Tag Archives: perfection

Perfect Failure

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At least my braids always look great. 

It’s about 4 years since I started drawing webcomics, and if you scroll through 4 years of posts, you can really see the progression of my ability to force the Wacom tablet and Photoshop Elements to do my bidding, but it feels like there’s kind of a limit to all that, because all week I’ve been staring at the blank panels for a comic book that’s been causing contractions in my brain for the last year without finding the confidence to start over again with a totally different style.  At this point, it pretty much looks like the crutch of a digital drawing tablet has caused my drawing skills to actually degenerate.

On the other hand, I think the therapist in this comic looks like the same character in both panels, which was the thing that really stymied my comic creation prior to the tablet.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of ideas along these lines. The blog isn’t going to look as great as it could, but like my friend the Coyote always says, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” I need to unplug more regardless. I need to hold a pencil in my hand. I need to let go of the anguish I feel when I want to delete something or move something or just copy something. I’ve got to practice the basics if I want to feel worthy of comments like the one I received today from a woman who told me her dad drew for Mad Magazine and that I was the “real deal” just like him.

I’m not saying this is good, but it exists, which is more than I can say for last week’s comics.

Oh, hey! I drew a therapy comic that wasn’t about couples’ counseling. You’d think I’d had way more therapy than I’ve actually had based on the number of therapy comics I’ve drawn. I wasn’t even the person receiving therapy in the above comic.

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Perfectly Wonderful

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I’m a tasteful nude.

This week has been pretty rough. Chronic pain is kicking my backside and I’m half the dragon I used to be. If that. It seemed like it would be fun to just color tonight but this took me 3 hours and the only part I like is the socks.

So, you know, art is about constantly exposing yourself. At least what I do is. Every night I sit here and ask myself, “Are you really going to share this with the world?” Yes. Yes, I am. That’s why I wear socks: so as not to get cold feet.

Here is the thing I drew tonight. People need to know that they’re OK the way they are. Exactly who they are. Dragons too. Even when they don’t feel OK.

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No bears were harmed by anyone other than themselves in the making of this comic.

No bears were harmed by anyone other than themselves in the making of this comic.

I’m not a perfectionist, and I’m not vested in maintaining total control over the end of the process: my work is deliberately and lovingly flawed, and printing and shipping is up to someone else. LIke I said yesterday, marketing and sales are sort of beyond my bailiwick, and what bare interest I muster in the process only reflects a desire to continue spending 40 hours a week drawing and writing. (Obviously, I’m lucky to have The Man to support me in this endeavor, not to mention no small degree of class privilege.)

This comic is offered lovingly in honor of my friend, the bear, who creates marvelous and superlative designs, which he reproduces himself on delicate merchandise in custom colors. Each piece, and the design painted and engraved upon it, must be completely free from defect before he signs, wraps, packs, and ships it. Himself. His work is exquisite. We’ve been friends for over 20 years, and he lives 3 1/2 miles from here, and the only time I’ve seen him in the last 6 months has been in his booth at an art fair.

From a financial perspective, clearly I’m going about this all wrong, but it just sort of hit me last night that finally, after a lot of years adrift (thank you very much web content for search engine optimization) my life has finally aligned itself with true north on my heart’s compass. Life is not perfect, but all the important pieces are engaged and the sun still shines in the daytime.

For the bear, if he reads this, I think your way is successful too. You make a good tortured artistic soul in thrall of his cruel and lovely mistress and I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. You are a funny, grumpy, lovable old bear with whom I have not hung out in a long time. Text me.