Tuesday, August 3, 2010

D&D Jailbird Blues Part Four: Cue the Violins

Ha ha Constitutional rights! ...sheesh. Also, I shouldn't really poke fun at my friends here. They were actually a big help and the evening would have had a whole different flavor if "the guys" hadn't been around. Real friends follow you to jail and then give you a ride home.

In other news, Lawrence Klimecki, over at Gryphon Rampant, has posted an interview with me in which I talk about Comics and Storytelling and Faith and in which I artlessly dodge questions about success and failure. Take a look.

I’ve been riding a wave of creativity lately after a severe dry spell. It’s good. I’m painting again, and learning to play the guitar, an instrument that has baffled me for years. I’ve been having some real difficulties in writing the second Zita the spacegirl book and I’m hoping that this is the creative wave will crash into and destroy that wall of writer’s block.

You other artists out there -how do you deal with the ups and downs of creativity?


Bowman the Black said...

I believe you do have a right to view a warrant for your own arrest. I might have to check on the exact details, but it seems to me that if a police officer comes to your house specifically looking for you with a warrant for your arrest, he should have to show that this is (literally) duly warranted. If you were apprehended in the commission of a crime, or involved in something that brought a warrant to the officer's attention (such as if you had been stopped for a traffic violation) then that might be different; even so, with those fancy laptops in their cars, they should be able to produce the text of the warrant.

So, are they giving you any compensation for wrongful arrest and detainment? Under the law, they DO owe you.

As for the ups and downs of creativity, I don't work so well with that. However, I do find that I work better when I have some structure in my life, and sometimes deadlines provide that structure. (And sometimes not.)

Regardless, I find that the most common thing about my creative ups and downs is that people tend to bother me more when I'm on a roll. Dang it, people -- artist at work! Unfortunately, "The pen is mightier than the sword" doesn't work so well as a threat. You never hear people yell "Look out, he's got a pen!"

Ben Hatke said...

No it's cool. He showed me once I was in the car. He didn't want to do it around the rest of the people I guess for privacy reasons.

Internet Peasant said...

I love our shirts.

Ben Hatke said...

I feel like I'm doing Cwod Comics again.

Ryan said...

Aw, man. Speaking of our shirts, you forgot to draw me wearing my patriotic "Billy Mitchell" tie! I KNOW I was wearing that tie on that particular night.

Ben Hatke said...

I noticed that! After I posted the comic I looked at the whole thing and realized that you should have been wearing the Billy Mitchell Tie!

I guess I wasn't "looking hard enough."

Ryan said...

"I guess I wasn't 'looking hard enough.'"

Oh HO!

You have redeemed yourself in Billy Mitchell lore with your wise comment.

Daniel Nichols said...

But Ben,unless I missed it, what exactly was the crime you claim not to have committed?
I assume if you are cracking jokes about it that you have cleared it up and are not facing prison, but I guess I have to wait to find out in the comic...

Ben Hatke said...

Augh, hey Dan. I meant to write back to your email but today I am very busy committing crimes against art!

I got so angry at my portrait of Anna that I threw it! Then I had to just paint it back down to basic shapes.

But to answer your question... I can't give anything away.

Anthony VanArsdale said...

Hey Ben! you're doing a portrait of Anna?! Awesome!

You asked how other artists deal with the creative ups and downs? (whenever I read things like that on blogs I still don't feel my thoughts are important) but I look to inspiration - usually after thoroughly clearing my head of all things art. I have an art collection of web snapshots that I'll look too, and I hope you don't mind my saying that your work is in there. I PROMISE not to print or sell anything... I don't want to go to jail...

BTW glad this felony fiasco is over in your life... and that I get to enjoy it!

j'aime o'gorman said...

WOW i was out of town for a week and i see i missed a LOT! i will have to get the whole scoop.
happy anniversary, btw.

Ben Hatke said...

Anthony thanks! Calming your brain down and finding something inspirational seems to be key. Forcing yourself to do a mundane things like dishes or lawn mowing can also help. my problem is that I make the mistake of treating creative work like regular labor -and I try to just keep my head down and plow through. But you just end up making things worse.

JAMIE!! You always remember our anniversary! (that's Anna's and my anniversary). I can NEVER remember that kind of thing for other people. I'm lucky to remember my own. But thanks.

Scarcely Human said...


This woullda been a REAL job for the warriors of CWOD!
"You're under arrest."

- Joe H

Wayne van Wijk said...

Hi Ben,
in reply to your question about creative ups and downs... I learnt this from a clown teacher that I have studied under a bit. After 17 years performing it still works a charm when I feel things getting stale or uninspiring.

"Kill your darlings".

For a novelist it means killing off the character that you are most comfortable or happy with. For me as a performer it means doing a show but leaving out my strongest material that I know always works (my unicycle routine, a particular magic trick, a diabolo routine, etc). By getting rid of the these bits I am forced into unchartered territory with my performing and I often find myself pleasantly surprised at the results.
I am not sure how this relates to an artist as yourself. Only you can answer that.

Best wishes,
Wayne, Brisbane, Australia

Ben Hatke said...

Wayne! I'm so glad you're still reading my blog. And you're RIGHT! This is great advice for all kinds of art.

Thanks for chiming in.