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I'd like to thank everybody who so kindly commented--I feel better now. Ebulliance has not quite triumphed, but it's got the bastard cornered, so we're on the right track. The nap helped. (I had this very...Mary Sueish dream. Which is only sensible, since I AM actually the main character, but nevertheless, it was very strange and appeared to be very tortured plot about a bratty princess and a troop of dragon-riding mercenaries, and I woke up going "I don't need to worry about my art--my subconscious is the hack!")

But anyway, you guys all rock. I felt better for having read the encouragement (and yes, the notion of someone screaming "VEERRRNOONNN!" in the snow still makes me grin. 'Course, I'm the voice screaming "CHRISTIAAAANSEEENNNN!" from down the block, so who'm I to talk?) Anyway, I promise not to whine again for a good long time. Well, not about feeling insecure. I retain the right to whine about other things.

Like bunnies. I think my bunny whining quotient for the year is still wide open.

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See, I didn't comment earlier because I read your post and all I could think was, "What the hell, Vernon, wallow in it. Enjoy it, 'cause we all know you'll get over it soon enough." :)

*laugh!* I am obviously just not depressed enough to be a serious artist.

I'll cultivate an absinthe habit. Maybe that'll help.

Ursula! I invite you to go look at your own Holstein Iris, or Get With Child a Mandrake Root, or Snorkus, Liberator of Goldfish, and then I *ask* you: do you *really* want to *dare* absinthe? I mean, look at the weird shit you come up with sober! The world may not be *ready*, nay, the world may not *survive*, Vernon On Green Fairy Drink!

Think of the children, woman! Think of the children!

It could end up working like ritalin with hyperactive children, though, and make her more normal.

I refuse to drink or experiment with any sort of drugs because I'm random and eccentric enough as it is. I've convinced myself I have an overactive dopamine gland (there are glands for that, right? Eesh, maybe that's the problem!) and probably a jealous anti-dopamine gland (for the sake of celerity we'll call it "dumpamine") and therefore have no need for any kind of stimulant or depressant because it sort of takes care of itself when I want it to. My friends tell me I'd probably be a "quiet" drunk...but I don't want to risk it. Fear? Oh yes. Fun? Probably. Anyway, keep of the absinthe. ...Whatever that is.

Absinthe, beloved of many Serious Artists back in the day, is a green liquor distilled from wormwood. The active ingredient, thujone, causes progressive nerve damage, making an absinthe drinker increasing twitchy and batshit crazy, to the point where you could escape being drafted in various European armies by claiming an absinthe habit.

It's now illegal everywhere except Spain, where presumably they figure that if you're dumb enough to drink it, you deserve whatever happens to you.

It's now illegal everywhere except Spain, where presumably they figure that if you're dumb enough to drink it, you deserve whatever happens to you.

I pretty much sympathize with that philosophy. :)

Good gracious, a heartfelt thank-you AND a history lesson! Your posts are the greatest, Ursula! XD

Really, though, this gives me yet another reason to love my adopted long-distance home (if that makes any sense at all). The Spanish culture is always so rich with vibrance and ironicism and, uh, spicy food...but moreover the ironicism. I mean, these are the people who turned out Cervantes, Goya, Dali (the latter probably an absinthe habitist himself)...the contributions to modern satiric thought there are astounding.

That "dumb and deserve it" policy seemed pretty clear on my visit there last summer, especially on a particularly trendy street in Madrid, a city where prostitution is completely acceptable unless the storeowners on the crowded streets place bold notices, apparently on banners in meter-high bold text, reading no prostitutión en la calle, in which case they have to move about five feet to the right or left where the next crowded shop owner doesn't even care anymore. This should have been our first hint, and I probably could have avoided being chased after by an angry hooker at 9:30 at night (...not as long a story as you'd think, and not at all dirty) but I've never been a good one at reading signs.

