2013 Hasn't Been That Great For The Blog, Has It?

Is the blog still alive?

It’s obvious the habit has been broken. The blog began its eighth year in February, but 2013 has been the least productive by far. I’ve managed less than 30 posts and about half of the images are accompanied by tedious complaints about how I’m not finding time to draw or blog. Kind of like this one, I guess. Who wants to read that crap?

Back in September I was very depressed by how it was going. I started preparing the blog’s formal obituary notice – if it's no longer any fun why not just kill it? – but I haven’t had the heart to finish it. I occasionally look in on the blog as though it were an old, sick friend. I smile and check the pulse. “Hey, 13 visitors today. Oh! And 45 last Thursday? That’s not bad, eh?” And the blog coughs, and mumbles something I can't make out. I pat it gently. “There, there, you’ll be alright.” And then I make sure the “Do not resuscitate” tag is still tied firmly to the toe before quietly moving on to another web page.

Here are a few heads I doodled up in Photoshop the other night. Just goofing around.

Very good and pretty bad

I have a 20 month-old daughter and she has been alert, mobile and needing a father’s attentive eye during the morning hours I used to fill by creating personal art. She is transforming into a person, and the days of dropping her into a crib and rocking her to sleep are long gone. We go for walks every morning. She sits in the stroller and points at cars and trees and dogs; or she’s exercising her little legs at the park, running about in a wobbly manner and terrorizing the ducks who inexplicably don’t hear her coming. This is not a complaint. She is some of the best fun I've ever had and it's a joyous privilege to have this time with her.

My job, on the other hand, still affords opportunities for illustration but there has been a decline in the type of assignments I enjoy. As the newspaper business continues to change, I can foresee a time where creating art will be such a small part of what I do that I won’t be able to think of myself as a working artist anymore. To be honest, I’m feeling that way now and I'm struggling with finding a solution for the disappointment.

I’ve done a few illustrations at work since my last blog post, but I haven’t been happy with them. It has been extremely frustrating, but it has ignited an enormous urge to do work that I have more passion for. I have two small projects I’ve been cultivating during bouts of insomnia for the past year and I hope to show new stuff soon.

From slogging to blogging

The blog isn't quite dead. Why should it be? As long as I still have a hope that someday I might become a real artist, then there's no reason why I can't just wake up the slumbering blog when I want to play with it. I've found it's always a matter of momentum when it comes to this habit. Post three times in a week and a fourth becomes easier. Skip November and missing December is a piece of cake.

I'm confident 2014 will be a huge uptick for the blog and – with a bit more concentrated effort – my professional life will begin to achieve the kind of fun I'm having in my home life.

The End of 2013