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Hiya, my buddies. I hope this new yr is treating you nicely. It has been wonderful for me to date. Quickly I have to announce the 2023 Ecuador chautauqua about cash and which means, however earlier than I do I am going to give a short replace on what I have been as much as.

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 have been lifted from my again. I will 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 would like, 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 sturdy now for six weeks. (Official begin date of my re-dedication to well being? December 13, Taylor Swift’s birthday.) I am lifting weights 3 times per week. I am strolling roughly 5 miles per day. I am doing yoga. My alcohol consumption is manner down. Extra importantly, I am making smarter meals selections.

I am dropping pounds, sure, however for as soon as I am not obsessing over the quantified outcomes. I am attempting as an alternative to concentrate to the precise habits and routines. I am targeted on the course of as a result of finally that is what issues most. (That stated, I am happy to report that my blood stress has dropped from a median of 144/96 in early December to a median of 126/84 this week. Yay!)


  • The canine and I proceed our challenge 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 night time second-run movies at an area theater. (Tonight’s film? Patrick Swayze in Street Home. Not a movie I would decide for myself, however I am watching no matter this place decides to indicate.)

Principally, although, I have been exploring artwork. Particularly, I am instructing myself how one can cartoon.

A Clear Line

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

[Photo of Opal Pool]

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

Final week, I spoke with a few precise artists. One is a buddy from highschool who makes her residing by promoting folks 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 night time. (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 e-book aficionado. However I am additionally obsessive about movie (particularly cinematography). To me, comics and movie are primarily the identical factor. I wish to be taught to inform visible tales like this.

Speaking with Jacob final week helped me work out the place to start out 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 how one can start exploring it.

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

[Tintin in Tibet]  [My Neighbor Totoro]

“If I have been you,” Jacob informed me, “I would decide one medium and use that to discover illustration.” Gentle-bulb second!

Penny Brief

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 mean time, I am watching YouTube movies and studying books. Jacob inspired me to take in-person courses and workshops, and I feel that is a good suggestion. I am going to have a look at these later within the yr.

As a result of I am ranging from sq. one, I’ve many a whole bunch (and 1000’s) of hours forward of apply forward of me. I’ve quite a bit to be taught. I am okay with that. Up to now, it has been enjoyable.

Yesterday was revelatory.

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

[Penny Short!]

Additionally yesterday, I started exploring how one can shade my characters. Up to now, I have been utilizing solely a black brush pen to make easy drawings. (The Penny Brief pattern above was drawn with a typical Sharpie, nevertheless.) Colour hasn’t entered the image. However on a whim late yesterday, I added shade 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 am going to admit that a lot of what I am doing with the artwork is scattered. I flit from one challenge to the following. I will be watching a movie after I discover an fascinating body, pause the film, and spend the following hour attempting to attract what I see. This is a pissed off 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 performed this earlier than, most of what I am doing is primitive. That is positive! I do a number of copying and imitation. Additionally positive! It is enjoyable attempting to determine these items out. I can draw the top of a cartoon canine, as an example, however I battle to attract the physique. So, I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying with totally different physique kinds.

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 technique has its benefits and drawbacks. Which type do I take advantage of for which characters?

Principally, it is a number of repetition: drawing the identical characters time 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 very best psychological house I’ve present in nearly a decade.

And what? This time without work has helped me to see that maybe I haven’t got to desert Get Wealthy Slowly utterly. Maybe all that is required is an angle shift. As a substitute of pondering 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. Perhaps meaning lengthy gaps between publication and that is positive.

We’ll see.

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

Postscript: Like I say, I have to formally announce the 2023 Ecuador chautauqua on cash and which means. That is what I sat down to do that morning, however as an alternative I wrote this replace on my life.

The fundamentals are this: In late July and early August, I will be becoming a member of a few of my favourite of us (Jess and Corey from The Fioneers, Tanja from Our Subsequent Life, Jess and Lauren from Bitches Get Riches) to debate cash and which means throughout a retreat in Ibarra, Ecuador. That is my fourth time presenting at certainly one of these occasions. They’re at all times superior.

I am going to publish an official announcement subsequent week!



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