Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sound and fury

I can't believe I've had 400 things to say.

More accurately, I can't believe I've had four things to say, repeated an average of 100 times. They are these:
  1. Illustration
  2. Open-water swimming
  3. The San Francisco Giants
  4. Pontification on vital matters about which I know not very much
    So really, this blog has been item 4 — in 400 variations.

    That's not how I planned it. This was supposed to be a blog about my illustrations, but two things happened:
    • I couldn't shut up
    • I've seen other illustrators' illustrator blogs and, though I like the art, I wanted more than "Here's a picture I drew."
    I may still create an illustration-only blog, if only to compel fecundity in my work and maybe dislodge some subdural projects. I'd write just a wee bit — I promise! — about process.

    Each of these shawn, DRAWN®™ posts, by rule, must accompany an illustration, primarily mine, which has forced me to cobble art fast. But pictures have taken a backseat to words.

    Some weeks I've had nothing to say — but that hasn't prevented me from saying so anyway. Thank you especially for reading those.

    Four-hundred posts have generated another 10 percent — 40 posts — in draft form. Some, you'll be happy to know, will remain in draft until I finally click "delete." They comprise:
    • Malformed Giants posts in which I thought the Giants were going to fail spectacularly and they turned it around, and vice versa. I'm the fickliest of fickle feckless fans.
    • A post in which a client — actually, the child of a client — asked through channels to have me remove the post, however laudatory, because it mentioned the client's CEO's name. As if he was Yahweh or Voldemort or something. I wrote a post about how I didn't get that at all.
    • Anniversaries that coincide with editorial cartoons I drew at the time. They are at once interesting and depressing, because they remind me of a door I shut on myself 25 years ago. I have one half-done post about Manuel Noriega as he was ousted as dictator of Panama. But that notable anniversary has passed, and who cares about/remembers Manuel Noriega?
    • A "Where Are They Now?" post of people I knew in childhood, which I quickly realized would be a horrible violation of people's privacy, and I've already mentioned people's names — in the best light — without formally asking permission. Besides, what a lot of work that would be. I was motivated by the fact that you and I can find people long lost to us through the miracle and treachery of social media.
    • Various posts about news events in which my knowledge was poorer than usual.
    • Posts that won't see daylight because I realized they weren't my stories to tell — including one in which I praised highly someone I have known and work with, who politely insisted I do not publish it.
    All of which means, dear reader, some drafts will eventually become official posts. So you can plan around them, prepare for:
    • A post about our dog
    • Swims and swimmers I know
    • An ode to my Lake Natoma, presented in a novel way
    • A rant from long ago about the insanity of promoting one's freelance work online
    • Good and bad logos I come across
    In other words, prepare for tales told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Maybe 400 more? Thanks again for your patient attention.


    1. Manuel Noriega -- wasn't he the guy with the pock marks?

    2. that's the one, with the young punk neighbors who moved in next door and wouldn't stop playing their damn thrash metal music at all hours.

    3. Thanks, Shawn, for sparing us a reprise of Pineapple Face, although I've heard he's a contrite, humble man these days.

      Your bit about having to pull a post strikes a chord. Folks can become obsessively self-conscious and paranoid when reading about themselves in print. I've had to pull or modify personality features and other stories because sources quoted or described got cold feet. I've actually had people play dumb beyond belief:

      Them: "I didn't know you were planning to put that (comment) in the paper."
      Me, incredulous: "You didn't see me scribbling furiously with a tape recorder in the other hand?"

      A couple of times, folks wanted a story run but wanted it sanitized beyond acceptability. No dice. I shitcanned those stories. But I feel ya -- it's always hard to throw hard work away because someone else is being a wuss.

    4. the part i miss the least about being a reporter!