Wednesday, November 18, 2020


 I always get a head start on my New Year's Resolutions. I don't recall what mine were for last year at this point. By starting a month and a half before the end of the year I can form desirable habits that will increase the likelihood of me successfully sticking to said resolutions. That is about the length of time it takes to form a habit. 

There is another less obvious upside. I can sample my Resolutions without the risk of breaking them for several weeks before they "count." I could promise myself to stop eating sugar, bread, and potatoes in November and have a few failures on the way while buckling down, but still be practicing the diet. Thanksgiving and Christmas aren't my favorite meals of the year so I generally can stick to most things I resolve to about food.

Interestingly enough my first two resolutions (yes you can have as many as you want.) are not centered around food or exercise. They are both meant to help my health though. I have resolved to draw a picture every day. I have also resolved to write a minimum of 3000 words every day without worrying about their validity. 

I need the creative outlets. I also need the discipline. I am finding quite a few idle moments that I am squandering with useless, fruitless pursuits. Setting myself obtainable goals that leave me something to show for it gives me some nice wins. Having some pleasant endorphin flow isn't the worst thing in the world. 

Once upon a time I was decent "artist." I hate to call myself that. I think it is much safer to say I could draw a bit. Maybe even drawing is an over exaggeration. I got decent at sketching women in few if any clothes and comic book characters. I am certain I put 10s of thousands of hours of my life into getting a picture on the page. Then, I just quit. I stop spending time on something I loved doing. I have a small stack of sketchbooks to show for years of passion. 

As for the writing, I have had yet another change of heart. I am a fickle person. I had quietly gotten discouraged and decided to put down dreams of getting published or sharing my thoughts in a meaningful way. 

A few stray shower thoughts expanded on a story idea I have been picking at for a long time. I started making notes. I started writing scenes. I expanded my outline a bit more. 

Writing and drawing are both disciplines. I need to practice them both in order to improve my craft. I am going to produce lots of silly blog posts when I don't have something to write on my book. I am going to start projects that will never see the light of day. All of that is ok. I need to put in time. I need to invest in the writing. I need to invest time with a pencil in my hands drawing, sketching, doodling, or whatever.

Today I drew a Care Bear. I drew Good Luck Bear. I took the picture from the back of the box from Grumpy Bear. Yes I own Care Bears. I don't care what you think of me. Grumpy Bear and I have a similar disposition... some of the time. 

The purpose of drawing this little guy was practice. It is a super simple sketch. It isn't very good. My hands (yes I use both) are not as steady as they used to be.  This isn't original art. It is stolen (poorly) from the back of the box. I happen to like the Care Bears. I also have a thing I want to do with the Care Bears. 

I also took the time to take a picture of my sketch, import it into Autodesk Sketchbook, and "ink" it. I am absolutely terrible at "inking." The vast majority of my sketchbooks are filled with pencil sketches. Some few are outlined with a fine line marker. A rare few are done in ballpoint pen or sharpie. Honestly, I was really proud of myself when I got to the place I could draw with a sharpie without sketching the image out first. 

Learning how to work digitally is fun. My old skills will probably come back. If I make a point to practice every day then I will probably surpass my old work fairly quickly. Learning how to work from my Microsoft Surface with my digital pen is something mostly new. I spent a little bit of time working with a Laptop connected to a Wacom Bamboo tablet in Gimp back in the day. Trust me the modern technology is much better.

My resolutions are not complete. I need to work on my weight which means diet and exercise. I will get there. This feels like a good start. My Instagram feed is about to get entirely obnoxious with little sketches and my amateurish attempts. I promise to try to keep it at least as interesting as my blog. That is to say it isn't very interesting at all. I do appreciate when people look at my "art" almost as much as I appreciate them watching my YouTube channel or reading this blog. 

December 2nd Comic Books on a Budget