My 2020 "Stats" ;)

Work In Progress / 24 December 2020



I Have Nothing Left to Fear and I’m Not Okay

Work In Progress / 19 November 2020

I’m a big fan of V for Vendetta. One of my favourite graphic novels and movies. Hey you, shut up back there, I don’t care about the story changes they made in the movie or anything else. Accepting things we like despite differences or imperfections is a discussion for another day. 

Anyway, one of the aspects of the story that I’ve always been fascinated with is the idea of the freedom through loss of fear.

Roughly a decade ago, I had actually put this into practice. I created a policy of throwing myself at every fear that I had, in order to overcome those fears. It worked. At least at the time. I was single with no obligations and enjoyed my life and the increased freedom that facing my fears left me feeling.

Fast forward 10 years, several bad relationships and several anxiety drugs later and I cannot say that I feel the same.

I feel I can actually say that I’m not afraid of anything anymore, but because I can’t feel any worse about myself. When you feel absolutely bottom and really hate yourself, it’s surprisingly hard to remain frightened of anything, at least for any extended length of time.

Like what kind of threat can you make when I already hate myself? What can you do to me that I haven’t done to myself in my head 100 times over? What torture or violence or privilege can you commit or take away when I already feel like I deserve the worst you have to offer?

Before I continue, let me calm anyone getting worried. This is not a cry for help. I am not going to hurt myself. Basically for the same reasons that I can’t murder people. Too much planning. Too messy. I couldn’t live with the anxiety, and I don’t want to hurt people. If I know anything about myself at all any more, it’s that I don’t want to hurt people.

Let me explain a little further. I have depression and anxiety, which I am medicated and get treatment for. 

The last couple of days have been rough.

Through a series of misunderstandings, misassumptions, and misguided actions on my part within my social circle, a personal issue exploded beyond all proportion. The issue was caused by my thoughts and actions and misunderstandings. Everyone is fine thus far which is what is most important.

Thing is, when I already have such a low opinion of myself, there isn’t anywhere to go but inward. I spent most of the day in bed crying over causing the upset of a group of people that I had allowed myself to become close to. And the judgement and misassumptions of those in my social circle.

Some days I can be very productive and some days I cannot. I’ve had to accept that, as it is a fact whether I want to admit it or not.

Since wanting to move forward and get better means acknowledging positive achievements to boost self-esteem, I’ve had to re-define what an achievement is. Some days, an achievement is finishing a piece of art I’m satisfied with, other days, it’s getting out of bed.

Yesterday, it was making it to 1pm before my first sobbing fit for the day. I was able to get myself out of bed and back to work in about an hour and a half. The day before was 5+ hours.

-I didn’t cry until 1pm. (Today was 2:15!)

-I was able to get out of bed and back to work in an hour and a half. (Keeping productive today by writing this from bed.)

Those are the accomplishments that I need to cling to, to get through some days.

It’s impossible not to take life one day at a time, when you micro-analyze every single thought, action and movement. 

I hate the fact that I’ve become an artist stereotype.

Anxiety and depression sucks, the mental health system is a joke, and medication is a guessing game that will fuck up your head if you guess the wrong combination. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get help if you need it or that I would stop my treatment.

I just hope that someone will read this and it will help them. I know how I feel right now, I, wouldn’t wish it on anyone else in the world, and I know that I have enough friends and family who are also struggling too, that someone else will see this and not feel so alone.

That’s about it for now. Here’s some art:


Thanks for reading,

Mike


My Thoughts on Modern Copyright Law

Work In Progress / 02 November 2020

Time for me to share some extreme opinions from a different perspective again. 

By that I mean that I believe that Copyright law in first world countries has become an unruly beast that needs to be killed for the good of the villagers. 

We've really all been duped that the changes that have been made to copyright law over the last 50-100 years is all good and strengthens protection for those who create original ideas. That is a complete scam. The groups lobbying for changes and extensions in copyright law are funded by huge corporations that want to keep a hold in their massive libraries of intellectual property which have been purchased, or stolen from the original creators. Disney for example. 

Copyright lobbyists are looking out for the interests of multinational companies that want to horde intellectual properties like a medieval dragon with gold, not the individual artist and creator. 

