–Note– I wrote a much better version of this same blog, that was sadly eaten by the monsters at WordPress–
I found an old sketchbook the other day. Well, I never really lost it. It’s been sitting there for a while, because I’ve been terrified. to look at it. I recently found a place to keep old sketchbooks, a shelf for sketchbooks and notebooks, which, well they’re basically the same thing, but anyway.
The back of the book is filled with loose pages. Random one page comics, funny to only three people, the same types of drawings I’ve done with my best friends, Matt and Pablo, since, well, since we’ve known each other. What started as a kind of Pictionary game quickly devolved into draw the most insane thing we can think of to make each other laugh.
The tradition continues to this day as I came home from my trip to California with the back half of my sketchbook filled with alternating darings from myself and Matt, hilarious, but only to us cartoon gags. A bar replaced the lunchrooms and Denny’s of our youth. We captured the attention of the bartender, who asked us which show we worked for (it was LA after all…). My consultation comes from the fact that my quick sketch still resides on her Instagram feed (she’s married).
After my moment of sentimental happiness passed, I knew it was time to stop stalling and actually crack the sketchbook. 3/25/2004 was the date on one of the two books, which meant the books were from sometime between 2003 and 2005, which was ten years ago. I was 21-23 (if you’re paying attention). I knew the sketches would be bad, but I wasn’t prepared for HOW bad. And they were really bad. Like bad bad. Like the worst impression of the worst Image Comics artist from 1996 bad. The proportions were all over the place. Heads, way too small. The worst part were the drawings of people I knew (girlfriend) and how I had once presented them and said, ‘here this is you.’
This was from a time where I was at my most cocky, my most, well, early twenties. I thought I was Disney ready. Instead I had what looked like my worst Michael Turner impression. The late Mister Turner, artist of Witchblade, Fathom and DC’s, like 5th Supergirl, was beloved by many, and backed by some of the best digital colorists in the business, produced some fairly lovely illustrations. He just wasn’t my artist. The most troubling thing about the sketchbook is that there isn’t much influence by well any of my artists, there’s some Bruce Timm influence in there somewhere (Any time I drew Batman or Superman, basically), but that’s it. There’s no Mike Weiringo, no Disney artists, nothing. The whole thing made me sick to my stomach. (I’m debating even posting anything..)
I was so.. horrified with myself, I began Snapchatting (that’s a verb now, right?) comparison sketches to Sorcha, with captions like “Please tell me I’m better” and so on.
More recent sketches:
In a way, Timehop, is the finding my old sketchbook of apps. For the uninformed, Timehop, formerly Foursquare and Seven Years ago, would send you an email telling you of your Foursquare checkins of years passed, you know, in case you wanted to know how many years in a row you Pumpkin Spiced up your life. (Did I really make that joke) TImehop now takes all, well, most, sorry MySpace (cue everyone’s sigh of relief) your various social status updates from years passed and gives them to you in a daily digest form. With Timehop, you see everything, with varied results. Early typo filled tweets and status updates, strained jokes and forced opinions or those jokes you didn’t think you were capable of. And I like checking Timehop, for reasons beyond discovering just how many times I’ve made that Gilmore Girls reference, because it shows me my art and how much I’ve grown, and techniques and other tricks that I tried out and might want to go back to.
Lately Timehop has meant something else. It’s the thing I don’t want to check.
A year ago is not a place I’m ready to go to. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to go to. I don’t want to remember what today is. I don’t want to think about it. I’m never going to forget about today either. No matter how hard I try. It is what it is, just a normal day, but it isn’t.
These drawings showed up in my Timehop the other day. I remember them, not for what they are, but more for what was going on at the time. I would leave my classes because I was feeling guilty, drive all the way to the hospital, where I would feel worthless, and then drive somewhere random, like the apple store, where I would try to do something, like draw hipster girls, and then I would feel incredibly guilty and come back to the hospital, feel worthless and then go back to school, and repeat.
It’s not so weird that I turned my old sketchbook post into this, It kept trying to be this, even the other day when I wrote the lost draft version of this. I thought about breaking them into two posts. It still felt.. feels.. better this way.
I want to say a special thanks to everyone for, well, everything over the past year, years, and earlier. You love and encouragement kept me going through everything, and I can’t express enough how wonderful it is to have such a wonderful support system, not just my close friends and family, but my extended friends and family all over the world.