March 17th, 2020
I was waiting until I could write something thoughtful and meaningful about everything that has happened over the last few days, and then I realized that waiting for anything is stupid, so here we are.
First of all: thank you. I say thank you a lot, and I mean it every time, but this time is special.
Believing in yourself is hard. Believing in others is both easy and magic.
It’s easy because you don’t know what’s inside of others. You don’t know how insecure they are. How stressed out they can regularly be. How anxious they are or about much they doubt themselves and fear being exposed as a creative imposter. You just know what you see, hear and feel. And you believe.
It’s magic because the act of believing inspires others to do so, too. Even in the person who’s being believed in.
I started creating the characters of The Weirdos when I was in a dark place. They were like a fun house of who I was, am and aspire to be; none of them are me, but all of them are a singular reflection of me in a room full of mirrors.
As I worked on their stories, I worked on me. Fun fact: I wrote about Ashley (The Flying Squirrel, the closest character to me) getting sober before I ever even considered it. I wore these fiction suits as necessity and used them as compasses to navigate who I wanted to be.
They mean a lot to me. Some days, doing this — creating art to share with people — feels impossible. Some days I don’t know if I can do it.
And then I get a message. Or someone makes a comment. Or, over the last few months, someone would make a donation. And it would say: “This means something to me, too.”
And it’s not the reason for my fire. But it is often a match for when I’m cold.
So, thank you for helping me raise $1,785, well over the $1,500 I needed. I will use every cent to make the best book I can. It’s crazy; I have spent hours on every single page, and I can tell you that each one has something — a word, an image, a phrase, a color, an emotion — that can start whole conversations, or inspire ideas. That is my only guarantee, and only if you look closely enough.
The book is done, btw. I finished lettering last night, after I found out I was (drumroll, please)…unemployed. For those of you who don’t know, I am a server and bartender (I know, a bartender who doesn’t drink, a regular Sam Malone!), and yesterday, the state of Minnesota shut down all bars and restaurants in an attempt to slow down the pandemic.
In light of this, I’m even more aware and appreciative of how precious the funds I’ve received are, because I understand the financial strain of our climate very personally. Did I say thank you? Because thank you.
The book will be officially released on May 1st, 2020 (my birthday!). The release plans are secret/still being figured out because of our national situation, but you will be the first to know.
So lastly: thank you. You have no idea how much I love you all, and how much you mean to me.
I created these characters to help make me a better person. And you helped them come to life.
I can never repay you. But I will always pay our love forward.