here is page 32. i was hoping to have it ready yesterday. but today is better than tomorrow.
i keep falling asleep. i have poppy, who is 18 months, and misha, who is three and a half. my evenings are spent getting them ready for bed and helping them fall asleep. lately, i have fallen asleep with them. so my bedtime is around 7 or 8 lately. i usually wake up again around 10:30 or 11 but am not motivated to work on moses jones as i am usually pretty sleepy and end up spending quality time with dusty.
austin kleon, whom i have fallen out of love with, says if you want to–you can find time to do art. i want to, but with a large family and a precarious relationship with dusty that needs its fair share of attention. art, whom i love with all my heart, has to wait for me. i have to take care of my kids. i have to sleep. i have found–through trial & error–that i have to commit time to make a relationship with dusty work. ….& i have to do art. but of all the above, art is the one that can be put on a back burner. granted, i get grumpy without art. i get a bit depressed & distressed. but art waits for me. and, eventually, i do find the time for it.
i have determined that austin kleon’s audience is a more privileged class of people. i dunno. young & upwardly with sanity, time, and male genitalia…. his books were not meant for half-crazy mothers of four with a history of trouble. no worries. i actually already know everything he tells in his book. of course, i have been around. paying attention. succeeding & failing. i am relatively old in the game of art, and austin kleon writes his books to a younger version of himself. so i guess i shouldn’t be surprised that it doesn’t apply to crazy older mamas like me.
maybe i should write a book for the rest of us…hmmm…. (& when do i find time to do that?)
page 32. finished last night when i managed to survive the babies’ bedtime because i had to pee too bad to fall asleep. page 33 is not yet written, but i think i have it in my head.
i was going to point out what bugs me–what i feel like i messed up in page 32–but i have decided not to. because i think, overall, i am doing a good job and i really like my subtlety with shadows on this page.
austin kleon in his artist self-help book, steal like an artist, advises you to lead a boring life so you can get work done. as a mother of four living in crazytown, i respond, “ha!” easy for you to say, mr. kleon. i don’t think artists who suffered bouts of depression & mania, who turned to drugs & alcohol to quiet the demons in their heads, who found themselves in complicated lives with hordes of children, etc. etc. i don’t think these artists chose these lifestyles thinking it would make them better artists. it’s easy for someone who doesn’t come from a background of abuse, who doesn’t suffer mental health issues, it’s easy for a person like that to advise others to “be boring.” but as an adult child from an abusive background, i have found that keeping life boring is a struggle. as an artist mother to four children, a boring life is a flushed away luxury. right now there is a screaming toddler in my arms demanding to nurse (he wants to nurse non-stop, it seems.) i tried to fill a pen with ink & had to stop to pull misha off of poppy whom she was repeatedly body slamming as they fought over a book.
fuck, wouldn’t a boring life be awesome?
i’m not even going to tell you about my mother’s day….
but i was able to etch out a drawing of poppy as he nursed. i added horns & wings. because, they are there. you just can’t see them unless you really really look. i don’t like drawing from real objects very often. i prefer to pull things out of my head. that’s probably the real reason i added horns & wings to a sketch of the baby latched onto my nipple. portraits of babies are usually creepy. so i think the artist should just admit it and go with it and go ahead and creep out any portrait of a baby.
page 32 should be easy to finish–in theory. maybe i’ll dose the kids with benedryl (just kidding, child services!) and not think about dusty’s stalker or where we’re going to live when the lease is up or how the fuck i am going to make money to support my hoarde….
at this point, misha is shoving shrek 2 at me, ignoring the fact that i am using the laptop she wants to play her movie on. poppy is nursing, falling asleep and shrieking every time i jostle him. fidgit & iggy are fighting about whether or not iggy washed his hands after he pooped & before he touched fidgit.
no matter how boring i am, my life won’t stop being an episode of crazytown, usa (my next graphic novel.)
i survived 6 days of sick poppy. i was thrown up on 17 times…but only pooped on once.
meanwhile, i’m broke. we need to find a place to live. iggy is tragic & manipulative beyond his years. poppy is teething. misha and fidgit bicker despite my logically pointing out that he is 3 times her age; therefore, he should be 3 times more mature. and dusty…. my dusty. our relationship is a source of inspiration. a source of devastation. a source of hope and happiness and horrible angst. that’s how love is for some of us. it’s not all romantic comedies and sitcoms. i’ve accepted that. some love is dystopian katana-wielding madness–in a good way.
page 32 is in the works. i am also trying to draw when i can to keep me & my pens fluid. i also started trying to log my day to day, one of austin kleon’s suggestions from steal like an artist. so far i’ve logged about two crappy days. i’m hoping i can log about better days soon.
check this out for some of my angst-y middle school level poetry: http://quixoticmama.com/2015/05/08/the-scars-we-wear/
i kind of enjoyed my post today at quixotic mama (my alter ego to apocalyptic mama). i thought you might, too.
as babies scream & cling to me…as rambunctious attention-starved children bounce dangerously close to my drawing arm…i finish page 31.
i am assuming it is a universal theme. that phenomenon where once a person leaves a community room–be it family or housemates, friends or co-workers–the first person to leave is the one everyone else then talks about. either it is a universal theme, or i just know a lot of snarky people.
moses & her brood head off on a foraging expedition, and the housemates watching her leave morph into a pack of hyenas (no offense to hyenas; they are actually very cool animals.)
i messed up a few times and used cover up. it kinda works. maybe i should just start penciling first…ack! i just don’t like pencils. ink is so much more satisfying.
i just opened up austin kleon’s book, steal like an artist. it is spectacular so far. to create moses jones, i studied some of my favorite comics–love and rockets and tank girl. i also studied raulf steadman and shel silverstein to find inspiration for my technique. now, when i find something i like, i note it, and when i get a chance, i study it. my favorite quote in the book, so far, is david bowie’s: “The only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from.” it’s what my instincts have been telling me to do. thanks, austin kleon! i like knowing i am going in the right direction.