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Absent in many ways

JULY 4, 2014
Hello all. I have been away, I think it's been a year, I'm not sure, I know I posted the NYTimes cover stuff, but I mean I've been away-from Drawger-from feeling high on something I'm working on, from that feeling of excitement in new assignments, looking at each assignment as a challenge and an opportunity to do something good and different, something to surprise myself. I need that reason to wake up tomorrow morning-and it's been missing. I won't go into any of the distractions of the past year-they continue-and at this point this is just life-not a side show-or something that distracts from everyday life, it is everyday life. Yeah philosophical jibberish perhaps, but I think what I mean is that I need to find a way to create and think while going through the ups and downs. I imagine and I'm not comparing, but I'm imagining that some of the great artists put down marks up until their last breaths. I'm not even close to that point but I need to find my way back. I have refused a few jobs recently to clear space for this back thing and recovery, I took two jobs and man is it hard to even get myself to sit and focus on those, may be the lingering anesthesia, depression,or just mental exhaustion. It's a terribly frustrating feeling that I haven't had too often. This is why writers and artists go mad right? Their demons and muses battling for control.
Okay so if you've made it  through that nonsense there's this. As I was struggling to work yesterday I got an e-mail from Kate at the Society of Illustrators, I just love Kate, Always smiling when I pick up my name tag at the annual openings- and Anelle, and everybody else there, always smiling when I see them. I've said it's my favorite place in NY, like walking in my front door, I am a member, but I live not close enough. My last visits were no fun because of that back thing of which we will no longer discuss, but their smiles and the faces of friends not seen often enough made me feel welcome. Kate asked if it would be okay if they used this image, that I did for SooJin Buzelli, as the cover of the Illustrators 56 book. Uh yeah Kate that would be just fine, what are you kidding me? an honor.The piece was in the show, obviously, didn't win a medal, and that is fine with me, I haven't created my medal piece yet, but the print also hangs in Anelle's office, the director of the Society, which in itself is a great honor.
So my boy Evan today comes into my studio, he is the picture of the sullen introverted young artist, and god damn I swear he's going to blow my mind for years with his work. I tell him about this news, and he says "you mean The Society of Illustrators? (He's picking up way more than I know) I say yeah that's the place, and that's the book. "cool" is his response but I see him smile-which is rare, it's a half hidden smile that he reveals when he's proud of something he's done and get's a compliment. This time maybe he's proud of me.
I told him how I used to sit in the MICA library a very long time ago and leaf through copies of the Society annuals, never really imagining being in one of them let alone on the cover. He has his sights set on RISD. It made my day and was also sort of a kick in the head and a sign for me to get my head out of my ass, damn the distractions of health and children and tuition and money and focus on what I'm making-because all those other distractions will persist and perhaps even multiply until I'm old and time slows and there are no distractions and it's still time to do something new.