I believe that my neighbors are vampires. They are rarely seen outside their home between dawn and dusk. Their windows are covered in towels or curtains and each of them can be seen wearing a frilly, lace cravat. Okay, that last part isn’t true, but I can assure you that hypothetical vampirism is not the only reason I don’t care for them. Their front porch conversations from 8 PM to midnight accompanied by intermittent dog barking make them difficult to abide. Their yard is also a mess of empty plastic bottles and paper which often end up in my own yard.
This week has been a bit on the rough side, but I manage to be holding it together. Wednesday saw me down with my first illness of the year. I managed to sleep through the worst parts and with the help of medication, vitamins and gallons of orange juice, I was back in the saddle the next day only to have my car die for a second time in three weeks. All of this is compounded by the fact that my wife and I have been trying our best to get our offspring to adhere to some sort of sleep schedule that includes going down at 8 PM and sleeping until 7:00 the next morning.
I spent six hours on Thursday talking to 8th graders about animation, screenwriting, YouTube and the business of such things for my local school district’s career day. I was initially timid about appearing at such a venue because I felt that I may not be the best person to tell an 8th grader what a career as an artist is really like. While I do get paid for many of the projects that I work on, I still have a day job. Artists get paid to work on their art full time, like Stephen Spielberg or Brad Pitt. This isn’t what a career in the arts is supposed to look like, is it?
My car broke down for what might actually be the last time. When I received the vehicle as a wedding present in 2011, it was both a kindness and a luxury, as I was already accustomed to walking to and from work, with my wife’s car doing most of the heavy lifting (grocery shopping, trips etc.). But now that we have a child, my well worn Nissan Altima has gone from being something I use to drive 5 minutes to work, to an indispensable time-machine. By time-machine, I mean that it is one of several Jenga-like pieces that hold our current symbiotic familial schedule in place.
This week hasn’t been the best for me…for anyone really, but we press on don't we. Don't we? I’m finally having to look at my situation in ways I’ve never had to do before. This is both terrifying and a bit exciting. Regardless, I’m still plugging away at my day to day and trying to find pockets of time in which to operate. For instance, as I type this my son lays 10 feet away from me in his crib trying desperately to fight a nap. He’ll win, there’s no doubt in my mind about that, and instead will go down after a meal.
So my son thinks he can fly, or did for at least fifteen minutes yesterday.
I usually don't like to begin with an apology, but I'm sorry for the lack of videos and space between proper blogs. There are life changes happening (not just with our new baby) that I'm trying to navigate. It has to do with day jobs, and freelance jobs, and writing submissions, and sleeping schedules, and baby sitters, all of which make it feel like I'm trying desperately to ride a unicycle with a live badger taped to my crotch. I'm getting the job done, but let's say that it's less than elegant. The badger is facing inward, in case you were wondering.
This past weekend (Valentine’s Day to be exact) my wife and I hosted the second annual Werewolf Valentine’s Day. Last year, I came up with the idea of hosting a pot luck party with medieval themed wine and beer, at which we would all play several games of Ultimate Werewolf while horror movie scores played in the background. I wanted to do this mostly because Valentine’s Day is hard.
I may be coming to the end of my creative walkabout. Animation should recommence shortly as well as me continuing to reorganize my creative output into things that give me pleasure and hopefully make me a bit of money. “Money and pleasure” sound like the title of an 80s hair-metal album and may be seen as shallow, so allow me to clarify; money and pleasure aren’t reasons to do things, but when you are focussed on making a career out of doing what you love, the two go hand in hand.
It is sometimes difficult for creative people to not compare themselves to other creative people. It really is like apples and oranges. No one does the things you do, exactly the way you do them. Nevertheless, time is spent looking at others and coveting their talent, position, money or free time. I have to remind myself constantly that what works for someone else, will likely not work for me. I will not be abel to draw that particular sword from that particular anvil, but there maybe another sword meant just for me.