well, not really…
it may sound redundant, but the last six weeks of my working life have tested the limits, both physical and mental, of what is possible for me… just when i think i can’t do anymore, i do more.
at the beginning of the year, i made the decision to complete a graphic novel in 6 months. that’s not a lot of time…even if the graphic novel is your sole job…a good story, good art, good pacing and compelling characters is a tough nut to crack and make into edible cookies in six months.
the race began in the beginning of february, on my way back to new york from my winter residency. the graphic novel is my studio project for the second semester of my master’s program. the first semester i started out trying to be a painter but ended up doing a 40 odd page comic book…in about 8 weeks give or take.
this time i had to go bigger.
why? who knows.
pride? because someone said i couldn’t? to exorcise some deep-down-in-the-dark demons? because i just wanted to?
it’s all of those and none of those. ultimately, i just wanted to challenge myself.
has it been hard? yes. have i missed out of things because i’ve had to work on some pages? yes. have i been called on my crap because all i want to do is work. you betcha. has my health suffered a little because of this book? unfortunately, yes.
but that’s been the way for me since i picked up my first crow quill and ink bottle. people who don’t live this life cannot truly understand how GOOD it feels, even when you’re stressed, tired, miserable or angry, to sit at that drawing board, hear the scratching of the quill on the bristol board and know that when you cap that ink for the day, you’ve put a part of yourself on that page.
there is nothing like it. nothing.
there have been times where i’ll be at my board, working away… completely oblivious to my immediate surroundings. the hatching will be intense or the line of a shoulder will need thickening, the lettering will be slightly off but i can fix that once i scan the image in…”FRANK?”
and i will jump out of my seat, my fight or flight biological predisposition will kick in, my heart will feel as though beating in my damn throat and i will most likely curse.
someone broke the bubble…
if i don’t get to sit at my board at least an hour a day i get real cranky. it’s almost like i need to justify my existence by drawing something—breathing alone isn’t enough to justify existence. i create, therefore i am…i probably stole that from someone way more famous than myself. 🙂
at this point, i have about 80 pages and the cover left to complete on my book. this past sunday, i took a 12 pack of coke zero and my laptop and locked myself away at 8am for the day to finish my semester’s paper. i had laser focus. no ipod, no itunes, no dvd playing, no email, no anything… just me, soda and my paper. and dammit, i finished that bitch. finished.
which put me three days ahead of the brutal schedule i outlined for june. go frank!