Passion of the Project

Here’s something embarrassing – I haven’t posted anything on stimulusresponse in almost a month. In fact, if I left it for another 5 days, it will have been exactly a month. From the 14th of February to the 14th of March. Suspiciously, that’s also from Valentine’s Day to Pi Day. So there could be something cosmic in the works that’s interfering with my brain.

Like so many other things, drawing comics (and drawing at all) feels like such a habit-oriented practice for me. And I only seem to have two modes: either I do something every single day, or I basically just lose steam and never do it. Unfortunately, that’s kind of an exhausting way to work. During the times that I’ve been “properly” updating stimulusresponse, I did end up feeling like it had to be an almost every day affair, and that was a touch draining when combined with my writing on this blog every day as well, and the photos on Hamlet and Icecream every day. And so on.

The thing about the “every day” approach to making things is that it leaves me feeling as though I’ve got no overarching project that I’m doing anything with. I get lost in the moment to moment need to make something and then fling it at the world immediately. While there’s some gestation period while I think about stuff I’m going to do, there isn’t an overriding mission. And I’d kind of like an overriding mission. I’d kind of like some sort of passionate engagement with “THE THING I AM DOING”.

Over the last weeks, for instance, I’ve been greatly admiring friend and depressingly talented comics artist John Martz’ work with his short comics about a robot (Machine Gum). What I’m especially enjoying and envying is the way he seems to be engaging with this quite particular project of exploration of what he can do with this character and with his drawings. Each new comic does something new and interesting, but speaks to a larger structure of experimentation. And I like that.

If I push myself back into “churn it out” mode, then I’ll produce a bunch of drawings of stuff that springs into my mind at random times (frequently during lectures – either my own or someone else’s), and up they will go, but I feel as if I won’t get anywhere. So I want to spend a little time thinking about what the hell I’m actually doing. (This applies to a lesser degree to the writing I do here, too… I’d like to have a larger project I’m pushing along, now that I’ve finished the major generative bit of my book project.)

Thus, I enter a project/passion discovery phrase. If you have spare passions or projects, send them my way.

9 March 2011
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