chantico: (Haphazard)
I'm trying to listen to the signs of something being wrong with my mental state but I just don't know what to make of them. Focus problems- yes, okay. Everyday I have focus problems. 10 minutes is my attention span, max. Why? Dunno. Maybe it's just bad habits, lack of discipline. Maybe my brain has been trained to be only absorb tiny bites of internet information. I like that explanation but I don't know if it's right.

I can focus, if I want to be doing what I'm doing. If I don't . . . well. I feel like I'm going to crawl out of my skin within five minutes. So probably a discipline problem? Feh.

Wrote that, went to the bathroom and breathed it out, then sat down and plowed through the thing that interested me most on my to-do list.

Speaking of which, I'm working on some superhero designs for Monkeyden again, and I luuurve working for them. I did a series of villains a little while ago, and now I'm working on the heroes. Happy as a clam, especially since they are really, really supportive of lots of women and POC characters, and very loose in what they ask for so I have a lot of room to develop a whole character concept.

For one of them, I've got a First Nations dude, and I really don't want to fuck this up and be insulting, so I did some research and emailed some folks connected to the Tribal Council for the tribe coalition I want him to be from; they put me in touch with a historian. Mostly, I want to make sure the images I'm using aren't deeply sacred and used in an insulting way-- he's a shield and force field projector, and I thought it would be really beautiful if his shields looked like Native art. RESEARCH.

We've also got a femme, flowery, badass tokyo neon speedster girl and a sprightly muslim Batman lady.

FUCK I want a cupcake.

Hem Hem

Oct. 20th, 2011 09:03 pm
chantico: (Loudmouthed)
In discussions about food insecurity, food safety is often left out of the debate. Crappy eats that are chock full of preservatives are, well, chock full of *preservatives*. Things that preserve. Not only will they stay edible longer, they will repel more vermin, and aren't dependent on refrigeration. Fresh food does none of these things.

Edited to add: Is digital distribution inherently supportive of a monopoly corporate model? With physical product, a store or venue can, to a certain degree, tailor it's stock to it's budget. But if the licensing fee for, say, an MP3 is the same across the board, then small start-up "music shops" online will never be able to afford the catalog of larger companies.

Champions!

Jun. 2nd, 2011 11:30 pm
chantico: (Bad Ass)
All the jobs I have held in my short adult life have been retail or food service positions ranging from the abomidable to the entertaining, but they have all been underscored with the way familiar to anyone low-income attitude of "You are incredibly replaceable, so *tow the line*". Places like the local movie theatre and the ice-cream shop I worked at were unsurprisingly the worst; anytime you have a business designed to take advantage of an abundant and youthful workforce, you're going to have a meat grinder environment. Even my nice downtown retail positions had the same problem, being highly desired by a great many people and dependant, really, on how much the boss liked you. As one of the few people I know who actually enjoyed retail, *especially* the customer service angle, this was incredibly frustrating. I was and am very good at making people feel welcome to a store and valued whether or not they made a purchase, which I firmly believe is a cornerstone of getting repeat customers (though getting me to be so chipper about cleaning is a little harder, I will admit). I still miss My Favorite Retail Job, but, um, disagreements with the manager there meant it was clear I was not welcome back after I took a school-related sabbatical. I had essentially lost my place, and that was a deep shame.

It isn't just my personal experience, either, but the experience of my family; of watching my mother, my sister, and my many of my friends be abused and dismissed as a valuable part of the workforce. Others have more elegantly dissected the class issues involved with this, but I feel it worth pointing out that one component in impoverished folks staying that way is that the feeling of being replaceable and worthless in a work place is deeply ingrained within service industry jobs. (Skilled blue collar labor is also devalued for not being intellectual enough, or for being antique). Confidence seems to be one of those invisible class keys to unlocking the passage between low income and middle class, even middle and upper middle class, and it is hard to be confident when you know what a replaceable part you are.

All of this is a very long winded run-up to this fact: I have a job, and I was desired for it. That is both an exhilarating and disturbing experience.

First, well deserved squee: OMG. YOU GUYS. You are now reading the job of a staff illustrator, meaning I have a DESK and there is a SALARY and it is easily *double* what I have ever made in my life. AND BENEFITS ON TOP. Like all the cherries, ever, and sprinkles. life insurance. 401K. Health, vision, dental, o, hark, the holy trinity is among us!

I have a secure job doing what I love with all of those mythical grown-up things that make life just the little bit less scary. And this luscious sundae of security, this dream-wrapped dessert of employment, is drizzled with the sweetest sauce of all: they *wanted* me. I wasn't pushed through the process, but the interview and applicaton really seemed more like impatient formalities. They saw what I could do, and valued me for it.

Gosh.

But when I am done a'skipping with well-deserved glee, even though I am still so happy and so pleased with myself and making plans about how I will save for a house and pay off my debts and all will be rainbows, a more critical eye is open, and marvels: I am SO very grateful, beyond the grace of a thankful and confident craftsperson. Some base part of me is grateful like a dog fed real meat. I used the word mythical up there, to describe benefits that are taken for granted in so many professional spheres, and the idea that I have landed a slaary at all overwhelms the fact that I still make less than most bartenders. I am *not* complaining about the position; far from it, especially since it opens me up to focus on fine art and my own paintings, and turning a profit from those as well (what is this "work-life balance" you speak of? I am suspicious of your implications that art can be personal and fun.). I am not turning a blind eye to the fact that there is something deeply wrong in our work culture when these things that are necessary to living a financially sound life seem like mana from heaven.

Tonight, though, I'm just going to swallow the blue pill, and be pleased as punch with my awesome fucking new job. That I totally earned, yo, by putting in a lot of hours at the drawing board, and countless more pushing myself mentally to not give up, not ever.

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chantico

May 2014

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