I am rewarding my responsibility (I called back a job that I put in apps for and they called me back for an interview) with a Raj and Raja t-shirt and bookmark. I'm so happy you made those available!

Hope this gives the slightest bump to your monetary well-being and your standing with companies who desire your work for merchandising. :)

Oh, and I will make sure to tell the people who adore my shirt where they can get theirs. :D

As a note related to a couple of recent things (Gearworld, and feelings of inadequacy), your Gearworld stuff and further extrapolations about it have inspired me to start doodling a bit tonight on something of my own that's vaguely Gearworld-esque. I certainly couldn't hazard to say it's *part* of the Gearworld--whether you invented it or "discovered" it, it's still something only *you* seem to have a window on, so I wouldn't presume to have the first clue what's supposed to be in it. So I'd say this is more an "inspired by the Gearworld" thing, and involves a depressingly crumbling concrete wall, an overcast sky (borrowed from my own "Dutchland" world visions:-), some really nasty, rusty pipes along the walls (complete with dripping rust stains on the concrete--that's one of my favourite parts of your Gearworld concrete stuff, believe it or not), and a big rusty gear (it's metal, not concrete. Well, for one, concrete gears seem pretty unique to your Gearworld, and I didn't want to outright *steal* something from it, and for another, I'm just really enamoured with the idea of rust right now ;-). Oh yeah, and there's going to be this creepy, faceless, concrete "manequin" thing bolted together with rusted metal and mounted on a rusty metal stand (instead of having legs), and it's going to be wearing a brilliant blue dress. I have no idea why.

So your art--and not for the first time--has served as an inspiration for me in my *own* art. Hell, when I'm running low on the inspiration meter, I tend to hop on to your site and look at your art for a while. If it doesn't kill my spirit outright by being so damned good (it's like it's teasing me--"You'll never be this good, so don't waste your time. Oh, and you're a poopy head, too!"), then it inspires me to push myself and my imagination to do stuff I don't normally do--such as this pseuso-Gearworld thing. I normally stay several hundred yards away from anything pseudo-industrial, grimy, or "modern" in my art, and instead I usually lean toward the classic "beautiful elves in long flowing dresses/majestic Unicorns lit by silvery moonlight on a snowy night/dark and myserious demoness casting arcane spells in the night" kind of thing; if I manage to finish this painting, this will actually be the first painting of its kind I've *ever* done. And all thanks to you and your inspiring art. Don't you feel special? ;-)

I feel special!

Seriously, sounds cool--I'll look forward to seeing it!

Well, that was over so fast I didn't even catch it quickly enough to send some support!
I think everybody has days like that and everybody recovers, although that's not much comfort when you're in the middle of one. Much better to remember that it's happened to you before and you've recovered.

I've had similar blocks before and I've worked through some of them. I don't know if it helps; it's certainly not a nice feeling to keep plugging away at something you think is terrible. I sometimes find it reassuring to look back over work I've done when blocked and realise that it *wasn't actually that bad*.

I think artistic confidence is a little like physical health; even the healthiest person catches a cold sometimes and even the most inspired person has off-days. It's just imoprtant to take it easy and know what to do so it doesn't last. I've not yet discovered anything pro-active, but I do know what not to do (bottle it up and brood about it). Perhaps a nap (with optional whine) is the best solution.

P.S. Notice that throughout the comment I haven't told you how excellent you are. This is because your talent is so obvious that words are superfluous.

P.P.S. And yours wasn't really a *proper* whine. I whine louder!

I didn't manage to give you your butt-pat yesterday either. :(

I do, however, sing your praises to everyone I know, and I was utterly ecstatic to get my digger sketch in the mail. So let me say it, simply, you rock!!! :D

Hmm.. hack eh?
Let's see...

Maxfield Parrish
Norman Rockwell
Frederick Remington
Charles Dickens
Robert E. Howard
H.P. Lovecraft

...were all considered "hacks" during their careers.

Shall I go on, or are you now convinced you're in good company?

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