of the number of times I had reason to believe my ship had come in, only to find myself running off the end of the dock and falling into the frigid sea. At this point, I have zero reasonable expectation of success in my lifetime, and yet, even when I know that failure is imminent, I can’t seem to shake this stupid optimism that tells me, no, this time it will work out. This time you’ll get where you want to be.

I have a lot of respect for people who manage to work as therapist 40 hours week (maybe not for Freudian analysts, although you have to hand it to people who manage to hold onto a perspective that’s long been discredited) because it’s really emotionally draining work, listening to people whine day in and day out, most often about the same thing, week after week, with no intention of actually changing their circumstances. For a while, I thought I would be happy doing that job, but 2 internships and a practicum in mental health convinced me otherwise. Now I just give advice for free. People seem to think I’m good at it. Even strangers on the internet thank me for my insight, and if you’ve been on the internet, you know what a big deal that is.

Another thing I was thinking about was transference/countertransference. To do therapy, a therapist has to get the patient to like them in a certain capacity. I’m frankly astonished at the number of people who go to therapy for months or years and are afraid to tell their therapists the truth. I know it’s a goodly percentage of people, because people tell me things, and then, pretty often, add, “I’ve never even told my therapist that.” And I say, “Why not?” Because therapy is freaking expensive and it seems silly to pay someone $150 an hour to not tell them the truth (and then tell it to me for free). But people are filled with shame.

Anyway, you have to get your patient to like you, in a sort of parental way, where they trust you and feel safe with you, and you have to like them back, but not too much, because you can’t be emotionally involved with your clients, even if your entire relationship is about your emotions. You’re supposed to develop feelings for one another than you can then use to open up discussions about those feelings and how similar feelings affect their lives outside the office. But pretty often people aren’t that comfortable with their therapists, and I think it’s safe to say that some therapists don’t like their clients, and sometimes it shows. And people get discouraged and assume therapy doesn’t work, when it’s really the therapeutic relationship that’s not working, and they should just cut their losses and find a more appropriate therapist.

I can’t afford a therapist. But if I could, I would definitely be talking about the 101 examples I could give of moments in my life when I had every reason to believe things were going to unfold in a way that would improve my life, and instead didn’t unfold at all. I swear, it’s not a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s why I drew this comic, instead of not drawing a comic.

Who Are You, Again?

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It seems unfair that it takes me just as long to draw a comic with terrible artwork as it does to draw one with beautiful illustrations. 

Just a little bit of silliness, plus an excuse to use a lot of sesquipedalian words, because I’m not abstruse enough.  I do have a little bit of face blindness and a marked inability to recollect people’s names 30 seconds after meeting them myself, actually, although I learn to recognize people after repeated exposure, so hopefully no offense taken by people with legitimate neurological disorders.

Long, tired day.