Well, today marks the one year anniversary of my last shift at my former job.
I made sure to quit on this date - exactly one week before my birthday - so that I wouldn't turn 44 working a kitchen job.
My plan was to throw myself into becoming a freelance graphic artist.
That didn't happen.
As you may or may not know, my diabetes (which i only got diagnosed for in 2016) got worse and, after a lenghty and particularly grody necrosis, I eventually lost my left foot in January of this year.
That put a huge crimp in my plans.
I've had my ups and downs over the last 7 months, and, I think I may finally be coming out the other side.
I hope so, at any rate. I've always been depressed, and that was when I had TWO working legs.
Now, some of you may have noticed that I have all but abandoned my other 2 personal DA spots, and
I am STILL, slowly but surely moving all my superhero themed works to this account and doing more editing and world building. When all is said and done, I want to have my cohesive superhero universe ready to print or publish in some ongoing format, and the "series bible" as it were, will be this very account. See, for all the amount folks complain about DA, it is good for something!
All my old comic strips and funnier(?) projects are being stored either on sites like ComicFury, or, being reworked for use in other future projects or re-edited for Patreon, as, I gotta make a bit of cash somehow.
"But, Johann", I hear you say, "your Patreon seems to be GONE!"
That's right. It is. I took it down, as, it wasn't DOING anything, and, as is indicative of my own self-esteem issues, and ongoing identity crisis and nature as a scatterbrain, I honestly didn't have any "Patreon-worthy" content. I don't regularly do smut. A pair of nude tits here, a naked man-butt there, once every blue moon, sure, but, mostly, that's played for comedy. I have never really been one for hard cock, gynaecology and/or gushing bodily fluids. More power to those of you who are.
Still, I am not unwilling to try it, but, every time I do try to be all sexualized, it just winds up turning into dumb comedy and jokes about sex.
(Some of ya may remember Stella and Celeste.)
I was just posting anything and everything on Patreon that I deemed as something I drew that didn't SUCK. Not really the way to build an audience, and, let's face it, most Patreon people, producers AND consumers of amateur graphic arts, are just on Patreon for the tits, anyway.
So, now, with the ongoing medical and emotional issues at a "manageable" level for the time being, I am trying to dive back into using the one half-assed, self-taught skill I possess to try and make money and take some of the pressure off my beloved girlfriend who has been my rock/lifeboat during this hell I find myself in. She has put up with a lot, and if it weren't for her you'd be reading a post from a ghost right now.
I am starting over from scratch, so to speak. I have nothing but free time, so I am going to deep dive and deliberately turn this
hobby/coping mechanism of mine into a full-fledged obsession. I am un-learning my current method of drawing, and re-teaching myself to sketch, then pencil, then ink, then add more detail and re-ink. I am gobbling online tutorials via twitch and Youtube and studying the styles and methods of online artists that I respect and admire. (maybe even YOURS!)
When the art-mojo doesn't flow like it should, I have taken to writing out prose stories. (Have ya noticed?)
Soon, I will learn as much as I can about doing art digitally, as, with everything else I know about cartooning, I am self-taught, which means that I know next to nothing at all!
When all this is said and done, I will endeavor to go to school for it. (Hopefully sometime before i am 50! - which is only one week and 5 years from today, btw! God, when did I get so OLD?!)
So, I've said all that to say this;
I am alive. I am coping. I may not be as chatty and digisocial as I once was, but, don't take that personally. That's just me trying to exorcise my demons - both personal and artistic - by myself, without going more nuts than I already am, and (FINALLY) working towards something that I want out of life, instead of just rolling with the way-too-numerous punches and taking only what I'm given.
Yeah, I realize that I have made this speech and a fair few like it before. I can't honestly even say that this time will be any different, or better, or whatever, but, at least for now, I am in a positive enough frame of mind to pretend that it will, and have enough personal drive to attempt to make it happen.
It's been one year since the day I deem that this all began. I've gone stir crazy. I've fallen down. I've been hospitalized. I've doubted myself. I've hated myself. I've hated the World. I've failed. I've had a long talk with God. I've lost friends, sleep, my appetite, my will to live and, to a degree, my mind. of course, this isn't the first time for ANY of these things, though, I admit that, with all of them happening within the space of a year, this may be the worst time for ALL of them. But, I'd like to think that this is me coming out the other side, having not let it break me. Time will tell.
I won't be in contact with anyone for a while. I know I have friends out there, and I know that you IRL pals care. I appreciate that.
Still, I have always been a somewhat retiring and antisocial bastard, and, with one leg, that ain't gonna change anytime soon. Not even over the phone (which I have never liked using), and especially not over social media, which I am doing my best to divest myself of, unless absolutely necessary for the furthering of my artistic cause. Just know that I love you guys, and I do miss you. I will pop my head out of the hole to say hello ever so often, but that's about it.
So, in summation, henceforth, at least for the forseeable future, my life will consist of nothing but loving my girlfriend, scribbling, sushi, learning to be a more prolific and hopefully better cartoonist, discovering music that I've never paid attention to before now,
writing, coffeecoffeecoffee, trying to keep my other leg from falling off, and possibly sending coded messages, hidden in my artwork, to our future Irken Overlords, under an assumed name.
("All Hail ZIM!!")
Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.