In my last article, God revealed the next step in my art path. This time I’ll cover what I’ve figured out along the way as I’ve been on an art-creating hiatus for almost 3.5 months now.
Before the events of my previous article, I had already booked a one night spiritual retreat at a Christian place an hour out of town, which happened to take place the weekend after the church service I mentioned. For 24 straight hours, it was me and God and the only sound was from the fan and rain outside. No TV or internet or phone. I read a lot and contemplated what I’m going through. Although the sky didn’t part with Angels descending to tell me what to do, I did have three takeaways from the retreat.
TAKEAWAY ONE: MOSAIC
At the time of the retreat, I thought the next step on my art path may be revealed at my church’s artist group event (formerly C2, now called Mosaic.) This event actually took place last night, so I will post an update on what happened later. My gut feeling prior to this event was this was more for fellowship than to get answers to my art questions, and that proved true, so I’m now back in “wait” mode in regards to the art side of things.
TAKEAWAY TWO: TEACHING
God threw teaching children’s art classes in my lap, but for the past three years I looked at it as “a way to make money” and not “doing God’s will.” Just before the events of my previous post, I was contacted by an art teacher of two Catholic schools asking if I would teach character design to 5-6 classes and how much I would charge for it.
I knew there’s no way they could afford me, so I made the decision to do it for free as long as they bought me lunch every day I’m there. This was days before the events of my previous article, and it made me realize I should accept every teaching opportunity that comes my way, regardless if pay is involved or not.
God wants me to teach art to kids, so I have to get away from the “just doing this to make a living” mindset I’ve had up to this point. Once I made the decision to teach these classes for a meal, I firmly believe this was what was needed to move me to the next step, which was finding out a few days later that Mosaic was starting up again.
TAKEAWAY THREE: COMICS
This one is pure speculation on my part. As I mentioned a while ago, I have a few scripts written for future issues of my NORMLINGS comic as well as the thumbnail pages for the next issue. I also have a brand new comic I’ve been developing where I have 5-6 scripts written for it and a gob of concept art.
I feel if God didn’t want me to make comics anymore, he would have prevented me from writing all those scripts. (ie: can’t come up with ideas, too busy to write, etc.) It’s possible all of what I’m going through has nothing to do with the art side of things and it’s just God saying, “You can go back to that later, first we need to take care of more important issues.”
…there’s another component to this. Over the course of this year, I’ve felt like I wasn’t meant to sell my artwork at all, or strive to get any sort of recognition from it. If it were meant to be, I wouldn’t have so much difficulty doing it. I could spend an entire article on all the times I tried and something happened out of left field that prevented it from taking place or moving forward. More than just mere coincidences.
I’ve mentioned about how other artists I know don’t have to lift a finger to sell their work, and here I can’t sell one comic, one print, one photo, much less get a following for what I do or even likes on social media. There comes a point where, as a Christian, I realize all the hurdles I’m going through are actually closed doors and the Irish/German in me is just too damn stubborn to admit it.
Artists want to make art AND want people to see it and buy it, so this is the part I have the hardest time accepting. It goes back to “making art for a void”, which I mentioned =several= times. If my speculation is correct and one day I will return to creating comics, the fact that selling my art wasn’t meant to be puts a serious kink in those plans. Do I just sell all my inventory at cost to get rid of it? Do I just create art to throw on my site, never to be seen by anyone?
Obviously there’s still a lot of issues I have to work out as I stumble through all of this. sigh.
Thanks for reading! Read the next part HERE.
TL;DR: Todd’s next step has to do with the artist group at his church, he needs to accept all teaching opportunities, and he thinks he can come back to creating comics but is conflicted because he feels he’s not meant to sell his work. Also there may have been a recipe for black bean soup thrown in there, but you have to read the whole article to find it in between every other letter.