If you take a reasonably objective stance, it's fairly easy to see that the manipulation and gaming of the system has gotten out of hand and the changes and extensions being made do nothing, except let large companies keep some of the most classic properties legally tied up in disputes and out of the public domain. 

Currently, and consider this paraphrasing, Copyright protection covers the life of the artist plus 70 years. 

So, if you create a character, you can protect your copyright for your lifetime and your descendants/beneficiaries can continue to profit from your creation for 70 years after your death, after that property enters the public domain and essentially becomes a community property of society for anyone to use as they see fit. 

The complication comes in when large corporations steal, claim, purchase or employ for hire to acquire intellectual properties. Corporate law is an ugly fucking hideous beast, as discussed in my previous blog about corporate law. 

When a corporation is now considered a person with rights (look it up), then when is the person that is the corporation considered dead? Do they have to go bankrupt? Does that count? What if they restructure? What if they liquidate and sell property rights to another large corporation? Does the 70 year count start over again? And what if the company is stable and never goes out of business? If they are considered a person, then are their intellectual properties protected forever while other properties created by actual people are not?

Despite how you feel about it, the hypocrisy of entertainment giants such as Disney, who built an empire on public domain properties and refuse to let the few original properties created by their founder enter the public domain, is glaring. 

I'm all for protecting copyright for idea originators and creators who actually do the work, but it's become fairly blatant that the laws as they exist favor those gold hording dragons of the corporate world. 

The first thing that needs to change, in my opinion, is that a corporate business entity should not be able to hold intellectual property in perpetuity. Ideally, I'd love to see the Copyright law changed so that an original creator can not relinquish or sell away the full rights of any intellectual property they create. The only exception should be if they want to relinquish Copyright early and donate the property to the public domain. Now, you can currently donate any original creation to the public domain, but the best properties in the world are already being tied up and held hostage by large entertainment companies. What I'd like to see is a drastic change or abolishment of the work-for-hire agreement that requires artists and creators to relinquish ownership and copyrights to the client. I'd like to see some sort of reform where corporate business entities are not considered people or authors and that they always have to license properties from the original creator, with rights reversing back to the creator when the agreement expires.

A simple change like this would put power and prosperity back into the hands of artists and creators.

Corporations aren't hurting, and they are not being hard-done-by They are also playing a lot of games that are dishonest and keep ideas out of the public domain. One such trick is to register a Trademark on a character that should no longer be protected. DC Comics is a great example of this. The Captain Marvel/Shazam character, originally published by Fawcett Comics, should have been in the public domain and technically is, but thanks to corporate legal machinations, is next to impossible to use. As long as there is no direct conflict with a previous registered Trademark, anyone can register one. It takes someone with deep pockets that wants to challenge it to have the trademark declared invalid, and there aren't many people out there with the budget to fight Warner Bros. and AT&T, DC's parent company. So they might not technically have copyright, but thanks to trademarks on the name and logo of SHAZAM! and a legal agreement with Marvel Comics to share the Captain Marvel name, if you do get away with using the character in your own book, the name of the character cannot appear on the cover. Batman and Superman are not far off from being in the same situation. 

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that protection for life plus 70 years is excessive. Previously the limit was 50 years and I feel that is excessive too. I think anything longer than 30 years is unreasonable. The whole excuse for the formula is life + X years is based on the idea of providing benefit for your loved ones and descendants with your original idea. It's a great thought, but if you are going to build a fortune on your own ideas to secure the future of your loved ones, you should do it while you are alive and leave it in your will. It's great to set your kids up with something that helps them be financially secure, but they should also have to work too. This delusional idea that is promoted by fiction that someone should be able to create one character and that all their subsequent generations should then be able to live a life of idle luxury is ridiculous. 

To be honest, I'd be fine if there was no protection after death. If you have a kid that wants to live easy by profiting off of your reputation, they should do it by following in your footsteps and create their own professional quality work and capitalize on the family name to get a foot in the door, not just live off the fat of your creations.

