Since starting this Patreon page I’ve been on an emotional and artistic rollercoaster, swinging from “What am I going to do?!!” and “Who would even want to look at this stuff anyway?!!” to “I’m a good artist – people will support me!” and “What am I going to do first?!”
It’s that last one – what will I do first? – that is making my head hurt these days, although in a good way. I feel as though I’m finally getting to be what my five-year-old self wanted to be; an artist and a writer. In kindergarten they won’t let you say two things you want to be – you only get one. Tough if you want to be a ballerina who runs a Fortune 500 company, or a fireman who moonlights as a cowboy, or a writer who is also an artist.
That whole either-or thing can hold you back in a big way. I was a visual artist for many years, and then I’ve spent years since then as a writer, but I never actually thought of the possibility of the two overlapping until a few years ago. Then my friend Erin wrote a witty little piece of prose that cried out for illustration, so I dragged out the watercolours for the first time in years and made a one-off book with her words and my pictures.
Then, in a wotthehell moment, I did the same for “Home in the Bush”, one of my parodies. It was great fun, and I began to think about pictures for other words of mine. It took me a while – I was new to this, and not particularly confident, and I’ve never been a top-level artist anyway – but I finally did The Goblin Baker. Now I can’t stop thinking of my poetry and short stories in terms of the pictures I’ll put with them.
I also learned how to do a stop-action film, at least a simple one, about six months or so ago, and now I’ve got that stuck in my head, too. Honestly, the Muse is going overtime, and I’ll have to hide the coffee on her or neither of us will ever sleep again.
I’m still on the learning curve, both in putting the page together and in making the words and art work the way I want them to. Bit of a rollercoaster there, too, as I hit snags in making my vision and my skills work together. But that’s a rollercoaster I enjoy.