Feeling Low Key

Today is a low energy day. I didn’t move an inch forward today, at least not by drawing or editing or working with inDesign. I feel weird, as if I’m unemployed. When I’m feeling like this — kind of overwhelmed, really — I like to sketch and do lots of hatching.

I’m in the foul mood partly because I’m physically tired, and partly because I made the big mistake of looking at other illustrators’ books. I found the makingpicturebooks.com site and started browsing through some of the incredible work from illustrators around the world. It was inspiring for a moment, then it became an enormous downer. My brain went off on the wrong track and started playing a horrible comparison game that goes somethings like this:

“Wow! They’re good, really good. Your stuff, it’s you and that’s a good thing, but wow! They’re great. Too bad you got such a late start with art and have so much learning to do. Oh, well…Good for you for even trying! Art is long and life is short, so it’s great that you got started at all. I know you’re doing your best, but damn! Look at the great stuff those thousands of illustrators are cranking out…blah, blah, blah.”

Those thoughts have me rattled. When I try to calm down by meditating, I have to fend off those voices coming at me from all directions. I have to remember not to look into the Palantir (that’s a reference for TLOTR fans).

I did this sketch in the raw vegan deli on Main Street. Time, 20 minutes. For kicks, I posed my self-portrait on top of my Thinkpad.

July 17, 2019 — Raw Self-portrait with hair as it was 20 years ago