Why is the protection term for life? Lobbyists will tell you that it is to protect the rights and profitability for individual creators, which is a load of crap. They are protecting the interests of Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, and so on. I'd be fine of the total protection lasted 30-50 years. To be quite honest, if you have a million dollar idea, you should be able to make whatever money you are going to make on it in that time period. If you don't, you didn't try hard enough or the idea wasn't worth a million bucks. 

If I create a property that has any potential and I haven't done anything with it in 30-50 years, I'm more than happy to release it to public domain and let other people try to make something with it. I'd love to see how other creators interpret my ideas, as long as they are public domain. In fact, I am more than happy to release some of my properties into public domain and intend to take part in public domain day, January 1st, every year by donating something to public domain. 

Let's be real. The establishment wants you to be afraid of someone else profiting from your idea, so they hype it up, hire copyright lobbyists to change laws and convince the public that it's good for them, and you feel nice and protected while you clutch your idea to your chest only to discover that you'd spent decades smothering them and they will never reach the heights they could have if you let them go. 

Honestly, if I create something and it doesn't seem to be profitable within a few years, why not release it to the public domain and see if someone else can build on it or do better. And if so, kudos to them! As long as I'm credited as the creator. that's really all I need or deserve. 

In fact, there is nothing stopping anyone from using an existing public domain character or creating a character, releasing it to public domain, and still creating the best work you can with the idea and profiting from it. 

Interestingly, there is a benchmark where a brand can become so well known and synonymous with a product that a Trademark can be declared void and the brand name considered part of the public lexicon. Example of those that have been or close to have been becoming public terms are thing like, Kleenex, Vaseline and Javex. I feel the same should be done for characters that have become part of human culture and lexicon such as Superman and Batman. 

I sincerely hope that this reaches enough like-minded people that we can all work together and push for change that protects people, not profits.

Also, here's some art I made!:


Thanks for reading,

Mike

I Finally Understand What it Means to do What You Love

Work In Progress / 15 October 2020

I was out for a walk yesterday, as I do often for a mid-day after lunch break, and I had one of the best moments of realization that I've had in awhile.

I'm an artist. 

Now, I'd been creative all of my life, made a lot of things from drawings to film, bestselling novels, acting, working on comic books that I loved as a kid, but I could never refer to myself out loud as an artist. At least not without a twinge of imposter syndrome rearing it's ugly head in my subconscious and the uncomfortable uncertainty of whether or not I've just added another person to the list of people who assume "artist" is synonymous with unstable, flighty and unemployed. 

Today I had none of that. 

Before I left the house I had taken a view over my portfolio and my output thus far for 2020. 

I am happier with the quality of my output than ever before, and I thought about that while I walked. 

In those thoughts, where there used to be uncertainty and doubt was now confidence and comfort.

Without pre-meditation or effort as I headed back home on the last leg of my jaunt I said it to myself. Out loud. Unironically. With no hesitation: I am an artist.

If was so relieving to realize that I finally knew that whatever makes human make art was within me and the solid confidence of that knowledge suddenly made any contradictory opinions unimportant and trivial. 

It felt good. It made me happy.

That feeling is something I want to hold on to and not give up. 

That little shift in realization suddenly made all of the difference. 

It's because I'm doing what I love and it makes all of the difference. Not being held back, not letting the heavy handed (closet insecurity) opinions of strangers and colleagues undermine my confidence in my abilities to take my original, undiluted ideas into art. 

I am deriving more joy from my art right now than I have ever in my life. 

Art makes me truly happy and I may be coming to the realization that I have found happiness and fulfillment, possibly for the first time in my life. 

I do what I love and it is such a blessing to embrace that. Block out all the negative bullshit that humans have trained themselves to spew with social media. None of that matters.

I know my source of happiness and no matter how much the other compartments of my life may be in shambles, I know that I can find happiness whenever I need it. 

It gives me a new appreciation for the cliche' of "doing what you love". A new understanding at least. I've been doing what I love for years and always strive to do what I love, but in many cases the stress made me question if I should have turned what I love into a career. 

Now I feel I understand that if you do what you love and it is a source of happiness, everything else can be figured out and fall into line after. 

Let me jump away from art and put this in the perspective of life in general. 

