[Photo of Opal Pool]

A transparent line


Deciding to increase my sabbatical from Get Wealthy Slowly indefinitely has been liberating. The second I dedicated to this, it was as if a heavy load had been lifted from my again. I can pursue different passions now with out remorse. I do not really feel responsible. I do not really feel like I would like to provide myself “permission”. I simply do what I need, and it is superior.

Is not this what monetary independence is meant to be?

How I Spend My Time

My meals and health selections have remained robust now for six weeks. (Official begin date of my re-dedication to well being? December 13, Taylor Swift’s birthday.) I am lifting weights thrice per week. I am strolling roughly 5 miles per day. I am doing yoga. My alcohol consumption is approach down. Extra importantly, I am making smarter meals selections.

I am shedding weight, sure, however for as soon as I am not obsessing over the quantified outcomes. I am making an attempt as an alternative to concentrate to the precise habits and routines. I am centered on the course of as a result of finally that is what issues most. (That mentioned, I am happy to report that my blood strain has dropped from a mean of 144/96 in early December to a mean of 126/84 this week. Yay!)


  • The canine and I proceed our mission to stroll each avenue in Corvallis, mapping the farm stands and little free libraries we discover.
  • I proceed to work within the yard.
  • I proceed my adventures in cooking.
  • I proceed to handle my mom’s property.
  • I proceed to observe loads of films, together with the Wednesday evening second-run movies at an area theater. (Tonight’s film? Patrick Swayze in Street Home. Not a movie I might choose for myself, however I am watching no matter this place decides to point out.)

Largely, although, I have been exploring artwork. Particularly, I am instructing myself find out how to cartoon.

A Clear Line

I took some images courses twenty years in the past — and I even offered a photograph to Audubon journal, which implies I can name myself a professional photographer (ha!) — however I’ve by no means created every other types of artwork.

I’ve needed to learn to paint and draw for a few years now. Since October, I’ve floundered determining the place to begin. Do I study watercolor? Educate myself to attract? Discover different mediums? Do I study from YouTube? Take college courses? Educate myself from books?

Final week, I spoke with a few precise artists. One is a buddy from highschool who makes her dwelling by promoting people artwork at native markets. The opposite is a Get Wealthy Slowly reader named Jacob. Jacob is a civil engineer by day however works with watercolor by evening. (His stuff is nice!) These two conversations gave me some readability.

You see, I am drawn to visible storytelling. As long-time readers know, I am a life-long comedian ebook aficionado. However I am additionally obsessive about movie (particularly cinematography). To me, comics and movie are primarily the identical factor. I need to study to inform visible tales like this.

Speaking with Jacob final week helped me work out the place to begin my journey with artwork. Jacob has the data and expertise and vocabulary to parse my ramblings and inform me what it’s that pursuits me and find out how to start exploring it.

I like illustration. I just like the ligne claire fashion of drawing, most famously seen in Hergé’s Tintin comics. (Though Hayao Miyazaki’s work is not strictly ligne claire, I believe the movies of Studio Ghibli embody an analogous fashion: clear and easy characters drawn in opposition to detailed, practical backgrounds.)

[Tintin in Tibet]   [My Neighbor Totoro]

“If I had been you,” Jacob advised me, “I might choose one medium and use that to discover illustration.” Gentle-bulb second!

Penny Quick

So, that is what I have been doing for the previous week. I’ve picked a medium — ink, however particularly brush pens — and I am ranging from scratch studying how to attract. In the intervening time, I am watching YouTube movies and studying books. Jacob inspired me to take in-person courses and workshops, and I believe that is a good suggestion. I will take a look at these later within the yr.

As a result of I am ranging from sq. one, I’ve many a whole lot (and hundreds) of hours forward of follow forward of me. I’ve lots to study. I am okay with that. To date, it has been enjoyable.

Yesterday was revelatory.

First, I lastly got here up with an preliminary character idea for Penny Quick, the ostensible heroine of the sketch I have been plotting for the previous two years. Impressed by Dr. Seuss, of all folks, I discovered a approach to attract her.

[Penny Short!]

Additionally yesterday, I started exploring find out how to colour my characters. To date, I have been utilizing solely a black brush pen to make easy drawings. (The Penny Quick pattern above was drawn with a typical Sharpie, nonetheless.) Shade hasn’t entered the image. However on a whim late yesterday, I added colour to a sketch and voila! added dimensionality.

[Penny Short...in color!]

Fundamental stuff, positive, however that is the place I’m on this journey…

I will admit that a lot of what I am doing with the artwork is scattered. I flit from one mission to the subsequent. I will be watching a movie once I discover an attention-grabbing body, pause the film, and spend the subsequent hour making an attempt to attract what I see. This is a annoyed Chihiro from Spirited Away that I drew in my artwork journal utilizing Papermate Aptitude pens.

[Chihiro from Spirited Away]

As a result of I’ve by no means achieved this earlier than, most of what I am doing is primitive. That is high quality! I do numerous copying and imitation. Additionally high quality! It is enjoyable making an attempt to determine these items out. I can draw the pinnacle of a cartoon canine, as an illustration, however I battle to attract the physique. So, I’ve spent a lot of time taking part in with totally different physique types.

Or, take eyes for instance. I imagine eyes could make or break character design. It is so bizarre to spend two days obsessing over how eyes are drawn, however that is what I did. Completely different artists strategy eyes in numerous methods. Every methodology has its benefits and downsides. Which fashion do I take advantage of for which characters?

Largely, it is numerous repetition: drawing the identical characters again and again and over and over till I’ve the actions memorized. The kitchen desk is piled with papers that comprise the identical basic sketches repeated dozens of instances.

Discovering Success

Anyhow, all that is to say that I am having a superb time. I am in a superb psychological house — the most effective psychological house I’ve present in virtually a decade.

And you understand what? This break day has helped me to see that maybe I haven’t got to desert Get Wealthy Slowly fully. Maybe all that is required is an angle shift. As an alternative of considering GRS first, I can deal with it as secondary (or tertiary!) in my life. When I’ve one thing to say right here, I can say it. Possibly which means lengthy gaps between publication and that is high quality.

We’ll see.

Within the meantime, I’ll proceed having fun with this era of my life. It is fulfilling. It is simply what I’ve wanted.


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