Archive for March, 2016

Love and the Boogeymen

Posted in health, love on March 24th, 2016 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Love and the Boogeymen

Winter held one last hurrah here in the Twin Cities, unceremoniously dumping a sorry coating of soggy slush over the area yesterday. It was just enough to gnarl the highways, as everyone has apparently forgotten how to drive after a month of cleaned streets. Today I went to a diagnostic evaluation so I can begin regular therapy sessions. Exhausted, and running on only three hours of sleep after working into the early morning, I stumbled into the office fifteen minutes late. Hair unkempt, bottom lip raw from chewing and picking, a dark grease stain on my jeans from dropping a hamburger in my lap while eating and driving the night before — this is my messy life now. Two diverging tracks of growing professional success, while my personal life lurches around me.

Everyone I meet treats me so kindly. I can’t be that bad.

“What do you feel your problem is, exactly?” my therapist asked.

“I’m an asshole,” I replied.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not always an asshole. Last year was a gauntlet of intense self-examination and development, with the focus on improving social skills and personal relationships. I am doing well in this regard. You have to know me intimately before the monsters rear their ghastly heads; before the fears of abandonment and insecurities come out to play. I struggle to respect boundaries. I am so hungry for approval that I will subjugate my own desires and needs until I explode. The anxiety feeds spiralling thought patterns that press me into doing and saying — often hurtful — things I do not really mean. I can be selfishly relentless in pursuit of targets I desire. There is more, but it all boils down to an inability to completely see other people as separate from myself in the context of close relationships. In my opinion, anyway.

Two hours of background and my abridged personal story later.

“What do you hope to achieve with therapy?” I was asked before leaving.

“To not be an asshole anymore,” I answered.

Generalized anxiety disorder with elements of depression. I am highly functional. I am no danger to myself or others. Never a cutter, never a self-harmer, never violent, and loathe to raise my voice. Paradoxically, self-aware. I understand what is wrong but I lack the knowledge to fix it on my own. I need help.

I’m afraid you’re going to leave, so I fight hard to hold you closer.

You’re afraid I’m going to leave, so you distance me away.

For years, I have known a particular couple that is obnoxiously adorable, and no less crazy about each other than the night we met. Their synergy and joie de vivre is infectious, and I would be a liar if I denied it was a variable in the equation that eventually led me here. I want that. Barely a handful of men in my life have ever rendered me starry-eyed and breathless; face burning, and blushed, and tongue-tied. I want that. Each in turn has left me heartbroken. I wonder, for how long will I be doomed to repeat this cycle? Where is the man who sets my heart on fire; with the ambition and drive and strength of self to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with me? Who makes me laugh like no other? Who forges his own path in the face of adversity, and will go down fighting?

I looked at you and thought for the first time — this is what I want. Forever.

What have I done? What have I done? What have I done?

Going about the business of my life, surrounded by the thundering drumbeat of humanity — I catch a glimpse of pudgy cheeks damp with tears, topped up with blonde ringlets and wedged underneath a mother’s chin. I want that. My body is rebelling against me. Regardless of this situation, my clock is running down; perhaps earlier than expected. Volatile moods and symptoms that only recently have enabled me to connect the dots. I no longer have a palatable reason why I chose to deny myself this fundamental part of existence. What for — piles of paper and paint smeared on canvases? A haughty notion about lives devoted to the pursuit of art? Nothing endures in the end. These things were never mutually exclusive. My heart agonizes with a previously-unknown emptiness, and the shaky uncertainty that it can ever be rectified.

I want that. What have I done? I’m an asshole.

I see the therapist again next week.

Introductions

Posted in general on March 20th, 2016 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Introductions

Hello. My name is Jennifer, though if you have been following my projects for many years, or you recently met me at a public event, you probably know me as Jin Wicked. As you may expect of someone with two names, I am a person fraught with contradictions. Fiercely independent and stubborn, with a great need for personal space and solitude, I also possess a hungry, sensitive, and docile heart. I am equal parts extrovert and introvert, shifting from wallflower to centre of attention as the mood suits me. Cynical, yet hopelessly optimistic at times; a pragmatic dreamer, hard-nosed romantic, detached observer, and intimate storyteller. As I have grown older, I have turned into a gentle atheist that seeks comfort at low points in religious services. I do my best to remain well-informed, but tend to shy away from the angst and conflict of politics.

The things that I enjoy most are good conversation, simple but well-prepared food, physical affection, comfortable silence, thunderstorms, treasure-hunting in thrift stores, petty vices, being outsmarted, and being made to laugh.

After a long period of withdrawal from the public eye, I restarted my art/comic career and life at the beginning of 2015. Work resumed on my primary series, A Dollar Late and A Day Short and Crap I Drew on My Lunch Break. Afterward, I began working regularly with a digital tablet. I returned to exhibiting at art shows and comic conventions. I broke free of depression, lost a large amount of weight, and became satisfied with my self-image again. I left my marriage and relationship of twelve years, and then relocated across the country from Houston to Minneapolis-Saint Paul. It has been quite a ride, in retrospect.

Over my journey of this past year, I met and fell madly in love with one of the most amazing, funny, complex, difficult, and talented men I have ever known. We wounded each other profoundly and parted ways, but through the loss, I have gained a new perspective of what I need to work on within myself.

I frankly discuss the recent events of my life in the video below.

Through my weekly series of YouTube videos, I respond to reader’s questions about myself, my work, and other subjects submitted for discussion. I share the many faces and voices I wear as an artist, performer, and writer. Join me every Wednesday for your cheerful reminder to “Stop fuckin’ around!”

My friends Mark, Root, and I host the irreverent COMIC BROS Podcast. It is available on every major syndication service, and also on YouTube. Subscribe to my channel for all of my projects, art progress videos, and more.

My Instagram account features shameless selfies, food pornography, artwork and work-in-progress, and occasionally, softly singing to you while I paint.

A photo posted by Jin Wicked (@jin_wicked) on

And, as always, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, to be sure you never miss an announcement or update. Please consider supporting the creation of new art, comics, videos, and more by pledging to my Patreon.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoy my work!