March 23, 2023

Hiya, my pals. I hope this new 12 months is treating you effectively. It has been glorious for me to this point. Quickly I have to announce the 2023 Ecuador chautauqua about money and meaning, however earlier than I do I am going to give a quick 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 had been lifted from my again. I can pursue different passions now with out remorse. I do not really feel responsible. I do not really feel like I want to present myself “permission”. I simply do what I need, 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 robust 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 method down. Extra importantly, I am making smarter meals selections.

I am shedding weight, sure, however for as soon as I am not obsessing over the quantified outcomes. I am making an attempt as an alternative to concentrate to the precise habits and routines. I am targeted on the course of as a result of in the end 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 mission to stroll each road 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 look at loads of films, together with the Wednesday night time second-run movies at a neighborhood theater. (Tonight’s film? Patrick Swayze in Street Home. Not a movie I might choose for myself, however I am watching no matter this place decides to indicate.)

Principally, although, I have been exploring artwork. Particularly, I am educating myself easy methods to cartoon.

A Clear Line

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

[Photo of Opal Pool]

I’ve wished to discover ways to paint and draw for a few years now. Since October, I’ve floundered determining the place to begin. Do I be taught watercolor? Educate myself to attract? Discover different mediums? Do I be taught from YouTube? Take college lessons? Educate myself from books?

Final week, I spoke with a few precise artists. One is a good friend from highschool who makes her dwelling 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 great!) 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’m also obsessed with film (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 determine the place to begin my journey with artwork. Jacob has the information and expertise and vocabulary to parse my ramblings and inform me what it’s that pursuits me and easy methods to 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 believe the films of Studio Ghibli embody an identical type: clear and easy characters drawn towards detailed, lifelike backgrounds.)

[Tintin in Tibet]  [My Neighbor Totoro]

“If I had been you,” Jacob advised me, “I might choose one medium and use that to discover illustration.” Mild-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 lessons and workshops, and I believe that is a good suggestion. I am going to have a look at these later within the 12 months.

As a result of I am ranging from sq. one, I’ve many a whole bunch (and hundreds) of hours forward of observe forward of me. I’ve lots to be taught. I am okay with that. Thus far, 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 method to attract her.

[Penny Short!]

Additionally yesterday, I started exploring easy methods to coloration my characters. Thus far, I have been utilizing solely a black brush pen to make easy drawings. (The Penny Brief pattern above was drawn with a regular Sharpie, nonetheless.) Shade hasn’t entered the image. However on a whim late yesterday, I added coloration to a sketch and voila! added dimensionality.

[Penny 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 mission to the following. I will be watching a movie after I discover an fascinating body, pause the film, and spend the following hour making an attempt to attract what I see. This is a annoyed 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 accomplished this earlier than, most of what I am doing is primitive. That is nice! I do numerous copying and imitation. Additionally nice! It is enjoyable making an attempt to determine these items out. I can draw the pinnacle of a cartoon canine, as an illustration, however I wrestle to attract the physique. So, I’ve spent a lot of time taking part in with totally different physique types.

Or, take eyes for instance. I consider 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. Totally different artists method eyes in several methods. Every technique has its benefits and drawbacks. Which type do I take advantage of for which characters?

Principally, it is numerous repetition: drawing the identical characters time and again and again and again till I’ve the actions memorized. The kitchen desk is piled with papers that comprise the identical elementary sketches repeated dozens of instances.

Discovering Success

Anyhow, all that is to say that I am having a great time. I am in a great psychological area — one of the best psychological area I’ve present in nearly a decade.

And you already know what? This day off 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 considering 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. Possibly which means lengthy gaps between publication and that is nice.

We’ll see.

Within the meantime, I’ll 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 money and meaning. 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 Next 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 considered one of these occasions. They’re at all times superior.

I am going to publish an official announcement subsequent week!