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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

The values and mores of our grandparents don’t work today

Work In Progress / 31 August 2020

There’s no shortage of people out there that will tell you that things should go back to the way they were in the good old days. To take a different approach, I’d like to make a situational example.

Let’s take a traditional heterosexual relationship. A man, a woman, they have 8 kids and 2 dogs. We drop them into 1950, give the husband a reliable middle class job and a small family farm that produces at least 50% of the food that they eat. What do you get? A happy family that lives comfortably. (This example removes all other external and social variables, for you sticklers of nuance.) 

Now take the same family, drop them into today’s world with the same job and farm, what do you have. A poor family struggling below the poverty level, relying on whatever they can grow just to survive, and still likely loosing a couple of kids and a dog to starvation, and a couple more kids will be lost to children’s aid due to unacceptable living conditions.

Now let’s factor in those pesky variables, like emotional trauma, substance abuse, living expenses, etc. Etc.

Clearly, the world we live in today is different than the world of our grandparents. If you look at things with objective realism, our society is not even remotely set up for a large, single income family to thrive unless the couple are willing to take on some extreme measures that are outside the norm lifestyle for the average person (extreme couponing, extreme recycling, collecting and reusing water, etc.), or unless the family is extremely wealthy. Clearly, by the very nature of these examples, they are extremes and the majority of families simply aren’t going to fit into those extreme circumstances that would allow them to thrive, usually due to barriers such as finance, geography or health.

Though this seems like a reasonable supposition in itself, it will only take seconds on any social media network to find someone touting that the world is going to the dogs and we need to go back to doing things the way we did in the old days.

I’m here to tell you, you can go and do things the way they did in the old days, but it’s still not going to make your life any better. The world is not set up to work the old way. Society changed. You can do things the old way until you are blue in the face, but at the end of the day, you’ll just be broke and hungry.

Large families, single-incomes, fair wages and affordable schooling are things that we waved goodbye to a long time ago. We didn’t hate those things, but we had to give them up in order to survive.

While you are bemoaning the world’s state and shouting that the old ways are the answer, younger generations are adapting and learning how to survive and thrive under some of the most psychologically trying times in recent history. We’re learning how to cope with reality and figure out how to survive in a new reality that you’ve personally rejected while you fight for a world and way of life that doesn’t exist any more and cannot be recreated or reached from where we are at now.

You’re being left behind and we’d really love to bring you along with us into the future, but there are a few things holding you back that you’re going to have to leave behind if you want to survive in today’s world and stick around long enough to see the world of the future.

Those things that you’ll need to leave behind?: Racism, sexism, homophobia.

It’s a short list, and just for the record, I do not condone the fact that these things were acceptable in a society that existed before I was born. The list could easily be three times as long, but you eat an elephant one bite at a time, right?

Maybe you or your family or role model lived in  a world where these things worked, maybe they even thrived because they lived in a world where these things existed. That’s fine, we won’t judge you, it was a different time, but now you need to give that shit up. We’re not going back to the way things were back in the old days. There is no way to get there from here and we wouldn’t go, even if it was. Your long missed past was a dystopia of racial and sexual inequality. Our present is a world where we are all lucky to have food and shelter, regardless of race or gender.

That’s the reality. The only way humanity has a future on this planet is by setting aside petty fears and differences and work together to survive, because those in power are not going to help us.

Stop buying into the “wisdom” that fearing what we don’t know or understand is natural human behaviour. If you want to talk about evolution and survival, those instincts were meant to prevent us from putting our heads into the mouth of a sabre-tooth tiger. A black guy or lesbian are not going to literally rip your head off with their jaws. Stop fearing them, you’re making yourself look stupid.

If you don’t know or understand something; ask questions respectfully, go online and look for forums, go to the library and read a book, get involved with community events and organizations. You’ll learn about different cultures and lifestyles than your own and you’ll meet some great people.

Let’s face it. There are only two reasons that you hate something different than what you know; it’s going to replace you or it knows you better than you know yourself.

In the first case, calm down. No one is looking to replace you and you kids, grandkids etc. are not going to just willingly line-up to let some opressive regime enslave them. Clearly younger generations are willing to fight. All you really need to do is breath and maybe learn to let go and forgive.

