Muse Muscles

I did say that, didn’t I?

Muse Muscles — Pigma Micron pens, Prismacolor Markers

Muse Muscles — Pigma Micron pens, Prismacolor Markers

I’ve been working very hard lately; between the blog and the deadline for my graphic novel, I’ve become somewhat of a mysterious hermit woman, only emerging from my art cave for the most necessary things, like band gigs and food shopping. People are starting to express worries about my health, but really, I don’t look haggard at all… though I could use a bit more exercise of the non-pencil variety. Iris may be growing muscles, but I have to pay attention to mine, too!

I did take a day off drawing yesterday. Well, mostly. I finished up this sketch that I started the other day. It felt very weird, not to be motoring along on my pencils for the story. I like this newly obsessional me. I enjoy drawing, and would do it all the time if someone would just feed me and do my laundry and hold the drawing board steady while I putter along on my stationary bike.

I’m not sure whether I will become irredeemably strange to all the people who are used to my more usual easygoing approach to work, or whether everyone will just accept my new personal paradigm. But I can only keep hefting the pencil, and see where it takes me!

I’d love to hear from you folks out there on this subject! How do you deal with balancing creative work and the rest of life?

10 responses to “Muse Muscles

  1. I live in a messy, dusty house, and wear ear plugs a lot, LOL. I’d be very happy to just live alone on an island and do my stuff, and have somebody throw food packages from a chopper once a month. Alternatively, make so much money that I could hire staff. I don’t know what I’ll do when the dog croaks, I’ll probably never go outside between November and March!


    • I’ll join you on that island! Although really, we’d need someone to tend the campfire and cook the food. I’d love to go to one of those artist retreats where they take care of you while you work on big projects. My big dream right now is to get a residency at Banff to work on the next graphic novel!


  2. I have to juggle three things – work from 8 to five, doing household chores (I live alone, so there’s nobody else who does the laundry, the dusting and such) and art activities which include blogging thrice a week. I manage somehow, on a very low level regarding the cleanliness of my flat. There are days where I cannot do anything artsy besides doing a quick sketch or watching an art video on youtube; however these are musts.


    • Good for you for making art a regular thing in your life, however small! I don’t know how any artist can get much done outside of a regular job — I have worked in full-time art jobs before, when I was younger, and my own work just crashed. All I could do when I got home (after the housework) was read a book and go to sleep. So I have great respect for those with the energy to do both!


  3. Hi Karen…what a perfect post…I don’t have time to do everything I want to do!! The days go by so fast and at the end of one I look at all the things I wanted to “do” and did not get to. I love to create…words on a page…enameled art pieces…mosaics with various mediums…A shelled chandelier. …you name it!! If I do not “make” something…ANYTHING…on a given day I feel like something is missing! I suppose the only thing we can do is listen to our hearts and “do” what it guides us to! Blessitude ~ Lorrie 🙂


    • I know — so much inspiration, so little time! My strategy at the moment, because I need to make a living off of this new comics career, is to try to slow down and cultivate an obsession for just that — hard because like you, I also have so many other interests. Somewhere I read a quote that was attributed to Georgia O’Keeffe, that said something like “to do one thing means that you must choose not to do something else” — not a new concept, but something I’ve always had trouble grasping, but am trying very hard to internalize now. The trick is to decide which thing is worth giving up the other for!


      • Oh so hard! I will pray that you have the strength to accomplish what you need to do!! I am sorry that you have to “give up” other avenues…but for sure you will produce more of your art if you do not have other interests competing. It makes me see another way and raises the question that maybe I should try it…? We’ll see. Best of luck to you 🙂


        • Thanks, Lorrie! The hardest thing is giving up things that other people are involved in, and I am such a group player that many of my activities are like this — those kinds of things I have to be gradual and careful in my self-extrication. For activities that are only my own, it’s sometimes a matter of getting rid of the half-done projects and materials in a way that feels right, to make room for the new things. But it’s a time of change, and it’s exciting to have finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up!


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