This is week 10 of Draw of Die. Thanks for being here.
DRAW or DIE LIVE at 3RiversComicon. THE AGENDA… Beyond having the branded table there, I will be doing a live talk and drawing exercise at high noon on Saturday, June 4th 2022. Details of the show at 3riverscomicon.com
AFTER HOURS DRINK & DRAW: This would be for our 21 and over members only. 7pm - ??? at THE WARREN in Pittsburgh, PA. Just a stone’s throw from the convention, The Warren crafts the best cocktails in the region. The first 10 members to show up, I’ll buy your drink. Deal? Bring a sketchbook, notepad or ipad to draw on. Don’t make me drink & draw alone.
Packages owed to members were shipped out on Wednesday morning. I hope you enjoy.
Let’s get into this week’s topic..
The resistance is real…
This was a very challenging week for me at my day job. My boss from Germany was visiting and we pulled in the remote workers for a week of team building, workshops and deep dives. I knew this would be a busy week, but I thought I could handle it.
I thought I could plan. But my days since May 15th have essentially become this schedule:
Wake up. Get ready. Go to work.
Come home later than I wished.
Sleep for maybe 4 hours (if I’m lucky)
Wake up. Get ready. Out the door to work…
Surely I could schedule in some “me” time for my art and my projects… but it just didn’t happen. I spoke of “the resistance” before in week 2, and clearly the resistance was winning.
Work completely overtook my life…
I was trucking along doing 100 days of making comics in a row, but I failed that when I got to Phoenix. Yes, I know, making it to day 51 before stalling out is quite an accomplishment. But the fact remains not being able to carve out 30 minutes for your own art per day is unacceptable to me.
Before these trips kicked off, I was doing very well with my online posting schedule, but even that got wrecked.
My friends, my colleagues will tell me, “oh you’re too hard on yourself!”. For lack of a better word, I was peer pressured Wednesday night into staying out way past my bedtime. I could feel my own boundaries being crossed, and it didn’t feel good. Nobody seemed to realize or really take into consideration that I had a half hour drive home, or that my dog doesn’t sleep when I’m not home, or that this may effect others in my life who have to be up for work and school the next day?
It feels like the world is lacking couth. Manners. Common sense. Courtesy for one another.
I had a heartbreak this week, as someone I considered a good friend, someone I had gone to bat for many times, I found out what they really thought about me. I had seen messages about me that showed how they were making fun of my voice in my reels. And that I must be “faking it until I make it.” It hurt. I felt betrayed as a friend. Was everything fake? Is this how others think of me?
You know, all of the things a stoic is NOT supposed to do. It felt like I was trapped in this swirling drain, swimming up stream. And slowly drowning in it.
This week I couldn’t seem to be enough, or do enough, for anyone. Especially for myself. It was one of those weeks…
And there it was again… that funny feeling.
When I’m not able to DRAW, or create, I feel dead inside.
Alive on the outside, but a panicked mess on the inside. Time was ticking away. Tomorrow is not promised. Everyone else was having a great time, but inside I was thinking of what a failure I was.
I was thinking of my personal to-do list and all I need to accomplish before the convention next week.
I was thinking about the vulnerable talk I’ll give there. How I hope it will land and help someone in some way. When will I have time to make my slides?
I became irritated, annoyed. Was anyone thinking about MY feelings or needs?
The resistance just doesn’t care. It wants you to stay the same.
Tired, beat down, feeling half sick, I soldiered on, doing the best I possibly could. But somehow… still not good enough.
….. 👈🏻 Those dots. Right there.
Those dots represent the fight I just had with my wife about all of this, in the middle of writing this very letter.
She had come up to lay her head down beside me, and I snapped that I couldn’t write or create with someone watching over me. This was not her intention. She just wanted to be near me. Because she missed me. Work has made me distant, and it’s taken over. And now suddenly… I’m a bad partner too.
Like I said… it’s been a challenging week. You can see how it might be easy to go down a path of self destruction.
And for many artists, that’s exactly what happens.
How can I ever feel satisfied? How can YOU ever feel satisfied?
The answer is pretty simple. It’s my fault. I need to set better boundaries. Only you can decide how you react to what is brought before you. And this week, I failed to get a handle on it.