The other option, them knowing you better than you know yourself is really about self-hatred. Denial clouds your mind and judgement. When you hate someone for who they are, being gay for example, that person being gay doesn’t turn other people gay. Being gay and in denial makes so epeople hate gay people. It’s happened so often to public figures that it’s a cluche’ now. Someone else’s sexual preference doesn’t change yours, it makes you challenge your own sexual identity. If you are confident in your identity, you don’t feel threatened by the different choices of others. If you aren’t sure or in denial, that’s when people lash out and spew hatred.

You may not be able to go back to the good old days, but you can make the world a better place by accepting those different than yourself.

We know that you grew up in a different world, where these things were acceptable, you or your family may have even benefitted from them, but you are not beyond our ability to forgive you. We want you to be here to see the world that we create when we emerge from this chaos. All you have to do is show changed behaviour and have tolerance for those who have different beliefs, races, genders, lifestyles or abilities.

And when you are ready, if needed, we can even help you learn to forgive yourself.

I also made some art today!



Thanks for reading,

Mike


We need to be honest and admit that there is a problem

Work In Progress / 29 August 2020

The following section is copied from my Facebook acct:

**———-

Added on to my response from an earlier post:

——————————

“The system is not already corrupt, it is here to protect you. You need to learn some respect for authority. You’re not being oppressed, you need to respect authority and respect the fact that they are authorized to legally shoot you if you do not comply.”


——————————


Perhaps, but I know I got pulled over a couple years ago and the cop panicked, jumped back and grabbed for his gun his gun when I leaned over to grab my I. D. Like this guy was wound up and primed before he ever pulled me over. I was polite, honest, smiled, apologized, non-aggressive and followed all the rules and when he saw my face after nearly unholstering his weapon, he blamed me for moving too fast. Not all cops are dangerous, but cops that are so wound up that they are keyed to grab their gun as the first option is dangerous for everyone.


I added the art so it would get your attention. Please feel free to share.

————————-**

So, I wanted to expand on that just a bit more with today’s blog to really drive the point home.

We have to stop fighting with each other. I’m living in a constant unending panic attack because I can’t believe how many stupid people there are or how quickly things have degenerated.  

We have to stop dismissing and vilifying anyone who doesn’t share the same opinions. We need to accept and tolerate the fact that everyone doesn’t have to agree and that their opinions are based on a life experience different from our own. We need open, honest communication.

We, as a society, need to stop passively aggressively correcting strangers on the internet to look smarter, and actually listen to each other.

All these damn dividers and blind loyalty, even using our beliefs to justify psychological warfare on the opposing side, or trying to gaslight those who think differently to whip them up into a furor.

We need total to each other openly, peacefully and respectfully to establish a bare minimum baseline of what kind of treatment is allowable and acceptable from a system toward its citizens.

I personally think it’s time we admit that that system was corrupted long ago and the the government, business and media have already been compromised and have been lying to us for decades at least.

These stupid divisionsand classifications thatwe fight over are the proof. Can we not agree that murder is bad? The there are no exceptions! That regardless of race, colour or genderhat NO ONE should be executed in the street?

We really need to answer that. If you disagree, feel free to speak up and be vocal. We’re not brining morality into this. No: “Well what if they did this?...”. We need to agree on what the basic expectations of human rights should be. 

I think that baseline is that nobody, regardless of authority, has the right to execute someone, based on race, gender, religion or suspected of a crime. Can we not agree on that? I wish I could seriously ask every person on Earth and tally the answers.

I think we will discover that there are a lot less stupid, angry, murderous people on Earth then it appears. I have faith in us that if we speak up, we’re going to discover that a lot of those creating divides and encouraging fighting between group are bots, nut cases or a small group of extremists (on both sides). 

I think we need to do this so that we know it as fact and have an absolute baseline. In order to do ths we need to listen to each other, regardless of inion. We need to stop dismissing people who talk about corruption as a “conspiracy nut”. It’s real. They have lied to us for a long time and when they convince you that the system is not broken and corrupt, it’s just them lying to you again.

Once we can clear this up, together as a society, we can determine what is best to move forward. Also, if there is a power encouraging us to fight each other over these divisions; who is behind it and why?

Here’s some new art I did:


Thanks for reading,

Mike


The internet mocks me.