If you aren't doing what you love and aren't happy, not doing what creates your happiness for yourself, then you will inevitably look for happiness outside of yourself. Most of these other sources of happiness will give you a boost temporarily, but they don't last. Some will even leave you feeling emptier than you did before. Drugs, alcohol, sex, social media, porn, and a plethora of other things will give you the endorphins but it wears off quickly and you'll be hitting that button for another treat sooner than you think.

When you do what you love every day, those temporary things suddenly seem less important.

I know with all confidence now, that I can say to friends and strangers alike "I'm an artist (who also blogs about my feelings)" and what they do with that or think of it is inconsequential. Believe me, like my work, send nasty comments, I don't care. 

And that's the most important thing now. 

I know without out a doubt, that no matter what happens in my life, I'll always be an artist and I will always be happy and I am mentally strong enough now to say that and not let the unsolicited advice and opinions of others impact that negatively. 

In fact, knowing that I'm working from a place of joy and happiness, I can now much more easily see where other negative forces or people could be dragging me down in my life, and I won't accept it. 

When you work from the point of knowing what makes you happy and having it, it's suddenly much easier to see where distorted or toxic influences may be coming from. It makes you analyze your priorities and think about your stressors. 

It makes me analyze all of my relationships. Personal relationships, sure, but also work, clients, acquaintances, all relationships. 

I believe that there are two kinds of people: Those who add to your happiness and those that subtract from it. Whichever one a person is may not even be within their understanding or conscious decisions making, especially if they are a subtractor. 

Those that subtract from your happiness over complicate things, dwell in negativity and find tiny little ways to deter you and poke at your self-esteem because they come from an unhappy perspective. Those that add to your happiness boost your confidence and lift you up. I firmly believe that you can't change this state in someone else, only yourself. 

I know personally, for me to be happy with what I am doing, any relationship, personal, work or otherwise, must allow room for all involved to have happiness, dignity and self-respect. You'll find that it is more difficult to get these things from someone who is a subtractor and those will be the relationships that cause the most stress. 

Anyone else reading this is of course welcome to look at life and creativity in any way they want, but in my life, I know I no longer have room for those that subtract from my happiness. I'm an artist, I'm okay with that, I'm happy and it doesn't matter if someone else, even well meaning family members, are trying to help you find a "real" job.

I know what my happiness is and where it comes from and I'm not giving it up. I am no longer afraid that I will suffer or starve for my art, and if I do, so be it. I would rather live in a cardboard box and be able to make art surrounded by people who add to my happiness, then live in the world's biggest mansion surrounded by people who subtract from my happiness. 

It makes me also think more about my interactions with others and being a positive addition to the happiness of the lives of those around me too. I don't need to drag someone else down to temporarily boost my own happiness.

So I know I'm happy and I know I'm someone who adds to the happiness of others and expects those who are in my life to mutually add to each others happiness. It's much better than being a happiness subtractor.

So what about you?

Also here's some art:


Thanks for reading,

Mike

How are we still around?

Work In Progress / 07 October 2020

Today’s blog will be brief.

Basically, the idea that’s been noodling around in my head is this:

If we’ve been around millions of years, how can we still be this stupid? 

Clearly, the idea of reason and proportion are out of whack, when most people will fight about anything, especially petty differences, at the drop of a hat.

If we as a species, can’t do a better job of discerning what is worth fighting and killing each other, how did we make it this far?

It’s baffling to me that the general populace of humanity hasn’t figured out that the key to peace and understanding is mutual respect and acceptance. Allowing others to be different than you, allows you to be different from others. The fact that a basic premise like this isn’t something already culturally engrained as part of basic knowledge and wisdom of humanity seems to suggest it’s a lesson we never learned.

How can we have not figured this out yet and created a better world? How can we still be fighting over the same stuff written by people thousands of yeas ago claiming to speak to their god of choice and using it to fight with other people and the minor differences between your old book and their old book and god of choice?

Were we always idiots for the most part, as the human species, or has something made us collectively dumber?

Most importantly, when will the human race get past its ugly, awkward teenage phase?

In the meantime, I made some art:


Thanks for reading,

Mike

Why I blog (and why it sometimes seems so negative)

Work In Progress / 15 September 2020

I assume that if the title brought you in, you have some interest in reading this.

