Hi there, my pals. I hope this new yr is treating you nicely. It has been wonderful for me to date. Quickly I have to announce the 2023 Ecuador chautauqua about money and meaning, however earlier than I do I am going to give a short replace on what I have been as much as.
Deciding to increase my sabbatical from Get Wealthy Slowly indefinitely has been liberating. The second I dedicated to this, it was as if a heavy load have been lifted from my again. I can pursue different passions now with out remorse. I do not really feel responsible. I do not really feel like I want to offer myself “permission”. I simply do what I need, and it is superior.
Is not this what monetary independence is meant to be?
How I Spend My Time
My meals and health decisions have remained sturdy now for six weeks. (Official begin date of my re-dedication to well being? December 13, Taylor Swift’s birthday.) I am lifting weights 3 times per week. I am strolling roughly 5 miles per day. I am doing yoga. My alcohol consumption is manner down. Extra importantly, I am making smarter meals decisions.
I am shedding pounds, sure, however for as soon as I am not obsessing over the quantified outcomes. I am attempting as an alternative to concentrate to the precise habits and routines. I am targeted on the course of as a result of in the end that is what issues most. (That stated, I am happy to report that my blood strain has dropped from a median of 144/96 in early December to a median of 126/84 this week. Yay!)
- The canine and I proceed our venture to stroll each road in Corvallis, mapping the farm stands and little free libraries we discover.
- I proceed to work within the yard.
- I proceed my adventures in cooking.
- I proceed to handle my mom’s property.
- I proceed to look at loads of films, together with the Wednesday night time second-run movies at an area theater. (Tonight’s film? Patrick Swayze in Street Home. Not a movie I would decide for myself, however I am watching no matter this place decides to point out.)
Principally, although, I have been exploring artwork. Particularly, I am educating myself the way to cartoon.
A Clear Line
I took some pictures lessons twenty years in the past — and I even bought a photograph to Audubon journal, which implies I can name myself a professional photographer (ha!) — however I’ve by no means created another types of artwork.
I’ve needed to learn to paint and draw for a few years now. Since October, I’ve floundered determining the place to start out. Do I study watercolor? Train myself to attract? Discover different mediums? Do I study from YouTube? Take college lessons? Train myself from books?
Final week, I spoke with a few precise artists. One is a good friend from highschool who makes her dwelling by promoting folks artwork at native markets. The opposite is a Get Wealthy Slowly reader named Jacob. Jacob is a civil engineer by day however works with watercolor by night time. (His stuff is great!) These two conversations gave me some readability.
You see, I am drawn to visible storytelling. As long-time readers know, I am a life-long comedian guide aficionado. However I’m also obsessed with film (particularly cinematography). To me, comics and movie are basically the identical factor. I wish to study to inform visible tales like this.
Speaking with Jacob final week helped me work out the place to start out my journey with artwork. Jacob has the data and expertise and vocabulary to parse my ramblings and inform me what it’s that pursuits me and the way to start exploring it.
I like illustration. I just like the ligne claire type of drawing, most famously seen in Hergé’s Tintin comics. (Though Hayao Miyazaki’s work is not strictly ligne claire, I feel the films of Studio Ghibli embody an analogous type: clear and easy characters drawn towards detailed, life like backgrounds.)
“If I have been you,” Jacob advised me, “I would decide one medium and use that to discover illustration.” Gentle-bulb second!
So, that is what I have been doing for the previous week. I’ve picked a medium — ink, however particularly brush pens — and I am ranging from scratch studying how to attract. In the mean time, I am watching YouTube movies and studying books. Jacob inspired me to take in-person lessons and workshops, and I feel that is a good suggestion. I am going to take a look at these later within the yr.
As a result of I am ranging from sq. one, I’ve many a whole lot (and 1000’s) of hours forward of follow forward of me. I’ve so much to study. I am okay with that. Thus far, it has been enjoyable.
Yesterday was revelatory.
First, I lastly got here up with an preliminary character idea for Penny Brief, the ostensible heroine of the caricature I have been plotting for the previous two years. Impressed by Dr. Seuss, of all folks, I discovered a manner to attract her.
Additionally yesterday, I started exploring the way to coloration my characters. Thus far, I have been utilizing solely a black brush pen to make easy drawings. (The Penny Brief pattern above was drawn with a normal Sharpie, nevertheless.) Coloration hasn’t entered the image. However on a whim late yesterday, I added coloration to a sketch and voila! added dimensionality.
Primary stuff, certain, however that is the place I’m on this journey…
I am going to admit that a lot of what I am doing with the artwork is scattered. I flit from one venture to the subsequent. I will be watching a movie once I discover an fascinating body, pause the film, and spend the subsequent hour attempting to attract what I see. This is a annoyed Chihiro from Spirited Away that I drew in my artwork journal utilizing Papermate Aptitude pens.
As a result of I’ve by no means accomplished this earlier than, most of what I am doing is primitive. That is positive! I do numerous copying and imitation. Additionally positive! It is enjoyable attempting to determine these things out. I can draw the top of a cartoon canine, for example, however I battle to attract the physique. So, I’ve spent a lot of time taking part in with totally different physique types.
Or, take eyes for instance. I consider eyes could make or break character design. It is so bizarre to spend two days obsessing over how eyes are drawn, however that is what I did. Completely different artists strategy eyes in several methods. Every technique has its benefits and downsides. Which type do I exploit for which characters?
Principally, it is numerous repetition: drawing the identical characters time and again and again and again till I’ve the actions memorized. The kitchen desk is piled with papers that include the identical basic sketches repeated dozens of instances.
Anyhow, all that is to say that I am having a very good time. I am in a very good psychological house — one of the best psychological house I’ve present in virtually a decade.
And you realize what? This day without work has helped me to see that maybe I haven’t got to desert Get Wealthy Slowly fully. Maybe all that is required is an angle shift. As an alternative of pondering GRS first, I can tread it as secondary (or tertiary!) in my life. When I’ve one thing to say right here, I can say it. Possibly meaning lengthy gaps between publication and that is positive.
Within the meantime, I’ll proceed having fun with this era of my life. It is fulfilling. It is simply what I’ve wanted.
Postscript: Like I say, I have to formally announce the 2023 Ecuador chautauqua on money and meaning. That is what I sat down to do that morning, however as an alternative I wrote this replace on my life.
The fundamentals are this: In late July and early August, I will be becoming a member of a few of my favourite people (Jess and Corey from The Fioneers, Tanja from Our Next Life, Jess and Lauren from Bitches Get Riches) to debate cash and which means throughout a retreat in Ibarra, Ecuador. That is my fourth time presenting at certainly one of these occasions. They’re at all times superior.
I am going to publish an official announcement subsequent week!