Seems I’ve been talking to a lot of people about depression lately. I think a lot of the problem is that there’s some confusion between situational depression and clinical depression. I could blather on endlessly about my thoughts on the matter, but I once found the following piece of writing and I think it does a much better job of cutting to the heart of the matter. I’ve never been able to identify the original author, but whoever they might be I just want to say thank you.
“Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your life-long passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation.
Depression is humiliating. If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life. It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too.
Depression is humiliating. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.”
I haven’t posted anything in two months? How did that happen! I took some time off, got busy, got distracted, and then got busy again. Still, hard to believe it’s been so long. I do apologize.
So, in hopes that you’ll forgive me, I offer you this. It’s the (colored) first page of the comic I’m working on with my buddy Owen. Remember when I wanted to do the whole book like this? What was I thinking?
Working with watercolor has always kind of stressed me out, and since I can’t always get out to the beach to relax, I figured I’d do the next best thing. Continuing my experimentation with watercolor magically transported me to warmer, dryer weather. I think I’m getting the hang of this.
Sometimes I find myself stuck with nothing much else to do, a sketchbook, and my watercolor kit. When that happens, how could I not spend my time making silly little drawings? These little paintings are getting fun.
A friend was having trouble with some inking materials, so I did some troubleshooting on my own to see if I could replicate the issues he was having. Now, I don’t normally ink my girls — there’s no real good reason, I just don’t do it. I think it might go away my natural tendencies towards drawing, but I’m kind of liking the experience.
Also, there’s this weird thing that happens when my friends and I go out: invariably someone will say something ridiculous, and then it’s just a matter of time before someone draws that ridiculous thing.
That being said, I’d like to introduce you to Knopka. She’s a go-go-dancing space-cowboy pirate. You heard me.
I’ve been hinting at a comic project that I’m working on, and while I’m not ready to share my progress with the world at large quite yet, I thought y’all might like a peek at one of the designs. I’ll leak more when I’ve made some more progress.
So, I know of I kind of just posted this image, but after my last post someone commissioned me to do a colored version of it. Redoing this piece was pretty exciting to see what’s changed in the style in the past year. Also, I really enjoyed working in watercolor again. It was fun. I think I’ll have to do this some more.
The coloring of my comic is coming along as well as could have been expected — which is to say it’s a ton of work. So, again, I’m pulling from the archives to hold you over.
I wish I looked this cute in the morning.
If you’ve known me for longer than a week you know that I’m not known for making things easy on myself. To that end, this is a sneak peek into a project that I’m working on that may very well kill me.
I can’t wait until I have more to show you!