Detail Number One

I’m used to getting things done. By “Things” I mean creative stuff. This blog, my art, and anything else that I feel moved to make. One of the reason for that is health. I’m a healthy person and I don’t take that good fortune for granted. Without good heath it’s tough to get anything done. Case in point is that on Thanksgiving morning I woke up with what I think was a sinus infection. My head was clogged a bit, I was dizzy, and I had general body weakness.

From the Thursday of Thanksgiving until the following Sunday I got nothing done. I sat in a chair for four days in a row. I watched a little TV but I couldn’t really concentrate much on it, I read maybe a comic book or three, I stared off into space, and I napped a bit. I wasn’t even felling particularly horrible. I never had that “I wish I could just die already” feeling that sometimes accompanies the flu. Instead I was just very tired and sat in my recliner.

I usually write one of these blogs a week and I am about a month ahead of my posting schedule. I’ve got a cushion of a few blogs already in the can and it’s a good thing I do because this week for the first time in a long time I wrote nothing. Over the years it’s varied when exactly I write these pieces but for 2022 I’ve mostly written them on Sundays. The Sunday of my sinus infection I wrote nothing. I thought about writing for a brief moment. I usually write sitting in my chair and that’s what I was doing so I though maybe I could write but I never even opened up my writing program. The energy wasn’t in me.

Besides some general fatigue I was feeling not too bad. At least as I sat in my chair that is. Whenever I got up I felt a little dizziness and could also feel how weak I was. I would think, “Yeah, I’m doing okay” and then I’d stand up and think, “Nope, I really am sick.”

Often I draw in my Inkbook as I’m sitting in my easy chair. I much prefer to stand at my drawing table when I’m working on art but sometimes I sit down. It’s not unheard of. So for another brief moment I thought maybe I could get some inkbook drawings done. It was never more than a fleeting thought because I couldn’t even concentrate enough to get the book and pen let alone concentrate enough to make drawings.

One of the things I have been getting done like clockwork over the last few months is my “Dreams of Things” covers. I showed a new one off in my comic book haul videos every week since the beginning of the summer. Some weeks I’d get two of them finished. The week of my sinus infection I didn’t finish any. I had no cover to show off in this past week’s video.

Though one of the first things I managed to do on the Monday after sitting in my chair for four days was to ink one of those covers. Sometimes, but not always, inking is easier to concentrate on than finishing a piece with color. In this case it was and I had just enough stamina and focus to get it done.

My Gatsby illustrations went by the wayside too. I wrote last week about my struggles to make an El Greco like drawing and my sinuses made that come to a complete stop. I don’t even think I thought about that one. It even lead to me misplacing a drawing.

This week as I got back to the Gatsby drawing I was looking for the finished drawing of the five figures. I did the landscape on a separate piece of paper from the figures and need to see the figures. I could find all the preliminary drawings but not the finished one. I had no idea where it went.

Cut to later on in the day I went out back to work on removing the cutting deck from my John Deere riding mower and putting on the snow plow. As I leaned down to inspect the cutting deck I saw my missing drawing underneath it. Right outside my back door is a table. I use that table to put pencil drawings on so I can spray them with workable fixative in order to keep the pencil from smearing. I usually leave them outside to dry for about 15 minutes. Just before I got sick I must have done that with the Gatsby drawing and forgot it was out there.

It was a wonder that the drawing wasn’t ruined. It was even raining out that day but the mower, table, and drawing were sheltered under the porch. If the drawing had blown in another direction and not got caught under the mower deck it would have been ruined for sure. It was out there for a week and a half!

One thing I was able to get done as I was felling unwell was a little bit of freelance paying work. That’s a bit easier to get done when I’m not feeling good because it’s not nearly as creative and demanding. That and it’s easier to be motivated by money than to be self motivated. We all need money to live so we have no choice about working. That makes it a necessity and so easy to get motivated for.

Making art for yourself is a whole different ballgame. Most people, even creative people, never make anything for themselves because it so hard to do. We’re expected to make money with our work and when we don’t we devalue the work to the point of not wanting to bother. I’ve seen it happen to a lot of people.

When I’m sick I no longer have the energy to motivate myself to make art. It’s tough enough when healthy so it’s nearly impossible when sick. I’m very glad that I got better.