A transparent line

Howdy, my associates. I hope this new yr is treating you effectively. It has been wonderful for me to date. Quickly I must announce the 2023 Ecuador chautauqua about cash and which means, however earlier than I do I will give a quick replace on what I have been as much as.

Deciding to increase my sabbatical from Get Wealthy Slowly indefinitely has been liberating. The second I dedicated to this, it was as if a heavy load had been lifted from my again. I can pursue different passions now with out remorse. I do not really feel responsible. I do not really feel like I want to offer myself “permission”. I simply do what I need, and it is superior.

Is not this what monetary independence is meant to be?

How I Spend My Time

My meals and health selections have remained robust now for six weeks. (Official begin date of my re-dedication to well being? December 13, Taylor Swift’s birthday.) I am lifting weights thrice per week. I am strolling roughly 5 miles per day. I am doing yoga. My alcohol consumption is approach down. Extra importantly, I am making smarter meals selections.

I am shedding pounds, sure, however for as soon as I am not obsessing over the quantified outcomes. I am attempting as a substitute to concentrate to the precise habits and routines. I am centered on the course of as a result of in the end that is what issues most. (That mentioned, I am happy to report that my blood strain has dropped from a median of 144/96 in early December to a median of 126/84 this week. Yay!)


  • The canine and I proceed our undertaking to stroll each avenue in Corvallis, mapping the farm stands and little free libraries we discover.
  • I proceed to work within the yard.
  • I proceed my adventures in cooking.
  • I proceed to handle my mom’s property.
  • I proceed to look at loads of motion pictures, together with the Wednesday evening second-run movies at a neighborhood theater. (Tonight’s film? Patrick Swayze in Highway Home. Not a movie I would choose for myself, however I am watching no matter this place decides to indicate.)

Principally, although, I have been exploring artwork. Particularly, I am instructing myself how one can cartoon.

A Clear Line

I took some pictures lessons twenty years in the past — and I even offered a photograph to Audubon journal, which implies I can name myself a professional photographer (ha!) — however I’ve by no means created some other types of artwork.

[Photo of Opal Pool]

I’ve wished to learn to paint and draw for a few years now. Since October, I’ve floundered determining the place to start out. Do I be taught watercolor? Educate myself to attract? Discover different mediums? Do I be taught from YouTube? Take college lessons? Educate myself from books?

Final week, I spoke with a few precise artists. One is a buddy from highschool who makes her residing by promoting folks artwork at native markets. The opposite is a Get Wealthy Slowly reader named Jacob. Jacob is a civil engineer by day however works with watercolor by evening. (His stuff is nice!) These two conversations gave me some readability.

You see, I am drawn to visible storytelling. As long-time readers know, I am a life-long comedian ebook aficionado. However I am additionally obsessive about movie (particularly cinematography). To me, comics and movie are primarily the identical factor. I wish to be taught to inform visible tales like this.

Speaking with Jacob final week helped me determine the place to start out my journey with artwork. Jacob has the information and expertise and vocabulary to parse my ramblings and inform me what it’s that pursuits me and how one can start exploring it.

I like illustration. I just like the ligne claire model of drawing, most famously seen in Hergé’s Tintin comics. (Though Hayao Miyazaki’s work is not strictly ligne claire, I feel the movies of Studio Ghibli embody an identical model: clear and easy characters drawn towards detailed, reasonable backgrounds.)

[Tintin in Tibet]  [My Neighbor Totoro]

“If I had been you,” Jacob instructed me, “I would choose one medium and use that to discover illustration.” Mild-bulb second!

Penny Brief

So, that is what I have been doing for the previous week. I’ve picked a medium — ink, however particularly brush pens — and I am ranging from scratch studying how to attract. For the time being, I am watching YouTube movies and studying books. Jacob inspired me to take in-person lessons and workshops, and I feel that is a good suggestion. I will take a look at these later within the yr.

As a result of I am ranging from sq. one, I’ve many a whole lot (and hundreds) of hours forward of follow forward of me. I’ve lots to be taught. I am okay with that. To this point, it has been enjoyable.

Yesterday was revelatory.

First, I lastly got here up with an preliminary character idea for Penny Brief, the ostensible heroine of the caricature I have been plotting for the previous two years. Impressed by Dr. Seuss, of all folks, I discovered a approach to attract her.

[Penny Short!]

Additionally yesterday, I started exploring how one can colour my characters. To this point, I have been utilizing solely a black brush pen to make easy drawings. (The Penny Brief pattern above was drawn with a normal Sharpie, nevertheless.) Shade hasn’t entered the image. However on a whim late yesterday, I added colour to a sketch and voila! added dimensionality.

[Penny Short...in color!]

Primary stuff, certain, however that is the place I’m on this journey…

I will admit that a lot of what I am doing with the artwork is scattered. I flit from one undertaking to the subsequent. I will be watching a movie after I discover an fascinating body, pause the film, and spend the subsequent hour attempting to attract what I see. Here is a annoyed Chihiro from Spirited Away that I drew in my artwork journal utilizing Papermate Aptitude pens.

[Chihiro from Spirited Away]

As a result of I’ve by no means accomplished this earlier than, most of what I am doing is primitive. That is positive! I do plenty of copying and imitation. Additionally positive! It is enjoyable attempting to determine these items out. I can draw the top of a cartoon canine, as an illustration, however I wrestle to attract the physique. So, I’ve spent a lot of time taking part in with completely different physique types.

Or, take eyes for instance. I consider eyes could make or break character design. It is so bizarre to spend two days obsessing over how eyes are drawn, however that is what I did. Totally different artists strategy eyes in several methods. Every methodology has its benefits and downsides. Which model do I take advantage of for which characters?

Principally, it is plenty of repetition: drawing the identical characters time and again and again and again till I’ve the actions memorized. The kitchen desk is piled with papers that include the identical elementary sketches repeated dozens of occasions.

Discovering Success

Anyhow, all that is to say that I am having an excellent time. I am in an excellent psychological house — the most effective psychological house I’ve present in nearly a decade.

And you realize what? This time without work has helped me to see that maybe I haven’t got to desert Get Wealthy Slowly utterly. Maybe all that is required is an perspective shift. As an alternative of considering GRS first, I can tread it as secondary (or tertiary!) in my life. When I’ve one thing to say right here, I can say it. Perhaps meaning lengthy gaps between publication and that is positive.

We’ll see.

Within the meantime, I will proceed having fun with this era of my life. It is fulfilling. It is simply what I’ve wanted.

Postscript: Like I say, I must formally announce the 2023 Ecuador chautauqua on cash and which means. That is what I sat down to do that morning, however as a substitute I wrote this replace on my life.

The fundamentals are this: In late July and early August, I will be becoming a member of a few of my favourite of us (Jess and Corey from The Fioneers, Tanja from Our Subsequent Life, Jess and Lauren from Bitches Get Riches) to debate cash and which means throughout a retreat in Ibarra, Ecuador. That is my fourth time presenting at one among these occasions. They’re all the time superior.

I will publish an official announcement subsequent week!

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