Free speech is important, vital, even, and should be protected, yet does not serve as a buffer or shield from criticism. Just because you are free to say something doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for the words you speak or write. The pen is mightier than the sword. We can say so much, so much more powerfully with ink and lines than we can in other ways, which is why it’s important to remember than when we choose pens as our weapons, as creators, we are more dangerous and more powerful than we realize. While doodles and letters put together in sentences and satire don’t physically harm anyone, we are making a difference (however small, however subtle) and we are either moving society forward or protecting the status quo. We are dismantling society, or perpetuating oppression, or maybe we do some of both because we’re human. We are communicating on a level that surpasses the conscious and meets people in their souls. When we are cruel, and racist, homophobic, or misogynistic, that still matters, it still affects people, it still hurts.
We should never be afraid to create, to say what we feel needs to be said. But we need to know, we need to be aware, that our words, our drawings, our art is powerful. That’s why so many people try to destroy it, so many people try to hide from it, and if we really want to, we can make the world a better, more equal, represented, and understanding place with it. The pen is mightier than the sword, wield it wisely.
built a resource website and started collecting and posting content over the holiday
upped my meds, starting the new full-dose tonight
scheduled my 2nd HPV shot appointment for Friday
wrote myself a starting place for new comics so I can start drawing this week
made mental notes about the last episode of KieryGeek season 3(!!!)
listed PS3 on ebay and made mental notes of easy things to do this week for more Seattle prep
wore bright red lipstick, because fuck the patriarchy
launched Swan Children
Things to do:
hide long-sleeve shirts for the next month and a half until I need them again
finish code academy ruby course
start on making my badge site because self esteem reasons
film new patreon video
I get in these moods where I’m almost hyper focused on one thing, which works out well until I finish that project, and then I feel lost. I love ruby/rails/making websites in general because it gives me the same kind of, good creative feeling, but on the other side of my brain that art and drawing does. It’s hard to describe but doing both of those (drawing and programming) makes me feel nice in my head, weirdly satisfying, but sometimes changing gears is really weird – like programming all week and then suddenly stopping because, hey look, the site’s basically finished (for like 10 minutes and then you realized there was more functionality you should have added but it’s so late and you need sleep, so you need write it down and do it later, okay? seriously, Kiery, it will still be here tomorrow when you’re awake) and I have a comic deadline I should do because comics.
But expelling a lot of creative energy in bursts is really exhausting. I don’t know how to balance that yet. Right now I’m at the part of the cycle where I worked non-stop, and I have more that I could do, but I’m soooo tired that I can’t, so I’m putting everything back into little bite-sized chunks even though I just really want to do all of the things (but the thought of doing all of the things is so overwhelming and makes me tired).
I go through this pretty frequently, eventually I’ll figure it out…probably. And later this week I’ll have a couple new announcements on the aforementioned website fronts that I’m really pleased about.
For now, I think I’m going to attempt to relax and calm my brain…maybe I’ll finally get past that one fucking level in Trine 2.
Last weekend Alex and I went to New York to see some comedy shows as an early anniversary thing and it was awesome.
We saw The Thrilling Adventure Hour and Comedy Bang! Bang! and went to a movie and checked out central park and generally had an awesome weekend. Then we drove all night Sunday night and got home at 5:30 am Monday morning, which actually wasn’t all that bad, although I’m not sure my neck appreciated it.
I also consumed unheard of amounts of caffeine, which has been exciting this week. When I went to Planned Parenthood to get my shots on Monday I was still buzzed and slightly shaky, so…I warned the nurse about that when she took my blood pressure, because I was also over-tired and talkative.
Gardasil? NO BIG DEAL. My arm was slightly achey for a day or two, but nothing more than mild irritation. Tetanus, on the other hand. Dude. My left shoulder is still sort of sensitive – much more sensitive and irritated than Gardasil arm, so, if you’ve had tetanus and are skittish about Gardasil, Tetanus is worse – but still not in the horrific “I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN” category, so if you’re due for a booster, you should get it. Achey arms hurt less than dying, I’m pretty sure.
A lot of media attention is finally being given to the craziness that is modesty culture in homeschool circles, thanks to Hännah’s sister, Clare (who is amazing). Which has made this week very Patriarchy crushing and awesome (albeit intense).
I’ve needed to paint for a while, and I felt like this week called for all of the art to happen – including a rage-comic I haven’t written yet, and one I have. I channeled all of my feelings of rage and patriarchy-crushing into paints and mirrors and canvas, which did wonders for my mental health (as it usually does), and I feel like I can breathe again.
