A sketch and an update
Hi everyone, it’s been (longer than) a while. I’m sorry for my absence—the past couple of months have had me stretched so thin that I think I actually started resembling a piece of Swiss cheese, and I’m only now starting to get back to feeling human again. Regardless, I wanted to apologize to you all for the prolonged period of radio silence, and I wanted to prepare you for the deluge of updates your inboxes are about to receive—I’ll be posting on a daily (weekday) schedule for the foreseeable future, so if you’d rather not get bombarded with emails from me 5x a week, please adjust your subscription settings accordingly. 🙏
I’d gone back and forth about whether I should stagger out posts because I personally have email-induced anxiety and the thought of getting even more emails than I already do is kind of a personal nightmare of mine, but the ones I actually do enjoy seeing in my inbox always come from artists I support/subscribe to, so I had to conclude that even if I don’t always like looking at my own creations, if you’ve decided to follow me here, chances are, you wanna see my art.
It’s a little silly how easy it is to get in my own head about that. There was a time when I was first starting to share my art online that I couldn’t wait to get it in front of people—I was eager to show every new drawing I’d done, and I routinely felt like my latest piece was my best work to date. But over the past few years, my perspective on my own work shifted a great deal. I began to experience “The Gap”:
If any of you are also creators in any capacity, you’ve likely experienced similar feelings; I’ve come to think of them as “growing pains”, because like Ira Glass points out, they occur when the evolution in your taste outpaces your technical ability as an artist. I suppose it’s kind of like the artist form of the Dunning-Kruger effect. I’ve been stuck in this state of mind for a prolonged period of time and it’s made me rather unkind to my own work—I tend to fixate exclusively on the flaws and it has made me somewhat shy about showing anything I draw, especially as of late.
The reason I’m sharing all of this with you isn’t to fish for compliments or reassurances, but rather to provide a little bit of insight into what all artists go through at times—regardless of where they are in their careers or how accomplished their public-facing social media pages might make them appear. At the end of the day, all of us are sometimes prone to being our own worst critics.
A couple months ago, I won my 2nd Eisner award for Best Cover Artist, and on the one hand, I was of course extremely humbled and grateful; on the other hand, I felt completely undeserving as I knew that every single one of my fellow nominees was just as (if not more) worthy of receiving it. I unironically wished I could split it up evenly among all of us a la that scene with the tiara in Mean Girls, haha. It’s a strange experience to publicly accept an award that you know will likely contribute to a public image of success even when internally, you’re stuck in The Gap. (Not to say that these 2 things are mutually exclusive, but just that you can’t always gauge someone’s state of mind based solely on publicly available information.)
I only have anecdotal evidence of this, but I think especially over the past few years of covid, a lot of us have retreated into our hermit shells and periodically fallen into a routine of being overly self-critical. And I guess I just wanted to be transparent about it in case you, too, were going through it, and thought you were the only one. I promise I’m right there with you. Let’s do our best together to dig ourselves out. 💪🔥
Anyway, thanks for sticking with me. More tomorrow 💜 (In fact, Mondo just announced what’s dropping if you want a sneak peek) 👀⚡️:
Can’t wait to receive all the emails so I can rush here n check out all your gorgeous work!!
a deluge of Jen Bartel artwork in my inbox? yea, not gonna complain about that. Glad you’re starting to feel better