INKtober day eight–crow doodle

i’m having a crappy day.
dreams of things that are past but not gone set my heart in a tumble for the entire day.
i doodled this on a letter to a friend.
a message in a bottle.
i was going to try to do a more “complete” picture, but i kind of liked that this one was old school on a lined notebook in a regular ink pen (actually a parker ink pen–my past preferred pen.) also it was a bit inspired by my good friend who invited me to do this challenge. she did a crow in a tree yesterday for her inktober drawing, and that stayed with me into my drawing today.

also.
i was crying & hanging up clothes this morning (usually i only cry while doing dishes) and a murder of crows flew over. i took it as a sign of comfort from the universe.
however, my day did not improve.
my heart stays broken & disillusioned.
and i never did draw another picture.

also.
i am still blown away by yesterday’s drawing. i thought for sure it was going to suck when i started it. i keep impressing myself with what i’m doing.
so i guess it’s okay that i’m doing a simple day today.

while my children scream at me

i sneak away to my scanner….
since my camera is sad these days, i will try scanning more. since i have a home again, i will try scanning more.

i finally have the right ink in my pens. though this page was done before it occurred to me that i could dump the wrong ink out of my pen and refill it with the right ink. i was just trying to run it out by using my pen. my pen was not digging that and no amount of shaking or tapping was getting it to draw. so this journal page is a bit rough. also, i was using styles that aren’t mine. just for fun.

iggy called the bikini top “weed boob sacks”–ha!

i’m still reading amanda palmer’s book. i am tempted to contact her. maybe i will. she touts her own accessibility quite a lot in her book, however, i am new to the fan base…and i think i just rub people the wrong way–so i dread contacting her & being ignored. as she says in her book, social rejection hurts as much as physical pain. it does. plus, i realize that i may never be good at asking. as a child, i was ignored by my parents. the fourth of six, they just kinda forgot about me. they were pretty lackluster parents to begin with, and i was lost in the shuffle. instead of making a ruckus–like poppy does (i admire his 4th child technique of constantly demanding he get at least equal consideration, even though said technique exhausts me!)–instead of demanding attention–i decided to disappear. my feeling, even as a young child, was that if they weren’t going to give me the attention i deserved, i would not stoop to ask for it.

and i didn’t.

and now the art of asking is an art that i cannot grasp.

though i need to.

so how do i start interacting on a better level with my fan base? how do i reach out to people? how do i become human? these are the puzzles i occupy myself with these days. i hope to figure it out. being a successful artist & writer is important to me, but it may never happen if i do not learn how to interact with my audience.

ay fuck.

as for moses jones…my living room is still full of the wrong furniture & unpacked boxes. my desk sits amidst the mess, calling to me. hopefully, i will get the excess furniture & boxes out of the living room tonight so i can set up my desk & feel like myself again. and get some pages of mojo out to y’all. soon!

dragontoad

i drew this for my son. next, he wants me to draw him one with sparrow wings. that sounds so cool. i would like to water color that as well. or use my sepia ink….

i’ve read more of amanda palmer’s the art of asking…but it keeps depressing me & making me cry. i feel like i will never be able to connect with people. i can’t connect with my own fucking life partner after all, how am i ever going to connect with strangers?

ah, crap.

my life is in the toilet. and my new apartment has an electric stove–no chance for sylvia plath fantasies. so i doodle on.

benefactor needed…now more than ever

my camera…she dies slowly. my laptop…she is four years old and easily over-heated. my new apartment…she is very very expensive to a struggling artist-writer mama and her dusty cohort (who is a very talented cook & grossly underpaid.)

i need confidence and a benefactor.

i am returning to school this fall, taking a class in confidence–er, digital media. i’m hoping to feel more competitive with freelance work once i feel more confident about creating digitally.

