For some reason, I have been seeing lot more spiders that I usually do. And these are not small ones either, but large sized ones with funny looking antennae. Most people are generally creeped out by spiders. Fortunately, I am not one of them. Still, it's a little disconcerting to see these monsters and try to figure out where they are coming from. I did not offer any invitations to the spiders who live in the forest behind the house, and if by chance they read blogs, I would like them to know that they would do well to stay outside, preferably 200 feet away from the doors and windows. If I were a spider, I think that the trees would look like a nice place to live. I'm guessing they're on the move because they sense the upcoming change in seasons and need a place to come in from the cold.
Generally, I don't notice the little wild animals that pass through the yard. I'll notice a deer and her fawn only when I've startled them by tramping out in the yard to get to my car. I've heard, but not seen, the wild squirrels that live in the trees above the chicken coop when I am out collecting eggs. I'm afraid that most of my attention for animals is devoted to the seven or so cats that live out in the yard and behind the barn. By default, I am their primary caretaker. The big red barn in the backyard, the fact that I buy the dry cat food from the "feed store," and an ever present cat or two lounging out in the grass makes me feel like a farmer of sorts with cats as my chosen livestock. I imagine myself in bib overalls, chewing on a blade of grass, looking out over "my many head" of cats, and saying, "yessir! we've got ourselves a pretty crop this year. I reckon our operation will finally make a profit and we'll be able to affford that tractor!"
Aside from farming cats and avoiding spiders, I have not been doing much. My trip to the Portland Zine Symposium was my biggest adventure as of late. Mostly, I have been spending time at home trying to get my art going again. I've gotten the scanner working again for my art blog, and I made a little something for the Illustration Friday website. (If you don't already know, you can read what Illustration Friday is all about by following that link.) It's not the greatest work in the world, but I think it would make a pretty good spot illustration for the right article in a newsletter or magazine, even if it is cliched approach. I know that every artist is their own worst critic, so I try to keep that thought in mind in order to give me the perspective I need to create something. I've let too many negative thoughts shut down my creative motivation. As a consequence, I haven't practiced as much as I should have.
Someone in the news recently talked about the 10,000 hour theory, a theory that states one must spend 10,000 hours in a particular field to get really good at it. I'm not sure that I have spent 10,000 hours on my drawing yet. Ideally, I'd like to draw every day and gain the skills I need to feel satisfied and accomplished with my work; but then again, I would also like to exercise every day, find time to cook for myself every day, and while I am at it, win a billion dollars. School will be starting for me the last week of September, and I've signed up for a lot of work. I am sure that I'll be getting more drawing practice there. At least, the routine will be nice. (I'm a little worried about where I will get the gas money for the school commute, but I am sure that I will work something out.)
If I had to sum up, despite the anxiety I felt about not doing this and that, or anxiety about not being where I wanted in the future, I do feel somewhat good finally knowing (or having a clearer picture of) what it is that I want. I've spent a lot of time enveloped in a cold cloud bank of blahs, not knowing what to do, mists clouding every conceivable direction. Now, even though I haven't been anywhere, the mists are beginning to clear out and I think I can see which way I want to start heading. Like they say, at least it's a start.