On a positive note

Work In Progress / 09 September 2020

Okay, so maybe since I’ve started talking about my anxiety, my blogging has taken a negative tone, and could use a positive story. Maybe.

Make no mistake; I’m still anxious and also full of anger at the general state of the world, but I’m also creatively happier than I’ve ever been. I actually have to remind myself not to fall in love with my work and let it go to my head.

But I am really happy with the quality of work I’ve been doing. More than ever in my life.

Since discovering things like kitbashing, photobashing and CGI modelling and incorporating some of the skills and perspectives into my traditional and digital illustration, I’ve been able to create art closest to the exact way I see it in my imagination than ever before. Lockdown sucks, but luckily I had a set of skills and experiences that once we couldn’t leave the house anymore, I was able to put those things together to help express and create ideas that I had brewing in my imagination for years.

Left to my own devices, I’ve rediscovered my love and passion for art and am creating more pure, raw, unadulterated imagination than I have in years.

History may never remember me as an artist or creator, but I can say that regardless of that, I have experienced joy through self-expression.

The other side of the coin is that now that I have the skills and confidence to produce my ideas at professional quality, it’s suddenly given me time to think and get anxious about all of the things that one sacrifices and let’s slide in order to focus on refining the skills needed to master thier passion. So of course I can dredge up all kinds of history to create anxiety about my relationships with every person I’ve ever known, but I am also present of mind enough now to remind myself that it is just my anxiety and I don’t need to panic.

I feel like all of my life experiences and career changes; writing, teaching, comics, video games etc. and the events in my life that caused or allowed all of the circumstances that made those experiences possible and necessary were meant to happen in order to lead to this point.

Sure, it would have been nice to be at this point 10 years ago, but at the same time, I don’t think I had the wisdom or experience to have navigated all of the personal and professional factors that got me to this point 10 years ago.

I’m not trying to insinuate that I am some wise old yogi achieving nirvana or that my work is perfect; it’s not. Of course I still make mistakes and imperfections, but now it’s more of a conscious choice. I have the confidence now that I believe that I really can change, edit or fix any errors that really borher me before showing it. In the past, mistakes and changes gave me a lot of anxiety, literally. Because of my anxiety issues, my subconscious was constantly telling me that I would never be able to fix an error once it caught my attention, no matter what I did. 

Now I am much more confident in my artistic decisions.

Then, just as now, I’ve mentally scanned every image and catalogued every mistake in my brain before anyone else ever sees it. Now I choose what is left on the canvas based on how I feel it represents my idea and if I feel like it achieves what I’m trying to convey as quickly as possible.

I used to feel defeated by my art. Dragging out changes and revisions for torturous weeks until having to just release it because I was out of time or spent too long on it. 99% of the time, any client that was waiting for the work was happy with it and moved it along to the next person in the production stage and I would wonder why I tortured myself mentally for days before turning it in.

Now, the mistakes on the page are much more conscious. I hate stretching out any project or piece of art over a very long time. I like to get ideas out and down on paper (or screen) very quickly. I feel like life and kinetic energy are best conveyed in my work while I’m moving. No matter how well you plan a project before you start, you are going to have to make some design choices on the spot, and I just feel like my mind works better while moving.

So basically my art is fuelled by anxiety and ADHD.

Anyway, I’m in a good place creatively and I appreciate everyone who is here to share it with me.

And BTW here’s some of that art:


Thanks for reading,

Mike