i am reading amanda palmer’s the art of asking. okay, i haven’t yet gotten the introduction read, but it is on my kitchen table waiting for me to have a free moment to focus. i am hoping it will be so damned inspirational that i have no choice but to fly out of my little hole in the ground and start molesting people with my awesomeness…er…or, maybe i misunderstood the book jacket message….

i have a new apartment! & internet!

but no furniture. i live in the college town of madison and all the fucking uhauls are rented through 5:15pm on sunday, august 16th. holy fuck. so we are living on the bare minimum of furniture, dishes, & utensils. i have my cast iron skillets with me and am seeing what all they can be used for. i did make a cheesecake for misha’s birthday in a cast iron skillet. cheesecake pans are for pussies (or, people who can afford cheesecake pans.)

i draw. i write bad poetry. i pace. i wince as my children shriek. (how did i give birth to FOUR shrieking children?? my poor neighbors. please don’t hate me new neighbors.) i am an artist.

next week, i will have a desk…maybe. with a desk to draw upon–the world will be my oyster.

while the baby naps…

i have doodled a bit.

& written bad poetry…as i am prone to do when feeling heartsick…or hopeful. or both at the same time.

and i have started reading neil gaiman’s collection of short stories trigger warning. i have only read the introduction and the first couple of stories, but i can tell you this–though i have always loved neil gaiman’s writing…now i am in love with his writing. plus, he seems like such an authentic person. i think about trying to contact him…but i’m still recovering from lynda barry’s callous treatment of my heart.

i miss my bubble. i know i live in somewhat of a bubble. the fictitious town of madison, wisconsin. where farmer’s market abound and local organic food is a given. where everyone recycles and liberal bumper stickers decorate many a hybrid car. not the kind of town that in on the landscape of moses jones’s world. and a rare town in my own world, i am realizing as i leave my bubble.

i miss my dusty. i can’t make the coffee right on my own. i have no one to tell the funny stuff to. and the scary stuff. well, no one i want to tell it to. how does moses jones live so long without her dusty? she must have strong walls around her heart. she must be protecting herself. not just from zombies…but from love.

ah, the insight one gets from leaving one’s comfort zone.

while uploading the picture of my daily doodles, i realized i also had pictures of dusty & poppy–and dusty & fidgit–on my camera.

& daddy 007 & daddy 012

i miss dusty…i even miss watching him playing killing floor 2. (dusty spends a lot of time preparing to fight zombies.) i think we will be back together soon though. he has given me reason to feel hopeful that we can save our relationship from the (w)horrors that cannibalize it. however, i find that dusty waxes and wanes like the moon, controlling the tides of me. right now the moon is full & bright…although i have learned the hard way, there is always a dark side to the moon.

how being without a home affects my art….

all of my stuff is in the garage of dusty’s sister. that includes my india ink for my rapidograph pens. i carry my yumi ink with me, but i packed away my india ink.

& now my pens are pissed off at me.

here is a whole page of doodles as a result of my trying to get my pens to accept chinese ink over indian ink. i’m not sure what the problem is. is it like car oil? is it the weight of the ink? or does yumi ink dry up faster due to higher water content? or is it just nationalism on the part of my pens?

(so i just googled to see where kor-i-noor rapidograph pens are manufactured to see if they were made in china–thus, disproving a nationalism for india; however, it appears as if they are made in the usa?? which is pretty cool if that’s right. also, i found where you can send them to massachusetts and have them repaired?? so cool if that is accurate. also, while looking at all of the rapidograph pens on all of the sites, i just got so excited. i love these pens so much. i just love them so much….)

i did get my pens to both work. the one with the smaller tip doesn’t want to. i had been carefully tapping & scribbling and tapping & scribbling to no avail. my pen would not start working. so yesterday i started shaking my pen (which is not advised) and it started working. sometimes, i guess, you have to get rough with your art supplies.

okay.

enough exciting narrative about pens.

still no pages of mojo…but soon, yes? if not this week though–then probably not before mid-august, because as of next friday, i will be crashing on couches again with dusty & the minions.

