Monday, October 14, 2013

Read this before I delete it.

I'm going to write this down because it means something, but I don't know exactly what yet.

Besides my illustration work, I teach at an art college. It's a very, very good job. Which is par the course for me lately. My life is basically a string of very good jobs. This is lost on me some times, mainly because that's what we do as people. Take things for granted.

Anyway, my students asked me to bring some of my work in. We're half way through the semester, and I just now got to it. I admit, it makes me uncomfortable to talk about my own work in class, despite the fact that I got the job because of my work. So, I brought some art work and two books to class today. A student picks up one of my comics and says "Man, I saw this un the store! I picked this up and looked at it! I actually picked this up!"

It was so mundane, at least on the surface, that I didn't think about it much. I taught the class, we had a great time, then I left and thought about all the work I have waiting for me at home. I thought about deadlines, not getting to side projects I really want to get to, being tired, and so on. Boo hoo, bummer bummer, I gotta go draw pictures.

As I sat working tonight it hit me what this student was really saying. He was saying, I think, that he held something real that I had made (rather, I helped make). This thing he was looking at was real, and he'd love for that to be real for him some day. Then I remembered that there was a time where I felt that very same way. I recall holding a comic and thinking there were real life people behind those pages. This was a job one could actually have!

And it hit me just how sweet a trick I landed. Bam, right there and everyone sees it.

Fuck me, man. What a world.

I ate garbage once. Did I ever tell you guys that? Well, I did. I won't bother you with the details, cause it doesn't matter, but my mother and I were bad off when I was growing up. So, on a few occasions I ate garbage, or stole food, and she did the same. Now I draw things and people give me money for it. It's real. It's really happening, right here, every day.

People walking into comic shops every where and pick something up I drew.

Fucking. Wow.

Thank you.

Your Pal,

PS - Forgive me if this all sounds sentimental. I am a little tired, and maybe tomorrow I'll think differently about all of this. Maybe I'll be tempted to delete this and replace it with a fart joke, my usual M.O.

Or maybe not.


Patrick said...

No, it is cool. And that is what keeps the dream continuing on. The desire to create something that even if you think is crappy, it still can touch someone in the end. Always remember that.

And as long as you are finding enjoyment in what aspects you are doing, that is the key.

We're here for a reason because we enjoy your work and you as a person (even if I've never got the opportunity to personally meet you).

Rock on my friend, rock on...

Swands said...

Good post and great sentiment. All too often we here the negative about comics, and not nearly enough of the positive. Keep this up and keep up the great work.

L Jamal Walton said...

I love you, Mike

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Well I'll tell you something, Mike. The reason I always pitch in for the food drive you guys do is because you impressed me when you told about having to visit food banks as a kid, and I said 'Here is a stand up guy, giving back.' And I still think that. You continue to impress me as an artist and as a man. So leave the post up. You never know when you might inspire someone to stand up and get involved.

Rasmane said...

The fact that there are still people like you with integrity and humility in the industry gives this aspiring pro hope...and another reason to believe the dream’s not “stupid.”

Mike Hawthorne said...

Patrick - Thanks, man. It's tough letting this sentiment out there, but I'm glad people get it.

Swands - It's easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the negative. I'm trying like hell to avoid it :-)

Jamal - Much love to you too, man! Hope to see you some time soon :-)

Charles - Man, thank you so much! For everything. Hope to meet some day over a burger or pork kabob ;-)

George - No dream is ever stupid! Go for yours, man! Thanks!

Phillip Magana said...

PLEASE keep this up, Mike! It's a good reminder for me not to take shit for granted when I do at times. Keep up the great work, man!

Unknown said...

Mike, this is fantastic. Don't delete it. It's nothing like drawing for comic books, but writing about old people was my dream job, and I'm doing it. And I still pinch myself on a regular basis because I've made a living at it, and for nearly 4 years now. People pay me to share my thoughts on why seniors are amazing, and how we need to do better for them, and I get to do this work and take care of my daughter and be around for all the good family stuff I love. It's a gift, though I'm sure you work your butt off for it, as most freelancers do. The dream is not without hard work.

Mike Hawthorne said...

Thank you, Michelle! I really glad people get what I was trying to say, and that it struck a cord with so many.

I hope you guys are well!

Unknown said...

You're welcome! Yep, totally got it. And in a deep way.

We are! Getting ready to move in to our new place in just a few weeks. If you're ever in Quakertown, give us a call.

Unknown said...

You're welcome! Absolutely. I feel the same way.

We're doing great, thanks. Getting ready to move into our new place in a few weeks. How's life on Albemarle?