Admitting Defeat & Starting Anew

Since I’ve been kind of quiet on the blog lately, you may be able to discern that I’ve been extremely busy. I’m still getting used to my workload for my new job, and the adjustment period has been interesting. Don’t get me wrong–I absolutely love what I do. But I think I love it so much I don’t realize that I’m managing my time poorly (and spending too much time grading).

That being said, I’d had to waive the white flag of defeat. At this point, I’m unable to devote as much time as I need to on the MOOC on Comics. Hopefully they’ll offer the course again, when I’m well-adjusted enough to balance my time a little bit better.

Lately, I’m mostly been enveloping myself in getting back in touch with other forms of art I’ve had to set aside while I pursued higher education. I’ve reacquainted myself with my violin, and even helped a friend set hers up. I bought a ukulele and have been slowly teaching myself the major and minor chords. Most of my time with the ukulele has been sewing, though. I just finished making a gig bag from scratch. And now I’m in total Halloween mode.

With respect to drawing and comics, I’ve taken to sketching things I see in real life. This happened a lot during my Orientation process at my new job. Sketching and doodling helps me focus, and thankfully my colleagues knew that some people are like this and didn’t think I was rude. As a result, I sketched a lot of the speakers, and gave those sketches away.

The sketching has been really relaxing and is helping me practice more real-life drawing. Which brings me to my next endeavor:

The Sketchbook Project.

Brought to my attention by a friend and fellow artist, I immediately fell in love with the concept of getting a sketchbook and filling it with whatever I wanted–and then having that sketchbook go on and live it’s life in an Art Library. How cool is that?

My plan is just to carry the notebook around and sketch people and things that I see from day to day life. I’m trying to keep this simple, because if I get too ambitious I’ll probably bonk and have to start over. I should be getting my sketchbook in the mail in a few weeks. I’ll keep you all updated on my progress.

As for my writing life, I’m still keeping up with my weekly column at The Drunken Odyssey: Gutter Space, where I write mini-reviews about webcomics and graphic novels. I’ve also been doing some research on a full-scale graphic novel I’d like to write. Part of me thinks I could use NaNoWriMo as a springboard for getting this project off the ground, and part of me realizes I may be getting ahead of myself. Baby steps.

More updates in the future, and more accountability!

MOOC on Comics Books and Graphic Novels

One of the consequences of finishing my MFA and getting a certificate in Publishing was the bittersweet realization that this Fall would be the first time–since I was about 3 years old–that I would not be taking any classes! Sure, I’d be getting ready for my new big girl job (which starts tomorrow!), but… No classes? That’s weird.

Enter the MOOC–the massive open online course! These free courses are offered through some of the top educational facilities in the world on subjects from art history to law to even veterinary studies. A friend of mine recently pointed me to an article about a MOOC in comics–and I knew I had to sign up!

At first I was worried about whether or not I was putting too much on my plate by signing up for the course. As I mentioned, I’m starting a new full-time job in addition to continuing my volunteer editorships at two literary magazines and my weekly column at The Drunken Odyssey. Plus all of the writing and drawing I’ll be doing to keep up with my own creative works.

Once I looked at the syllabus and course description, I realized that this is definitely a course I could handle. I’d make time for it. So I’m happy to say that I’ve signed up for Comic Books and Graphic Novels, taught by Prof. William Kuskin of the University of Colorado – Boulder.

Once the course starts (in late September), I’ll be sure to give you updates about my particular experience. If you have the time and the inclination–perhaps you should sign up and take the course with me!