Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I have been sick since Sunday night.  My eardrum burst early on Monday morning and as a result I've pretty much taken it easy all week long.  I had to cancel class on Tuesday and the majority of my waking time has been spent at two 6 hour deli shifts.  This morning I woke up feeling very much recharged and so I made my first pot of coffee of the week and then started working on a little art before work, nothing too crazy but a couple low key ideas that I have been wanting to work with.  It turns out that I am really pleased with what I ended up with.

I really hadn't had much desire to work on anything Monday or Tuesday.  Sleep was king.  It was nice to even want to make something.  I had had the first page of a tiny zine which I had set up during my illustration class a couple weeks ago.  It was sitting on my laundry shelf, clearly something that I found when I was searching through pockets before doing my laundry, but this morning I felt that I should work on it.  It is nearly April and I have been thinking about fishing quite a bit, so I decided to use the drops as book ends to three fishing related images in the book.  I drew three images this morning, hated one of them, gessoed over it and redid it tonight.  I then scanned it in to make some more copies and ran the original over to my fishing buddy at the cafe where he works.

I am really excited to be pushing some of the ideas of "book" now.  I think this is a good precursor to my Twitter book that I will be starting as soon as I get some mail responses from my Twitter kin.  Book arts was nothing that I ever thought of doing until recently, but it all seems to tie in with the sketchbook practice and the second project which I worked on this morning.

There are many people named Michael Lewis in the United States.  One of them is the Jesus Painter, who you will always find before me in Google searches, and another is Michael Lewis the economist, who has many prize winning books.  He is apparently a Best Seller and a big deal.  I've collected a couple of his books, not because I care what they are about, but because my name is on them.  One of these books is Panic.  It is apparently about the state of our current economy.  I decided that I didn't really care about Lewis's high minded economy.  What I care about is working at a deli, as a teacher, as an illustrator, and as a painter to pay all of my bills.  I wear a lot of hats.  I kind of make ends meet.  Who actually defines this economy; hard working, poverty level to middle class individuals, or people in the upper class?  Unfortunately, I think policy is determined by the upper class, but the majority of the people affected by this policy are in the lower class.  I've decided the easiest way to talk about this is to tell the truth instead of searching for metaphors.

I'm going to fill up this book, Panic, with journal entries about work.  I like the contrast between the ideas of economic policy and strategies to make millions and the working man just trying to get by.  It's sort of a shout out to the Art as Lifers, but really, I think about this art thing, and it is a thing.  It's like a drug.  You "waste" all of your time attempting to make things that you think will make the world better, but those things don't usually, unless you make the big time, actually make any huge difference.  So it is as if you are pumping your funds into a drug, a drug that you have to have to survive, that costs you time, effort, funds, friends and your sanity.  And it is oh so good. 

My name is Michael and I'm a Lifer.

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