Chapters Are Written to Be Concluded...
There is a part of me that feels as though by the time this entry has finished, it will become a memoir of sorts, chronicling THE most hectic 4 years of my life. Hectic, if I may further extrapolate, in not so much a manner of uncontrollable chaos, but more so the stream of circumstances one man can bare relatively on his own.
But, I digress.
Today begins what will be among the greatest undertakings of my life, more so as an individual seeking to carve a niche into a world already saturated with thousands, if not millions, of like-minded individuals. But before I get into the theatrics of said "undertaking", I'll go back to the beginning.
Conditions at my former place of residence started to take a heavier toll on my patience, also too my conscious, and unfortunately became unbearable. For too long I sought only to escape but had no means to do so; no outlet, no privileges, left only to maintain a level of sanity and simply make do with my daily life.
Needless to say, when the opportunity I so desperately sought finally appeared, it didn't take much to convince me otherwise.
"Our landlords are selling the house; gotta be out be April 1st".
The first tell-tale signs of my course through life began to appear, crept secretly into my periphery (pun very much intended), slowly but assuredly proclaiming its importance, and more so its near damning inevitability.
The time came to make a decision: do I stay among my closest friends? Continue the long, drawn out path I halfheartedly create on a daily basis, with minimal success and even marginal happiness, but STILL among my closest friends?
Or do I leave? Take my journey somewhere that an emphasis of perseverance can offer a wider chance of success? And make better use of the craft I love so dear?
Hours turned days, days turned weeks. And now here, on this very night, the culmination of years of work in, around, outside, and furthest away from what I want to accomplish for myself, will be recognized.
With the knowledge of my job's recent merger, I sat with my boss and asked what it would take to be transferred to another of our many nationwide offices? His response a simple "not much".
I phoned my mom, whom lives in New York, where we have an office that offers the same position that I currently hold, and asked her opinion on the matter: should I take up the opportunity to not be tied down to another lease and move there?
Once again, needless to say, her response didn't take much thought.
And so there I was, hands outstretched ready to grasp at one of two extremely important decisions; both of which as appealing as they were daunting to consider. But, even after the many back and forth settings, looking for any reason to stay in Florida, identifying all the reasons moving to New York would be beneficial, I knew what I had to do.
The drive was arduous to say the least, but necessary to make the most of the time we'd be there. If I were to work at the New York facility, having a car was an absolute must. The commute alone will be tumultuous, though I've never driven in New York, my time inside vehicles were always slightly fearful; then again, cabbies can get like that.
So my buddy and I take to the road, dead-set on making this a straight shot with no overlay at any point, wanting to get started as soon as necessary. After work, I drove home, packed my car, driving partner included, topped off the petrol, and by 1 a.m. we were on our way. There was plenty to discuss in the time behind the wheel, that of what lay in front of us both, and to reflect on what has transpired.
For me, the duty never changed, only the place where it could possibly happen easier. In my heart I feel that I can sometimes over estimate my capabilities, my attendance to MOCCA was an overwhelming reminder of just how much work I've yet to cover, and just how diminutive I am within the illustration community that, though I may be proud of what I've accomplished with Periphery, relocating to New York, I now stand in the midst of giants whose very existence is not aware to me; and there in lies the key.
I take it upon myself to be seen, to be heard, to be recognized by every one of them, because this time I can.
I needn't wait until a convention transpires once every 6 months to a year just to see a talented individual, an established artist, or the company responsible for establishing them, I get to see them now.
Most of whom live in the same damn city that I do! Many of which take the same trains I take! This, ladies and gentlemen, is how one man can move within empires and among them. It behooves me to make good on what IS New York's most vital asset: networking.
And Then There were Three...
I've been putting my nose to the grindstone, in a manner of speaking, for the past 4 months working on Issue Three. Looking back at my past 2 issues, I'm well within my 6 month average turn around time for a completed issue, conceptualization to print (nothing to gloat about, obviously), but this time, I may be playing it too close to the flame. A week or so ago I capped 15 pages penciled and inked, which, is not a BAD turn around time given that at the end of October I had to pencil the 12 pages of KODA's Issue Zero, and wrap my freelance book. However, the more scarier aspect of issue three? After 4 months of consistent work, 15 pages is not the half way mark.
(I just learned this word today, it's fucking awesome! Thanks Adam!)
My ultimate goal was attending Florida's Supercon in July, armed with single prints of Issue 1, 2, and 3, AND the creme de la creme, VOL 1 hard cover (I'm gleaming with excitement if you can't tell).
I don't want to reveal the final page count until the book's wrap, but it looks like this has turned out to be a bigger problem than I anticipated. Reasons why you ask? Well I'd be more than happy to share!
So as not to be forced to pay out the ass in turn around time for prints, you'd want that solid month window to appropriate the printing process at the most cost effective measure. Sadly enough, that only gives me roughly a month and a half to not only finish drawing the book, but also inking it, coloring it, lettering it, and added effects, all in time for printing in June.
This is in no way an easy accomplishment, the sheer daunting measures involved are very scary, but I'm so confident in this third issue that the reveal will be monumentally worth it.
Enough so that perhaps maybe, just maybe, it'll take exactly the time it needs to prepare for New York Comic Con.
And With That...
As of Friday, April 11th, I have left Florida to become a resident of New York.
This opportunity fits the most golden scenario anyone could ask for when uprooting their livelihood to live in a new place; a place to live and a place to work. It’s exactly what I need to take the next step in my life and my career of being a comic artist, New York ought to be the kind of place where I can take advantage of the resources that actually exist in this city.
I only wish to share this one last thing for all of you that have taken the time out of your life to read this: I have worked my ass off for four years since graduating the Art Institute, but more importantly, I have grown up. That school fed me such a plate of bullshit that it stifles my breath by the mere mentioning of its name, but I am grateful for it. I worked for years doing shit jobs with 4 hour daily commutes by bus, being caught in the rain and shat on by birds on one too many occasions, but it has made me tougher. I met the love of my life and lost her just the same; a woman who at the time became exactly what I wanted, but regrettably not what was necessary, but I learned to endure.
In all of the years I've experienced post-college grown-up life, every day of hardship, every day of shortcomings, every bus that was late, every mile I've walked, every storm I was caught in, every hour spent waiting, every disappointment, every dissolute guarantee, every smile I've faked, every boss I've ever had, every home I've had the pleasure to come to, every minute behind a pencil, every moment of silence, everything I've had to let go, every trial of endurance, every tribulation; it’s people like you, and what you represent, that will forever remain one of the most important aspects of my journey in life.
To new beginnings.