Saturday, July 9, 2011

Running Dry/Bottom of the Barrel

Tapped Out

A fitting post-script to the last post: the bottom of the proverbial barrel was reached for another ballpoint, always a sad moment, but still better to run outta ink before the well of ideas runs dry. As mentioned many a time here before, I heartily endorse the free ones available at Gold Hill Liquor & Gas, but now that leaves my stash down to two last pens before adopting the official US Government issued Skilcraft brand.
There are some art teachers that distribute new ballpoints to their students with the assignment being to turn them back in empty. That's a lot of crosshatching - supposedly the standard Bic pen has enough ink to write for two miles.
No small coincidence that I also just filled up yet another sketchbook, this one shifting to more three-up thumbnails per page, as opposed to the usual two panel roughs per page (sample page posted below). I had started this last sketchbook the day of the move from Alaska to Maine, and it inadvertently also documents my tenure to date Down East. Now it's added to the mulch-pile for gestation - lots of fodder for future funnies. I find myself now actually having to consciously and deliberately focus on generating more Alaskan-themed material as the instinct is to draw from and draw about my immediate situation, which in comparison is a little bit easier and interesting to explore. The flip side is having the benefit of a more detached, objective perspective on the community and environment up North, which being immersed in for so long, tends to dull any insights that get lost in the forest for the trees. Another subtle advantage to creative reboots, as it all winds up going back into the same melting pot where everything is funny, but the regional dishes all have their own special, unique flavor.

"I love your from the bottom of my pencil case
I love the way you never ask me why
I love to write about each wrinkle on your face
And I love you till my fountain pen runs dry." 
- Beautiful South "Song for Whoever"

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