And now I am a pillar of salt

The post I made a couple of nights ago about my seemingly evaporated sense of creativity and artistry got me right depressed, it did. It also got me digging through my notes and files and piles and notebooks in search of, I dunno, validation, or something. I came across really enjoyable old things like this:

I guess the only good turn of events to come out of unemployment was that I had time to create illustrated posts every day. On the whole, though, I think I prefer a steady paycheck. But I do miss having time for things like this.

I also dug up a bunch of notes and sketches from about a year ago, when I was very close to finally launching the ToastyFrog comic/graphic novel I’ve made several false starts on a few times over the years. I’d actually scripted out a few months of comics and even sketched several weeks’ worth before remembering that all my efforts to date have been terrible flops and that no amount of planning is a guarantee of not flopping again terribly. So I abandoned it, which started a snowball effect of defeat which resulted in me completely abandoning art a few months ago. I don’t remember the last time I drew something! I guess it was maybe a GameSpite issue header or something.

It’s a shame I’ll never bring those sketches and scripts to fruition, because looking back over them I realized they’re pretty funny. I actually laughed out loud a couple of times, which is something I never do…especially with my own writing. Ah well. What might have been, eh?

33 thoughts on “And now I am a pillar of salt

  1. But Jeremy, you’re depriving countless children the glee of seeing a Toasty Frog themed birthday party.

    OK. So maybe not children; maybe just me. I’d kill for a Toasty Frog ice-cream coane.

  2. “I’d actually scripted out a few months of comics and even sketched several weeks’ worth before remembering that all my efforts to date have been terrible flops and that no amount of planning is a guarantee of not flopping again terribly.”

    Try again, then. Ben Franklin wasn’t all “oh man, this lightning thing just keeps screwing up my shit…no way is this gonna work.” He wasn’t about to just peace out like that, Parish!

    Besides, you got a guaranteed loyal audience already.

  3. Just look at how much we paid to see you squirm? (read: watch episode III again and live to tell about it)

  4. You do realize that the more this site’s readership grows, the less inclined I am to making an ass of myself in new and embarrassing ways?

  5. That post even depressed me! Of course, I’m a naturally miserable fella, so that isn’t saying much, but still…

  6. I definitely feel that as I get older, the artistically creative part of me becomes smaller but the businessly creative part of me grows larger. That is, I’m less good at doing what I want, but better at making others do what I want. Does that sound familiar?

  7. I dunno, they won’t give me any more underlings at work after what happened to the last one.

  8. What did happen to that last one? I keep hearing that the room still smells of papaya, and the scorch marks refuse to wash off.

  9. I think we’d all be interested in seeing a few to better see what you’re talking about. Judge response, and see how the comfort level fits. Maybe?

  10. Maybe it’s just me being self-centered, but it’s funny how much I relate to this. I haven’t picked up the art tablet in six months and while I could never draw that great to begin with, it still sort of drives home a “So what the hell am I doing, anyways” feeling.

    Get back on the horse, parish. Or the wagon. Or whatever it is that you’re supposed to ride.

    Here, I found this on an old video tape for you.

  11. Never say never! You might return to them some day, I know I have with similar artistic endeavors which I abandoned for lost long ago.

  12. I first came here much after the comics, so I would be interested in seeing some of those. Still…

    Here’s an idea: instead of going through your backlog, why not try to draw again? Not for us, not for work- just for fun?

  13. Recent posts indicate that there is a void that can only be filled by a G.I. Joe/Toastyfrog crossover.

  14. Clearly the answer is to shut down the site for a few months so that you can then post embarrassing things for the small percentage of your former readership that notices when you re-launch it later.

    Only the site’s got so much momentum and reader contributions now that that would be more of a shame than usual. So you just need to start up a *new* site… in, uh, your copious free time, the lack of which is why…. yeah, never mind.

  15. Just face it – you’re a funny guy. People like to read what you write.
    That’s the reason I bookmarked your site so long ago. (I believed I linked here from Sharkey when he was still on Verge’s servers – that’s how long.)
    Episode III Thumbnail Theater was as funny as it comes. No doubt time has only sharpened your wit to a precision instrument – not dulled it.

  16. No one has quit comics more than me. It never lasts. The only thing you’re doing is letting your skills get rusty. I stopped drawing for almost three years and I’ve never stopped regretting it.

    You should do something like that Cooking Mama review, that was brilliant.

