This post you’re about to read is going to be on the long side, I apologize in advance. A lot has happened recently and I felt like sharing my thoughts and feelings is a good way to help me through some stuff.

So, all night last night I watched my country finalize their decision on who would be the new president. I want to be clear, I’m not going to get into my thoughts or opinions on the election right now. I’m not using this post as a platform to say anything about anything political. All I can say is that I was going through a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that kept me awake longer than I would’ve liked and, the next day, after waking up from the little sleep I did get, I felt fucking depleted. And before you ask, no, my emotional state wasn’t based entirely on the results of the aforementioned election, that was kind of just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

So, I woke up feeling low. Lucky for me, I work nights this week so I could just lie in bed for a couple hours. When I eventually did get out of bed to take a piss, it took a lot of self-deliberation to stay out of it. For a while I bounced around the different rooms of my apartment. I thought maybe if I did that, then I’d find something to do to occupy myself, or distract myself from the things I was feeling and the thoughts I was having. I mean there was plenty of things I could’ve done; clothes to be put away, dishes to be done, trash to be taken out. I listed everything I could do, which ones I should do first, which ones I should get done after I got ready for work, and so on. But I just couldn’t will myself to do a damn thing. I crawled back in bed defeated. I knew I wasn’t going to fall back asleep so I starting dicking around on my phone.

When Jet Pack Joyride failed to keep me entertained I turned to YouTube videos. After a while, and thanks to YouTube’s recommended videos and their “up next” feature being on auto play, I found myself watching the Game Grumps. It honestly took me by surprise when I heard their voices. It had only been a few months back that I had unsubscribed from their channel, but it had felt like years since I watched any of their content. For why I unsubscribed, I wish I could say it was just because their content no longer entertained me, but that wasn’t the case. I stopped watching their stuff mostly because of a personal reason. One that seems pretty trivial and petty in hind sight, but I digress…

Now, it wasn’t any of the “lets plays” from their main channel I stumbled upon, but a podcast on the “Grump Out” channel. The one where Arin interviews Danny. They talked about Danny’s upbringing for a while before moving onto the start of his music career, and what inevitably brought him to join Game Grumps. In my then mood, nothing about the early part of the interview resonated with me. Though to be fair, I was so emotionally drained, nothing else did either. But when they got to his music career, and all the trials and tribulations he faced at the being of it all, something clicked.

Every time I produce a comic I wonder if that’ll be the one that’ll garner enough attention to reach that viral status. The comic that’ll go down as the starting point of our success; the comic that’ll make our dreams a reality… Another thought I have every time I produce a comic is whether it’s even good enough to achieve the prior. I’m not discrediting Nick’s contribution to our comics by the way. Call me biased, but I honestly believe Nick Dimitri is one of the funniest guys in the world. That doesn’t mean he can do no wrong, but more often than not, when Nick puts a script together, it feels like magic, like we actually have something here.

The doubt in quality lies solely on my own shoulders. When I come up with a script I worry that only me or Nick or my other close friends would get it or find it funny. As far as my art goes, I know it can be better, but sometimes the self-doubt gets so strong, I find myself hating everything I put to paper, or Wacom tablet rather. Even now as I write this post, I don’t know if anyone will ever read it. Besides family, friends, and maybe a few friends of friends, no one comes to this site. We’re relatively new to the internet, undiscovered if you will. Although, when you consider how fast content is produced and becomes viral, maybe we’re just irrelevant, but who knows, that’s not the point I’m trying to make with this…

Anyway, as Danny continued to talk, I realized that the thoughts and feelings he struggled with back then are the same ones I’m dealing with now. The same ones I’m sure plenty of artist struggle with. One parallel I keep playing back in my head is, when Danny said that he compared his own level of success to people like Curt Cobain and what they had achieved at that age. That’s something I do all the time. When I look at people like Ian Jones-Quartey (RPG World), Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins (Penny Arcade), and even the Game Grumps, I ask myself, “what the fuck have I done?!” I’m 24, Arin is only in his late twenties and I remember watching the Awesome series in high school!

Hearing Danny say those things, in a way, put me at ease. I realize there have been plenty of people who have made it, that at some point were in the exact same position I’m in now. That these thought and feelings are natural and common. That if I just keep my head up and stay on my grind, one day I can achieve the same level of success. When that realization dawned on me I felt different, re-energized. I was motivated. Not just emotionally, but creatively. I got up and started drawing. “If I want to succeed I need to improve. If want to improve I need to keep practicing,” I told myself. The next video that played in the queue was Arin’s bit about Wendy’s where he parodied the scene from one of my favorite movies “Say Anything…” Which by the way, is where I got the idea to end titles with ellipses. It evokes a sense that there’s something more to this thing than what’s given away by the title alone.

Sorry for getting side tracked again, my brain is weird sometimes… Anyway, when I saw that parody it made me crack up, but more importantly, it gave me the much-needed reference for my creative expression.

20161109_135204

The house work got done as well, by the way. Well, except for those pesky dishes, but I’ll tackle that challenge in the morning… Oh, and I re-subscribed to the Game Grumps too. And if you’re reading this and you don’t know who they are, I recommend checking them out. In my opinion they’re worth your time. Well, that’s it. If you read this whole thing, thanks a lot for giving enough of a damn to do so, it honestly means a lot.

-AV