home is where you ink your comics

i sit in a borrowed house that is home until the end of july. peaceful chaos abounds. not quite a room of my own but also not staying in a guest room. not being forced to “helicopter parent” my children for fear they will break, damage or be damaged in another person’s living space. parenting in someone else’s space has to be one of the most stressful ways to parent. parenting with an audience–also extraordinarily stressful. add in stressed out minions who are amped up on uncertainty and lack of familiar routines…it is a perfect storm of a parenting nightmare.

in the nick of time, before i lost what was left of my mind, a friend of mine abandoned her house, leaving the door open for us to squat here for a few weeks.

i miss moses jones. i think this journal page shows how much i miss her.

yesterday, at an impromptu birthday party for me, a friend of a friend who is involved with the michigan womyn’s festival asked if she could use some mojo for the back cover of the zine for the festival. i agreed–though i do worry about some of the politics–i mean, i am a feminist, but i am a very inclusive feminist…a feminist who believes that all the infighting among women should stop and we should be a united front…and that one of our best hopes for the future is to raise feminist sons as well as feminist daughters….. anyhoo, one of my early early moses jones pictures (done for an art class) is about to be used as the back cover for this zine. it will be cool to get some exposure.

speaking of zines, i am hoping to get the final pages of this episode finished & have two zines for the madison zine fest this year. hopefully, now that i have a space almost of my own, i will be a bit more productive.

history of the death of a pen

(current projects–doodling as i think about bluejean & trials of the moonfish. and i just started jonathan lethem’s the ecstacy of influence–i have never heard of him, though i gather from how he refers to himself that he is pretty famous. i am enjoying his writing style…but i have only read the preface.)

& back onto topic:

i use rapidograph pens. which i love, but i have heard them compared to keeping a pet in terms of upkeep required. if you don’t use them frequently, they dry up. then they are a bitch to clean.

but i love them. i love my high maintenance pens.

i got a full set of them back in the old century. when i lived in lexington, kentucky. i had just moved out of the house of my first husband. we had been married a month. i had known him for about two months. ha! another theory tested. another failed experiment in life. i decided to write a zine. i was going to call it “twat.” then i started working on the comic that would be featured in it. confusion perfume. a girl, her dog, and her neurotic dealings with life & relationships. the zine was forgotten, and i fell in love with writing & drawing comics.

backtrack to 1990. i decided i wanted to go into comics. i went to a local iowa city, iowa comic book store called “daydreams” to ask about comic writing and was directed to one of their employees, paul tobin. then a struggling comic writer. now a more successful comic writer. we became friends. but my comics were not taken seriously by me nor by him and were filed away. but i learned the comic process. pencilling , inking, lettering. & the tools. rapidograph pens & illustration board.

(as a side note, in 1992 i ended up dating a comic book artist named tim bradstreet, but he left me for this nasty girl who was apparently the love of his life. whatever. he also failed to take me seriously as a future comic powerhouse. however, i also was unimpressed with his comic art–though he was extremely impressed with himself.)

then, as mentioned, in 1998, i began my first real comic endeavor, confusion perfume. i used illustration board and a full set of rapidograph pens. my most used size–the red one–broke at one point when i lived in athens, georgia…what year was that? 2000? 2001? anyhoo. i bought a new red rapidograph with the birthday money from my grandma. and i sent her a gracious thank you note. i have continued to use that pen–reviving it when it dried up–up until yesterday when i said, “fuck it,” and put it in the pen holder with the rest of the set that i no longer use.

i had to buy new rapidographs as i started working on moses jones because i started working on smaller pages–watercolor paper instead of illustration board–therefore, in a smaller format. the smaller pens from my original set where too clogged & too tenacious in their death to be revived. so i bought new pens to work in my smaller format. my red pen just wasn’t getting the time. if i need bigger spaces inked now, i use my brush. a changing of the guards, perhaps.

rest in peace, red rapidograph.