I’ve posted this before several times, but sometimes I’m at this point where I just need to listen to it again…
I’m at a point in my creative cycle where I feel like all of my goals are unattainable, that I’ll never be where I want to be. I feel like everyone is just better at everything by default and flying by and I’ll never ever get to the point where I’ll be good enough – to where I can make what I want to make and it’ll be as good as I wanted it to be.
All of my ambitions seem so impossible, and then I remember this is the part where a lot of people just stop, and so, if I don’t stop, if I can just manage to push through, I’ll get better. I always do.
And then I remember that I’m not 45, I’m 23, and I’ve only been doing things consistently for a couple years. My life hasn’t passed me by yet, I still have time. It’s normal to take a while.
I’m trying to pare down on the amount of random bulk that I/we have in preparation for moving to Seattle next summer(!!!!) and sell as much as we can to help with the move. I’m also trying to distribute all of my art that is not on my walls. All of it is circa 2010-2012 – the earlllly stuff, from when I just started re-learning drawing and painting, and I’m “selling” it for the cost of shipping.
If you’re interested in peeking at what all that looks like, or getting your hands on some really cheap fairy paintings, check out my Art Sale.
(I was up until 4am last night building this from scratch with Ruby and Rails and I’m very proud, so)
You know when you hate yourself and you just want to give everything up because you’re doing things different and you feel like you shouldn’t be able to? Because nothing makes you special or better than the next person who’s doing things the way everyone else does and that person is even better for it because they’re pushing through more creative blocks than you are because you actually have time? And then you feel really guilty for having that time even though it’s the one thing that you value above all else? Because you know that given enough time you can do something really neat? But you feel like you really really don’t deserve it? But you have it, so you’re not going to waste it?
Then you hate yourself because you feel like a leech, and you feel like you should require nothing, and you feel like you deserve nothing, because even though you’re working really hard on projects that do or will eventually make a lot of difference and contribute to the world in a positive way, you’re not working for a paycheck? And because you don’t have a paycheck and because you spend your time working on things you love, you feel like you don’t deserve to be able to live as fully as you want because you’re…doing it differently?
And deep down inside you KNOW it’s bullshit, because art is important and artists deserve to be able to live, fully, and spend their time making art and contributing to the world – but no one really seems into that and it’s crushing?
So then you launch a campaign that lets you get monthly donations so you CAN make art and live fully, and then you just feel crushingly guilty and undeserving and worthless and don’t even know how much you should tell people about it because you can think of so many people who are working at jobs and still creating and what makes you so special or worthy anyway? Why should people donate to your art when there’s other art?
So you just go hide under blankets for the rest of the day. You know that feeling?
It’s funny and probably in no way coincidental that I was talking about art last night – and how powerful it is – with a couple friends. It’s been a while since I really thought about the subject, I’m more of a “just leave me alone and let me make my own shit” kind of person who will learn theory and whatever I need to in my own time, at my own pace, and it will happen organically at a point where I really get it.
But art being something subjective and the beauty and power in that is something I’ve always loved about it and what draws me to it. I believe that good art lets the viewer find their truth, find what they need and is less of a cohesively preachy piece of work than something powerful on a subconscious level. The beauty is the creator doesn’t know what people are going to find when they look at it – the artist knows it means something to them, so they paint it – people who view it might not find what the artist intended them to see, but something they needed to see instead (which, can be frustrating). I believe that good art does this. Good art resonates on a level we maybe don’t consciously understand, or at least maybe don’t right away (or we do right away, because that’s how we are and what we need). Good art resonates.
And I’m happy to be able to announce a project that showcases good art – with people who understand the power and beauty and vulnerability of it.
We are the Swan Children, and we have something to show you.
Mini meltdowns and overload of thoughts generally = focus and plans in the aftermath. I guess I’ve honed the skill of turning breakdowns into something useful over the years. The overwhelmingly trapped feeling gives way to “fuck it, I’m going to do some stuff, and I’m going to write it down so I KNOW”. So, that’s that. March and April seems to be the time that happens for me, lately. I don’t know why exactly, but I’d be willing to bet that the sudden feeling of living in a perpetual winter or perpetual deadness (no leafs or flowers get old) has something to do with it. Growing up in perpetual spring and summer makes the never-ending winter scary I think. I never know when to put coats away, or when it’ll stop being monochromatic. I know there’s green in June, but any time before that is sketchy and does weird things to my psyche.