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.

 

Doctor Dot: Don’t Panic

Leave some for the rest of us, please.

I don’t understand the toilet paper thing at all.  Like, it’s toilet paper.  A roll can last for a good two weeks.  You don’t need to buy it all, right?

Just stay calm.  Buy what you need.

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.

Time to Hide Away

Almost word for word what happened.

And we’re back!

Took a quick break to recuperate from Inktober, but now, it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

And yes, I did go to my first Anime Convention a couple weekends back.  Truly an experience, and a really fun one at that.  The costumes that people wore were amazing – had to marvel at the artistry on display with a good many of them.  And I got to attend some interesting panels, like one talking about Joan of Arc’s impact on pop culture (not something you’d expect to see at an anime con, but really quite fascinating), one about Japanese mythology in anime, a kind of creepy one about number stations – all really awesome, truly.

Best part was probably Artist’s Alley and the Dealer’s Den – basically, merch central.  Probably spent way too much money, but there was so much cool stuff to buy.  So I mostly wrote it off as helping out my fellow artists.  And now I have more keychains than I know what to do with.

All in all, a fun experience.  But once I got home, I definitely needed to hide, just wanted to get away from being around so many people.  My introvert battery was bottoming out and in desperate need of a recharge.  Of course, I did have to go to work the next day, but I managed for the most part.

But yeah, now I’m back.  Expect more cartoons shortly!

Introduction to Inktober

My sketchbook is ready.

Perhaps my favorite stories that I’ve done on this blog are the Halloween stories.  They’ve changed my view on Halloween, they’ve got working both on my writing and my artwork, and I feel like I put a lot of work into them.

That being said, last year’s story…I’m not going to lie, I don’t think it was my best work.  It went on for way too long, the ending was too abrupt, and I’m not sure if the monster entirely made sense.  I also think I overexerted myself, trying to get it all done, and part of that was due to Inktober.

I believe I explained what Inktober is before, but for a quick refresh, it is this drawing challenge for artists that spans the entire month of October.  There is a new prompt everyday, typically one word, that artists have to follow.  There are also all kinds of other Inktober-like challenges that have sprung up as well that tend to be more specific, like comics or are more Halloween focused in general.  The point of all of these, though, is the same – to get people to draw.

Last year was my first year doing it.  I posted all of my Inktober drawings up on my Instagram, as well as here in January (only a few months late).  And I had a blast!  It really helped me stretch my mind, got me thinking about what I could do, and probably was some of my best work I’ve produced in a while.  And honestly, it made me mad at my cringeworthy attitude towards Inktober beforehand.  Seriously, I had this weird, superiority complex that I didn’t need to do it, that it was for people who didn’t draw or something.  Which makes no sense at all, clearly.  I mean, it’s for everybody, artists and non-artists alike.  I was a moron, basically.

The point is, this year, there isn’t going to be a Halloween storyline.  Instead, I want to focus more of my time on Inktober, so I’m not spreading myself too thin.  And those drawings will be posted here!  Excitement!

There will be a few days where there might not be a post because I’ll be out of town.  BUT that doesn’t mean I won’t be drawing.  It just means they’ll be posted later.  They will be up on Instagram, though (PLUGS).

So, that’s going to be October!  I’m excited to get into Inktober, and see what happens!  Whoo!

Nothing New

Lars’ reaction is truly my reaction after drawing this.

…trying to figure out how to word this.  It’s not so much that the novelty of having a new car has worn off by now, because it hasn’t.  I mean, I have a car that runs, which is amazing.  It’s more like I forget how big buying a car is.

It sounds weird, but it’s true.  I mean, I’m going to be paying it off for a while – how do I forget something like that?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I just remember having this feeling a few weeks back of, “Man, nothing really big has happened to me this year.”  Then I was like, “Oh.  Right.  The car.”

Maybe it’s part of being an adult and having other things on my mind.  Like, okay, got a set of wheels that gets me places, check.  Got the payment plan all set up, check.  Now, what’s next on my list?  Suppose that makes the most sense.  I think.