Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yes, I do work

Before I taught myself how to draw in a sketchbook, I did my best work on lined paper and meeting agendas. The blank page was too intimidating, or something.

As my bosses were really cool with me drawing during meetings and such, as I actually pay attention better. But with new bosses, and new VPs, I dropped the habit for some time.

Kick forward to new relationships forged with the aforementioned, and it seems I'm back in business! 

Here's another Black Canary on her hog (cut free from an agenda, away from the words), and an actual agenda from a few weeks ago, where the drawings really only are fun in the context of "this is a meeting agenda."

I love being back in the stage where I can do this stuff at work!!!


Yikes, it hit me that August 1 was my decade-versary at MIT!

I had worked there, but decided to quit and move back to Saint Louis to write and draw on the cheap, giving dream-pursuit my 100%. After many 15 hour days of building my portfolio, I decided I could slow down to fewer hours and pick up a part time job for some steady cash. But, on a trip back east, an old boss offered me a great full time position I couldn't say no to. I thought I'd do it for 2 years, refill my coffers, continue get my work out there, and see where I could go.

At the end of the two years, I was having fun at work, so I decided to stay until I stopped having fun. By the time the fun ended, the economy had tanked, the freelancing assignments stopped flowing in, and my book sales dried up. But I still held a good job, and after throwing in many personal-life-family factors, instead of returning to draw full time, I bought my loft instead. A bit locked in!

But what a decade in comics, at the office and at home!

I continued my comics work nearly full time "on the side" writing, drawing, publishing 5 trade paperback collections and 3 graphic novels. I was picked up by 3 foreign publishers, ran a newspaper weekly for 18 months, had original and repurposed work published by Marvel, Fantagraphics, Oni, Seven Stories Press, and a half dozen indie anthologies. 

At MIT, the team I manage has grown from me + 5 to me + 11, and our function has been expanded significantly. I've been promoted thrice. I've grown with each vice-presidential turnover. I treat each day with enough experience to know that I can't possibly know anything, and that I must continue to learn my industry. No absolutes, about anything, anytime, anywhere, anyone.

At home, I've seen my grandmother pass and had to put poor Aggie to sleep. I've moved 4 times, finally settling after purchasing my loft. I've helped design and renovate my kitchen and storage areas; customized a half dozen pieces of furniture; designed and built 10 case pieces; refinished 4 "yard sale" pieces, 2 Pascoe chairs, 3 Aalto bookcases, and 9 McCobb case pieces.

Inside my noggin, the decade started kicking the old me in the balls. The pendulum swung too far the other way, and the "journey" I embarked on was enormously helpful in keeping me more in the center, more balanced. My face has the lines it didn't a decade ago, but they're here with good reason.

Though I haven't been drawing much lately, and I keep telling myself I should, I just can't keep pushing the way I did 10 years ago. You know how it goes.


No comments: