[VIDEO BLOG] Do better next time!

Posted in video on August 6th, 2018 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on [VIDEO BLOG] Do better next time!

Improvements to my office and reactions to my recent kitchen video.

Three Years

Posted in general, health on July 23rd, 2018 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Three Years

Three years.

Almost three years ago, I packed up my entire life, and moved to Minnesota. I chose to sacrifice never having to work a “day job” again, financial security, food and housing security, medical security, the American Dream middle-class lifestyle, and almost everything else I knew. I chose to sacrifice these things because, after years of depression and accomplishing nothing, I woke up one morning and no longer recognized myself in the mirror. I had to act.

Three years later, I have lost almost 70lbs and am finally happy with my body. I have a healthier relationship with food, having mostly eliminated emotional, procrastination, and boredom-fueled eating. I eat more vegetables, little junk food, and sweets very sparingly. I do not consume alcohol, and I try to drink at least 1L of plain water per day. I stay active, and I enjoy exercise. I am in the process of starting to weight train, because maintaining muscle mass and keeping bones strong is one of the few proven methods to delay the effects of aging. And I want to be active, healthy, productive, and strong for as long as possible, so I can accomplish all of the things that I wish to do.

Three years later, I have learned so much about myself. I have sorted out the things I enjoy for myself from the things I participated in or pretended to like to fit in with others. I loathe television, and have very little interest in movies, and most passive media. I have rediscovered the pleasures of reading. I feel like a giant sponge, ready to absorb all the information and new experiences that I can. I am getting outdoors and experiencing nature regularly. Watching and learning about sports! I am educating myself about the history of comics and the comic book industry. Art, comics, dance, music, photography, cooking, writing, podcasts, videos, fashion — I have so many outlets to be creative in whatever way suits me in any given moment. Not enough time in this life.

Three years later, I am confident, and secure. I recognize the patterns of my old relationships, and where my failings and shortcomings have existed, in an objective and self-accepting way. I do my best to break the cycle when I feel myself retreating into damaging behaviours or coping mechanisms. My eyes are open to my weaknesses, and what I still need to work on, but I am also healthy enough to see where my issues end, and other people’s begin. I will not allow other people to define me. I do not need to blame or beat myself up for everything. I know how my life experiences have affected me and how to avoid the pitfalls and traps I have fallen into previously.

Three years later, I have learned how much I live for the hustle. Embrace the struggle. I thrive on challenge, and if I do not have challenge, I need to find it. The struggle is character. The struggle is growth. I do not like being too comfortable. Comfort is stagnation is death. Comfortable is an adjective best applied to beds and chairs, and not much else. If I have a problem, solve it. If I can’t do something, figure out how. If it’s not good enough, try harder next time. Practice mindfulness in the moment, but push my limits going forward. I like feeling a little hungry. I like feeling a little sore. I like feeling a little raw. I like feeling alive. If it doesn’t add to my quality of life significantly, if it doesn’t further my dream, if it’s holding me back, if it’s dragging me down, if it’s not helping me grow as a person — I probably don’t want it.

I watched my mom die of cancer at 59. I was her daytime care-giver for the last few months of her life. Only my father and her doctors knew her decline and slow death more intimately than I did. The agony, the madness, and the suffering as she slowly wasted away. I looked into her eyes as she pleaded with me for her life, days before the end, in the hospital, begging to go back home; terrified, her twisted and emaciated body barely able to sustain life. I looked into her eyes — and I saw myself. Growing up, she would sometimes wistfully tell me how much she loved to draw as a little girl. She gave it up as she got older, she said. I don’t know how much, or if, she regretted that.

My father killed himself a few years after my mother’s death. He never really learned to live without my mother, never sought out any kind of counseling or professional help, and allowed his relationship with a woman younger than me to ruin what remained of his life. My belief is the combination of financial devastation and grief is what ultimately led him to suicide. He was an honest, good, and hard-working, but angry and repressed man. Some of my earliest memories are of being chased and screamed at by him, a huge hulking mass of red face and muscles, towering over this three- or four-year-old girl. Being held down, being whipped across my bare back and legs with a large leather belt. I learned to please. I learned to hide myself. I learned to fear.

Thirty-eight years to find my anger. Thirty-eight years to find my spine.

Three years to find myself. Three years to learn my own strength.

I have made so many sacrifices for this.

No regrets.

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.