I've been having a lot of very vibrant dreams. Most of them have been stories. I'm writing them all down. The interesting concept from last night's cerebral cinema was "war magnets." I still have to look into whether the properties of magnetism work in reality they way they did in the dream. Before that, it was time travel. In between that and now was the 19th century, worldwide conspiracy involving two celebrated astronomers. There were aliens that looked like they were manufactured in an inflatable swimming pool accessory factory. There were maggots.
I don't want to talk about that one.
Why all of this activity? Well, I stopped drawing almost entirely a few months ago. I know why, and I've started taking action to correct it. You see, I made the mistake of looking at the traffic this blog was getting and how many unique people were looking at it. After a few months of letting the data accumulate, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. In that "sub-electronic dilemma," I just stopped.
Along with the analytics, I'd been following a lot of artists (and craftspeople, and graffiti vandals, etc.) on Facebook. Initially, I started feeling insecure in my talent. What these people were doing was orders of magnitude more sophisticated than what I was doing. More visionary. More educated.
Recently I've realized something else though: it all looks alike. Many of these brilliant artists and illustrators (and vandals, like Banksy), have mastered repetition. They have a signature style in which they create. They paint or draw (or deface, like Banksy) the same thing over and over.
I don't do that. I may work in projects, like the Spinoolean Tarot and the Noo Tarot, but my body of work shows a vast array of styles and subject matter -- everything from blueprints, to marketing concepts, to movie posters. From digital design to pen and ink illustrations. And this doesn't begin to touch on the writing I have done.
So what does all this add up to? Since looking at the work of other artists by definition includes comparing myself to them, I must stop. At the very least, I must stop for the most part. My eyes have an insatiable need to behold beauty, so I must look at beautiful things. But I think that I must return to creating the beauty that my soul-windows require instead of finding it -- to my detriment -- in the creations of others.
Some weeks ago, I turned off my personal Facebook page. My "artist" Facebook page remains, but it has languished like this blog lo these many months. I have continued to look at the offerings of other artists, but I will cease in that too. My remaining presence will be on Twitter, because -- and I'm embarrassed to my very core to admit this -- it's fun. At least it's more fun than Facebook, that's for sure. So, follow me @Spinoolean (for the artist stuff), or @JGabarronIV (for the personal stuff). I don't curse, and I try to keep it upbeat.
I have many irons in the fire right now. I'm beginning research for a massive trilogy -- something I swore I would never write -- set in 1900. I'm planning the sequel to The Empty Space, my novel of 2003. In the best George Lucas tradition, that first story is now Volume I of The Tharleon Gospels. Volume II is to be entitled The Apocalypse of Minerva. On the art front, I have plans to finish drawing the suits of Pears and Roses for the Noo Tarot. I will put the definitive finish on the Spinoolean Tarot as well. All that should keep me busy for the next five years or so.
Then there's whatever else strikes my fancy. There's more to come.
Today the World, Tomorrow the Future.