  17. I appreciate that everyone means well, but argh.

    Dude, I think you protest too much. A lot of your stuff’s good (setting aside the fact that everyone is usually thier own worst critic), we all know that you aren’t just posting these sketches, or ideas, or what have you because you’re fishing for compliments or want outside vlidation or reassurance, but for your own reflection or benefit or remeniscience of days gone by or whatever.

    If you post stuff that *you* may not think is good but others disagree with that, and have a venue to comment (like here, in an entry with comments on,) people are going to comment, quite possibly with the “In my opinion, this is good!”.

    Heck, even if– especially if!– you post sketches or reflect on projects that might have been or never were, those that are curious about your work are going to tell you that they’re curious about your work!

  18. I’m going to do my best here not to pile any additional pressure or expectations on you here, Parish. But I will say that if you really have given up on art, that makes me sad. Long as I’ve been coming here, you’ve always been too hard on yourself, y’know.

    But still, everyone’s gotta do what they love and not do the things that make them nuts.

  19. I know how you feel. I used to record a lot of music. I never did much with it other than trade copies of tapes/CDs with other bands/musicians I knew, but it was really fun. Recently I was going through some boxes and came across a bunch of CDs of music I had made. I brought it with me into my car and listened all throughout the week to the various “albums” I’d made and it got me kind of sad because I just don’t have the time to work on music or most other creative projects like I used to. Even the gaming zine my wife and I were really gung-ho about has been on “hold” since about the time she got pregnant and had terrible morning sickness. We have plans to do more and I’ve written a few articles, but it’s still in a holding pattern. Your statement of “On the whole, though, I think I prefer a steady paycheck” is something I definitely echo, too, but I still feel sad from time to time that I can’t pursue all the creative outlets I used to be able to. On the whole, I feel more fulfilled in life now than I did then, but still… it was nice to have more time to explore my creative side.

  20. Didn’t you complain about how horrible this (and a lot of your splash pages) were at the time you posted it, too?

  21. No way. I’ve always loved this doodle. In fact, I’ve spent sorrowful years trying to recapture the same loose, casual style and sense of personality this image possesses. It’s one of those personal benchmark things.

  22. you know what dude, you can always make time for creative stuff. it’s on you if you want to make it happen. it sounds super cheesy and silly, but it’s also completely true. I make a magazine but I also write for games, and short films and stuff. the constant pressure of having to be creative is difficult, but knowing that I have to keep doing it (or I’ll let people down) keeps me doing it. So maybe you need to join some sort of art collective, or have some sort of creative support (my friends do a visublog which works a bit – But really, there’s no reason why you couldn’t be doing illustration of things when you’re doing something else. If you really, truly want to do it, if you really miss what it was like, you just have to do it again, and not let the pressure or expectation or frustration get the better of you.

  23. I half agree with M. Nicholai (I first found this place because of your “Gamespite & Ham” Pokemon review and would love to see more) and half agree with RAC (You have no obligation to anyone but yourself and you should do what makes you happy).

    You’ve bought a couple of other domain names, right? Why not, if you personally have the interest in it, screw around with your alternate content there instead of here. You have far less of a chance to “embarrass” yourself amongst the new crop such as myself.

  24. Yeah, thanks for the homily, Brandon, but I feel that after a decade of false attempts and demoralizing failures I’m allowed to concede defeat.

  25. Yeah, thanks for the homily, Brandon, but I feel that after a decade of false attempts and demoralizing failures I’m allowed to concede defeat.

    Yeah, well then, in that case, never mind what I said above.

  26. homily, reality, whatever! if you want to call yourself a failure that’s your own deal, especially after finding things you like in your previous work (which you probably didn’t like nearly as much then). Obviously other people think your stuff is good/not faily, though I certainly agree that anyone who thinks their own work is awesome is fooling themselves or simply doesn’t have the drive to perfection. But unless the desire to create has gone out of you, there’s no real excuse to stop. You kind of owe it to yourself, don’t you? Otherwise why do we even bother going on? Nevermind that that’s a question I wrestle with daily…

  27. If you have the scripts but not the time to draw them, then get someone else to. I’ll do it, in fact.

  28. I’ve been going through the exact same depressing thing recently. I haven’t really touched my website, which I designed splash pages for too, for a few years now.

    It’s hard to nail down my decline in creativity, but there’s a few definite factors which are possible culprits.

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