Motivational Hazard

Neil Gaiman described it perfectly, a squeezed out and empty grey rag. That’s a lot of how I’ve felt this week. For those of you who follow on twitter, you’ll know that the project I’ve been working on has left me at a bit of a loss. While I’m already starting to feel less rag like, the frustration still exists. The goal was to paint for a contest that could win six free months of fun little bits of geeky swag. I had the perfect idea and was working on something I’ve been wanting to do for years which was to have a painting stuffed full of fun little references and give myself an excuse to paint things I normally don’t. Why don’t I? I really have no interest in painting things like straight fan art. Why would I paint something that isn’t mine? Every so often I get the urge but I gain no satisfaction from it. Yet in this case where my goal is to show many of the things I love, it has been very rewarding. Yet the emotion invested has left me rather spent.

It isn’t just the output that has left me feeling raggedy, it’s the hurdles I’ve crashed through during this week that has really done the number on my motivation. In this week alone I have pulled nearly three all nighters working on this with few breaks and not as much to show as I’d like. To start, Thursday morning, I had lost my entire painting. Weeks of work gone simply because my main hard drive decided to nuke itself. That’s right, my hard drive though it was the zombie apocalypse and tried to opt out. I’d be proud if I wasn’t in the middle of working on something. Everything in my user profile was wiped. This means everything in my libraries for all you Windows 7 users out there. Yeah, you get it, no fun. So I spent four hours trying to restore and regain everything I had lost. Thankfully with some of my own poking around and not having to whip out the Google Fu, I was able to restore everything. I lost about an hour of work on the piece but that was nothing compared to the weeks that vanished better than Houdini could have imagined.

That’s one problem down. Yup, that’s right boys and girls on the interwebs! We aren’t done yet. After that fiasco, we jump over to the second night where I found much to my dismay that the contest ended four days prior. I’m not angry that someone else won. Even if I had gotten my entry in I wouldn’t be upset. They had some amazing art. Yet, it would have felt better if I could have actually entered against them instead of sitting on the bench. No matter how hard I searched, there was no end date for the contest posted and with it being a monthly contest, I had assumed with the lack of info that it would be ending today. I’m still working on the piece because I’m still very excited to put so many geeky and gamer related references into one painting. Yet, it doesn’t have the drive it initially held when it had a purpose to show how geeky gamer I could be.

On the up side, now I have time to fit in other things I wanted but feared there was no time for. I won’t be giving away anything that’s in the painting because I want my readers, followers, minions, what have you check it out for themselves and see how many they can spot and name. Granted it’s not going to be too huge but it’ll be something fun and I’m really hanging on to that. The only thing I’ve shared so far has been a thirty second work in progress clip where you can see only a few of the references I’ve thrown in. Go ahead and watch. No, really! It’s cool, I can wait.

So with that I’m proud, excited, and quite defeated with all the bumps in this road. Yet this does not mean I’m done. I knew what I was getting into when I decided to be an artist. It was one of the few things I did really well and people liked me for it. It was what made my classmates stop being so distant and talk to me. Granted when you’re drawing, the last thing you want to do is talk and answer questions. It was also amusing when people tried to use my art to get me in trouble. In high school, a few students tried to tell out building trades/shop class teacher that I was drawing naked girls. All he could do was come over, look at the drawing that was barely started and laugh. It was possibly the only moment I really got along with that teacher. Art has always opened people up to me and myself to others so I think I’d have much more to loose if I gave up now. I still hope to drag my art supplies to a local coffee shop, start working, and see what happens while I’m there.

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