It has been nearly two weeks since I posted anything. My grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer of unknown origin. It is so advanced that they didn’t recommend doing a biopsy, just do what we can to make him comfortable.

In the interim, I haven’t done as much drawing as I normally do, but I have poured my soul into CreateQuest. I’ve also done an insane amount of writing, both creative and instructional…and it got me thinking.

What do I want my creative practice to be? Don’t get me wrong — I’m primarily a visual artist. I love to draw and tattoo. I have a passion for it. But my overarching passion is…well…creativity. I like to make things.

And so, after a harsh slap in the face when I missed two days of drawing…I realized I needed to change.

I looked back at those two days and asked myself “Was I still creative?” The answer was a resounding “YES!” I didn’t watch an ounce of T.V. on those two days, but I DID spend about 4 hours each day on developing CreateQuest.

I’ve managed to draw or tattoo every other day, but I was getting overwhelmed, stressed, and downright emotional most days since my family received Papaw’s diagnosis. So I didn’t take pictures of most things, I didn’t post anything, and I just kept plugging away.

Here are a couple of the scraps from my phone that I’ve accomplished over the past 2-ish weeks:

And today I did my first warmup page in weeks:

I felt ANGRY the entire time I was doing the warmup for some reason. I can tell I’ve definitely regressed on my drawing, though. It’s not a comfortable feeling.

And I did some last-minute prep for one of tomorrow’s appointments:

What went well?

  • I maintained some sort of creative practice, though it changed.
  • I realized that my creative practice needed to change.

What needs work?

  • I need to figure out what my new “floor” is going to be, what direction I want to go in.

What did I learn?

Having a larger oscillation is important. I work well with sprints, sometimes for lengthy periods of time, but having a week of light tattooing is such a relief. I can’t maintain 110% workload for longer than a few weeks before I start to “crash.”

I’ll be planning a week “off” from tattooing every month now. I still have consults scheduled, I still have one tattoo to do this week, and I have plenty of admin to keep me busy, but I’m not stacking my cards so high that taking a step will make them fall.

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