If you’ve read any of my other recent posts, you’ll know I’ve been writing a lot about my struggles with anxiety.

One of the reasons I started blogging again after a decade hiatus or so, is that it helps me manage and cope with the symptoms of anxiety.

I find that when I get the thoughts out, almost analyzing and explaining them to myself as I write, it actually helps release the thoughts from my brain so that they don’t consume and pre-occupy my every waking moment.

The nature of anxiety is a constant gnawing insecurity of being judged or attacked. That the things I say and do will make those around me angry. By getting the thoughts out, it relieves the stress and panic of having anxiety better than any counsellor I've ever spoken too.

By nature the thoughts and ideas expressed when you have anxiety most often have a negative connotation, hence the negative tone of my blog at times. 

At the end of the day, this writing is therapy for me and leaves me with a much better mindset and feeling of relief when I get the thoughts out of my head and leave them on the internet. 

So really, this blog is more therapy than any kind of attempt to gain a following. I may collect the entries into a book later, but that is no where near a major priority right now.

So, if you don't like the negativity or find my ideas offensive, fair enough, no need to read the blog, but you're welcome to come here and enjoy the art.

Meanwhile, here's some more recent art!


Thanks for reading,

Mike

Ready to get out of here

Work In Progress / 14 September 2020

One of the most popular sayings among those who don't like immigration and do like being oppressed by government and business is: "If you don't like the way it is, go back where ya came from!"

Well, I'm from here. Lived in, born and raised in Canada and guess what? I absolutely hate where North American society is going. Not the acceptance of LGBTQ or immigrants or anything like that, because those are progress. What I'm concerned with is the general de-evolution of manners, common decency, respect and having any compassion for your fellow man. As the U.S. empire crumbles, I don't like the way Canada is slowly, hesitantly going down the same path, as we always do. 

I'm serious, North American society has become so empty. vapid and combative that I don't want to be here. Any person in their right mind wouldn't want to live in the stress, anxiety and hostility that's become a part of life and interaction.

The internet has contributed hugely to this, but I don't have time to  get into that today. 

What I'm saying is I'd love to move somewhere warmer with similar or equal quality of life, without the crazy people fighting over masks, conspiracies and all the other bullshit going on. 

I do believe that if people put aside their differences and actually worked together, things could be changed and fixed, but the more I try to grab people's attention and get through to them, the more I just feel I'm shouting into the empty, cybernetic void. 

If we're going to be miserable as we suffer with illness, or stay locked in our houses, or watch society crumble around us, or watch the system that was supposed to provide a pension to support my generation in its golden years evaporate, we may as well do it somewhere that we enjoy. A sunshine filled paradise to watch the rest of the world work it's way through it's ugly teenage stage, if you will. 

Ideally, I'd like to build an Earth ship style home somewhere warm that doesn't get snow, like Spain or any suitably civilized South American country. A place with adobe floors and walls, a greenhouse for growing food, a few fruit trees and a recycling water system. I'd be happy to do the work and build it all myself and prepare now, build a place that is affordable without getting in to debt in a place with decent warm weather, where I know I am going to spend however many decades I have left. Essentially preparing for retirement earlier than usual; somewhere where it is cheaper to live and provide for myself as much as possible because this system, I don't trust it will be here when I actually need it, and even if it was, I wouldn't be able to afford live in this system on any estimate of expected retirement income.

I’ve seen a few people online say they realize this too, and encourage others who feel the same way to stay and fight for our societal improvement. It’s a fair point.  Good point. But maybe it’s a little too late? I feel like we have already tread that territory. Been there done that. Trying to get people to cooperate online just feels like shouting into the void.

I just want somewhere to spend the rest of my days in peace and with piece-of-mind, something I don’t believe I have the tools to achieve in the stresses and lifestyle of North American society.

I’m really worried about the existing travel restrictions and hope they don’t get tighter. I hope that we will be able to travel more freely again, I sincerely hope I don’t look back on these words in the future and think “We all should have taken off then.”

So I mean, if any of you “Good Ol’ Boys” ever do manage to round up a boatload of foreigners to send back where they came from, let me know. I may want to research the destination country’s rules to meet refugee status and hop a ride.

