Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Avicide

I'm still trying to find the middle-ground between artwork that most resembles my own "style," a more simplified "cartoon-style version" of it that works well and can be drawn quickly in Illustrator, and what continues to be enjoyable to work on by the time I've gotten to panel three and it's 2:00 in the morning.  I'm not quite there yet, but I think I'm getting closer.

Time to insert the comic, methinks.


(It was tricky inserting humor into this one.)

I think I'm failing in my attempt to keep this blog professional, because I need to dump on you again.  This is the best place I can do it; I'm not about to do it on Facebook, and there are scant few people I can talk to about this sort of thing, yet things need to be said so I can get said things off my chest.  You are in no way compelled to read any of it.  In fact, I'll make it tiny, so you're even less inclined to.

A person I know once declared, "If you don't like where you live, leave."  I understand the sentiment behind that statement, but frankly it makes me furious.  At the risk of being a hypocrite and putting some of my "bizness" on the internet, I have to say that statement does not apply to me.  I do not like living in Florida.  I don't like being in tourist / vacation / retirement hell, where it is sweltering most days of the year and you feel like you need a cold shower after every time you spend more than five minutes outdoors.  Where it seems your only employment options are in the "hospitality industry."  Where there is no culture.  None, unless you consider driving a poorly tricked-out (read:. loud muffler and mismatched oversized spoiler) Honda Civic and blaring reggaeton "culture."

And yet I cannot leave.  I'm trapped here.  We came here out of necessity, because we had to save ourselves from financial ruin and we knew there were jobs for us down here.  Yet now that we have gotten ourselves on our feet, more or less, I'm faced with the fact that my wife isn't inclined to pick up and move and find another job.  I can't really blame her.  Her bringing in the stable income (which is also significantly more than mine), I'm not in the position to make financially responsible, life-changing choices that affect my whole family.

What's more, I somehow have managed to be an extremely unqualified person to be hired for, well, just about anything.  The odds that I'll find a job somewhere great somewhere else in the world, and essentially reversing my role in the family with my wife's, are pretty much zero.  I'm still confused how this happened; I guess I'd always assumed growing up that being smart and a talented artist would see me through.

Possibly some of that is that I have a need to be creative at a job, and cannot be happy in a job otherwise, and yet I have incredibly high and specific standards that don't allow me to be content at most jobs that would otherwise be available to me.  Having a pretty low self-esteem, I really have no clue where those standards came from.  I suppose it could be fear, too, that I'll waste away designing logos or web pages or digitally-painting grass for a year, and being stuck behind a computer day in and day out.

I can't consider going to school to improve my situation.  My wife and I still have her school-debt to deal with, and I'm not about to add to that shit.  Plus, and possibly this is just the realist (read: pessimist) in me, the likelihood that I'll build up tons of debt and get some degree and then find myself right back to exactly where I am now is pretty high.  Most of my peers have degrees in art, even master's degrees, and have way more impressive resumes than my own... and they're stuck in down in the trenches with me.

Up until recently, I had been entertaining the idea of relocating my family to Portland, Oregon.  Strong art and music scene, good place to raise a child (because, fuck, I do not want to raise my daughter in the piss-hole state), pretty chill in comparison to other large cities, moderate weather...
But I just don't think it's going to happen.  My wife's current job will ultimately become something substantial, and I'll be both happy for her and slip a little further down the spiral at the same time.

I'm told, "that's what they make anti-depressants for."  I understand, now, why people take them.  They spend their entire lives being told they can do and be whatever they want, and then they become a responsible adult with a family and realize that they're no longer able make choices for themselves, but for their children.  That all of their friends are gone.  That they're in a situation they are powerless to responsibly change, and all of their dreams are just dreams, and all they can do for the rest of their lives is cope.

Wow, sorry.  That was a bit more venting than I intended.