I finished page eight of Longing Part Two on the 17th of this month, and ever since then, I've been trying to draw page nine. However, I'm still stuck on the first panel! It's not like I don't know what to draw - I have the whole page planned out, but I can't stay focused, and keep my momentum up to want to continue working on my novel. I know exactly why this is happening. I keep thinking about how my art isn't up to par, and is not good enough for the mainstream markets. So what's the point?? Even though I decided not to conform to the accepted idea of comic art, it still weighs heavily on my mind. I draw how I draw because of my disability, my art is an expression and an extension of me and thus it is an extension of my Cerebral Palsy. In essence, what bothers me is the feeling that I am not good enough because I have a physical disability.
Therefore, it is time for some radical self acceptance! In Teal Scott's latest Shadow House episode, she shares a technique that shows us how to accept parts of ourselves that we see as negative.
I'm going to apply this technique to the feeling of not being good enough because of my disability.
This post is taking a really long time, and I'm feeling some resistance because of it, so expect a part two. However, someday I'd love to have my own version of Shadow House. I would love to have a group of friends that I could be this open and comfortable with.
Leija's video couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Yesterday, I got an offer that could eventually put my book into the mainstream markets. Sounds great, right? Going mainstream could mean that I'd make a lot more money, and I could even have a book deal! However, going mainstream would mean that I would have to change Starkeeper's artwork, and let someone else do it.
I express myself through my art, and I am not able-bodied, nor will I ever be. I draw a certain way because of my Cerebral Palsy, and if I have to hire another artist to change my art, just to fit into the mainstream idea of comic art, then I'm not interested.
There are many other roads to success, and like Leija says, it takes time. I don't have to be the next Stan Lee or Alan Moore to be successful, I can be me. Glee talks about that a lot, and oddly enough, this week's episode discussed trying to fit into mainstream ideas vs. being yourself.
I'm not changing my art for anyone, and one day soon, you're going to hear me ROAR!
I haven't blogged in a while because things have been spaztacular. Botox was supposed to help with my spasms, but it's not. I'm a spaz, what can I say?
Anyway, this past weekend, I got the opportunity to attend this year's OFCP conference, and I had an AWESOME time. I met (and listened to) some cool people, hung out with a friend of mine, sold a few books, and even danced. It was a very busy but fun and surreal few days.
Some of you may recall me talking about the times when I felt like I was "normal," and when my disability seemed to "fade away." I experienced a similar feeling at the conference. However, I realized that for many years now, I have tried to do what I do, in spite of my disability - I've tried to achieve my goals without my limitations getting in the way. I ran, or rather attempted to run from my Cerebral Palsy, and other differences, instead of integrating and embracing them. My disability is a part of me - sure, having CP really sucks at times, but without it, I wouldn't be me.
For the longest time, I felt like if I couldn't find a way to overcome my disability, I would never really get the chance to have the life I wanted. However, the whole OFCP conference experience, just proves and reaffirms how untrue that notion is.
I can be "normal" and disabled. I can be successful and disabled, and one of the main reasons for creating Starkeeper is to show people with disabilities (and/or any other difference) that they can be successful in their own right. I can even be gay and disabled!
There isn't a whole lot of dialogue around being gay and disabled, or dating and disability in general. This is one of the reasons why I got involved with Hidden Rainbow. My friend Andrew, founded Hidden Rainbow, which is an online community and resource site for LGBTQ people with disabilities. Check out the site, and/or get a hold of us, if you are interested. We'd love to hear from you!