In fairness to me, I also didn’t practice. I preferred to draw whatever I wanted and publish it, regardless of quality or theme. I fear, though, that I have so beaten down the visually creative part of me that draws cartoons that I won’t do it anymore.
Then again perhaps it hasn’t stuck. I had dinner with a friend a few weeks who described her process of finding a hobby she stuck with. “I tried motorcycles for awhile,” she said. “That didn’t stick.” “Then I tried making my own wines, and that stuck.” Maybe I’m done cartooning as single panel works or and maybe they only work as part of a story book or two or maybe I’m done with cartooning.
Another factor that makes it difficult for me to cartoon is that I’m no longer in that same rageful place as I was three, four, five years ago. I am attempting to shift my voice from one of exposing other’s flaws and to one where I share my experiences as simply as I can. I feel less interested in a laugh at other people’s expense.
I think I also shied away from cartooning because I received very little in the way of positive feedback from all but a few people. I don’t blame my communities so much as acknowledge the importance for me of having a strong, supportive group of like-minded and like-practicing individuals to support me and my work. I do wonder, though, how much queer art dies on the vine for lack of a kind word. It gets tough to put stuff out there with nothing back. But then again maybe I was performing in front of people instead of with them. All very strange and fun, at the same time.
A final issue is that I have had is two seemingly competing interests in cartoons. On the one hand very specific to trans communities and on the other ones that are concerned with the human existence and the human desire to feel good about our bodies.
A note about the above cartoon: I have intentionally left the pencil marks. This is scanned from a penciled sketch that I then went over with black marker. I don’t believe I’ve ever published a cartoon that is so process obvious. For me pencil marks are a healthy dose of humility, realism and an antidote to perfectionism.
How have you addressed a loss of interest in your artistic/creative practices? How do you know when it is time to put down a particular style or method or practice?