055: Resurrect YOURSELF!
Wherein we talk about the real secret to change and growth, and an announcement
Welcome to week 55 of the Draw or Die Club Newsletter for Visual Storytellers.
Happy Holidays, if you celebrate Easter!
I don’t, so I’ll be drawing LIVE at 3pm EST, the first “DRAWING CLUB” livestream On Youtube (SEE HERE)
🏚️🏴☠️ Club Housekeeping
📕 EDC NOTEBOOKS!:
Thanks so much for your Notebook orders! We're working hard to pack things up and fulfill it all. The first big batch goes out this Monday! We plan to do shipping weekly. Get your order in today!
(Don’t forget, if you buy in April you’re in the running to win a DANGO Pioneer Travel Wallet!)
✏️ Our DAILY Drawing Club!
Our $5 a month club is growing. Read all the perks over here https://drawordie.co/supporters/pricing
Working on some fun bonus ideas like:
Draw or Die ZINE!!!?
💬💜 DISCORD Community! (Free!)
We DO have a Discord! Use the channels there to showcase your art, talk about art tools, QnA and more! Invite link: https://discord.gg/XZeJNQfqHK
💥 BACK TO WORK I GO!
In 2012 when I had to get a “day job” after working full-time with my art for 13 years, I felt like a total failure.
I was embarrassed. I kind of just STOPPED drawing for a time, unless it was something for work. The day job work was fine, I did get to draw things for top influencers and brands. I helped some of them sell thousands of dollars in merch with my art on it…. but… deep down, I felt like a total failure at my own art.
I even hid the fact for a while from my co-workers that I had ever done ANYTHING beyond “normal”. And usually they’d find it themselves when they googled my name. (that’s kinda creepy co-workers!)
“D.J! We didn’t know you drew comics!! That’s so cool! You worked for _______! “
“Mister, I don't know nothing about that.
I'm just a working Joe, trying to stake my claim under the sun,
and lookout on the beautiful green fields, called.... LIFE!"
(That’s from an episode of Adventure Time you can watch…)
The long and short of it is, Finn the hero didn’t want the pressures of being a hero anymore. He just wanted to live like the common person.
I didn’t want to be an artist anymore.
I wanted to just be DAVEY.
What was worse? When people WOULD find out you did something cool with art before, there was a tone of “Well, looks like that didn’t work out for you if you’re here now, Ha-Ha!”
I beat myself over it. I blamed my failing marriage at the time on the fact that I pursued my dreams too long. Important to note I was made to feel that way by the outside world around me. My ex-wife. My in-laws. Close friends. It was terrible.
I felt dead inside.
Nobody in my circle ever seemed to be HAPPY FOR ME. Only envious, or judgmental, or waiting for me to fail.
The Stigma is Real
Many artists feel that you’re not successful unless it’s your full-time job.
That is absolutely WRONG.
I know that’s wrong from personal experience because even when it was my full-time living, I still didn’t get respect. No amount of money or published books could fix the bad relationships I had surrounded myself with.
Secondly, I know this is wrong by the amount of successful creators I know who have been through the exact same thing. In conversation even with some well-known names, they still feel like they are on the cusp of failure. Or that they too lack any kind of respect for what they do with their art.
Breaking that Stigma
Part of the reason I started DRAW or DIE was to help break stigmas like that. And to speak openly about my experience and others. And in doing so, I definitely see the pattern of artists dealing with these feelings.
It doesn’t have to be or feel that way.
The advice I would give to anyone feeling that way is that it’s time to do two things for yourself:
Change your thinking.
Change the relationships around you.
This past week was my first week at a NEW day job! You might recall in week 49 newsletter, I QUIT MY OLD DAY JOB.
When I announced quitting my job online, I got a lot of messages of congratulations thinking I must be so successful with my art I was going full time 😂.
Apparently they didn’t read the message that came along with my announcement.
I quit for many reasons you can read in the week 49 link.
I was actually VERY AFRAID TO QUIT MY JOB.
But I realized the relationship was bad. The stress was going to KILL me. Really. I didn’t feel appreciated anymore, even when people said they appreciated me
It all felt a little fake.
Beyond the stress and long hours, I was financially comfortable.
It was scary to think of leaving that. But was it worth dying for or feeling that way?
Here’s the real challenge and lesson…
🔥You can’t stay in bad relationships.
In order to grow, you must end them.
You might think an “abusive” relationship is just a spouse beating their wife, and the wife stays or goes back after she said she’d leave. It’s so much more than that.
This might be a long friendship. A marriage. A job.
The choices to end bad relationships are the hardest choices I ever had to make in my life. As humans we tend to avoid feeling uncomfortable.
But you must face it or fail.
🍀The grass IS greener on the other side…
I’m happy to say, that I’ve never felt happier as an artist and human being.
I have a wonderful wife who appreciates my drive and talent and understands living with an artist.
My inner circle of friends is very small, but I know we’d move mountains for each other.
My new job? Is at an award winning agency in Pittsburgh, full of wonderfully talented storytellers eager to work with me. My mornings feel SO much different than what I described before.
🤘🏻You CAN resurrect yourself
Yeah, listen. I had to make an Easter joke, okay?
But seriously, that’s exactly what it feels like.
Like being born anew.
The old you is long gone.
Nothing left for you in the past but memories and lessons.
You have the ability to change.
And deep down? You know what it is that needs changing.
Don’t delay. Start today.
Or listen to the immortal lyrics of Shannon Hoon (RIP)
When you feel life ain't worth living
You've got to stand up
Take a look around, look up way to the sky, hell yeah.
And when your deepest thoughts are broken?
Keep on dreamin' boy, 'cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die
And as we all play parts of tomorrow, Lord no
Some ways we'll work, and other ways we'll play,
But I know we can't all stay here forever
So I'm gonna write my words on the face of today
And then they'll paint it
And oh, as I fade away
They'll all look at me and say
They'll say, "Hey look at him"
"And where he is these days?"
When life is hard, you have to change
The Weekly Drawing Prompt is…
“Time to Change”
AND watch me draw my version LIVE on Youtube at 3pm EST today! (or watch the replay later)
The Drawing Club Agenda:
Warm-ups! = Fast Drawing Games
Live Drawing Prompts Challenge
Special Giveaway (at about the 30 minute mark)
Live Chat and Q&A!? (Ask Me Anything)
Deep Dive! A look behind the scenes at freelance projects I'm working on. - Potential LIVE giveaway, but you gotta pay attention :)
I hope EVEN ON HOLIDAYS, you can sneak away and DRAW SOMETHING SMALL!!! 🤘🏻
☠️✏️ JOIN THE DAILY DRAWING CLUB!
▶️ WATCH DRAW or DIE on YOUTUBE (Tutorials & more)
Learned a lot from this blog today man. Motivated me to keep doing what im doing. Most appreciated.
Reading this brought back memories of jobs in the past where people were amazed I could draw, but then I wound up having to do a few pieces for these co-workers you know? Omgaaahh!you’re so talented, can you draw my kids, my pet, my fave animal etc. Rarely was I ever asked to do something FOR the company. 🙄
I’m two days into my new gig as a tutor for a private company that helps k-12 kids with their reading/writing, and math skills, and also does some SAT prep. I know someone there will find out my secret, lol.
You mentioned something about artists on here who are looking to get paid for actual work back on Feb with that questionnaire/survey. How’s that coming along? Love Blind Melon, that debut album is outstanding.