Friday, August 12, 2016

After All

It's been quite a long time since I last did a blog entry. I fell out of the habit, out of desire, out of love with it, but I've also missed thinking out loud and trying to arrange my thoughts into a coherent form, so I'm going to give it a go once more.

The boys are 15 and a half. They are more independent, more impatient, more assertive. Their feet are considerably larger than mine, which is disconcerting, maybe more so than the fact that they are taller than me. They can be annoying teenagers, but they can also be kind, funny, insightful and surprisingly adult. We've started going out one-on-one and having conversations about what they like and don't like and what they feel they're good at, what they're thinking of doing to make a living and what they might want to do to make the planet a better place. We have some great conversations. I've always heard it's easier to have teen boys than teen girls, and I don't know if it's true, but these particular teens are pretty easy. So far. Knock on wood.

I'm drawing more again, and it feels good. The last few weeks have been filled with an on-line photography business class, to build the photography side of my business more, but I'm drawing more regularly again too.

I'm getting into a more regular pattern of sketching, and letting it be whatever I feel like at the moment. Which feels good and freeing; I was so burned-out and constrained for so long that just drawing, just pulling an image from nothingness, reminds me of why I loved drawing in the first place. I've done a lot of drawing for other people, and it can be rewarding in itself, but it's good to pull my own ideas out of my head and try to catch them before they're gone.

I've been working on pages for an adult-level coloring book, and have it about half done at this point; it's more things I want to draw, mainly fae and mythical creatures and places. I'm going ahead with it, but at my own pace around all the other things going on in my life, and I'm not going to stress about whether I can jump on the whole popularity bandwagon of coloring books- the fad will fade, but there have always been coloring books. If the art is good and the subjects fun to color, I think it will do all right. Maybe that's naive of me, but I need to take them at my own pace and enjoy the process.

When it comes down to it, after all this time, I still have the need, the craving, to draw, to photograph people and things, to make images. It's like some sort of addiction. My smartphone has given me more freedom than ever; I usually take multiple photos a day and post only a few of the ones that I like the most, and they end up acting like a sort of diary of whatever is going on in our lives at the time.

I end up falling in love with new images that I catch every day. Sharing them online gives me some unexpected bonuses; I'd make the images whether or not there was an audience for them, but having friends who like them, and say so, provides another layer of encouragement and ideas and interaction that I'd never get otherwise. It's nice not to be creating in an echo chamber, and still have the freedom to create the images that interest me rather than exclusively trying to capture somebody else's idea. I still do work for other people of course, but I've gotten more selective about the projects I take on, and it's made a huge difference in my outlook and enthusiasm. I love creating images, trying to get across ideas, and despite all the stuff that's happened, all that's gone on, it's still there. After all.