Not only are we launching at my favourite bookshop in Sydney, but I’ll have a chat with one of the best cartoonists in Australia (and one of my favourite guys on Earth), PAT GRANT. We’ll put some kind of audiovisual schnazz on a screen. Who knows what else. We’ll go get beers after.
I am also pleased to announce that SENATOR THE HON. GEORGE BRANDIS, QC will be launching the book! Well, I’ve sent him one and invited him to. I hope all you artists out there have been doing the same!
Me new comic, #takedown, will be in shops in Melbourne late May/June. There’ll be a related event at Readings Carlton June 9, 6:30pm. You can order it online now, and my publisher, Pikitia Press would love it if you did!
Seeking a valid quantifier by which to judge your personal and artistic progress and likelihood of finding a method by which to support yourself in the arts?
Stupid internet contests may not be it!
I’m conditioned for minimisation and self-deprecation. I don’t like talking big about my work. I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of broadcasting invitations, or bragging, or sales pitches. My impulse is to undercut them with humour, which generally renders them useless except as artistic exercises. Witness:
I am unable to let go of the nagging feeling that my work is CRAP and that pimping it is therefore ANNOYING TO ALL.
I don’t think it is bad to have this feeling. It stops me from being too much of a “networker” or politician. I would hate to be thought of as either.
My stronger belief that my work is GOOD and NEEDS TO BE SEEN. This is valuable because it allows me to get the work done in the first place.
Neither of these feelings will ever go away; I will always believe that what I produce is substandard AND that not enough people are paying attention to it!
I’m full of contradictions like this.
I work too hard.
At the moment, between my weekly comic strip, my full time job and my many small and large animation/video projects, I animate or draw pretty much constantly, including while I eat or watch TV shows. When I’m not doing that, I plot and plan.
I don’t work hard enough.
Look how much there is I could be doing. Look at the projects that remain incomplete. Look at my parents, who reckon I’m lazy.
(nowadays they reckon it’s more that I’m spending time on the wrong things. “Why don’t you have a mortgage yet? Mortgages are delicious”, etc).
In it to win it
I used to avoid getting involved in projects or jobs because I worried I might find myself overcommitted. One day, I realised I had never been overcommitted in my life.
Since then I’ve tried to pile up my plate as much as possible, and it’s worked out pretty well. Keeping busy is fun, but tiring. Especially mentally. You can become obsessed with all the opportunities you might be missing. You’ve got to be IN IT TO WIN IT!
“Social media contests”
Social media is keeping us all hooked to our devices, just in case we might miss an INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT STATUS UPDATE. The one that might change our lives!
(My life has, in fact, been materially changed for the better by a status update. So I’m not just being sarcastic.)
I just wanna be your “friend”
My friend Lisa Dempster runs a writers festival, is genuinely excited and passionate about writing and has a very lovely, bubbly personality. As a result, she can express herself very adeptly via social media. She considers it a leveling force.
She said (and I paraphrase) that Twitter allows us to not only watch well-known writers have a conversation publicly, but also to join in. Thus, we can feel we are close to those we admire, and converse with them on a level playing field. It is inviting, and welcoming.
I am not, by nature, so positive, and I often find Twitter depressing. Conversations I’m not part of. Events I’m not invited to. Fun other people are having. Wasn’t life better when I didn’t know what I was missing?
I hate entering social media-based filmmaking contests, even though I’ve done it several times and not been entirely unsuccessful. They feel cynical. They are promotional exercises. But they do give you opportunities you might not have had otherwise. So I enter worthwhile ones.
But I struggle with the self-promotion thing, which is crucial to getting VOTES or VIEWS or LIKES in contests such as these.
Shilling and begging don’t come naturally to me like they do to the networkers and politicians. When I do it, it sounds strained. Insincere.
“People are fickle… you’re shamefully in the game of searching for their attention, and you know their attention’s going to wander. And it kinks you, and makes you into a fool…
You have to embrace being a fool, you have to embrace your own shameless mugging for people’s attention, moment by moment, like a… psychotic, you know, like Bert Newton, that kind of large, light entertainment psycho like that…
That’s the sort of scene you’re in. It’s perverse, but it’s recognised, and people are admired for their skills… it’s full of sham fakery and formalised stupidity…”
He was talking about performing on stage, but could easily have been talking about “performing” online. I see people do it (including myself) and I hate it.
If I was going to pay attention to the “rules” of online promotion in the hopes of getting MASS PAGE VIEWZ, this blog post would have to be 300 words long, max, include 7 “useful tips” about something and end with a “call to action” like,
What do you think?
For love or money
I wish I was more like Ben Hutcho, a comic genius who doesn’t seem to care whether or not anyone’s watching him work (though I know he does. Everyone does, other than the insane or autistic). He’s more “pure” in that way.
I like drawing on beer mats, a.k.a. those disposable cardboard coasters you get in pubs. Always a bonus when you go to a pub and they have some beer mats there with BLANK BACKS! Some beer manufacturers get coasters made with their bullshit advertising on both sides. They are jerks (hello, jerks).
They don’t understand that beer mats are an interactive creative medium! If you leave one side blank, people will write and draw things on them, and often KEEP them. I think marketers call that “prolonged physical penetration”.
True, what people will write and draw are often obscenities and pictures of cocks ‘n ‘balls. But not always!
Here we see a nice drawing some little kid did in a pub. Sarah kept it. Kudos to Coopers for printing blank-backed beer mats so this youngster could develop artistically while his or her dad had a cold one.
I recommend local Melbourne cartoonists head to a pub where they’re serving 2 Brothers Gypsy Pear Cider: the coasters are very nice for drawing on, plus the company’s based in Moorabbin. Think global, draw local. Try the Metropolitan in Nth Melbourne, who also do a very nice chicken parma.
People who order a copy of my Bret Braddock vol. 1 book in the post at the moment are getting a piece of original beer mat art with it (see top), thanks to 2 Brothers! No idea if the cider’s any good. I don’t drink much. I think Sarah liked it, though.
By doing so, you are supporting the artistic endeavour of somebody who’d be making this strip anyway, even though each one takes hours and even though I lose paid work time by doing it and even though I gotta pay fat bux up front to get them printed.
If you get the eBook, though, that’s all profit. Buy now!