January Art Thoughts

Hey friends! Figured I’d write up some thoughts I’m having on Twitter, and share some art I’ve done in the last little bit.

Here’s a tree I sketched out for my dad’s birthday recently, with some indigo paints a friend gifted me and some muddy-green ink I picked up that I really like.

Here’s some thoughts I posted to Twitter today, that I think are a nice bit of insight to keep me going:

I can’t remember who posted it, but I saw something like “artists need plenty of time to do nothing”, and honestly? For real. Making stuff, at least for me, requires a massive amount of focus and energy to channel things onto paper. That, on top of more typical life shit lol.

So with that in mind I feel better about not hammering stuff out like in an assembly line. And even if I was? Still would need proper rest time.

A healthy boundary I’m developing in regard to my ambitions, is “what I do and can do is good enough.” I see all this cool shit people make that I love the look of, and instead of having high expectations I just let myself make what I make and do a loose study if I’m so inclined.

I’m hitting a point where I’m fairly content with my level of skill and craft. I am playing around and figuring out what I wanna say, beyond making neat little vignettes to soothe my soul with. Biggest things seem to be “ha isn’t life fucking absurd” and “just gotta keep going.”

I think these speak for themselves, for the most part, but I’ll elaborate a bit just for my own sake, to get some more thoughts out.

A big thing I ran into for ages was having lofty ideals and ambitions, with no clear idea how to get there and limited energy just to brute force it. Even despite that, I’m proud of a lot of what I’ve done and the personal growth I’ve had.

My goal moving forward is self-fulfillment and sustainability. And remembering to live. Art isn’t just putting marks on a page. Music isn’t just hammering out some notes. A big part of it is in studying from life and studying craft — this includes not just learning to do the thing, but learning to say what I want with the thing.

Much of this is related to like, finding the light in the darkness. The world is a deeply chaotic, often unpleasant, but also beautiful place. Giving contrast to and bringing awareness to parts of it can really be enlightening and also sometimes encouraging, despite the deeply dark parts of reality.

Existence, this planet, the things we’ve got, us… it’s all an extremely unlikely thing in this infinite universe we live in. And there’s a lot to do if we’re going to keep existing, but that’s not the focus of this post.

I guess my point is, keep going, keep doing the thing, appreciate it ’til we can’t. I dunno, this post got more existential than I anticipated. I hope y’all got something out of this post, too!

Poem – “Machine”

CW: Gore, death

The Machine
By Anthony Jutz

The rusting, ancient hulk,
It hungers for our bones and gore.

Caked with bile,
Its gears grind our rotting flesh.

The Machine,
Older than any of us can remember.

It powers our rotting city,
Huffing mold and mildew through its vents.

We feed it our dead and dying,
Yet it still hungers and groans.

Its crusted parts screech in agony,
Yearning for more than we can give.

We call out the barred windows of our city,
That not even our hottest torches can melt through.

This ancient, rusted god,
Providing power to our home and prison.

One day I will feed it, too,
My gangrenous corpse fueling it for one final hour.

In hopes, we grind,
Perchance, to find:

A way out.

December Update + The Machine Awakens Released!

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve checked or updated this blog. Most of my goings-on are on my Patreon lately. But, I’ve been pretty busy and I’ll get into a bit of what I’ve been up to here. There’s nothing quite like having a personal website to call home.

First of all: I made and released my first ever album, called The Machine Awakens! I participated in National Solo Album Month (NaSoAlMo) in November and found that a deadline (plus better mental health) actually does help a fair bit. It’s about putting something out in the world, not aiming for perfection. Perfectionism just seems like another form of vague idealism that doesn’t give me a real goal. So, better to just hammer something out!

Here’s a link to the album on Bandcamp! I’m proud of how it came out. My last couple years of practicing and poking around have paid off. I’m planning on releasing a bunch of loose songs I have from the past couple years at some point, too.

Here’s a link to the album on Soundcloud too, in case you’d rather listen there since there’s no play limit.

On the art front, I’ve been keeping it pretty low-key. I’ve had some (routine and not-scary) medical stuff going on that’s taken a lot of focus. It seems to be getting better now though, so we’ll see how things go from here.

I did do a bunch of tiny paintings and such though!

[Image Descriptions: Top left is a rocky desert scene with flowering plants. Top middle is a butte with a cloudy skyscape. Top right is three buttes with a clear skyscape that contains a bright sun. Bottom left is more cloudy desert. Bottom middle is a foreground of rocks and trees with a giant sun behind it. Bottom right is four brush pen trees ketches of both leafy and bare trees with rocks at their base.]

Through October and November, I did some Inktense and colored pencil sketch, some brush pen stuff from imagination… mostly just tiny experiments that the sketch card tier patrons I have might like.

This month, December, I plan on doing more brush pen experiments. I want to work up to doing a larger illustration or two in prep for a commission I have. It’s kinda nice just poking away at things and having the goal of finishing something to keep me on task.

Anyway, that’s it for this time. I hope y’all have a wonderful holiday season and rest of the year!

Summer Art Update

Hey friends! It’s been *several* months since my latest update here. I’ve been doing a bunch of sketching and music, but most of that’s ended up over on Patreon (behind a 3-day delay between sharing and being public).

Anyway, here’s some art!

As you can see, I’ve been developing much more confidence and competence in my line work and painting now that I’ve gotten back into watercolors! I’ve found my happiness in it, at long last.

Anyway, that’s all for now! I’ll try to be better about updating this page more frequently in the future.

Small Update

I just realized it’s been about two months since I’ve updated my blog. I haven’t forgotten it, there just hasn’t really been all that much to share due to illness and tech issues.

am working on a short comic project though, so whenever that’s done it’ll be posted here.

Steal Like An Artist and Other Things

So, it’s been an eventful few days, after a rough patch last week (which I posted about for my Patreon subscribers). I’m doing better now, however, and am making changes to my life to hopefully prevent or lessen the impact of such an episode in the future.

Such changes include my giving up alcohol for good. It’s been doing me no favors and I’ve wasted too much money on it. There’s little point in consuming something so unhealthy, anyway. I’d rather drink tea instead, so I will.

I’ve also been changing my inner self-talk. I used to use very demeaning language when talking to myself, particularly when I’ve made an error or remembered a past one. Instead, I’m just shrugging things off and taking them as a note to do better in the future. Live and learn, eh?

On top of all that, I’ve picked up my copy of Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon (who you should really give a follow on Twitter) again. This book is full of amazing creative advice for artists. There’s no shame in “stealing” things and making them your own. Now, neither I nor the book mean in the sense of plagiarism. It’s all about taking some cool shit and mashing them together into something new, interesting, and our own.

Other than that, I’ve been laying more groundwork for my fifth rewrite of Recompense, a story I’ve had in the works for like four years now. I’m hoping to make the best out of it I can this time, and know I will. This story deserves it. I deserve it, too, for all the effort I’ve been putting in. Heck yeah, getting better at a skill.

I haven’t done any noteworthy art this past week, but I’ll get back on the horse sooner or later. Getting some space from such things lets me come back with more fondness and eagerness than before.

Anyway, I hope you all are well and will catch you later!

-Jank/Anthony