Archive for 2018

FLIGHT

Posted in work on April 5th, 2018 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on FLIGHT

I am not the same person I was three years ago.

I am leaner, but not meaner. I am confident, patient, stronger, and wiser. I am committed to both artistic and personal growth. I am committed to a lifetime of minimalism, moderation, and simplicity. I am committed to a lifetime of art, advocacy, charity, healing, and spirit of service through my work.

I am committed to living with purpose. I know who I am.

I am formidable.

Please allow me to reintroduce myself.

FLIGHT 8″ × 10″ India ink on 140lb hot press watercolour paper. Lines inked by brush, with texturing done by 100-year-old crow quill pen given to me by friend and fellow artist Lance Ward. Details and original for sale at Etsy.

Pre-order my 2018 T-shirts and Happy Rats colouring books at Etsy.

FLIGHT

My newest video is complete — slightly later than I planned, but the bird took a tremendous amount of effort. Each of these projects becomes a little more complicated and ambitious, and I thoroughly enjoy blurring the lines between so many varying art forms. There are no boundaries to true creativity.



These are among the greatest works that I have created so far, and among the weakest works that I have yet to do. The road ahead of me is long, and I am only getting started. Have no doubt, I will make the journey.

Happy Happy Rats

Posted in general, work on March 13th, 2018 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Happy Happy Rats

Another four days off this week. The fogginess is clearing away from my head and it feels like I can breathe again. Stephen has been giving me much more space, and my productivity is increasing proportionally. Yesterday I went back to the gym for the first time since before the holidays. I am starting out with a trainer to learn how to correctly use the free weights. The plan is to come up with a three-times-per-week workout aimed at building strength that will be the most efficient use of my limited time. My weight loss is also starting to plateau around 120lbs. I have been holding off on the gym in anticipation of that. The addition of hard cardio and starting weight training should hopefully help shed the last 10lbs to my target. Once I am the size I want to be, focus will shift to health and strength, rather than the number on the scale.

Losing more weight has aged me somewhat as my face has thinned out, but I have found that I actually like it. Whatever has been happening to me over the past year, and even moreso in the past few months, I feel much older. In a good way. Perhaps saying I feel more mature might be a preferable way to phrase it. Not that I don’t enjoy a good fart joke, but overcoming my anxiety and self-control issues came with an indescribable aura of adultness.

This poor painting, languishing for two years in the background of most of my in-office videos, is finally finished. Happy Happy Rat No. 0007 is the next in a series of no-two-exactly-alike Happy Rat paintings, none of which since 0001 will have prints made. Starting later this summer, I plan to begin producing at least one per week, and have them displayed at local Twin Cities venues to the general public (coffee shops, antique/resale shops, galleries, etc). There are also several comic stores soon to be carrying my mini-comics.

Happy Happy Rat No 0007

There is also a Happy Happy Rats colouring book in the works, planned to be ready-to-ship by the end of April. Visitors to my Instagram will have seen the pages as I am drawing them. The originals are for sale fairly inexpensively in my Etsy shop. I might do a colouring book pre-order with the T-shirts.

Am I happy? Honestly, I do not know. Sometimes I am. Even often. But other times I am overtaken by a sense of nebulous loss, and of restlessness. I am coming to the conclusion that it is not in the creative nature to be happy or content for very long. Creativity and stagnation are antithetic to each other. I believe it is stagnation that is at the root of my depression — in myself, and when exposed to it too much in the people around me. It is not my place to judge other’s life choices or priorities, but time is so very precious. Right now I have managed to surround myself with dynamic and growth-minded people. I need to challenge myself, and I need to be challenged by my environment. I am not the same person that I was only two years ago, and in another two years, I will be different still. I want to live to my fullest potential, and be the best version of myself that I can. Let nothing be squandered. I have goals, and an actionable, realistic plan to achieve them. For the first time in my life, I have patience. Keep working on myself, and let things happen naturally.

Clean

Posted in work on March 8th, 2018 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Clean

Thanks to a serendipitous blizzard Monday afternoon, I had four consecutive days off this week. Though I have been distressed again about the volume of stuff in my apartment, after around two days I finally, FINALLY started to feel a little better. For my birthday, I got an overdue phone upgrade, and I have recently purchased an inexpensive assortment of lights, mounts, and tripods to better help me accomplish my ideas on my own. Monday I headed out as the storm blew in, and captured some footage that I have been planning for weeks. The perfect conditions finally presented — fast heavy snowfall, during daylight hours, while I was available, with temps in the mid-30Fs so I would not freeze to death. I still have some footage to make, in addition to creating the core artwork timelapse for this video. And now I am using different video editing software, which will slow me down, but ultimately be good because it has many more capabilities and options. New video ready by April, I think?

Blizzard

As of tonight, the Queen of Assholes website is live. The next few pages are in progress, including the “playing card” Queen logo to be offered as a T-shirt presale in the coming weeks. There will also be a second printing of the Stop Fuckin’ Around T-shirt so please watch for that, especially if you need one of the extra+ large or small sizes. I am so ridiculously excited to make the room in my schedule to work on Queen — this book is going to be the intersection of everything that I have learned, experienced, and created, and stretch my artistic and storytelling abilities beyond anything I have ever attempted.

Queen of Assholes

The Have Tablet Will Scribble comics were pulled from that collection and given their own archive. That series will continue to be updated on an “as I feel like it” basis, as an outlet for Dollar Late and Lunch Break style material set in the present. Even though they are lower resolution than most of my work, I have printed them successfully, so I imagine at some point I will collect a smallish book of material. Currently I have about four to six written to draw.

