Okay. This blog comes back to life, starting today.
So. I got a grant. To finish Godhead, which has been knocking about in my skull since 2010. As my lovely partner Scotty says, it’s the quintessential ‘Caitlin Skaalrud story,’ and I damn well need to get it out. Currently, I’ve started penciling. While I initially thought, “Oh, well – if I get this State Art Board grant to finish this project, I’ll really get my shit together. My whole approach will change. No more procrastinating, no more crippling anxiety keeping me from doing the damn thing. I’ll be rolling in it, hah! I’ll be so damn productive and perfectly carefree!” – that didn’t happen. Of course.
In April, I unfortunately needed to leave a really great job with really, really wonderful people – but this was part of a larger change I was taking on (and the universe was not-so-quietly shouting at me to take advantage of), so I needed a catalyst. And I got it. I was able to go full freelance artist – and while I definitely need to start extreme coupon-ing or something, it’s still going pretty well. Check in on the freelance artist in a few months, and she might sing a different tune. But, for this moment, that’s what I’m doing. Which means I’m adjusting to that. I still can’t believe I’m not on some sort of vacation from my hourly job, and will go back to struggling to draw after work and on days-off. And, as I describe to my good friend Nicki (hey Nickerdoodle), I still compulsively apply to job after job after job as soon as my bank account drops below some imaginary line, no matter how secure I actually am or not. A bad habit, maybe, when one is awarded government $ to get her nose to the drawing table and stay there.
As strange as it is to suddenly only do art for money, I am tentatively overjoyed. I keep it buttoned up, dress it in worried clothing when I’m about, or use the cynical laugh I have etched into muscle memory. I’m slowly coming to understand I’ve earned something, and it’s foolish to pretend not to enjoy it. It might change again, soon enough. I’m cartooning, I’m illustrating, annoying cats occasionally, listening to a butt-load of podcasts and binging Forsenic Files for hours – which is all I’d do, given a choice.
But, back to the project… Currently, I’m re-drawing the first 30-40 pages of the book, which had come out in the first issue of Godhead, way back in 2013. The goal is still set at around 288 pages. I’m not sure about printing in color at the end– but it’s a possibility.
I’ve set up an outdoor studio out on my porch, here in Powderhorn Park. Starting in June, I’m going to post a schedule of open studio hours of when I’ll have the door wide open and welcome people to drop by and talk, look at art, all that. Barring any bad weather, I’ll be there on specific days from 11:00AM to at least 7:00PM. And, as long as it stays above 65, I’ll be sitting out there most of the time, as well. I hope to stay out there through September, but you never know here in Minnesota.
I’ll be posting regularly on the blog, and I’m also creating playlists I listen to or relevant to the book as I’m working, so please check those out on Spotify. Just look under my name, and in the “COMICS” section.
Oh, and I’m still looking for a risograph, if anybody’s selling!