Tuesday, April 19, 2005

April 19, 2005
I believe that every so often it's necessary to take a good hard look at our efforts. It's been 35 years since I made a vow to make a career in media. What have I learned?

• I know that at least half my "brilliant" ideas suck.

• I know that Wyatt Earp by himself is more commercial than Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, gunfighters or Classic Gunfights put together.

• I know that when I start to do anything, walk to pick up a book, for example, that my mind sees something else (that needs to be done) and I think about doing that instead, and as I reach to pick it up, I see something else, and something else and this goes on all day long.

• I know that I have trouble getting started on things, and I also have the twin problem of not knowing when to stop, or not wanting to stop, which is even worse.

• I know that I have a knack for telling certain kinds of stories

• I know that I’m as lost on three-act narrative as I was in 1970.

• I know that my punchline skills are modest.

• I know that I often get caught in the middle (either go to the net or stay behind the baseline).

• I know that my skills as a painter are limited and that I haven’t really mastered color or composition. I’ve gotten better but I'm still lacking a ton.

• I know my most successful ideas seem to be the ones I thought about the least, or they were afterthoughts, like Honkytonk Sue.

• I know I have a tendency to overwork my art. It's not loose enough, especially in the beginning stages where I need to be bold and courageous.

• I know I suffer from an overabundance of ideas coupled with Attention Deficit Disorder tendencies and I end up all over the place. I can't stay with one thing long enough to make it really pay off. Had I stayed with the cartooning, I might have a career. Same with radio and music.

• I know that I am particularly good at portraying action in dramatic scenes but that this doesn’t necessarily translate to people wanting to hang these images on their walls.

• I know that a good cover title and cover art can be paramount to success in publishing.

• I know that I have wasted a ton of time going off on dead-end tangents.

• I know that it's damn hard to spot a dead-end tangent when you are in the middle of it.

• I know that my artwork is often overworked and overwrought.

• I know that when my artwork actually works I am invariably fluid and loose and I quit sooner than later.

• I know with my heart and mind that to keep doing something over and over and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.

Last night I watched about half of my favorite movie, Two-Lane Blacktop. Warren Oates is incredible. I laughed and laughed. Dennis Wilson and James Taylor were so young and very handsome boys.

"The man who is forever disturbed about the condition of humanity either has no problems of his own or has refused to face them."
—Henry Miller

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