And here’s some art!: 

Thanks for reading,

Mike

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

I don't care if you don't like my work

Work In Progress / 04 September 2020

I'm going to try to make this quick.

Just an observation. I don't care if you don't like my work.

I have busted my ass working my entire life to finally get my art to the point where I like it and I'm happy with. It's taken 30 years for me to be able to make my art exactly as I imagine it in my head. Creating my art every day gives me more hope, motivation and happiness than anything else in the world.

If I go back and look at my work I can clearly see an improvement.

If you've noticed a drastic improvement in my work, it's because I decided to re-prioritize my art as first priority this year before anything else. I'd like to say I'm doing my best art ever and I am, but I also am regaining a level of quality that was present in my older work and over time I had let slip because so many other stresses and obligations of life interfered. Plus, I have been holding myself back significantly for years due to anxiety. 

Anxiety kept me from taking the risks to even make the art and risk judgement. 

Thanks to the Rona lockdown and layoffs I just kinda snapped and decided that I don't give a shit about the criticism and opinions of those who may look down at my work, which has given me the freedom to express myself and create the best work of my life. 

Of course there are always critics. The internet and social media make it waaaay too easy for people to make random, insensitive, uneducated or just rude comments. Nobody makes artwork that everyone likes, so it's okay if you don't like my work.

If you're gonna be rude or try to hate and attack me, as everyone seems to feel that the internet is an invitation to do, I'm not paying attention. 

Don't like my female figures? oh well. Don't like how I make my art? That's fine, no one is making YOU, make art that way. Don't like my use of nudity? Get over it. No one is making you accept my art, but I don't have to let you try to hurt me with your comments about it. 

My anxiety is still there in full force, actually worse than ever, but it has totally shifted from my artwork and entirely focused on my personal life and the survival of the world in general. We are living in a mad house, so I don't have time to let screaming crazies loosing their minds over art slow me down. 

At the end of the day, I'm just not going to give anyone else the power to control my happiness, even if their behavior does irritate or trigger my anxiety and depression. I just don't need to sacrifice my happiness for random people who don't know or care about me and want a temporary ego boost by running other people down. 

Like my work? Cool. Don't? That's fine too, just don't feel compelled to tell me about it. 

Here's some of my recent art!


Thanks for reading, 

Mike

I Think I’m Over-Stimulated

Work In Progress / 02 September 2020

A big part of my anxiety issue is that the more time that I spend on social media the more disgusted I am with people and am convinced the world is ending.

It made me think about how thoughts and opinions can be influenced by the content hat we consume.

Surely, it must be more likely that social media is presenting and sensationalizing world news for more extreme content, and that my feeling of imminent dread that the world is being destroyed by stupid people is exaggerated.

And that made me think about not just how the content you consume affects you, but how much content I consume. I don’t have a moment in the day that my brain is not exposed to content that I’m taking in.

Making art in the morning? A Slapped Ham video is playing in the background. Cleaning the house? Hey Google, Play a Most Amazing Top 10s playlist. Writing a blog? There are a million documentaries I can play at the tip of my fingers. Going for a walk? Audible. Getting ready for bed? Scary Mysteries. And on and on and on, everywhere you go there’s another screen, another ad. I do my work digitally, so I’m always in front of a screen when I’m working anyway.

And then at night, I can’t sleep. Like my brain is so used to and addicted to such a constant flow of stimuli that it can’t wind down.

It’s so strange as I know I wasn’t always like this. I feel like it’s new, but I’m not sure when it started.

It’s like I’m addicted to constant audio visual input, so much so that I feel like I’m depressed or withdrawing from the world if I don’t have a screen on near me.

I think it’s because I spend more time in front of screens than I do away from them, and now my brain thinks that the screen world is the real world and that the device or screen is necessary for me to interact with the world around me or express myself.

Luckily I’m not far along enough to believe that. I know that the world outside my window is the real one, not the world of windows.

I recognize that this is an addiction and am determined to slowly ween myself back into the real world and spend less time on screens and especially the cesspool that is social media.

Also, here’s some art I made today!


Thanks for reading,

Mike