work

Turning Points, Vol 2

Posted in health, work on October 3rd, 2018 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Turning Points, Vol 2

Short written post this week, as most of my energy is going into preparations for MSP Fall Comicon, specifically churning out pre-drawn sketch cards to give away to the first visitors to my booth in the morning. I also plan to give away the remainder of the “piRATe” tote bags left-over from the spring convention. I have stuffed them with free colouring pages, crayon packs, and flyers.

I eat the cheapest nutritionally-sound meals I can engineer, so I can afford to give more back to YOU! All right, I am actually just that fuckin’ boring IRL.

You should see my growing collection of Goodwill-grandma sweaters.

Venture Brothers Sketch Cards

I plan to continue drawing sketch cards over my lunch breaks throughout the year, so I can bank them up for conventions. The exercise in different styles feels good, and they are a fun way to scratch the itch to do fan art.

More notable milestones recently — today I crossed 7k users on my Facebook page. I am on schedule to max out my personal account’s 5k, and reach 10k on my page by the end of the year. Please follow if you are not already!

There have been lots of additions to the gift and guest art gallery!

Goal weight achieved!

Also, for the record, today I reached my original weight-loss goal of 110lbs. It did take longer than I intended, but my focus shifted to weight maintenance after May. Once the convention season has ended, I plan to experiment while I figure out how much I need to eat to maximize my weight-lifting efforts.

That’s all for now! I hope to see you at Fall Comicon this weekend!

Turning Points

Posted in work on September 27th, 2018 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Turning Points

As I mentioned in the previous post, on Monday this week I hit the milestone of 100 patrons on my Patreon account. This month is also notable because I have reached parity with the most income I have ever made, on an average monthly basis, from my art and comics. The previous high-water mark was in 2007 before my productivity, health, and mental health started to decline. Of course, my living expenses are much greater now, and I am not comfortable going without health insurance like I was throughout my 20s. My audience is still slightly smaller, but growing steadily on all fronts and I have strategies in place to continue that growth. I also produce multimedia content now, have a larger arsenal of technical skills and tools at my disposal, and a baseline of unshakeable confidence and patience that I did not have in the past. This is all independent of the healthier changes on the personal side of my life.

In the simplest terms, I have found a way to “hack” my obsessive brain and thought patterns to make them work for me. I go to sleep at the same time most nights, eat the same food and wear the same clothes most days, and have distilled my days down into a clockwork, highly-efficient, repetitive grind. This would probably drive most people insane, but the resulting stability and predictability works very well for me. I break my routine one or two days per week, and the wide diversity of projects I work on keeps the need for variety satisfied. I have gotten rid of almost everything I own that is not functionally useful or something I admire daily, to minimize my time spent cleaning. There is some work still to do bringing my book-keeping up to date, and organizing my office. Once that is completed, I will have nothing holding me back.

This feels like my moment. This is the part of my story where three-and-a-half years — really, four years if you go back to when I first started to work again in 2014 — of effort in both my personal and professional life start to come to fruition. I am in the best physical and mental shape of my life, and bringing all the details into order on the business side of things. I have a clarity of vision how everything will ultimately come together, and rigorous plans in action. All that is left is to open the throttle, and see how far I can go. Watch out!

Jenny

Posted in work on September 12th, 2018 by Jin Wicked – Comments Off on Jenny

Allow me to tell you the story, now, of a fiercely defiant, individualistic, and a stubborn little girl. A little asshole. A girl that lived slightly out of sync with the rest of the world, ground down into a deep depression over the years by the expectations, judgement, and disappointments of family and society at large. Allow me to tell you the true story of the curious, wonderful, and often painful life this girl lived, until one fine day, she woke up with a purpose and shouted at the sky, “I don’t give a flying fuck if you think I’m an asshole anymore!”

And on that day, the little asshole earned her crown.

Chess Queen, Wikipedia

After much toiling, sacrifices, and about thirty hours of crushing work, the first real page of Queen of Assholes is complete. I am looking forward to showing my chops as a more dramatic writer and storyteller. Queen is the combination and culmination of everything I have worked toward for most of my life.

I am working twelve and fourteen hour days, almost seven days a week, to build the necessary finances and momentum to see this through to success. The pages will finish faster as the full-page format grows more intuitive with experience. The introduction is somewhat self-contained (a sort of “mission statement” piece) and I plan to self-publish that as a magazine-sized floppy in the spring of next year. After that, it will be 2-4 years before I can publish a formal Volume One, depending on the speed at which I am able to produce. It will continue to be serialized online as a webcomic. I have, very tentatively, two more videos planned that correspond with parts of the introduction, but they are dependent upon some harder to get footage and rights to music.

I never grew up.

For multiple reasons, this was, emotionally and physically speaking, the most difficult video I have made. Due to the heat, hat, black clothing, and spinning, I got quite sick while filming the ride footage, which was made back in June. I chose to feature some photographs of me as a baby, along with my mother, who passed away in 2010 at the age of only 59. The drawings were made in 1984, at age four, and are the earliest surviving examples of anything I have drawn. They are contrasted against my latest work, where I have continued to push the limits of my artistic and creative abilities. This song is a personal favourite of mine, both for its simplicity, and the dual purpose I have given it here — the struggle to be seen and loved for what I am by my parents, and the desire to eventually find a partner capable of walking alongside me.

My work is lonely work, but it is a Faustian bargain I consciously and willingly made. I am blessed to have a motley crew of caring and supportive friends, without whom what I am doing would be virtually impossible. I am blessed to have some of the most dedicated readers in the world, some having followed me for nearly two decades. It is through your love that I discovered my own strength. It is because of you, that discouragement cannot touch me.

Perhaps someday I will find my King of Assholes.


via GIPHY

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.