Well, wouldn’t you know it…today is Endangered Species Day! A day when people gather around the table and invite pandas to have as many cuppycakes as they want…and…no? That’s not what endangered species day is all about? Okay, smarty pants…why don’t all you folks down at the Pan Diego Zoo tell us what the day is supposed to be about if it’s not about giving pandas cuppycakes.
We R Endangered, for crying out loud!
Artists are also on the threatened species list…
But it’s not just pandas and..um…a bunch of other animals that are endangered. As an artist and a writer, I have been feeling kind of endangered myself these past few years, and one of the effects of that has been that at times (only at times, mind you) I have felt like I was losing my creative focus.
I have often mentioned, from time to time, people from whom I have taken inspiration. I include my favorite painters, as well as those writers and cartoonists who have helped to shape The Panda Chronicles, even if they didn’t know they were doing it. One of those people is Jessica Abel, who along with her husband Matt Madden wrote Drawing with Words and Writing with Pictures. Along with Scott McCloud, who wrote the Understanding Comics series, these books helped to make the Panda Chronicles become what it has today.
Most artists and writers stumble from their path. They endlessly refresh their Twidder feeds, or they play computer solitaire when they should be painting. Goodness, ha ha! I don’t know anyone who does that…it’s just something…um…I heard someone say once, in passing. So, it was with great interest when Jessica started writing in her newsletter, about a book she was writing on creative focus, and how to get out of your creative rut. It’s called Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When you’re Drowning in Daily Life.
I’m still working my way through the book, but I’m already finding it inspiring and helpful. Each chapter ends with an exercise to help you first, to see where you are sliding off the rails, and secondly take positive, concrete steps to re-jigger your behavior, to get back on track. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited (if you have that) for free! But I think when I do my next book purchase, that the paperback copy will make a nice addition to my reference library.
My goal is to read a chapter a week, and do the exercises at the end of each chapter. Maybe I’ll even report on my progress here, every once in a while. If you’d like to know more about Jessica and her work, please visit her website here. She’s also offering a 5 day free mini course called Creative Compass starting this very next week! Check it out here.
In the meantime…let’s have some more ‘toons! And while we are talking about creative pursuits, here’s some pandas being creative!
Remember, without pandas, there can be no panda satire!
Here’s hoping that you have had a wonderful Endangered Species Day! Makes a nice change from obsessing over the West Wing soap opera, right?
And don’t forget, in a few short weeks, we’ll be launching our next Kickstarter project, for an extra special art and pandas trip to China!!!
Bob T Panda