When it comes to what you’re willing to take and accept, good or bad from friend or foe, where do you draw the line? I think Karrie’s made where that line is abundantly clear. There’s a pun somewhere in the fact that in order to illustrate that, a literal line needs to be drawn.
I do envy Zack’s artistic prowess. It’s more than just lines and vivid color. He has a way of visually interpreting ideas that is nuanced and layered, honed through constant practice and hard work. I imagine producing a comic page twice a week has served as a pretty thorough exercise regimen.
A long time ago, I used to draw my own lines, drawing-wise. I actually still do, but talking about it in past tense feels more apt, considering how much of my creative focus these days is dedicated to writing. Changing gears between storytelling and drawing can be rough, and though I’d love to do both, I haven’t been able to sustain the dedication required to build both those skills simultaneously thus far. I still hope that one day I will, but that’s on me, and the time I’m willing to put towards it. Right now, I’m playing casual, and while that doesn’t make you an expert, it keeps you in the game.
I know I’m not the only one who’s had this experience; a great many of my friends who were artists growing up have since been swept up by, shall we say, “traditional employment”. Not just that, but whether you’re raising a family, keeping other commitments, or just love playing video games, it is difficult to sacrifice any number of these for what is, essentially, more work. Once again, it comes down to where you’re willing to draw the line.
If we’re being honest, it’s life that’s the real killer of art.
And the mother of it.
Life motivates us to express ourselves, and does its very best to keep us from that goal. Art, in many ways, feels like a fight for your life and everything you love about it. And is it worth it? My knee jerk reaction is to just say yes, without question. Life would, in my opinion, be worthless without art, if only because in its absence it feels so sterile and cold. But does it actually make life better? I’d argue that the best art defies established norms, which can be uncomfortable. It can intensify and expose emotion, which doesn’t necessarily feel great. It can put you in a frightening or even physically dangerous place, depending on where you happen to be making your art.
The thing is, art cannot exist without life, but life cannot be sustained on art alone. The two will always be at least somewhat at odds. And I just love art so much, and a part of me is sad that, though I find my writing to be my own art, it is not enough for me. I want more. I need more.
So where do you draw the line? Where do you find that balance?
If we want something in our lives, we have to support it and go for it, even if the time is scant, moments scraped together. It’s important to draw that line, even when it’s not “smart”. Because we have to hold onto it.
Because it’s who we are.
(Note: After this, I wrote another blog post. More art, amiright?!)
(Another Note: And then I did this)