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2011 Resolutions Revisited: The Good, the Bad & the ‘Meh’

“Change happens in an instant; making it stick is the hard part.” – no idea who said that.

New year, new you. Same every year. We all wake up on January first with this sense that anything is possible; whatever happened in the last year was just so much water under the bridge. This year will be different.

Last year, like most of humanity, I sat down and plotted out some resolutions. Being a cartoonist, I decided to make them pictorial. Below is a poster of what I can up with.

The point of resolutions is that they actually serve as a touchstone for 12 months on the decisions you make. And I tried to organize mine around who I wanted to be in the new year: a better friend, a better artist and a better man. So, herewith is an assessment of how my resolutions did or did not play out.

The Good, the Bad and the Meh
(Please note that I borrowed the Meh from another blogger…)

The Bad

Yep, these never happened...

As part of my desire to be a better artist I had resolved to do a couple of things: finish illustrating a friend’s comic script, go to life drawing every week and learn how to shoot the antique Rollei-Flex camera I found in storage and take a screen printing class. None of this happened. I looked some stuff up on a website in January and that was about as far as any of them went. FAIL.

Yep, these didn't happen either

I had also resolved, along with everyone else on earth, to get in better shape by losing some weight, going to the gym, going to yoga and packing my lunch. Again, intentions were better than actions. FAIL.

The Meh

Kind of made these happen

Well this isn’t bad, it’s just that, though I did manage to focus on these ones a little, I didn’t get as much done on them as I’d have liked.
I had wanted to call friends and family more before they drifted away completely, be a better husband and save some money. I think with all resolutions that are this wooly, they were destined for wooly results. Yes, I called friends and family, but not as much as I should have. I was a better husband… sometimes. And I didn’t drive us to the poor house, but I could have been a little smarter around money.

Yeah, kind of got there with these too

On the art side, I can put these in the “sort-of” pile: I did “sort of” do three mini-comics, but it was a bit of a cheat because only one was purely new material. I did “sort of” do a new website (if you count harassing your wife into building one). I did “sort of” begin to outline the new book, by writing it out as a short story first. And though I didn’t sketch daily, when I did pick up pen and paper I was much the better for it.

The Good

As far as things that I can categorically say I can cross off last year’s list, there are four:

No more beaver ravaged fingernails...

Nail biting
I don’t know where habits like this come from, but I had been a nail biter for years. Last year I decided to stop and somehow I did. Well not somehow, the way it worked was that everytime I found myself tempted to bite my nails, I thought about how that reflected who I was and wanted to be. I didn’t want to be a nail biter, so I reached for clippers instead. It’s not slaying a gorgon or curing a disease, but there was and is a tremendous sense of accomplishment in putting something stupid like that to bed.

Pas une mauvaise vue, hein?

Improve French
I had written this down last year thinking that it would be nice to work on honing my French by dipping into Rosetta Stone here and there. Until August, I had done bugger all. But then at the end of August, I got a call from my boss’s boss’s boss who asked me to go to Paris for work for three months. I’m still here and the trip now is going to be six all in. It’s a fascinating thing doing something for work that you feel you can do backward and blindfolded, but to do it in another language with a vocabulary of about 500 words and only the present tense. Thankfully everyone is being very kind!

This picture above is the view from our little flat onto the Seine. You can see the Louvre in the distance across the river on the right.

Only took 8 years, but worth the wait

Get Book Deal
I’ve first started working on my Graphic Novel “Things to do in a Retirement Home Trailer Park… When You’re 29 and Unemployed” in 2003. It began as a journal of sorts to come to terms with being 29, unemployed, and living with my father in a retirement home trailer park. It kept me sane. But the more I committed pieces of my experience to paper, and the more I tweaked the reality of what had happened with the tools of drama, narrative and “pulling stuff out of my ass”, the more it became a story I thought held together and might hold some interest for those I wasn’t either dating or related to. Thankfully, in May of last year, Corinne Pearlman and Candida Lacey of Myriad Editions were interested, and now we’re planning a February 16th book launch in London!

Goalie out of the Game, Opposition scores...

Finally, it was a little bit tongue in cheek, but last year I resolved to get my good lady, Gertrude (otherwise known as Lyndsay) with child. Another friend of mine had joked about taking the goalie out of the game and seeing if the other team scored. The stories of people trying to get pregnant are legion; I’m thankful that ours, at least thus far, seems to have been fairly simple.

Until we get to know this little person a little better, we’ve dubbed him/her “Sprout”. Seems appropriate as “Sprout” is “Pousse” in french and a stroller is called a “Poussette”.

But as someone who has chosen as his metier creativity and making things as an artist, nothing compares to “making” something quite like this. With a drawing, you’ve got the option of pencils, erasers, white out, sketches, even “command” + “z” on a computer. With this little person, you’ve got to nail it everyday. Perhaps that’s why my first parenting book is this one.

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