Like every twenty-first century critter, I am surrounded by exciting possibilities that latch onto the throat of my life and suck out my plasma. Every second is so jam-crammed with diversions: 500 channels, ten billion websites, a zillion blogs and podcasts and videocasts and magazines and art supply stores and people to chat with and email with and lunch with and … gak!
Life is American Idolized as our culture dangles the carrot of success and adoration at every street corner and browser window. Everyone is getting their 15 megabytes of fame. We keep inventing more and more entertainment and interactivity and yet my watch still only manages to tick off 24 hours each day and my calendar only offers seven days each week.
I am a child who’s lost in the candy-store so long he is exhausted from hyperglycemic sugar fits. My cheeks are stained by tears and smeared with corn syrup. My tongue aches, my taste buds refuse to respond. I am slumped in the corner after a glut of trying to podcast and videopod and become a ‘serious artist’ and promote my books and answer every piece of friendly email and delete all the spam and plan my next blog entry and I am lonely from breaking appointments with friends because I am dull and spent and just want to put my feet up and watchHouse.
But most of all, I am sick of what has happened to my drawing.
Between advertising and books and illustrations and design projects and blogging, I forgot what the hell I am doing.
I have lost touch with the most important thing to me, my life as I live it. Not my life as it is ornamented and sugar crusted but the plain old eat-some-cereal, smell-the-tuberose, watch-the-dog-sunbathe life that I actually lead. The life that isn’t destined for some other purpose or audience or analysis but just is. The authentic life that starts each day with an emptying bladder and wraps it up with a stretch of floss.
It’s not just me. It’s easy for anyone to get caught up with the enthusiasm for this drawing stuff to get overly involved in drawing prompts, in posting to a blog, to shopping for art supplies, taking classes, and planning sketchcrawls, and to forget the most important thing, the true purpose of it all. To draw what you live so you will live it more deeply.
Life without drawing is bad.
And drawing without life is bad too.
I am going to go out and have that tattooed on me somewhere prominent. But first, let me do some research into tattooing, pick a type face, plan out a color palette, comparison-shop pain killers…