The thing on the list of things I’ve avoided…

Last 24 hours of 2020…

So… I was (have been) hesitant in writing my nearly annual year in review… for this year.

You know what?  That is not true at all. The fact is, I was (am) terrified to write this.  Yes. Terrified.

2020 was a year where I pretty much began to fear everything. I’ve never been terribly fearless to begin with, so whatever progress I’ve made as an adult went out the window. I the closed that window, sanitized it and decided that, for safety sake I would never open said window again. I talked about this fear in a post in April, when the COVID-19 deaths stood at 55,000. Eight months later, the toll stands at about 341,000.

The year started with me having an art show. The lock downs began just as the show was ending. I wasn’t sure if I would even be allowed to get my art at that point. I did get it in case you were wondering.

This just started the downward slide. As more and more limitations were placed on our daily lives, I just retreated deeper and deeper into my work… but not in a way that was outwardly noticed. I was productive , sure… but it wasn’t like there were a million books available to you, or video series (aside from my step-by-step art videos). Those few hours in the morning when the whole world was asleep and it was just me and something blank for me to fill, were the hours that I truly lived for. Not to say that I don’t live for my family… I definitely do that.  But, the escape of creating is my way of keeping Frank distinctly Frank… and giving myself a bit of escape. Turns out, seeing a blank page once gave me a twinge in my gut… I wouldn’t call it fear…maybe anxiety. Now, that anxiety is everything around me. The one thing I DON’T fear is my art. Funny, huh?

But… I’ve prioritized things differently. I’ve yet to put a Bob book together. Traditionally, I’d have a new book available for sale right after Thanksgiving. Not this year. I don’t have a reasonable excuse and there’s no point in making one up. The book will be late… if I even decide to do one. And that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. It once MAY have been the end… but it’s a different world now.

These are difficult times. I’m not sure of anything from one day to the next. I try not to let that anxiety ruin the tiny bit good that does still exist. Some of my friends have contracted the virus…and thankfully have recovered. I have to think that I could get it next…if for nothing more than to maintain my cautiousness.

In an unlucky year, with our income slashed, our anxieties heightened, our milestones paused or re-imagined, I still feel lucky. My family is healthy. We have a roof over our heads, food in our cupboard, dogs that are insane and a squirrel that… well… is still around.

The strip is different now because our days are different. That’s the great thing about Bob… in the nearly 19 years it’s grown with me…with you.  Maybe one day I’ll achieve what I want to achieve with it… maybe that’ll happen in 2021. Maybe not.

Be smart. Stay safe. It might be a while.

Categories: art ideas illustration

the end of styles?

IS THIS THE END?

Today I begin the Sideshow banner/carnival art style of my ongoing family styles series.
I’ve been posting images to this series since last August. I had no idea what started then would become what it is now.
I’ve done a lot. I’ve learned a lot. But in that process, I’ve let things slide… as we all do. We’re human after all.
Maybe my time (at least two plus hours a day every weekday ) would be better spent on other aspects of my work: revamp the website, re-examine the strip, figure out life in the strip… etc.
Make no mistake, I LOVE doing these pieces… maybe I love them too much? (is that possible?)
This series may end up being the last I do for a while. I don’t know yet. I’ll see how I feel creatively, physically and mentally once this series is complete.
In the meantime, keep checking them out…
Stay safe.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for continuing to support me, my family and my work.

NEW SERIES – Bill Watterson

Bill Watterson style…

Back to the roots of everything. This is a milestone in a way. Today I post the 200th image in my Family Styles series.

I say back to the roots… because that’s exactly what the work of Bill Watterson is to me. I’ve gone on and on about his lines and color work in Calvin and Hobbes for 25 years. And, I could continue to go on about it gleefully.

But I’d rather let his work to speak for itself. There’s Bill Watterson… and then there’s everyone else.

Frank Page Triple Self-Portraits

The tradition continues

A new-ish tradition for me (Since 2017) is to recount my life to that point by doing a self-portrait in the style of illustrator Norman Rockwell’s famous Triple Self-Portrait.

It’s an interesting way to document what things (at that point) are important to me and to see what, in my mind, has dropped off the radar.

Here is this year’s installment along with previous years so far. Click or tap on image for a larger version.