Slow and Steady

Hey! It’s been quiet here for a little while. I just sort of cooled off after a nice, quick trip to Canada in May. I had originally started this post when I launched this website last year and meant to post it earlier this year. It’s still relevant now:

Things always go a little slowly for me. That’s been true for my entire life.

It’s frustrating sometimes in a fast-paced, “always-on” society, and especially since I like to keep busy, but it’s also something to be cherished. Things don’t get to be slow forever. With age, you don’t always get to rest on your laurels. Some people never even get to enjoy their golden years, nor their youth. In today’s world, I’ll take what respite I can get. It’s something to bask in before the torrent of life takes you by the undertow. There are some one-way thresholds. You leap and you never look back, for better or worse.

I’m looking at why my life is the way it is and analyzing. Thinking. Introspection is one of my strengths, so I may as well utilize it. I’m saying what I’m about to say so that maybe someone else will read it and go “Hmm, yeah…” because there’s no use stumbling around feeling isolated when you’re actually not. So, let’s take it slowly.

The development of my skills, my personality, my life as an adult and a sort of obvious geek. As with everyone, life is a long road of development — even for those for which things appear easy: how else would it get that way for them? — and no two are the same, or even parallel.

Still, it’s hard not to look at others similar to me, and there are many, and think, “How have they seen so much? How are they so independent? How are they so talented already? How did they accomplish so much?” Which, of course, then turns to, “Why am I so slow? Why have I wasted so much time? Why aren’t I even as good in one thing? Why am I where I am?”

It’s easy to feel like a straggler in the realm of art. A lot of artists feel like this, including those to whom these questions are directed: those seemingly self-sufficient, self-made artists with a large and quality body of work, sharing same struggles. Self-doubt comes in large order for a variety of creators, whether they design or write or code (or do all of that — especially if they do all of that). It’s par the course, except, well, there are surprisingly no college courses to help deal with this issue specifically…yet.

But sometimes it’s for the better. I’m not talking about destructive thought habits, but rather the sort of self-doubt that challenges you to continue to improve. It’s no fun to watch an artist be overly hard on themselves, but this sort of self-challenge is what keeps a person’s ideas, practices, and motives fresh. I personally like to be challenged: a life without it is boring. A slow-paced life allows me to explore concepts in my mind that would otherwise go untouched with the frenetic pace of some people’s existence. (And according to the Clifton StrengthsFinder, I’m a boss at thinking.)

Such slowness sometimes can make one day seem interchangeable with another, but it also challenges me to make something of the day! Be creative! Do something I’ve never done before! Or at least learn something new. Read something new. Anything. Absorb it: let it become a part of you. Maybe it will resurface years later as a different concept, the basis for a short story or a character design or a company endeavor. The world will never run out of things to know. I will never run out of things to draw or write, or people for whom to design.

I’ll go on like this for years and years, until not-being-alive stops me at the ripe old age of 112. And I hope you will, too.

I came into the 21st century last year, with a smartphone and (physical and mental) equipment to expand the scope of my work. Not all those sorts of things are necessary, but I felt myself gravitating toward them — and if you ever feel it, that gravitational pull, that means it’s time to work towards it. Don’t deny yourself what you feel drawn towards as an artist.

Don’t get too fixated on things, either; you may never know everything another person has been through to get to where they are, and it probably wasn’t the result of one or two things you see coming from them now. They began somewhere. They had pitfalls and setbacks. They had motivators and perhaps even support, too. With some much-appreciated help and advice from my peers at work and online, I got re-motivated toward web design, art, and drawing. Slowly, my passions started coming back to me. I let the gravity pull me. And thus, finally, this blog, and this website. I’ll be posting regularly here; with luck, this passion and motivation will continue to grow.

Go at your own pace! Be you! Make the most of what you have! And if you get overwhelmed, don’t aim high: aim ahead. You’ll get there.

Designer, artist, author, comic enthusiast, and geek about visual design/video games/Japan/human rights. Among other things!

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