Work In Progress / 24 August 2020

I spent 5 hours writing an essay on my experience with anxiety and how the combative natures of communication on social media may be a reason for the rise in anxiety diagnoses and potentially effect overall mental health...and poof, Lost it. Gone. And this time I saved like 5 times. So somehow between switching from the ipad to the computer to make an edit caused the work to just disappear into the interwebs. So since I’m not writing that all over again, at least not today, here’s some of my new art.


Thanks for reading,

Mike

I am not a male chauvinist patriarch, Am I?

Work In Progress / 20 August 2020

There are a lot of people with a lot of different takes on the "politically correct" and "woke" movements. To be honest, I'm not confident that I firmly grasp either of those terms well enough to know if I'm using them in a sentence properly. All I know is essentially it's the idea of treating people equally regardless of age, race, gender, etc. Chances are, no matter who it is, if they are pushing for a side, they have an agenda. 

Agendas in and of themselves are not good or bad. Someone could have a good agenda, someone could have a bad agenda. I'm overly explaining the agenda concept because this article is going to be super uncomfortable to write. 

This could be the anxiety talking but...have I ever used my position or status in life to pressure someone else? It's a legitimate question. I don't think so, but with the way people talk on social media, I'm not sure that we can find a clear definition of where  the line is drawn. I'm not talking about rape. No means no, no matter what. I always have found the idea of rape repugnant. I'm not looking for points for that, it's just something not said out loud enough that I think should be more often. Like if more guys who found forcing a woman to be disgusting actually spoke about it, maybe it would be easier to find witnesses for such things when necessary. Or maybe not. I don't know. From what I understand of reading online, my perspective is inseparably connected to my age, race and gender. Something I think is basic, like your uncle who says "Just go and get a real job!" is coloured by my life experience, my social status, my skin tone, and a million other things that can be used to divide us into ever smaller, less powerful groups. 

What is wrong with just treating others the way that you'd want to be treated? What's the problem with that? Doesn't that cover pretty much everything? Or at least enough to figure out the rest on our own?

Anyway, I digress. The reason my anxiety ridden noodle is stewing on this question today is that every story has as many sides as there are people involved in that story. Even mine. And even though some of those perspectives are similar to mine, others, inevitably won't be. 

If I'm a hero to all of my friends in the room, to whom, am I, the villain?

Above all let me be clear. I love women. Not in a greasy womanizer way like the guy at the bar who is like "I love women" and has his shirt half unbuttoned with his chest hair out and his twirled waxed moustache...ugh...you get what I mean. I have no problem with women. Or people on an individual basis for the most part. I don't have a problem with race, religion, gender, whatever, as long as you are equally respectful of me we are good. I've never forced a woman into unwanted intimate contact. 

I know that men using their status or position to force a woman into sex is a thing, but again, I don't think I've even abused my authority, such as it is, for intimate contact (or financial gain, just to cover the bases). I mean, authority is pretty loose. As a teacher, I am exposed to students, but I'd never cross a line like that for like a million reasons that I should not have to give. I happily do multiple police checks each year, one for each school I teach with, whether the age group is 5 or 95. I do that happily because schools should be doing everything they can to make sure students of all ages are learning in a safe environment. I'm not looking for points here, again, it's just basics. Anywho, I don't really have any staff below me per se, and again, not something I need to worry about. 

I do have to pause when I think of colleagues and fans. 

I was doing comics and conventions off and on from 2000-2019. A great time in history and a perfect snapshot to see the tail end of conventions transforming from a small, one-room convention hall type of event, to the huge gatherings held in major event complexes found in almost every major city. It was a great time. And In that time, did I hook up with any colleagues? Once or twice maybe. Were they at a disparate level of their career that gave me a power advantage that could have been abused? I don't think so. Not from my perspective anyway. But what about someone else's perspective? and how can you ever know that someone else doesn't think you are abusing your privileged even when you think you aren't.

Anxiety. That's what makes you think about these things. 

