That Googling Thing

The sweet embrace of unconsciousness.

With all that’s going on right now, we need to be cognizant of not just our physical wellbeing, but our mental health as well.

Case in point: when COVID-19 first settled stateside, I could not stop googling the news about it.  I’d just have to.  Next thing I know, it’s two hour later and I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of news articles and opinion pieces.  The result?  My anxiety would spike hardcore, and I needed to get all my thoughts out there and just vent and vent and vent (mostly to my parents, who are indeed saints for dealing with me), my mind a non-stop roller coaster of awful.  And it would always be right before I’d go to bed.  The worst time to have my brain running a hundred miles per hour.

I’m not promoting ignorance.  At all.  It is important to stay informed.  But this is not being informed.  This is me racing through internet pages and internalizing everything awful, then spewing it back out.

The fact is, I need to step back.  For me to stay in one piece, I need to keep myself from this horrible habit.  I’ve been trying – a few slip-ups here and there, but for the most part, I think I’ve done okay.  I’ve learned that I need to redirect myself or physically hold myself back.  I don’t know if it’s some weird OCD thing or not – I have not been diagnosed by a professional, so I really don’t want to classify it as such.  But I do need to breathe, and back away from the Google, if I want to have any chance of coming away from the COVID-19 pandemic mentally together.

If reading the news helps keep your anxiety in check, great.  Go for it.  But I know that I can’t right now.  Because I won’t get anything from it.  My anxiety will just suffer.

So I will step back.  Breathe.  Knit.  Draw.  Whatever.

And keep moving.

 

Election 2020

It’s gonna be cray.

Please note: I do try to avoid talking politics whenever humanly possible.  So this will hopefully be the one and only comic touching on the presidential election this year.

But really, I can already tell, it’s going to be a weird one.  Which, truth be told, I think we have the last election to thank for that, setting a unfortunate new precedent for whatever shenanigans happen in future elections.

Whee.

Now back to your scheduled walruses.

Old Art and Instagram

There are some things that should never see the light of day again.

I’ve been wanting to post more art on Instagram for a while now, just to get more eyes looking at it, and I’ve been trying to figure out what I should be posting.  I mean, I’ve got this backlog of comics here on this website.

The only problem is, I look at some of it, and…it’s rough.  Or at least I think it’s rough.  Especially the earlier stuff.  So that’s probably just going to stay here on I Draw Walruses.

Maybe it’s just an artist thing to think all your early stuff is bad, I dunno.  I mean, I’ve definitely improved on some level, thank goodness.  Maybe I’ll redraw a few.  Who knows?

Dot

What's an upload schedule?
What’s an upload schedule?

I was scrolling through Instagram, as I am wont to do, and I kept seeing these different comics featuring these ghost-like, shadowy characters, most of which represented the creator’s anxiety/depression/whatever.  And I thought to myself, “Hey – those kind of remind me of Dot.”  Which was quickly followed by, “When was the last time I drew Dot?”

Dot is one of my oldest characters to date, preceding even Lars, who wouldn’t show up until middle school.  She popped up sometime during 6th grade – I have this very distinct memory of first doodling her on some homework assignment that we were going over in class.  Originally, she was just this black blob with eyes, based off of this one Powerpuff Girls episode where the girls take on different superhero personas, one of which was this dark, shadowy character with glowing green eyes.

So basically, Dot was a Powerpuff Girls rip-off.  Because I was mildly obsessed with them back in the day.

I would usually draw Lars and Dot together, featuring them as this odd couple of best friends – Lars would be bright and cheerful, with Dot being all gloom and doom.  Eventually, I would coin Dot as a living shadow, capable of shapeshifting into different forms, including a human one.

When I hit college, Lars and Dot both disappeared, as I moved onto focusing on art school and trying to survive.  Then of course, I stopped drawing all together due to stress, anxiety, and a load of other fun mental things going on.  So, everything took a backseat.

When I started up this blog, Lars came roaring back into the picture (clearly – he is the walrus here on I Draw Walruses).  And yet, Dot stayed back, mainly because I had forgotten about her altogether.  Which is kind of sad, when I think about it.  Nobody deserves to be forgotten.

So, after seeing these comics, I decided to bring Dot back.  With a bit of a redesign, as seen here, just to give her her own character, rather than being just a shadow with eyes based off of a cartoon.  And I’m glad I did – I forgot how fun she is to write.

So.  Dot.  She’s back.  And she won’t be soon forgotten.

Weathering the Storm of Anxiety

MUCH later.

I need someone to do this to me in real life, just to stop the almost obsessive need to check the weather over and over and over again.  ‘Cause it’s not going to change in the 30 seconds since I looked at it.

I may or may not have gotten caught in this awful cycle for a good 30 minutes a couple nights back.  I may or may not have also cried out of frustration.  My brain is a strange and terrifying place.