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State of the Swamp

The swamp has become the metaphor for my life--I live in one, and my work is swamping me and my ideas are breeding with the lusty enthusiasm of mosquitos in Stagnant Water World.

But life is still pretty good. The money is also comin' in quite well for such a haphazard profession as freelance art, Money Frog gets a smooch at least once a week, and we're making pretty good inroads on the debt that piled up during the relatively disasterous stretch of unemployment and move-move-moving last year. The cycle of holding-even-and-not-getting-ahead appears to be broken for now, and god willing, will continue for awhile. Possibly I've finally hit some critical mass of existing work connections and new ones finding me--these things fluctuate, god knows, and I could suddenly be workless in two months--but for now, I've got as much as I can handle, and continue to add more on top out of cheerfully misguided enthusiasm. Fortunately, I've managed something of a carrot-and-stick approach, and can get my own stuff done around the edges.

And I'm very happy about my art at the moment. I've been doing some of the weirdest things I can think of--my current work in progress has a woman being followed by the Lurking Turnip, fer cryin' out loud--and they seem to be well recieved anyhow, which either proves that I'm not as weird as I occasionally worry I am, or that people like weird. Sales of originals are definitely up in the last couple months. And of course...the clayboard, the glorious clayboard, about which I've said plenty already and will not rehash my sick clayboard lust here.

Today was productive. Finally finished the latest round with Mongoose--I've been doing interior illos for their Conan RPG books, which is fun and politically incorrect--and sent off a bunch of sketches for a third-grade reader featuring happy quasi-comic frogs. Set in a swamp, ironically. (Yes, I alternate pirate boobs and happy wholesome life-cycle-of-the-tadpole art. I have a neat job, damnit.) And I'll hopefully get this Digger cover done tonight, and the Lurking Turnip may get done too. So life is good, and I am happy, and I feel that it's important to record things like this in my journal so that if I am killed in a freak rain of narwhals tomorrow, I will not go down in history as one of those Depressed Artists. And it puts it all in perspective, so that I remember to be generally grateful for how well things are going and don't get mopey over small shit like millipede incursions and t'occasional obnoxious bill.

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I don't think anybody who knows you in the slightest, which includes having ever seen a piece of your art, could possibly put you in the Depressed Artist category. You are, in fact, something very much like the epitome of what it is to *not* be a Depressed Artist. Perhaps you should give classes. :)

*laugh* I doubt the classes would last long...

"Okay, class, step one--marry a great spouse! Okay, now make sure you have a sane and pleasant family that you're on good terms with. Great! Okay, now get enough art gigs to quit your day job. Happiness awaits! No refunds."

Yeah, I don't think that's gonna fly...

Well of course not, now! You went and gave it all away! You're supposed to get everyone excited about how you have a special secret to happiness and success, charge them an arm and a leg, THEN reveal that its no more unique than what they've heard a thousand times. Sheesh.

Hooray for Lurking Turnips!

My friends and I are waiting with baited breath (ugh! who put this worm in my mouth!) for more of the Wild Produce paintings. Mammoth Garlic and its companions totally rocked.

Do you have a temptation to sneak one of your alternate frogs into the 3rd grade reader? What about into the Conan illos?

If you're killed in a freak rain of narwhals you will go down in history as the artist who a) was killed in a freak rain of narwhals and b) the artist who predicted she would be killed in a freak rain of narwhals. No one would talk about the Depressed Artist, just the narwhals, frogs, wombats and pink lizards.

And you know, I think it's how I'd want to go. Although not for a few years. Ideally, the headlines would read:

"World's Oldest Artist Killed In Freak Narwhal Rain" or something.

I'm not sure whether to be amused or horrified that you do illo work for 3rd grade readers. I think you should start giving out copies of that reader at Furry cons. "Buy an extra-large print (your choice or naked leopard woman or wombat beefcake) and get a free 'Life-cycles of the swamp froggy' booklet!"

Can't wait to see the Lurking Turnip.

Something I've been meaning to ask one of these days: Aside from your occasional portrait of Sadrao and other random dog-soldiers, do you plan on ever doing any art for your "Black Dogs" novel? I read the story a couple of years ago, and enjoyed it a great deal. It occurred to me to ask recently, as I've been thinking about going back to re-read a few of the bits that I remember finding especially entertaining, such as Lyra's crawl through the...were they ducts? That doesn't seem right. Well, whatever you call the cramped passages of a ventilation system in a pre-duct era.

Oddly enough, other than the dog-soldiers--and maybe Gunnar and Spite sometime--I've never had much itch to paint the characters. It's as if they exist in some different level of my brain--I have no real visual notion of them, and I draw a total blank if I try to come up with character art. Which is almost weird, when you think about it...

either proves that I'm not as weird as I occasionally worry I am, or that people like weird.

The latter. People like weird, people are willing to pay for weird, and you're loopy. No offense intended: It is, in fact, why I adore you. =)

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