093: The LAST day...
Wherein we take a look back and a look forward.
Here we are, the last day of the year. Always a perfect excuse to reflect back and look forward. Maybe you’re setting some new year’s resolutions, big goals and wishes?
For so many years this was the very moment, or the weeks leading up to a new year, where it felt like this was it, this was going to be the year I took that big chance, I pushed myself, I launched that dream that was tucked back on the shelf collecting dust.
You always seem to delay to the end of the year to feel like there’s a better chance to begin again in the new year coming.
That we measure this time, our success or failures in 365 day cycles, makes absolutely no sense.
Truth is… EVERY DAY is a day to begin again.
To start something new. Take your best shot. Push yourself (and your art) to another level. Even if it’s just a small step in that direction of your dreams, I encourage you to do this now while you can.
Don’t delay, start today.
Welcome to week 93 of the Draw or Die newsletter for visual storytellers. A little over 93 weeks ago, I made a decision to do this. I committed to it. I see it through every week. Speaking to you, or to into the void. But also a weekly reminder to myself, the artist, a little note to my inner child. A note maybe your’s will hear.
It’s not my intention to get into a sappy reflection of my entire year this week.
Or to get morbid on you. But, It’s been one for the record books for me, that’s for damn sure.
This year there are two people who stand out to me, that have been at the top of my mind. And I want to mention them again so they are not soon forgotten.
My people of the year.
Doc. He died very shortly after the plant closed in Westmoreland county where we worked. He worked hard for his family and took great care in his work. Whether he realized it or not, he had a hand in helping a company make MILLIONS off of other people’s dreams.
Nobody can say for sure it’s the stress of losing that job so suddenly that killed him, but that’s the theory. Because of Doc, I decided I didn’t want to stay there and feel so stressed out and on the edge. I didn’t want to work for a company that didn’t feel like Doc was a human being, or didn’t remember his name. Did they even send a card to his funeral? Doubt it. I needed to move on to do something else. Be a little more in control of my own destiny. Feel a little more human.
Bill. My step-dad-in law? Picture Stone Cold Steve Austin, but chill as hell! One of the nicest guys you could have met. A classic Southwestern Pennsylvania guy who would help any stranger in need. He died suddenly, & unexpectedly, doing what he loved to do (hunting).
I guess these guys are a kind of bookends to my year.
At the beginning of the year a nice guy stuck in factory day job that he thought he could count on. And the other end of the year, a guy who retired and went out doing what he loved.
The lesson I take away from this? I guess I think of a few things, beyond the reminder that our time is limited here:
#1 Don’t put too much faith in a job, or a company you can’t control. Or one that doesn’t know your name.
#2 Try to die doing what you love. Or as close as possible. Ideally you should be old and healthy first! 😂
Because the alternative?
Well, it sucks.
You don’t hear old folks on their deathbed wish they’d spent more time at work, away from their families, or NOT doing that thing they loved to do.
Most old people I’ve known are either super at peace, or FULL OF REGRET.
I’m gonna say 80% are the full of regret kind.
Mainly for not doing that thing they dreamed of doing,
because the world around them told them they couldn’t.
But the 20% of old folks who took a swing for the fences?
They die smiling.
GAH! I didn’t want to get all morbid on yinz here. Too late I guess!
My point is, I hope I can encourage YOU to go swing for the damn fences.
Even just a little. Even if you take a swing and miss.
Just draw a little more than you do right now.
The world needs MORE art.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably an artist.
Guess what? It’s your duty to put MORE art into the world.
Don’t waste the talent you have, the skills you’ve built.
Go one step further?
I’ve been encouraging artists here for 93 weeks now. I’ve changed some lives. We’ve built a little community. It feels good to know that. I’m not stopping anytime soon. But what I really want now is to encourage you to pass it on in 2024.
Encourage some local artists in your area.
Maybe it’s a local drawing club meetup?
A kind message or two to local artists.
Draw a little surprise for someone and gift it to them.
Maybe even anonymously.
Leave a random piece of art for someone to discover.
What if YOU inspired two or three NEW artists this year?
Artists. Humans. We need each other.
That’s the real deal.
Are you with us?
Let’s march into the new year with that creative energy.
🔥YOUR LAST DRAWING…. of 2024.
This week’s drawing prompt you have a choice….
#1 what’s your FAVORITE thing to draw? Let that be the last thing you draw with a 2023 date on it!
#2 Was there something you drew this year that you really enjoyed or surprised you? Draw that again in a different way!
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 RADDEST Drawing Club on Earth!
Hey! A great way to DRAW MORE in 2024 is with our DAILY DRAWING CLUB! Every day at 5am EST you get a drawing prompt or exercise. You also get an exclusive sticker for joining. JOIN HERE!
Let’s draw even more in 2024!