But, no more dodging. I mentioned fans earlier. Yes, I hooked up with fans. Yes I know that's ridiculous. I don't get it either. And don't get me started on sexting. I had a good run there where I was tearing up the sheets via text with multiple people. Okay, that sounds bad. i don't do that anymore. Really, I don't. But at one time, again for perspective, I was single and I was doing conventions in basically every major city from Toronto to New York, at the perfect time when so many new conventions were popping up that it became easier to do a show closer to home instead of travelling farther than you'd like. Truly a wonderful time. Anyway, so I was single and doing comics and client work during the week, conventions on weekends 3-4 times per month. It was a good way to get burned out and exhausted, which is why that schedule didn't last 2 years, but in that short span, while I was in it, the number of propositions to knock boots was astounding. I'm not bragging, that's not what it's about. I am judging a little bit. Like it takes 2 to tango and the fact that I have a booth at a convention or I worked a small job for a big publisher, doesn't mean that you should throw yourself at me. Seriously, it was too easy. Y'all know why those conventions started in hotels back in the day. It was for celebrity hook ups and you know it. I once saw an orgy break out in a hotel room during a sci-fi convention. Don't even try to hide it. I'm not judging, but it seemed like anyone could get laid simply by having a name or credit somewhere in a comic book. Good times.

So yeah, remember when I said I wasn't a greasy womanizer? Well...I'm not...now.

Anyway, when I think of all of those encounters, as far as I know, they were positive experiences for all involved. But what if they weren't? What if, from their perspective, they were pressured. Ugh. I can't even imagine, but there really is no way for me to know. I guess all that I can say is "Sorry, to anyone I may have hurt or felt pressed by me ever using my age, gender, ethnicity, etc. to my advantage and putting pressure in any way, on anyone".

Hopefully, if any issues arise in the future, I can just give them a handy link to this post. 

Oh, BTW, here's some art I did!


Thanks,

Mike

Everybody hates me...or maybe I'm just anxious...

Work In Progress / 17 August 2020

So, big secret, I have anxiety. As many others are feeling, the 'Rona lockdown has me going a little stir crazy, which ramps up anxiety like a motha fucka. So, I find myself feeling like I did as a child, decades ago, long before I knew that anxiety was the way I felt that way.

Feeling judged, hated or disliked by everyone that you encounter is a very common symptom of anxiety disorder. Many people diagnosed with anxiety can trace the triggers to emotional events tied to shame and guilt, which then stir the second you feel scrutinized and the anxiety is compounded. 

Or as I call it, a fun Tuesday night.

But here's the thing. The same thing is said to everyone who has anxiety disorders. Millions of people are diagnosed with anxiety worldwide, with thousands, maybe tens of thousands of new diagnoses every year. They can't all be likeable paragons of greatness who just misinterpret the signals they get from others. Surely there is someone on Earth who is both diagnosed with an anxiety disorder AND universally disliked by others on sight. 

And, all things being considered equally, that person could be me, just as much as it could be anyone else. So how do I determine if it is just me and maybe I am just universally hated by people, especially contemporaries and colleagues.

I know I've certainly had my detractors and people who have made it their goal to bad mouth or undermine me in the community. Some of those people barely have any kind of tenuous connection to me or have even met me, but they are out there, and I think sometimes the obsession to destroy me is a way to actually have a connection with another person, no matter how delusional. I'm told that happens to a lot of people. How about followers and fans? Well, let's be real, I got a lot more love from people all over when I was working for Marvel. Now that I haven't had a project with the house of mouse for awhile, people don't seem to give a damn about my work. 

I've kept in touch with multiple editors at major publishers for years, and it seems that the better my work gets and the more successful my indie work is, the frostier the big boys demeanor seems. 

But that's just my perception, which is distorted by anxiety. It's hard to put faith in either side of the debate. 

I know that I'm doing some of the best work of my life and more than ever in 20 years, trying to share it with people and make them aware of it is like shouting into the void like never before.

I may as well be floating is a space suit, coasting away from Earth...and then when detected by NASA, instead of sending a rescue mission, they just launch a nuclear missile to eliminate the anomaly. 

Or maybe it's just the anxiety...

Or maybe the 'Rona has everyone down and everyone feels rejected, unimportant and shut-in?

Or maybe my new regimen of drastically reducing my social media time is causing withdrawal from those little endorphin rushes of validation that I get when people like my work...

Or maybe it's all three.

I guess I'm just another stereotypical praise addicted diva artist...so if you feel like helping out by liking my work or reaching out, please do so! It keeps me from losing my mind!

Thanks,

Mike 


Oh, and here is some of my recent work, check it out!