Is ‘Hiatuses’ a word?

Blog, Creation, Doodles, Sketches

Whenever the red line underneath a word doesn’t appear I get anxious. Hiatuses looks like it’s a word from Dr. Seuss but it doesn’t have that red line under it so I’m assuming I’m in the clear.

Coming back from a long hiatus is weird. I feel like a stranger in a familiar land. It feels odd to pick up a pencil and pen and draw again but I have a head full of ideas which means taking a long (~yearish) break from anything creative is a good call sometimes. I forget that life isn’t art school all of the time and to avoid burn out, you have to take a few steps back every so often and decompress. I was burnt out for around three years, shortly before my Anomalous show. Burn out feels weird. It’s weird when something fun becomes something dreadful and torturous. How accolades can feel like knives and how the notion of drawing even one line is stalled before a pen touches paper. I’ve read so many books, blogs, and watched a lot of documentaries to try and garner some kind of inspiration to get out of a burn out funk. Museums didn’t help, galleries didn’t help, seeing works of peers and contemporaries didn’t  help, talking about it didn’t help. Nothing helped at all. It reached the point where i was seriously debating whether or not the period of ‘Cody as Artist’ was over and ‘Cody as Blank’ was beginning. So I took the first of three hiatuses.

Hiatus #1

My first hiatus came when I stopped beating myself up over not drawing or sketching things and began focusing on other stuff (some of it creative some of it not). This did not include reading and mostly included naval gazing, eating a lot of pizza, and watching a lot of Netflix, CrunchyRoll, and Hulu. It also included a lot of multiplayer online gaming.

While this was fine for a time that gnarly beast of burn out began pecking at my ear saying things like “you should be drawing. You should be making something to sell. You’re wasting time because you won’t be able to draw when you’re dead, and then what will you do? What sort of legacy is pizza grease stained pajamas, an embarrassing amount of porn, and a high mastery score in Smite?” Alas, I felt even more defeated and depressed. When freelance gigs came in at the time I would feel my mental joy quickly being crushed by this monsters who was tired of being cooped up in a cage.

Hiatus #2

My second hiatus came when I walked away from freelancing withing the theater scene of the San Francisco Bay Area. I did some decent work for decent folk and if I wanted to ever evolve it, I may have been able to if I latched on to the game to work in the higher end theater houses. It’s not my thing, sure, and I do enjoy putting my own spin on selling theater to a younger demographic (dead people don’t see theater as far as I know?) I had a theater company I did some social media images for and I would always jump at the chance to work on something with my partner in crime and those I respect and admire. But in terms of seeking new harbors? Nah. Before I knew it, I was slowly moving into the background and after my last biggest theater gig for a company called Custom Made Theatre Co., I decided to take my second hiatus. There was something I was searching for and I didn’t know what it was, but I knew something drastic would have to happen. I thought it was walking away as a freelancer. Had I known a bigger sacrifice was coming up, I may have rethought my artistic career. Alas, whats done is done and you can only steer into the tidal wave.

Hiatus #3

My third and final hiatus came in January of 2017 when I was too depressed to truly function for a lot of reasons. Some related to the politics of our time, some related to personal events that probably related more to Hiatuses #1 and #2 than I care to admit. I took a break, it was only supposed to be for a month, of my comic strip Clyde the Cyclops. One month lead to two and then three and then four. It was something I needed after updating a cartoon every day for three years, always feeling like I’m play catch up with it, and never really sitting down to think about what to do with it.

Clyde began as therapy because of the toxic work place of my day job and the call out culture that exploded onto the internet at around 2011-2013. I wanted this kind of space where people stopped caring about what other people cared about, and just existed in wonder and wandered about with friends regardless of who they were. That evolved into Clyde and his menagerie of friends in a world that was always changing from truly fantasy, to our own world, to “are Greek gods in this thing?”

With Hiatus #1 and #2 in full swing, I wouldn’t approach my comic with the best intentions. I approached it as something I had to do so that I could move on to doing the things I want to do. Namely, watching TV and play video games and slowly transition from socialite to introvert.

In January of 2017 I realized it was too much for me to deal with so I took a break from Clyde for four months. In that span of time I went to Tuscon, Arizona for several days, to stay at a hotel in the desert. It was lovely and refreshing. I saw Sedona. I saw the Grand Canyon. I saw the border of the United States and Mexico. I saw history. I touched the past. I was able to feel completely separate from anything and everything for a complete eight days. Which sounds so small but in reality, was a great breath of fresh air.

