A clear line

Deciding to increase my sabbatical from Get Wealthy Slowly indefinitely has been liberating. The second I dedicated to this, it was as if a heavy load have been lifted from my again. I can pursue different passions now with out remorse. I do not really feel responsible. I do not really feel like I would like to offer myself “permission”. I simply do what I would like, and it is superior.

Is not this what monetary independence is meant to be?

How I Spend My Time

My meals and health decisions have remained sturdy now for six weeks. (Official begin date of my re-dedication to well being? December 13, Taylor Swift’s birthday.) I am lifting weights 3 times per week. I am strolling roughly 5 miles per day. I am doing yoga. My alcohol consumption is method down. Extra importantly, I am making smarter meals decisions.

I am reducing weight, sure, however for as soon as I am not obsessing over the quantified outcomes. I am attempting as an alternative to concentrate to the precise habits and routines. I am targeted on the course of as a result of in the end that is what issues most. (That mentioned, I am happy to report that my blood strain has dropped from a median of 144/96 in early December to a median of 126/84 this week. Yay!)


  • The canine and I proceed our mission to stroll each road in Corvallis, mapping the farm stands and little free libraries we discover.
  • I proceed to work within the yard.
  • I proceed my adventures in cooking.
  • I proceed to handle my mom’s property.
  • I proceed to observe loads of films, together with the Wednesday evening second-run movies at an area theater. (Tonight’s film? Patrick Swayze in Highway Home. Not a movie I would decide for myself, however I am watching no matter this place decides to point out.)

Principally, although, I have been exploring artwork. Particularly, I am instructing myself the best way to cartoon.

A Clear Line

I took some pictures lessons twenty years in the past — and I even bought a photograph to Audubon journal, which suggests I can name myself a professional photographer (ha!) — however I’ve by no means created every other types of artwork.

I’ve wished to discover ways to paint and draw for a few years now. Since October, I’ve floundered determining the place to begin. Do I study watercolor? Educate myself to attract? Discover different mediums? Do I study from YouTube? Take college lessons? Educate myself from books?

Final week, I spoke with a few precise artists. One is a pal from highschool who makes her dwelling by promoting folks artwork at native markets. The opposite is a Get Wealthy Slowly reader named Jacob. Jacob is a civil engineer by day however works with watercolor by evening. (His stuff is nice!) These two conversations gave me some readability.

You see, I am drawn to visible storytelling. As long-time readers know, I am a life-long comedian e book aficionado. However I am additionally obsessive about movie (particularly cinematography). To me, comics and movie are basically the identical factor. I wish to study to inform visible tales like this.

Speaking with Jacob final week helped me work out the place to begin my journey with artwork. Jacob has the information and expertise and vocabulary to parse my ramblings and inform me what it’s that pursuits me and the best way to start exploring it.

I like illustration. I just like the ligne claire type of drawing, most famously seen in Hergé’s Tintin comics. (Though Hayao Miyazaki’s work is not strictly ligne claire, I believe the movies of Studio Ghibli embody the same type: clear and easy characters drawn towards detailed, lifelike backgrounds.)

[Tintin in Tibet]   [My Neighbor Totoro]

“If I have been you,” Jacob advised me, “I would decide one medium and use that to discover illustration.” Gentle-bulb second!

Penny Brief

So, that is what I have been doing for the previous week. I’ve picked a medium — ink, however particularly brush pens — and I am ranging from scratch studying how to attract. For the time being, I am watching YouTube movies and studying books. Jacob inspired me to take in-person lessons and workshops, and I believe that is a good suggestion. I am going to take a look at these later within the 12 months.

As a result of I am ranging from sq. one, I’ve many lots of (and 1000’s) of hours forward of observe forward of me. I’ve loads to study. I am okay with that. Thus far, it has been enjoyable.

Yesterday was revelatory.

First, I lastly got here up with an preliminary character idea for Penny Brief, the ostensible heroine of the sketch I have been plotting for the previous two years. Impressed by Dr. Seuss, of all folks, I discovered a method to attract her.

[Penny Short!]

Additionally yesterday, I started exploring the best way to coloration my characters. Thus far, I have been utilizing solely a black brush pen to make easy drawings. (The Penny Brief pattern above was drawn with a normal Sharpie, nonetheless.) Shade hasn’t entered the image. However on a whim late yesterday, I added coloration to a sketch and voila! added dimensionality.

[Penny Short...in color!]

Fundamental stuff, positive, however that is the place I’m on this journey…

I am going to admit that a lot of what I am doing with the artwork is scattered. I flit from one mission to the following. I will be watching a movie once I discover an fascinating body, pause the film, and spend the following hour attempting to attract what I see. Here is a pissed off Chihiro from Spirited Away that I drew in my artwork journal utilizing Papermate Aptitude pens.

[Chihiro from Spirited Away]

As a result of I’ve by no means carried out this earlier than, most of what I am doing is primitive. That is tremendous! I do lots of copying and imitation. Additionally tremendous! It is enjoyable attempting to determine these items out. I can draw the pinnacle of a cartoon canine, for example, however I battle to attract the physique. So, I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying with totally different physique kinds.

Or, take eyes for instance. I consider eyes could make or break character design. It is so bizarre to spend two days obsessing over how eyes are drawn, however that is what I did. Totally different artists method eyes in numerous methods. Every technique has its benefits and drawbacks. Which type do I exploit for which characters?

Principally, it is lots of repetition: drawing the identical characters again and again and over and over till I’ve the actions memorized. The kitchen desk is piled with papers that include the identical elementary sketches repeated dozens of occasions.

Discovering Achievement

Anyhow, all that is to say that I am having an excellent time. I am in an excellent psychological house — the perfect psychological house I’ve present in virtually a decade.

And you realize what? This day off has helped me to see that maybe I haven’t got to desert Get Wealthy Slowly utterly. Maybe all that is required is an angle shift. As a substitute of pondering GRS first, I can deal with it as secondary (or tertiary!) in my life. When I’ve one thing to say right here, I can say it. Possibly meaning lengthy gaps between publication and that is tremendous.

We’ll see.

Within the meantime, I’ll proceed having fun with this era of my life. It is fulfilling. It is simply what I’ve wanted.