Walrus Studies: Inspiration

Have no clue where he got the lute.

Well, looks like someone was inspired by his recent trip to the art museum!

Yes indeed, our walrus friend has decided to take a page from Johannes Vermeer’s playbook and portray a scene from daily life.  Of course, one has to wonder how daily someone plays the lute anymore.  Also not sure how he managed to get his red panda sidekick to model/hold still for this long.

Let’s be just be happy he didn’t decide to emulate Jackson Pollock.  That would be one heck of a mess.

Back Again

One of the harder things to deal with after having taken a break from drawing.

You know you need to get back into the habit again, and you really do need to draw.  Only problem is that you have absolutely no clue what to draw.

Loads of fun.

But yeah, I’ve managed to pull myself together after having not the best of weeks mentally/emotionally.  So back to the normal update schedule!

Idea Vault

*Goes to eat feelings and cry*
*Goes to eat feelings and cry*

Yeah.  This happens more often than I’d like it to.

It’s hard sometimes to come up with 3 ideas a week.  And it sometimes does involve bashing my head against my sketchbook and thinking “Just one idea – all I need is one lousy idea!”  Or simply crying out of sheer frustration, whatever works.

And then maybe I’ll get an idea for a comic about how hard it is come up with comic ideas.  Funny how that all works.

Comics

Artist's brain at work here, people.
Artist’s brain at work here, people.

This happens a lot more often than I’d like it to, to be honest.

I tend to draw comics over a period of two days.  The first day, I pencil it out.  The next, I ink it.  Simple enough.

This process also allows for me to nix any comic that I don’t really want to post online.  Like, I’ll take a look at it the next day and just think, “…the hell is this garbage?”

Could be for any number of reasons.  I don’t think that it’s funny enough, for example, or the drawing is too cluttered.   Or maybe it just doesn’t make any sense at all.  So, it’s literally back to the drawing board for the next comic.

I don’t always like doing this.  I feel as though I’ve perhaps wasted my time on this first comic if I do nix it, but then again, I don’t like it.  But I put so much time into it – but it really is kind of a mess.  But I need to post SOMETHING on time – and so on and so forth.

Maybe it’s just me being critical of my work/over thinking things (not new concepts for me).  Of course, they could actually just be bad comics.  And it is important to edit oneself, right?  Besides, I do want to put out the best work for the audience.  So, maybe it all balances out in the end?

Resolution: Writing

Can you even get typewriters anymore?
To be honest, the shirt and tie is probably the most unrealistic part of this whole scenario.

Welcome to Resolutions Week!  It’s a series where I discuss what I want to happen/hope will happen during the year of 2016.  And today’s topic: writing!

Yay…

So, back in college, when I was in the midst of discovering that art school was doing nothing more than crushing my soul, I took a mandatory writing class for the Honors college that reignited something in me that I hadn’t felt for a while: a love for writing.  A chance to express myself in a different means, to get out all that frustration concerning what I was going through at that time.  And damn, did it help/make people worry about my mental state/wonder about art school in general.  So, at the end of that semester, I decided to pick up writing as a minor, to counterbalance art school – which, side note, turned out to be a requirement for the Honors college.  Having a minor, I mean.  Didn’t even realize that until later.

Then, when I realized that art school was never going to get better, I switched over to English, which sort of allowed me to focus more on that writing skill that I had let atrophy in the meantime.  I was so focused on art for the longest time, that writing just fell by the wayside.  I had taken creative writing way back in Middle School and loved it.  But then art just took over, and I ignored writing.  To be honest, one regret that I do have is not taking a writing class in high school.  Who knows what would’ve happened had I focused on that instead of, I don’t know, taken photography or continued on with art?  Might’ve been one of the few guys there, but I was already one of the few guys in both photography and art, so, what would’ve been the difference, really.

Loved the writing classes I took in college for the most part.  I took one short story writing class for three semesters because the professor was awesome, and my writing really improved.  Took a few non-fiction writing courses, a poetry course (and discovered that I’m not exactly poet material, but eh) – overall, a rewarding experience.  Once I graduated, though, I stopped.  Like my art, I started to ignore it, or refused to do it completely.  Instead, I decided to indulge in my anxiety, letting all those thoughts and criticisms take over and obliterate any thought I had about continuing forward.  And I didn’t even know what I was supposed to be writing!  Should I have started on that novel?  More short stories?  What was the point?

Over the past year, my drawing, as you can see, has roared back full force.  It’s even improved a bit, considering I was so out of practice (yes, I do look back at some of the earlier comics here and cringe).  But yet, my writing has remained stagnant.  Yes, I write here on the blog, but I want to get back into what I really like: fiction writing.  Fantasy based, world building fiction.  I had a couple moments last year where I worked with a friend and actually got some stuff done…then got lazy.

