The end of 2014 finds me in a period of transition, which makes me somewhat uneasy. One of the biggest changes is that my artist-in-residency at Workman Arts, after three glorious years, is coming to a close.
When my OCD symptoms were most excruciating, having a dedicated space to go to work was nothing less than life-saving for me. That, and my driving need to create, prevented me from shutting myself out of life entirely as it became harder and harder to avoid triggering situations. It also helped to shelter a small corner of myself from my own self-loathing.
It's been scary to think of leaping away from this support. I feel assured that my work will continue to move ahead but doubt can make an otherwise bright day appear quite gloomy. I'm tempted to hunker down in bed and pull the quilt up over my head. There, I would be sucked into a conference with my thoughts, which would blame me for not having found an easier way forward in my career. They would remind me of real or imagined opportunities I failed to take advantage of, point out every flaw in my writing and illustrations, and condemn the sheer megalomaniac folly of working on a graphic memoir at all.
These thoughts are always lurking, whether I choose to focus on them or not. Doubt is a yappy little dog that can't stop barking. Trying to make it go away just makes it bite my ankles. Today, my response to this is self-compassion. I could have chosen a more conventional life, possibly, but that's not relevant at this point. The choice I have now is whether to nurture myself and my creativity, or to to let my barking doubts chew my feet off. I think I'l opt for Door Number One: nurturing.
It’s natural, isn’t it, to look back on the brink of a big change to see where one has come from. Doing that now with Dinosaur gives me the added boost of taking pleasure in what I've accomplished so far. To celebrate my leap into the unknown, I'd like to share some of the groove of my early drawings, alongside their final versions. As I was moving my studio this month, I unearthed some of this work and saw it with fresh eyes. Enjoy.
From Chapter 1, page 2:
From Chapter 1, page 4
Chapter 6, page 2:
Chapter 6, page 4: