motel room ’16

I’ve found myself looking at past drawings for inspiration. sometimes I get a grand – excuse my phoniness in using this word, I’m making a point – idea and start sketching the idea as a rough draft to draw later. But most times, I find myself wanting to redraw past pictures to prove myself that I’ve grown as an artist and learned a couple things over the years. This is the competitive side of me coming out and wanting to show I’m better now than then. I personally think it’s great to see improvement with my piss poor understanding of anatomy and backgrounds, and to see how my style has developed over the years. My first drawings are cringeworthy with no refinement or understanding of proportions. I used to have a strong anime/manga style¬†and this has influenced my now cartoon style of drawing. I like to redraw old stuff to see the improvement, but I’ve found a flaw in this. It becomes an obsession with the past and stops new ideas and creativity. It’s a recycle of art instead of a journey. There’s no new, there’s only this over beaten path of the past and a compulsion to draw but without passion.

To do anything without passion is a waste. There is no¬†purpose of responsibility in your thoughts and actions. It’s being a tourist in your own life. I’ve realized this after a long year and now understand that you can’t declare an “I’ve made it point” when you become comfortable with life and become nostalgic for the easy past. You got to keep moving and exploring, you can’t settle and think, “This is good enough.” No, there’s much more and you got to keep walking, thinking, moving forth and not wander back.

The past is a great lesson, but it’s a tourist destination. The glamor and fun can keep you entertained for so long before the urge to move on consumes your mind. But to where? Everywhere if you look, if you really look.

During the beginning of this year, I found myself being lured by the Siren’s song of settling. It was comfortable, it was easy. I put my love in the wrong places and invested in the wrong people. I thought I would be better lowering my expectations to a motel that had a $7 coupon in a place I didn’t want to vacation in. If I had loved myself then, I would’ve treated myself to a suite in this depressing tourist stop.

I stayed in this motel until I became its wallpapers and stained carpets. I kept looking at a wall and thinking of all the ways I could’ve stopped myself from reaching this point of staying in this pathetic motel. I never considered the windows with the light begging me out of this place. I stared at the walls too long and never saw the scenery out my window. I became bitter, arrogant, and selfish in this room. I needed change but couldn’t reach the door. Every time I tried, it was like something n this false comfort of scratchy sheets and poor wifi said this was good enough.

But I checked out and decided never to look back.

It’s comforting at first to look back at the used sheets and familiar channels on the satellite, but wouldn’t you want to breathe the fresh air after months of staleness and look at the sunset instead of that faded imitation of a painting on the wall? It’s refreshing, it’s new. Instead of being bitter by what I knew of life, I invited it in and fell in love. This time I fell in love with the right people, places, ideas. With this life, I fell in love with myself and ambitions. I deserve the best of everything and will not be satisfied until so.

Sometimes, there is still a longing for the dimly lit motel room with free soap. Especially with tragedies such as the Trump Presidency, the Pulse club shooting, Aleppo – it’s easy to surround yourself in sheets and draw the curtains. 2016 has left me and others mad, divided and shocked, yet we should not be defeated by them. There are great adversities that can halt us yet we still beat on. There are still births to celebrate, good music to discover, declarations for love and change, and there is still compassion in a world seemingly cold. I and others have this motel room that tempts us to come back and say that this is good enough, but we drive past to an unknown path, sometimes off-road, and take on whatever comes next. We go forth, and we do not look back.

So 2017, let’s go.