With three hiatuses under my belt I found that I was able to unlock the cage and let the gross Burn Out monster run free across the plains of Northern Arizona. I feel refresh and ready to begin creating things again which is a much better feeling than feeling like I’m trapped with the only exit being to slap stuff down on a page to free myself.

Clyde

With so many hiatuses that are mostly just one big hiatus I had to come to grips with, I spent a good deal of time looking through old sketchbooks, reading old comics, playing a lot of video games, and watching some pretty great Anime. I somehow avoided the internet.

I have a lot of stories to tell in Clyde’s world. Not with Clyde specifically but with that motif, and I’m comfortable with telling them finally after all of this time. Whether or not they’ll be good is anyone’s guess. I’ve been world building and  brainstorming all kinds of creatures and locations with real intentions to bring them to fruition. It feels nice saying that and not secretly wondering if you’re saying it because you’re used to saying it.

Here’s hoping that I’m back on track and not just in a period where I’m lured into a false sense of confidence.

 

 

 

 

 

PianoFight’s Pint Sized Plays

Creation, Posters, Vector, Vexel

I was tapped to design a logo for PianoFight’s Pint Sized Plays which is a rebrand of Theater Pub’s Pint Sized Plays, because Theater Pub may have ended, but PINT SIZED LIVES FOREVER!

This was a SUPER fun project to work on because I haven’t been involved in a re-branding before, especially a re-branding of something I initially branded six years ago or so. It was a great experiencing looking at something differently. I think the new logo looks pretty epically amazing.

You can read more about PianoFight here: http://www.pianofight.com/

You can read more about PianoFight’s Pint Sized Plays here: http://www.pianofight.com/pintsized

psp

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

Creation, Doodles, Sketches

It’s been a tough few months. It always sort of is during big changes: the USA is going through it’s biggest change in several decades, my partner of nine years has moved in with me, and I switched jobs. There are more unknowns then there are knowns in the air, which has only added to the electricity in the air, and this little snowflake has retreated deep into the darkness of my cave without any real interest to leave. I  find it so hard to be creative when I get like this. I don’t tend to create my emotions so much as I like creating my ideal ‘cool’.

Retreating for me tends to mean that I play a lot of video games and distance myself from any and all social interactions. I’m an introvert, essentially, that likes to pretend I’m an extrovert when I feel like everything is chill and we can all get along. But that seems more and more complicated as we progress into the 21st century.

I’ve taken a hiatus from my cartoon, Clyde The Cyclops, for a month to collect myself and decide just where I want to go with him and his gang and what my voice is. The last thing I wanted was to insert my own emotions and feelings about the US political climate, into the world of the Rock Forest. I don’t know if I would be able to forgive myself if I had chosen to do that — the Rock Forest exists as a space where people of all walks of life and beliefs, can hang out and be friends and play at games of wonder and imagination. That said, I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things where he is concerned.

Anyway, I’m sketching more lately. Or trying to. Maybe this year I’ll start producing again.

 

Hermes Chthonius

Creation, Vector, Vexel

Hermes Chthonius is an aspect of the god, Hermes, that accompanies souls on their final journey. It’s a bit darker than that happy go-lucky Hermes that we’re all familiar with when it comes to the cheerleader of Mt. Olympus. I used the a line written by the playwright [Oren Stephens] as my inspiration.

“My feet were bloody from the stone steps, but still I walked on”

hermes

The Harvest of Mysteries

Creation, Posters, Vector, Vexel

It’s been a while!

Anyway, I’ve been working on a shit ton of stuff lately while also switching jobs. Unfortunately, my blog and blogging my artwork took a major, major hit. Hopefully that changes soon, but I can’t honestly say it will.

Regardless, for this years Olympians Festival, I’m doing Lethe (the river and goddess of forgetting), Demeter, Hermes Cthonius, and Charon. It’s exciting! And also nerve wracking. I always try to have a concept for my images for the festival because I can’t really approach things like good illustrators do, I always kind of have to draw out what I’m feeling at the time, and how I feel towards what I’m drawing. Because this years it’s all the Underworld, a lot of my stuff is darker and weirder. Or, actually, what is normally found in my sketchbooks.

The process has been agonizing and wonderful.

Here’s Lethe!

lethe

From The Lathargic Returned

Blog, Cartoons, Comics, Creation, Sketches

Sometimes you just have to willingly absorb yourself in madness before you can leave the cave. Or else, that’s how I’m willing to look at this year so far. I took the year off of working on anything super major so that I can develop a comic book/world! And I have. I’ll write more about it later. The gist is I’m doing stuff with Space Elves and I’m designing them now. At first, I was thinking of potatoes with pointy ears. That evolved into people with point ears. These should be in order of thought process. Here’s some sketches!