Devilled Eggs

I will be live-streaming artwork soon via Twitch — schedule to be determined. Last week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the Indie Huntress for her website. Please give that a read! If you write for a blog, host a podcast, or participate in other media and would like to talk with me, please contact me by any method you prefer. As Queen of Assholes unfolds, I am passionate to discuss issues of forgiveness, personal growth, and self-acceptance.

Blood and Ink

Posted in general on March 3rd, 2018 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Blood and Ink

The fleece-lined jeans that I bought, deliberately too small, at the beginning of January are now starting to slide down on my hips. I will need a belt soon. I stand over the kitchen counter, attacking a roasted chicken from the grocery store directly with a fork, mindless of the juice and stray bits of pepper on my face. There are no need for formalities or plates here. Sugar is sloth. Sugar is weakness. I am satisfied by the bitterness of the darkest chocolate and black coffee. I am hungry, but it is not a hunger for food. We are beyond that now. This week I had part of my signature tattooed on the knuckles of my drawing hand, as a reminder and a symbol of the commitment to my goals. It burned. It felt good. As I eat, I become acutely aware of the feeling of my teeth.

Every day is a step closer to death. I am alive.

XVII

I have reached another breaking point, and feel strongly that my time is now. I am attempting to have one or two of my team members promoted, so that I can gracefully bow out of my current employment with little disruption. Myself, I am negotiating for a position where I would work three 9-10 hour days per week, as close to my current rate of pay as possible, so that I would net only about a one-quarter to one-third loss in reliable income. This would leave me with one day per week to dedicate to administrative and social activities, and three full days to achieve a good workflow producing artwork and comics.

I cannot tolerate my lack of artistic productivity any longer. Please support my Patreon if you enjoy my work, or care about me on a personal level at all.

Escape Velocity

Posted in general on February 24th, 2018 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Escape Velocity
We passed upon the stair. We spoke of was and when.
Although I wasn’t there, he said I was his friend.
Which came as some surprise. I spoke into his eyes,
“I thought you died alone, a long long time ago.”

The heavy malaise that settled itself over me at the beginning of the holiday season has slowly grown, alongside the snow weighing down tree branches outside my office window. My friends keep suggesting that it is seasonal, but I am skeptical. The symptoms are noticeably proportional to how productive I am, and both quality and quantity of sleep I am getting. My sleep has been poor for many months due to a combination of external factors. In a nutshell, inadequate art and creative time combined with sleep deprivation makes Jen literally feel like dying. The needs of managing the equivalent of two full-time jobs continue to edge out room for anything else, gradually turning me into a goal-fueled meat robot unable to focus on anything but milestones and To Do lists. To further remove anything resembling joy from my life, on January 6th I began a strict ketogenic diet to lose the last 25 lbs that I stalled out on back in 2016. I have not imbibed a drop of alcohol since late July, and now I have almost completely cut carbs and added/refined sugars. I feel very clean.

Oh no, not me, I never lost control.
You’re face to face with the man who sold the world.

The new diet, along with a schedule of self-selected supplements (ketogenic-specific multivitamin, collagen, biotin, potassium, and vitamin D), has had an incredible effect on my mental focus and energy levels. Please note that I am not a doctor, nor am I recommending that anyone follow down the path of my insanity. My understanding is that the blood sugar levels are maintained with more stability as the body breaks down fat in place of carbohydrates, which prevents both highs and crashes. I am able to fast for hours or even a day if needed with little negative effect or feelings of hunger. I have lost over 10 lbs so far, and expect to hit my ultimate goal by the middle or end of April. I know that at almost forty years old, I am going to have to remain forever-diligent about my diet to stay the size I desire to be. I do plan on re-introducing good carbs like whole grains, but kicking sugar has been life-changing for me. The days of stuffing my face with donuts to avoid emotional problems are over.

The depression is another matter. It is a simple task to update my website or crank out Sharpie artworks while moderately distracted, but my schedule and environment are just not conducive to the periods of quiet and solitude that I need to work on a 20-24 hour per page long-form comic project. One of my colleagues and friends suggested that I go a simpler route, but that is not compatible with my vision, and I do not believe I would be happier with that than doing nothing at all. Something, however, has to give soon and I do not know for certain what that will look like. I am being nudged toward the edge of a cliff where, at some point, I have to have enough faith in myself to make the final leap. Right now, I am sewing up the parachute to soften my landing. The sooner that I am able to step down to part-time work, the less toll there will be on my mental health. As I stated on a recent podcast, I will torch the rest of my life to the ground, if that is what it takes, to reach my goals.

I laughed and shook his hand, and made my way back home.
I searched for form and land, for years and years I roamed.
I gazed a gazeless stare at all the millions here —
We must have died alone, a long long time ago.

Not the familiar and well-trod numbness of depression, but acute feelings of grief and sadness linger like ghosts in my heart — in spite of everything — for both personal reasons, and the general state of the world. Grieving things that have happened? Grieving things that have yet to happen? David Bowie appeared to me in a dream last year and spoke, and I still have to illustrate that. Perhaps my greatest accomplishment of the last three years has been not the disassembly and reassembly of myself, or resurrection of my career, but gaining the ability to smile and continue dancing through pain, loss, and the things that would have utterly destroyed me not so long ago.

Who knows? Not me. We never lost control.
You’re face to face with the man who sold the world.

Right now my focus is on Instagram and my Facebook page, so please follow me there if you are not already. I received some lovely artwork from friends and readers for my birthday this month. There is a Happy Rats colouring book planned for release in April, T-shirt pre-order in March for the second printing of Stop Fuckin’ Around and the Queen of Assholes playing card logo, possibly a Dollar Late mini-comic by May? Lots of good stuff. Stay tuned.

David Bowie, “The Man Who Sold the World”