Oh hey, I’ve been thinking why I do anything. Mostly why I write, make zines, rap, make arts. People ask me, and I might tell them a lovely reason from my possible reason bouquet: to connect, communicate, share my inner world to the outer world, speak new truths, contribute to the broadening of what’s acceptable. Sing my unique voice out into the world.
But really, why I do anything–there’s a more proximal or experiential reason. My process is often: my mind starts making something, and it can’t stop.
Here’s an example. I started accidentally making in my mind this fantasy of a comic about the company Ming and I get a weekly grocery delivery from. The fantasy was so funny, I couldn’t stop laughing. I was in the kitchen to make some food, chopping veg, and cracking up from my own fantasy comic. So I thought–hmm, maybe I should actually try drawing it.
Then I was having some resistance and negativity: why would I draw comix? I can’t draw. This is just silly. I never made comix before….
Then I was like–oh wait. When I was around eight years old, I did make comix, I must admit. And the process was similar. An idea came into my head, and I kept thinking about it, then finally tried to make the thing. Almost a relief, to get it out of my head so I could let it go.
Those comix I made as a kid were single panel. I read books of The Far Side, and my parents subscribed to the newspaper, so I read the newspaper comix sometimes.
My mom might tell me, “The ________ is funny today.” And we would talk about them, like “Yeah, that was too funny,” or “Actually, I didn’t understand that one. Will you explain it to me?” Or “What did you like about that?” or “That was offensive–why in the world did you like that?!”
poems as artifacts
Yes, making comix is like writing a poem. Writing poems can be self-care. Some ideas are swirling in my head, too much. So I’m doing myself a favor to sit down and make myself write a poem with those phrases and thoughts, so I can move on.
Making a poem can feel very satisfying, and now it’s an artifact, done. Also it becomes shareable, so I can hand it to someone.
The thought made a picture in my head, art I could make, so I broke down and got a piece of paper and a pen, to make this.
Sorry the pic is not so good. I messed up the paper in the person’s hand, at first, so I made a new one and glued it over. I guess I’ll make a zine, if I accumulate enough of these.
Then I was emboldened, so I made this one I’d been laughing about for days, writing and rewriting it in my head.
Looks kinda rough–my boxes are not even. My lines are not straight. My handwriting might not be super clear. But I made something. And it might be ok, with my personality in it, some feelings. Funny, but not just funny.
I like to try new things, and old things. Comix are a genre of art–a valid way to tell stories. I have ideas beforehand, but usually what I make surprises me.
Why do you do anything? People can be motivated by money, fame, to impress someone, vengeance, pleasure, love, curiosity…
I’ve met a lot of people–art is a way for me to meet myself. I could make art on accident, for comfort, to put a thought to rest. Pulling something into this world from the other world is a big deal I respect.