Artist. Designer. Awkward wad of nerd. Fights off existential terror and self-loathing with Godzilla films.

amechanicaldisaster@gmail.com

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What is ordinary?

I haven't written here in a while, and, well, it's because a lot has been going on. I had to look back through my calendar and write some notes on an index card to get a straight track of everything I've been involved with since July...

 First off: We held our second figure drawing get together on July 3rd. It had a loose Patriotic theme to it. I wore American flag and star stickers when I posed, and provided red, white, and blue leis for everyone.
 At the end of July was Rob-Con! That Saturday I sold an original, the cover to one of the chapters of Other Sleep, which is a remarkable first, and I continued to sell lots of things after that, including a bunch of Pokemon sketch cards that I made. Another first: I ate a funnel cake burrito. It's...pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Sunday was muuuuuuuch slower, and it occurred to me that, even though it was the first con that I had copies of All of This Will Crumble at, no one bought any. I sold very few comics, in fact. Which isn't really new, I think I've written about that before, but it was mildly disappointing. I did get commissioned to draw Donald Trump in a fist fight with Josef Stalin, at least. That was fun.

The very next weekend, I went to a meeting of the FRAG group that I had the Christmas show with last year. Our host hired a model and we did some figure drawing. For a number of folks there, it was their first time doing any such thing, and seeing the wide variety of drawings everyone cranked out was great. Here's a favorite that I did:
Things get blurry after this.

At some point, All of This Will Crumble went up on ComiXology, which led to a few orders for physical copies on my Big Cartel page! The day it went up, I received an email within hours from someone who bought it on a whim and enjoyed it, and I got some other good feedback not long after. I felt invincible that day, and hope it continues to find an audience. 

I started working hard on one of the, um, multiple comic projects I've got going. I can't show anything yet, really, but I penciled the first 11 pages at a killer pace, including my first two page spread that I'm really excited about. 10 of those pages are inked, and one of those is fully colored. I think once this batch is totally finished, we'll be ready to announce it, so not much longer.

A really talented painter friend of mine, Maudlyn Claire, popped up after I gushed about one of her self portraits and asked if I'd be willing to do some collaborative work with her. I flipped out and within a few days drew a bunch of stuff, which I mailed off to her. She's painting over my inks mostly, but I sent her some pencil drawings to play with, too. The results are looking fantastic:
The plan is, at some point, to do a little comic together. I'm on the cusp of having a solid idea nailed down. That's, um, one of the OTHER four comic projects that are in various stages of development, and the third one that's a collaboration. And each collaboration is wildly different, which is just awesome after so many years of working all by myself.

The second annual Johnson City Zine Fest was on August 20th, and I was so happy to be a part of it. I did fairly well, and picked up quite a stack of zines from other incredible people. I wasn't sure what to expect, so I decided to just push my books and a few of my prints, nothing else. I sold enough copies of All of This Will Crumble that I'm going to have to get it reprinted soon, which is nice. I'm almost sold out of Cannonball Fist and Shouting at the Void, too!

Things got weirder when my girlfriend's mom turned up at work with a mannequin that she bought me. Her name is Beatrice Rose and I have no idea what I'm going to do with her yet, but she sits by the window to creep out people that pass by. I don't know, I think I may try to turn her into a kaiju?
Speaking of mannequins, I finished a shirt design for my brother's band. I'm not sure I can show that yet, though. Sorry.

Anyways, I held another figure drawing thing, this time in my own apartment, with a new model!
I really love figure drawing, you guys. I can't properly articulate how happy I am that I'm doing it on a semi regular basis now. It's really one of this year's big highlights. Modeling is getting easier for me, too, especially when the group is cool with me playing some Akira Ifukube scores to Godzilla movies and posing like a kaiju.

Here's another drawing I'm pleased with, when another model picked up on those kaiju vibes. I stood up on a chair to draw this one:
Finally, I'm in another show at the William King Museum of Art, called the Cherry Bounce Show. More than 50 Appalachian artists are involved, each one given a specific Presidential campaign to react to. It's a mad, brilliant idea, and I wasn't a part of it at all, at first. One of the artists dropped out, the show's guest curator saw a mutant portrait I did of a friend who works at the museum, and so they called me up, two days before the show, asking if I could fill in and do a piece reacting to the 1988 election of Bush Vs Dukakis. How could I say no?

...I don't have a decent picture of what I did, which is basically a painting of George Bush's head looming over the mountains and a burning tank. Look, the show is up through January, and the museum has some other really cool shows going on right now too, so you should just go and check it out.

But seriously, you guys. It's a killer assortment of artists in that show, and I feel like I somehow pulled off a con in getting to be a part of it. I was afraid my painting wouldn't fit in. It does, better than I expected, but I'm still not 100% convinced I belong among so much talent. I freaked out...quite a bit over it, and it was a very stressful two days of work and I spent most of my time at the opening reception just trying not to lose it. I was frazzled. It was a great time, though, and we got to go to a great afterparty too.

Today, the 6th, was World Art Drop Day, so I did my bit by dropping off a couple older pieces of mine downtown during my lunchbreak. Here's one of them:
So...yeah...I guess I've been busy. It's been weird. I don't remember what it's like to have an ordinary life anymore.

And I've been invited to set up and sell work at the upcoming Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion with some FRAG folks, too. Which is in two weeks. Need to start preparing for that. Here's a new painting that I put together to try and sell there. I like it a lot, so I'll probably get prints made too:
I'm going to try to take it easy after that, if only for a little bit. I need to get back into practicing self care, because I've just been feeling overwhelmed and frazzled all the time lately.

Oh, Inktober is next month, too. And I already have my idea for that. So there's that.

Okay, that's enough rambling for now. Don't be like me, take care of yourselves.

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