I also need to do a better job of not caring how the outside world perceives me. What does any of that really matter in the end?
One of the core reasons I started Draw of Die was to combat these feelings as an artist, and to help others out there navigate these waters too. Just a hunch, but I think if you’re reading this, you know what I’m talking about. And you’ve probably experienced similar things. And if not? You will.
That morning this week when I was feeling heartbroken after discovering what that old friend really thought of me, I cried.
Just a little. I couldn’t hold it back. It felt like mourning the loss of a friendship. It reminded me of all the fake friendships I had when I was briefly successful in comics, but that dried up when I had nothing left to offer them.
It made me sad. And angry. And confused. Is this how it would always be for me? That I give and give and give, and in the end, betrayed. Left for dead.
My good wife reminded me of all the heartfelt messages from you. That I was making a difference. The good energy I put in here, the vulnerability, the honesty… it matters to someone else beyond myself. It makes a difference.
Geez. I had a whole other topic to write about this week, but this is what came out when I sat down to write.
The important takeaway is, this is going to happen.
And It will happen again, and again. The resistance, the stressful weeks. Betrayal. Arguments. Even the best laid plans will collapse in on you.
And when it’s all falling down on you?
Just HOLD FAST.
This too shall pass.
This week’s prompt is a KNIGHT. Yeah, i guess if you really want to draw Batman, I’ll allow it. 😂 - Be sure to tag #drawordiechallenge so I can find you. And I will!
Also you can comment a link to your own socials right here if you’re looking for some new friends.
Here are a handful of previous prompt drawings from Joe, Damian, Paul, HorusHawk and GrinkleVision.
This week I want to share with you a talk I discovered last Sunday called “Don’t chase the glory, work hard and be satisfied” by Tyler Deeb. I can’t stop thinking about this video and the message, and how it pertains to may things that happened within my challenging week. I hope it helps some of you as well…
Until next time….
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This was super deep and I appreciate it entirely, I too have had a really rough week, but mine was more so mentally... I'm a relatively new artist that is trying to stay consistent, not burn out, finish college (2 summer classes now then 2 next semester and I'm done!), work a full time job getting paid crap... hot crap... balance social life, and etc but I just felt like the world/time was moving faster than I could handle and I didn't feel like I was getting anything done which sent me in a spiral of imposter syndrome and made me question if I'm being too much of a dreamer and need to switch into something that isn't art and that thought alone is heartbreaking for me and I try to get it out of my head but it creeps back randomly and cripples me long story short, but your read was mentally comforting for me to know that other people experience similar times of disarray even if its not the same exact thing as me just reading that you must look within to rightfully deal with blocks or problems. Thanks man your prompts and reads are amazing and I'm very grateful you share them
So, remember I talked about your success? Remember I talked about how life interrupts your process? YOU CAN'T BEAT YOURSELF UP BECAUSE OF THAT. My job, I work in retail, can be a beast at times, especially from Thanksgiving to New Year's. Very busy, come home from work beat, tired, and I catch a nap. When I get up, it's usually dinner time, eat, do the dishes, and by the time I'm done it's 8 pm. Can't really get into something because I hit the sack around 9:30pm because I have to get up at 3am for work. Start again. Do I feel frustrated because I didn't draw that day? Yep. Can't help it. BUT, you can try to turn that little nagging voice off in your head that keeps telling you, if you didn't draw yesterday, you're losing ground. YOU'RE NOT. We are our worst critics and we beat ourselves up way TOO MUCH. You can help yourself to realize, that if you didn't have a job, you wouldn't be able anything, let alone what you love to do, which is create and draw. My job provides me and my family a living, IT'S NOT MY LIFE. My life is my art and if there's times I can't draw because of limited amount of time, I sometimes pull out a few sketchbooks of my favorite artists' and browse thru them. Or read a book. I have to accept the fact that today wasn't an art day and tomorrow will be. But, If it isn't, I have to learn to chill because maybe life is telling me to relax and recharge. I have to accept that and also do my best to turn the nagging voice off because it isn't right. It preys on our fear of not having accomplished a goal or goals we set for ourselves. Learn to adapt and improvise and if it helps you do one little piece of art, then, you've won. And the voice was WRONG. You know you can do it, sometimes it just takes more time. Stay strong my friend.