October 25th, 2019
This is a shout out (and a lift up) to the crazy people like me: to those of you who have collaborative hearts, but have found that in order to make any of your dreams a reality, you have to do it yourself.
It doesn’t matter what your dream is, either. You could be a photographer who, if you actually sat at a desk and did the math, makes 25 cents an hour — when you figure the real time you spend doing everything it takes to keep that life alive. Or someone who wants to run a marathon, so you buy your own shoes, to lace up at 4:30 every morning before everyone else gets up, and you start eating terribly tasteless food because it’s better for you and all you want to do is run.
You might be like me, too, in that you’ve wanted to work with others. Maybe you tried to build a team, and it fell apart. Maybe you looked for people with specific skills or talents, and found an empty field. Maybe — and this is what has happened to me the most — you end up being the only part of something who can actually see a project through to the end.
Because making something is hard.
But you know NOT making something is harder.
In fact, with nearly all of the unfinished projects in my life (of which there are some!), the reason I couldn’t complete them is because one person just wasn’t enough. I think of why I had to stop playing live shows, or why I stopped working on my film, and it’s not because they were tasks that were just hard for one person to complete — they were impossible. And it broke my heart to admit, but it allowed me to move on.
I’m not the most confident artist, and I’m open about that. People ask me then, and often, why I chose to draw my own comics.
And the answer is simple, and it’s the only thing, in my opinion, that makes an artist an artist.
It’s because I had to.
So this is a shout out to the people who have to. To the people who take their natural, sky-high anxiety to a higher stratosphere — on purpose! — in order to reach some ineffable dream. To the people who push through stress and tears and lows in search of peaks and thrills and highs.
To the people like me: folks who have to do the things that seem crazy to keep themselves sane.