related to my fake job that I wish was my real job -
I dreamed that it actually was my real job, only this was in a kind of super-distant post-apocalyptic timeframe where human civilization had collapsed and been mostly rebuilt but there were still uninhabited remnants of modern civilization, and my job was basically to go in there and dig out the books and stuff that looked like they’d be worth preserving. Part of the setting (that was never really explained) was that mostly everywhere was covered with this dense, low layer of cloud cover, and my supervisor was like “Okay, we’ve got a site for you but it’s above the cloud cover” and I was like “COOL YEAH LET’S GO” and I got on a little glider thing and flew up through the clouds to what I assume was either a museum or a library that happened to be at a really high elevation. So I was wandering around this big semi-destroyed building digging through the rubble, but then something went terribly wrong and everything started collapsing and I ended up running for my life carrying this one tiny 19th-century-looking miniature book and thinking I’m going to get squashed and die and also I’m holding this book too hard and it’s going to fall apart and the oils from my skin are degrading the paper.
In retrospect it was kind of an Indiana Jones meets Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds thing, which is not a combination I was aware I wanted, but now that I think about it I want it I definitely want it.
one time I was in a bookstore and some glorious staff member had made a display shelf where the theme was “obvious Twilight cover imitations, aka Disembodied Girl Hands Holding Things Conspicuously In Front Of Them,” like just an entire shelf of hands holding cupcakes and keys and hearts and snowglobes and in that moment I had such respect for that person I hope I never forget that beautiful sight.
I don’t know that I’ve actually mentioned the internship I’ve been doing since September on here but today I took scans of a giant manuscript full of hand-painted diagrams explaining how the sun’s rotation around the earth causes lunar eclipses and I am SO MAD that this isn’t my real job.
My lord, I have returned from my quest with a gift - a pimp suit of the finest dragon skin.
—found this written in a notebook from sometime in high school
Sometimes I get really frustrated about trying to find a stylistic balance when I’m doing stuff like that last Seamus drawing and I have to sort of stop and calm down and remember that I’m coming at this from a really weird angle, like I spent even my actual childhood gravitating toward Art in a very specific and sort of hilariously anachronistic way. Like I was ten or twelve years old and drawing trees and flowers and portraits, copies of photographs, and I was really good at it, I’m good at that stuff! I was essentially on track to become an apprentice painter in the year 1550.
Of course I still did all kinds of silly cartoony stuff. Looking back there’s this striking dichotomy where I was doing still lives and like forty drawings of my own hand and then in a concurrent, parallel timeline there are all these sheets of notebook paper where everyone is stylized to hell and back, stretched out to spindly proportions or condensed to a cone with a perfect sphere balanced on top and there are weird human-faced owls flying around. And never the twain did meet, because there is Art and then there is a pumpkin-headed humanoid in a robe and a fez.
And now, trying to integrate the technical foundation I’ve developed with all that weird, iddish junk I tried to keep out of my school assignments, I’m having to go back and sort of do it backwards. I think the common “narrative” of people who do comics and stuff tends to be “I drew bad cartoons and then I got better” but that was never The Thing for me; I didn’t learn by superficial emulation and then build up the underpinning to strengthen what I’d already established. I just had these disparate things, one of which was The Art, drilled into the bones of my hands from ages ten to twenty, and the other this undomesticated survival-instinct thing, and now it’s a matter of taking The Art and letting the other beast run its grimy claws over it and shear things off, like, I don’t need this part, it’s clearer like this, it’s better. There’s a certain obfuscating technical layer that has to be peeled off for the story to come through right, and it feels like throwing away the part that proves you’re capable.
I’m not unhappy that I did it this way - I really do like the dense technical part, and it’s made me better, it means I know that when I do hit solid ground it’s going to be solid enough to build on. And I do have to keep reassuring myself that I’m not just getting worse somehow, but at the same time I occasionally hit these abrupt stops of clarity and balance that remind me I’m not totally incompetent.