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057: Are You Quietly Quitting?
Wherein I talk about the time I quit my art. And how I overcame that BS and you can too.
Welcome to week 57 of the Draw or Die Newsletter.
On the road again: I’ll be Seattle Wed and Thursday this upcoming week (26th-27th) if any Art Friends want to do an evening hang e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
REMINDER! Anyone who buys notebooks by the end of April is in the running to win the DANGO Pioneer Travel wallet, kitted up from me. Get your notebook orders in!
I quit once.
I totally gave up on my art.
I didn’t draw anything meaningful for nearly two years.
It’s hard to even imagine or remember now.
It feels like “missing time” in some way. Like a ufo abduction.
What was I even doing during that period of time besides just surviving day to day?
As far as I can recall, I’d go to work all day, and luckily I could be semi-creative at my day job then, but it still was just forgettable.
But when I came home, what did I do?
I feel like I was just a robot or zombie or something? I clearly wasn’t feeling alive. I must have just been drowning myself in movies, tv shows. I didn’t travel a lot.
I surely was not working on anything for myself. I had no big dreams or aspirations. I was avoiding my feelings, avoiding myself.
Looking back I realize I was in what I call a creative depression.
That “funk” I was in was deep. I just didn’t feel like creating anything or even THINKING ABOUT IT. I had a voice inside that had basically told me that my big ideas, my art, pursuing my passions, was the reason I was in this predicament in the first place. I vanished from the “scene”.
No more webcomics.
No more comic conventions.
No more ME.
Imagination is a double-edged sword
That’s how it is. On one side, when you have the gift of imagination, it can take you anywhere, and you accomplish and dream up so many things.
But on the flip side?
You can also imagine the worst. You can imagine things that are not true. You can imagine people are against you. That they want to see you fail.
I won’t rehash that so much, but I dive deeper into this topic back in week 14 “Are you just a pretender.”
How did I break the spell?
I remember pretty clearly when my now wife told me I was wasting this talent I had. That there are people out there who wished I could do what I did.
That it was magical.
Not everyone could just drop down and do what we do.
I had never thought about it like that.
Suddenly I felt like…
I WAS wasting this magic.
Some kind of spell had been cast upon me from outside events.
A messy divorce, my own inner demons, suppressed childhood traumas?
Who can say for sure. What I do know is, I was putting all that blame on myself, and my art.
It wasn’t true.
Alone later on the next day, I picked up a dusty sketchbook.
I didn’t know what to draw.
Was I even worthy???
What was I doing? I had no plans.
Why was I wasting my time with this?
Then this other inner voice spoke loudly to me…
And so I just l just started rapidly scribbling on this page.
Squiggles. Doodles. Scratchy shapes…. a bunch of chaotic nothingness.
And then the magic happens.
You start to “see” again.
You begin pulling out the shapes.
“Drawing” them out of the nothing.
Sometimes they are faces. Sometimes robots or birds.
None of it had to make sense.
But it felt magical. And I felt that spark of joy again.
The first time in a long time.
Drawing IS Magic
Don’t forget that.
It’s inevitable that in in life, shit is going to go down.
Things are going to go bad.
Those spells and curses are going to be get cast on you.
But you have this gift. This secret. This magic.
Life is chaotic
Just like in those scribbles.
You need to step back and look again.
Even in that chaos, there is something good hiding.
Draw out and develop what you see.
In yourself. In others.
The next time you’re feeling that feeling, OR maybe you’re in it right now.
“JUST START DRAWING!”
🔥This Week’s Drawing CHALLENGE!
I want you to do your own Scribble Challenge this week.
Post both the before AND after. If you don’t know how here are the rules:
Lightly scribble on any piece of paper or screen, in a chaotic way with no plan. Sometimes you can even look away…
Now really take a look and draw out the first thing you see.
It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece or make sense. It’s okay to be silly or abstract!
Be sure to tag #drawordieclub on the platform of your choice so we can all find each other (we’re mostly on instagram) Maybe we’ll feature your art in future livestreams and content!
✏️☠️♣️Join the DAILY DRAWING CLUB!!!
Help support the club with five bucks a month and get some nice perks including a quarterly sticker, daily prompts and more. CHECK IT OUT HERE!
Thanks for reading! I hope you DRAW EVERY DAMN DAY! Even if it’s only scribbling!