ps. sometimes i wonder if i should revive…reissue? my comic confusion perfume. with packing to move, i still have all of those illustration boards. i’m thinking i should somehow mat & frame them & sell them. maybe i need to make a name for myself first? or i could just decorate my new place with them….

but! should i put them out there like on tapastic or something? maybe i’ll do that….who wants to read confusion perfume? speak now.

also, here’s a doodle from an idea that has just begun swimming around in my head.

updates 001

artist, mama, student, baker, writer?

or candlestick maker?

i doodled this as my daughter, misha, did a study for language and development. she is delayed in her speech. the speech pathologist made a point of telling me how important it was that we get her ways to communicate all the amazing things that must be going on in her head. or else she will become frustrated with not being able to show people how amazing she is. “it’s especially important with children as bright as she is to learn to communicate.” dumb kids need not apply, i guess. ha! i felt sad thinking of her frustration–perhaps because i know that frustration. being misunderstood. not being able to put into words–or the right words–all the amazing things in your head. my own delayed speech, i think, must have contributed to my wanting to be a writer and an artist–to my wanting to find a better way to communicate where spoken language had left me wanting.

as i watched misha play with the speech pathologist, i was reading hip mama’s latest issue and trying to read the short story that won first prize in a contest i did not place in. the story was…lackluster? it did nothing for me. this won? i thought, and tried not to take it personally. i need to try harder. i can do better than this. were the next thoughts to run through my mind. doing better. i can do better than the entry i sent to the contest, and i can do better than the story that won first prize. i am actually a very good writer. it’s true. i need more focus maybe. more practice. but i do have something. i need to start writing again! i determined. i quit writing fiction (other than graphic novels) because i was tired of being rejected and tired of competing with the never-ending parade of writers there are these days. but i have a renewed desire to write and to compete. some of it is a need for money–should i start winning contests and getting published–but a lot of it is just my need to communicate. graphic novels are my first love, but–fuck me–the story unfolds slowly. i think i need to be spewing other thoughts of mine in a quicker fiction.

speaking of money. i have not “worked” since shortly after fidgit was born. almost 10 years ago. i have worked–hard for no money–as a mom. i have done some freelance writing for demand studios (google “em connell mccarty” for your ehow articles on how to give a dog a birthday party…ha!) and i have gone to school for writing and art. however, as unconventional and low-impact as our family is–we need a bit more of the green stuff. and not the green stuff we can forage for. today i am trying to write up my resume for a baking job. i love baking–but i’m not sure about the hours. so far i have my name & phone number written down. no address because i’m not sure where i will be living at the end of the month. though! good news there. the woman we met with about renting part of her home seemed to like us, and having had two sons of her own (now grown) she was not terrified by the antics of figdit & iggy. so we might might might have a place to live other than my mazda5…. and maybe more income if i can remember my work history from my previous lives and use it to find work. or! maybe i will win a fiction writing contest…hmmm.

what keeps me busy

i am so wrapped up in house hunting. i think of little else. plans. back-up plans. panic attacks and deep funks. i hate house hunting. house hunting when four little people are involved is…oh my god…how do i do this? today we are meeting with a single woman who is entertaining the idea of renting part of her home to us. i think about someone else having to live with my children and i find myself thinking, “i don’t even want to live with them–how can i ask a stranger to?”

okay. i don’t always feel this way about the minions. lately is just…special. poppy is grumpy. iggy is grumpy. i am grumpy. we act and react to each other all day long.

page 004

meanwhile, in my comic process, i did manage to draw something. just a journal page. but it turned out kinda cool. also, in my quest to be a better artist, i am reading the gift by lewis hyde. it is taking me awhile to read it. just snippets here and there when i’m not wrapped up in needy kids or house hunting. but so far so good. i am finally in the second half which is more applied towards artists. i will let you know what i think.

that’s all i can update you on today. poppy is screaming at me and iggy is screaming at fidgit. yay. good times.