Monday gets a bad rap these days. You spend all week working your butts off, then the inviting weekend commences, only to have it crushed by going back to the reality of work… Again. The only exception is if you enjoy doing what you do.
That’s the basic attitude of Mondays. I’m not pointing this out because I think it’s unjustified. And not everyone feels the same way, but many, many people do. So with that premise, I started thinking about how to present something I’ve been working on for the past several weeks. I wanted to do it in a way that doesn’t rely solely on social media. I’m trying to use my website more, considering I have it for a reason, right? So I made a decision to post a picture I’ve drawn or painted once a week, preferably on Mondays. I am debating whether to just email the picture, or make a post about it, while still sharing it on social media. ….I’m leaning towards the second idea.
Not everyone uses social media. Sometimes I envy that. I sometimes wonder what life would be like if I didn’t have such a large following of my Mr Rain Cat page on Instagram and Facebook. The main reason I started a Facebook page for Rain in the first place was because I wanted to have a place to share everything about him. He was just that cool, interesting, unique and beautiful a cat to me (he still is!). And it was fun writing things to go along with the photos and videos, especially from a cats perspective. I never intended to gain such a big following. It feels kind of strange sometimes. Strange but really cool. And of course he has more followers than on my Facebook art page haha. But that’s okay. It can be hard to resist a silly Abyssinian 🙂
Then I get comments and messages from people about how much they enjoy seeing what’s going on in Rains life, and seeing his pictures, videos, and stories. I’ve received some really sweet messages from people explaining how much it means to them. Most of the time it is directed at Rain, but I don’t mind. With all the darkness going on the world, we could all use a bit of lightness to pierce through it, even if it happens to be from a cat. It’s those kinds of messages that reminds me why I continue to use social media. Although I have cut back a lot of what I used to post. My thinking is, I’ll tell you what is on my mind to those who go out of their way to find out (of course, efforts go both ways). That’s how it works in real life. That’s how you have genuine human relationships. I used to always think, ‘what am I going to post about Rain today?,’ every single day, until I finally felt overwhelmed, feeling like I was sharing too much all at once. So in summer 2016 I took a summer-long break. I read a LOT and engrossed myself in other things without thinking about what picture to post or what things to read that others have shared. I felt like my mind could actually think more clearly, without all the noise of so many thoughts and opinions. I didn’t feel obligated to tell anyone I was going off for awhile. I just did it. One does not always need to announce to the world everything in life. I didn’t say anything to anyone until people starting asking what happened to Rain and his human. It was sweet of them to worry. Since returning, I’ve not pressured myself as much to post something about Rain every single day. Just when I have something really worth sharing. It feels more genuine that way.
So, I know I just went off on a tangent. But with all the things going on with social media these days, oversharing, information being sold and used to manipulate how one thinks (this isn’t anything new though…), being used as test subjects with knowing it, feeling no sense of humanity in disagreements between those we call friends (mostly over politics), it felt relevant enough to share my thoughts about social media in general, from my perspective. Many things about it makes one want to look somewhere else that respects a persons private information.
Of course, it’s not all bad. It’s just easy and convenient. It’s also really cool to be able to communicate with people who are pretty famous (it’s a rarity for me but it’s happened at least once or twice). And meeting new people, possible art commissions (which has been happening a bit more over time, which I’m very grateful for!) and discovering interesting products and services I might not have heard of if it weren’t for the advertising. And being able to chat with people instead of having to consider calling (of course, there was email, messenger programs, and texting before that….)….
BACK to the point of all this: social media sites like Facebook won’t be around forever. I think it is unwise to rely on such platforms as an only means of communication and sharing of things. I’ve also noticed that there are a lot of people leaving Facebook. Maybe not enough to put a dent into the company themselves, but it’s enough to make me take notice. So I’ve been thinking of different ways to share all things Rain & my artwork. It’s still a work in progress, but I feel like I have a direction to go into. And that starts with sharing something once a week. I aim to share something on Mondays. Something to take the Dread of of the Day out, I hope, for people. It will be artwork, Rain, a combination, or whatever else is on my mind.
I have another reason for doing this. I’m trying to develop a story and I feel like it is at the tip of my tongue as to what story I should share. But I need a direction. I feel like this is one way to get me to tell a story, and hopefully develop it overtime. I have a very general idea, but nothing concrete. And I want concrete, something solid. Something that makes me excited to share. It’s there, I just have to keep digging for it. I feel like the best way for me to do that, is to start sharing a weekly artwork.
For those of you who follow me on Facebook & Instagram, in October 2017, you’ll know that I started participating in something called Inktober. It’s yearly month-long online event where artists all over the world partake in a word of the day ink drawing. It’s meant to foster those creative muscles and help create a healthy habit of doing a piece of art every day. Well, I did pretty good the first four days, but projects came up and I felt as though I was forcing ideas to come out, and they were halfhearted terrible ideas at that. So instead of trying to keep up with the internet, I decided to pause on it and continue it the next year, maybe. Which would be this year. Inktober words aren’t limited to use for only October, after all. In March, when I started thinking about a story more seriously, I started outlining things I would, or might, want to put in a story. They’re just bullet points right now, but I still didn’t have a solid direction. After that, I was drawing, a lot. Nothing super major. I may share them someday. But it was mostly to foster ideas for character designs. Although I did like where it was going, I still didn’t have a solid direction. That’s when I remembered Inktober. I started going over the daily words and looking over the drawings I had done, and ones I started. I realized that I could use this as a jumping board to help me sort out my thoughts and ideas. To start thinking of characters and where to go for my story. Much of it will surround Rain, but I think over time it will develop into something else. In my eyes, it’s just a spring board for something else. That’s my hope. That’s my goal this year.
Starting next week, I’ll share the first four Inktober pictures I’ve done so far, and some other miscellaneous drawings I did last year that was never shared in the first place (unless it was done for a specific person, just not shared with the masses).
See you then!