I’m writing this in horizontal repose, finally free of stress and watching my body succumb to the rigours of an overwhelming deadline after weeks of caffeine therapy. I finally submitted my exegesis and studio work on Friday, right on the cusp of my maximum submission allowance, and surprisingly was overtaken not by joy but by a deep abiding sensation of emptiness. Unexpected. The 45,000 word exegesis distilling what I’d discovered in my studio and research journey into something that might contribute the broader sphere of knowledge, was completed and sent into the cyber ether for marking. The diary comics, the assorted comics, the graphic novel; all of it, digitally posted with a kiss and a prayer for their time of academic judgment.
Life in the Gutter, my final studio work, also sits below as a thumbnail scale array of multi-coloured scribble. It isn’t finished, but it reads, and it flows, and it turned out better than I could’ve hoped. I learned so much through this process, and the next large-scale work I embark upon should be even better as a result of going through this process in many of the wrong ways. It’s been really cool watching this thing grow and evolve like a living organism; most of the time I haven’t directed it, rather, I’ve just spent time with it, and witnessed it do its own thing.
What’s next? For now, I’m taking a week off to recover. I’ve got RSI from typing, a strained ligament in my forearm from recreational rough-housing, a sore back from Circus training and oh yeah, I’m forty now so everything is starting to hurt in general. I feel like the energizer bunny after too many late nights and being stuck with the wrong kind of batteries. At least now I can relax somewhat and gather my strength without any huge impending deadlines. I almost don’t know what to do with myself, and that’s a treat.