Drawing Inspiration for the Life’s Work:

To look at this site, you wouldn’t know I’m much of a visual artist.  I don’t have a gallery of drawings or paintings, or even thumbnails or links.  I’ve drawn since childhood, mostly for free, but also as a part time living for a few years.  While I can’t boast whole portfolios of finished, vibrant full color illustrations, I keep endless metric tons of sketch books in my home, and I burn through pencils like the Space Program does fuel and money.  I expend most artistic energy developing ideas, concepts, and am obsessed with endless possibilities, always seeking that “killer composition.”  My favorite parts of doing comics in the late 90s and early 00s was the seemingly endless joyous hours of sketching thumbnails, layouts, and character designs.  I have literally giant plastic bins of this shit, and I refuse to throw any of it away.

Since (as best I can surmise from the evidence available) circa 2003, I’ve been planning my artistic opus – a “Life’s Work” project that incorporates everything I love about art and literature to create a final product that I would have so desperately loved to have had when I was but a simple lad with outlandish hopes and living, breathing dreams.  And, as a Life’s Work, I’m under no compulsion to rush the process or feel any pressure to compromise my vision for what it should be.

This is not to say I don’t love the MuseionCast.  I do, very much.  And I find it difficult to express my appreciation for those of you who download my audio efforts every month.  I wish I could go back to weekly feeds like I did at the peak of Volume 1, but I’ve got to give some time to the Life’s Work.  MuseionCast keeps me sane; the Life’s Work makes the sanity worthwhile.

There is a visual aspect to the Life’s Work, which will come in earnest after the completion of the written aspect.  But as I’ve said, I’m an obsessive scribbler of concepts and designs, amassing the illustrator’s version of notes on a bar napkin.  But the visual feeds the literary, and vice versa, so one should honestly say that both processes are constantly in production.  This Life’s Work is by no means a linear, assembly line process.

Currently, I’m also going back to my library for research and inspiration, which is also ongoing.  I love how Moebius uses color in his comics work.  I’m speechless at the architectural drawings and sense of space in W. McKay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland. I’m floored by the sure lines, intricate detail, power and grace of almost everything illustrated by Gustave Dore.  Then there’s also the bold, reckless lines and rich visual humor of Frank Cho on Liberty Meadows.  I’m taking meeting with other greats, consulting with them about color, technique, composition and design:  Bernie Wrightson, Richard Corbin, Arthur Rackman, Alex Raymond, Sam Keith, Berkley Breathed (just to name a few).

Immersing myself in their work in the name of “research” is yet another reason why I so enjoy the Life’s Work project.  Not only is it pressure-free and self-satisfying, but it allows me to plunge into other works I adore, and maybe see them again for the first time and in a new way.

I’m done rambling without a point.  But I’ll probably post again on the subject of the Life’s Work.  Talking about it is also another pleasurable aspect of the endeavor.  Consider yourself forewarned.

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  • New pages of the 2001 graphic novel posted each week day

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