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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tech Challenged

So I am reduced to posting via iPhone because our Internet has been down for many days. I think I'll leave it at this: everything I have to say is on the page here. Hope you can read it, of you're inclined.
Best wishes.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Left the sketchbook at home Friday night. Had to draw on the jazz orchestra program book. But still. Had to draw nonetheless. Improvisation is the common language of jazz and sketching. The best part of improv is like the best part of that family vacation you still remember -- the one where you got just-lost-enough, but not so lost as to mess up the whole trip. The best part of sketching (separate from illustration) is its in-the-momentness, the possibility of being surprised, even pleasantly so, by what shows up from the end of your hand. Happiness and joy.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Insecurist's Thought for the Day

This is the latest in the Red Ridinghood series. Click to enlarge, if you like.

There are two fine solutions for writers and artists of all kinds who, upon comparing themselves to others and having an ACUTE ATTACK OF INSECURITY of that special variety many of us suffer, can use.

One solution is to ask friends and loved ones to tell you how wonderful you are. And they likely will. Only that doesn't really help, because deep down you are a better judge of your work, and the things you don't like about it are going to vex you now matter how many there-theres you hear.

Another is to decide to eat worms, i.e., declare that, having written/drawn/played the worst piece of roach excrement ever to be passed off as art, you will forever forsake the work.

Yep. Do that. Then count on your elbows how many people beg you to please, please, please continue to create.

No. These are not the two ways. The two ways are this:

1. Keep doing the work with focus on improving the skills you think you lack.

2. Use the better work you see/read/hear out there in the world — which, by the way, is indeed full of people whose skills are more refined and whose inborn talent might in fact be maddeningly and unfairly more generous than yours — use their work to study. Use their work to inspire you.

Those are really the only two things I know that chase the wolf from Grandma's bed, so to speak.

Despair still mounts ninja attacks on my quivery little soul. Usually I have to flail helplessly back at it for a little while before I remember that the despair-killing antidote is tucked in my pocket, and that I have only to reach in and remember: Stop wallowing. Do the work. Study to improve.

That is all I know today.