After a forever of waiting I’ve relaunched my webcomic, Acidgirl. The time seemed right. This is a complete, and total restart. And it starts…well, now. Enjoy.
Someone recently asked me what I do. And after thinking for a few seconds I replied “I’m a writer, and newly minted webcomic artist, but really I want to be a kind of multi-discipline artist.” After I explained what I meant by that, and that it wasn’t a reference to my predilection for leather whips, and steel chains, they asked my least favorite question ever.
This was followed seconds later by another one I don’t like.
“How’ll you make a living at that?”
Okay quick explanation is probably in order. I love writing, I write this blog mostly just for fun, and as a way to improve my writing by sheer practice. But writing isn’t enough for me. I want to draw, I want to make films, I want to play music, I want to write music, sculpt, design things, make things. But I want to do all of those things well. Not just half-ass them. I want to take time to master them all, one by one.
Why do I want to do all of those things?
Because I love to create. More than that, did you notice anything about all of those art-forms? Like maybe the fact that they can all be used to tell stories? That’s what I love most, I love to tell a story. I love to sweep someone up, show them somewhere else, and then put them back down with a smile on their faces. I wrote my first novel for my own pleasure, but it let me discover the sheer joy of seeing other people enjoying something I created.
I didn’t do it to make money. Though Goddesses willing someday it might just let me afford a really, really good cup of coffee.
That’s the thing. I honestly believe that doing anything just to make money is a bad idea. You work in a shitty, entry-level job with no promotion prospects to make money. But you should never do something you love purely to make money. Making money from something you love is always the dream, but more often than not you’ll do something you hate, for the funds to be able to do that thing you love. So making money from my art would be a bonus. The second layer of icing on a cake that’s already delicious, and moist, with a thick layer of icing already in place.
“How’ll you make a living at that?”
I don’t know. I honestly don’t. I have a few inklings of ideas. But nothing that can become reality unless people actually like what I do, get joy from what I do, have thoughts, and ideas of their own triggered by my creations.
So whether I “make it” or not. (Gods I hate that phrase) I’ll keep storytelling because it’s what I love to do. And who knows someday those stories might pay the bills. But if they don’t, I’ll still have the happiness that comes with doing something I love.
Last year I wrote about wanting to launch a webcomic. In the end I held off because I’d come to realise that my drawing skills were nowhere near where they had been in my late teens. More accurately, I could still sketch out anything that sits still for long enough in front of me trees, ornaments, corpses, but anything mobile…people, and their faces, hell no.
Anyway I’ve worked hard since then to regain those lost skills, and I’ve discovered that taking back control of some skills really is not like riding a bike.
In my late teens I wrote constantly. I made both Airfix, and radio control models. And I drew reams ,and reams of pictures. In fact I became pretty good at all three (though I was not, and never will be very much of a grammarian). The first two skill sets never really went away, simply because I’ve never stopped writing, and 50% of my modelling skills are directly transferable to household DIY. But drawing it turns out is a very different story.
I can remember how to do most of the things involved. But my body is different these days. My limbs respond to my imaginations requests in unexpected ways, the smooth easily controlled movements I had as a youth now lost to the arrival of stiffening joints, ligament and tendon damage, not to mention the levels of physical pain I cope with in day-to-day life. I have also realised that even my sight has changed in significant ways in those 16 years. I simply don’t see colours the same way that I used to, and while my eye sight was never good, it has degraded even more over the years. And let’s face it, not even the most perfectly produced spectacles ever completely, perfectly return our vision to what it should be.
But there’s more to it than that. I no longer look at objects, animals, or people in the way an artist needs to be able to see them. I’ve lost the ability to figure out the composition of a subject, the skill needed to break it down into simpler shapes, and objects. This in particular I am still struggling to relearn.
In essence teaching myself something again, which I used to do instinctively is turning into a huge pain in my butt. I’m not about to give up. I still have things I want to show the world. But It does mean I have had to accept that I may never be able to express those concepts the way I truly want to.
I’ve also realised that stopping drawing was a huge mistake. I stopped because what was coming out of my imagination had begun to scare me. I was in a terrifyingly dark place, and that darkness had started to pour out of my pencils, and pens on to the paper. But now I truly wish I had persevered, that I had simply faced that fear down, and not walked away from it, and in doing so lost so much of what had once been an instinctive gift.
Just adding a small note reminding people again about the appeal for funds to help the talented, and gorgeous Dr. Carmilla get her EP recorded. Please click the link and help her if you can. Thank you.
Anger and hatred. Hatred and anger. Ever and always these two words seem inseparable. But while hatred is an ugly emotion usually leads to nothing but pain and injustice, does anger have to be seen that way? I don’t think so, but day after day we are bombarded with the message that we should hate a given situation and be angry about it.
Anger is not an ideology. Anger taken on its own is actually very clean and very powerful emotion. It is the core of many people’s drive to succeed, their drive to make changes to their world. Some sports people use anger to push themselves through the wall and into the realms of the superhuman. Some artists harness their innate anger to create awe-inspiring pieces of artistic work. Poetry, literature, paintings, theatre, movies, music are all filled to overflowing with the anger of artists.
And yet, we still find ourselves associating anger and hatred.
Hatred is feeling morally superior, or just plain superior to something or someone, but with added potential for violence of word, thought or deed.
Anger is…anger. Unlike hatred it doesn’t need a focus to maintain its existence. It is like love, happiness, sadness and curiosity nothing more than a part of the human condition. Just like with those other components of what makes us human, what makes it good or bad is how we use it.
Seeing someone innocent harmed, becoming angry at that injustice and using that anger to save them, avenge them, protect them. That is anger being used as a shield.
Seeing someone innocent being harmed and joining in because they called you a “bastard” for standing by. That, is anger in its darkest form. Anger joined with hate.
But I truly believe anger has as much potential for good as love does. I have spent most of my life angry, but I have only hated those who have harmed or attempted to harm myself and those I love. My anger drives me to write, to speak to the world about what I see, what I hear, what I feel and thus share with the world my belief that it should not be so. My anger drives me to protect those I love and often enough the people they in turn love also. My anger at what a, fluke of hormonal biochemistry while in the womb, did to me drove me to leave an entire life behind and become the woman I am today, a woman I am proud of being.
Love can hurt and destroy, just as it can nurture and grow. Anger too can be a nurturing emotion, a force for growth rather than stasis or decay.
So perhaps anger should not be tied to intimately to hatred any longer. Instead perhaps it makes more sense to say “Love and anger. Anger and love,” and so tie two emotions that have a lot more in common together forever.