What's up?

There's been a lot going on at the LIA Compound. I don't know what to say yet but let's just say it's good I have my drawing.

I have a synced up folder with a few of my long time, online comic book friends. We're using something called FolderShare. You designate a folder on your machine and everyone shares that virtual directory and can put files in there. The guys use it to show everyone what they're working on and then when they all Skype chat at night they pass sketches back and forth asking for input. It's a great idea and I'd probably be on with them more if I drew comic book stuff more - which I don't.

So I was looking through it last night and I realized that it's hard to be a mass media artist without having a lot of knowledge about the culture. The Heroforge guys are without a doubt some of the most talented and knowledgeable guys I know. Not only are they skilled artists, but they are masters of their chosen niche. They know a lot about comics, who's involved, what the current business practices and company happenings are and the current saturation of the genre in the public. Likewise, most of the people I know on Flickr who do more cartoony art seem to have this studied appreciation for their craft and a respect for the history from which the medium sprouts.

I've been interviewing people for the 100 Artists Project as a way to bolster the activity on the site; give potential artists and current contributors something to look forward to. But in reading the responses, I've come to a realization that I know very little about the field in which I claim to be a part. My influences are very Top 40 radio in comparison. The people I name as having an impact on my creativity list like a child's and it's very humbling and annoying.

Then I realized that it's that way for most of my life. My choice in music, my understanding of politics and movies and TV and technology. I don't feel steeped in anything. I'm not actively a guru or an Alpha Geek or a mentor or a schooled practitioner of anything. I know just enough to get by. I'm really good at faking it. If I know anything, it's how to assimilate. But that only gets me so far. Soon, I'm left spinning around, panicked and aimless, quickly researching topics in an effort not to fail. I'm like this at my job and in my hobbies. I tend to bite off more than I can chew and then hating myself for the results I turn out.

Part of this is motivation. I'm driven to complete the oddest and often times the most inconsequential things; collecting Lego, playing simple online games, drawing cartoon robots, making lists of things, catching up on old TV shows. I know I'm distracted easily and I have to get as much done or absorbed as quickly as I can because in no time I'll be off to something else.

I wish I wasn't like that. I wish I had the patience to appreciate the quiet and calm and rewarding road that is learning. I wish I had a schedule that allowed me to sit down with a book on Network Administration and a brain that would enjoy letting the facts settle into my head. I wish I knew more about cartoons and comic books and modern art. I wish I could name more (any) local bands or big names in the local art scene. I've got a million things going on and yet none of them feel fully realized or even more than tenuously imagined. I have good intentions, but I lack execution.

The other thing is, I'm 34. Some of this should have happened by now. I should be very good at something. I should have a degree or a license or major scholarly or technical accomplishment. People, who aren't my kids, should come to me seeking advice and I should have the answers for them. Shouldn't I? I hear people talk about music and I admire their in depth appreciation for bands I've never heard of, all the while knowing they know about my favorites. I hear people talk about artists from decades ago who started the movement or were seminal figures in the business and I have no idea what they're talking about, all the while knowing that my influences are pedestrian and superficial.

It's just something I think about when I'm hacking my way through these robot drawings. As much as I like doing them, I don't know if it's the drawing I like doing or the fact that people have noticed them. And that's a horrible realization; thinking that you'd rather be popular than accomplished and taking short cuts just to get your name out there and sacrificing the effort needed to be more solid in what you know and can do.

Welcome to my brain. I'm off to make another robot movie.

Carry on.

PS - The strip will resume next week.

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