So, that is one of the things I hope to accomplish this year: getting back into writing full force, and getting disciplined about it.  That’s something I think I lack in the writing department: discipline.  One of my professors, my creative non-fiction writing professor, said on the last day of class, “You have got to find some way to keep writing.  Because if you don’t, you’re going to not do it.”  Or something along those lines.  And he was right.  Man, was he right.

I’m going to try and start writing again, and this time, get a rhythm going, like I have with my drawing.  I want to balance those two things, so I can actually do them at the same time (WHAT a concept!).  And not give up.  Hopefully.  Because that’s not going to solve anything.  And it’s not like I don’t have the time.  I’ve got tons of free time.  Obviously, I need to start spending it a bit more wisely.

Here’s to 2016, and here’s to me getting back in the writer’s mindset.

Birthday Cards

Thanks a heap, Hallmark.
Thanks a heap, Hallmark.

 

Celebrated my Dad’s birthday a couple of days ago – happy belated birthday, by the by, Dad.  And I wanted to get him a nice card.  So I trundle off to Hallmark, and bizarrely enough, I found myself having the hardest time trying to find something…I don’t know, my dad-appropriate?  All I could find though, were either way too hyper masculine, really really sappy/mushy, or kind of gross.  I would’ve been fine with a decent Snoopy card, but I couldn’t even find one of those!

So, I did what I usually do in these types of situations: make my own.  Been working for me for years, so why stop now?  And yes, they of course had walruses on them.  Because if they didn’t, then it wouldn’t be a Drew card.

Maybe I could be the next Sandra Boynton and break into the greeting card game.  Who knows?  It’s sort of been there at the back of my mind, so, hmm.  Hmm indeed.

That Girl

Oolong is a funny word.  Could not NOT include it.
Oolong is a funny word. Could not NOT include it.

 

So, in the past week alone, I’ve gotten asked more than once, “Who is that girl who pops up in the comic?”  So I decided to address that this week.

Basically, this is keeping in tradition with the comics that I drew not just in High School, but dating WAY before that and after that as well.  I always had a girl sort of just hanging out with me.  In Elementary school, it was Anne Frank (yes, like THAT Anne Frank).  In Middle School, it was Debbie.  In High School, it was Jade and April.  In college, Alice and Kendall.  And now, Willa.

Let me explain.  Whenever I draw myself, it feels like I’m not drawing myself.  It’s like some alternate me in some alternate universe, who has a talking walrus and a random girl hanging out with him all the time.  It’s sort of the way I’ve always seen it.  Yes, the events are from my life, but it’s not me.  It’s a different, fictional me.  Kind of like when Stephan Pastis (one of my heroes) draws himself into Pearls before Swine.  Allows for a little more wiggle room when it comes to creating a comic, for more fictional characters to come into this me’s life.

So, yeah, this is Willa Olsen.  Welcome her with open arms.

Adulting: Money

Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Well, it was fun while it lasted.

 

Money comes, money goes.  And sometimes money has to pay for the fact that you didn’t take a turn sharp enough and ended up running into a curb which resulted in a flat tire and your car needing to be realigned.

This pretty much ate up most of my paycheck that I just got this past Friday.  Always a fun way to start out a new pay period.  And yeah, I’ve pretty much been kicking myself, thinking, “You idiot!  You stupid, stupid man!  Why?  WHY?!”

The upside of all this, though, is that I’ve learned a couple things about Adulting.  One is that in terms of things happening to your car, there are much bigger/dumber things that could happen, like locking your keys inside the car (according to my dad).  The other is that there is no such thing as extra money – something is always, always going to need to be paid for.  Student loans, car repairs, doctor visits – there’s always something that’ll pop up.  Which I think is a very key lesson to learn in terms of saving money and not dicking around with it.  That being said, it’s still annoying.

Also annoying is trying to draw this comic.  I still can’t draw cars, as you can see, and had to start over multiple times before I said “Screw it” and drew what you see here.  All in all, a very frustrating moment in the life of Drew.

Technical Difficulties 3: The Happening

*Shudder*
*Shudder*

 

So, I’ve thought about getting a drawing tablet for a while now.  You know, something else to thrust me into the modern age and possibly help me start my own webcomic, which is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now.

The problem is that I am not the most technologically savvy person in the world.  I mean, my cell phone looks like it has a bullet hole in it, I’m on my second laptop that’s been to the shop numerous times in the course of two years – I can only imagine what would happen if I got yet another piece of technology.  Maybe they wouldn’t stage an uprising as illustrated here, but still, there always the thought that I would break this new drawing tablet in some way, shape, or form, and have no idea what the balls to do then.  It’d probably involve some sort of frantic button pressing, maybe some yelling at it, then curling up into a ball and sobbing.

Maybe someday I’ll get a tablet, but in the meantime, I’ll stick to pen and paper, thank you.  It’s worked for me for years, and I know they won’t try to team up with my computer and take me down.