It used to when I was little...the struggle to understand a two dimensional world, to make my small hands do as they were told. But one has layers of innocence and a sense of wonder to buffer the pain of the new experience. This is how it should be to my mind, an unfolding of the senses a child does quiet naturally, only on a much higher, instinctual curve.
It most certainly hurt when I entered the comics field back in the mid eighties. I'd never done this before and I had only my overwhelming desire to make something as good as Bryan Talbot's "Luther Arkwright" or BWS's "the Beguiling"... the two major inspirations at the time. But like pure punk music, the Puma Blues" it failed, but failed splendidly. Seldom noticed in it's time save when the powers that be, you know, those guys, made an issue of it's presence. Rarely reviewed, it non the less had people behind it. I had people behind me. Friends, collaborators, interested parties that filled the vacuum of the project as an on going work. It made the effort to try to meet a personal benchmark a little easier.
Then something went subtly wrong. I suppose the demands of life, a newer, or better still a new car, a real house and studio....a stable existence gathered an unusual importance. Though somewhere inside a small voice cried out to be careful, the idea seemed OK. Another learning curve hit and I was off again in uncharted territory. I'd never had to curb my abilities before in service to other protocols and while at the time, it was at least interesting, and the money, oh, the money was very good, I freely admit to being uncomfortable indeed.
But, I had friends, colleagues, admirers, artistic and interesting folk to share the world with, so it seemed to be a trade off I could live with to a large degree.
But, you know, I'm not a pop star, I'm not in show biz, not really an idol of millions, and never wanted to be. For a while there all kinds of doors seemed to open for the asking......
What they don't tell you is that you pay not at the front desk, but when you try to check out.
That damn voice in my head. That kid trying to grasp the passing vision with a pencil and paper on a hot summer afternoon in his room, would have his say, if it killed him.
It nearly did.
So. Hear I am. free of restraint and obligation to satisfy the program. Back to a place where art hurts. Trying with everything I have to seize this dream and make it worth the effort.
No one calls anymore, no one writes, and there is no one encouraging and interested in the struggle to transcend myself. No one to discuss the bigger issues with. I shouldn't be surprised, as Independence and my own single minded drive to excel me is so personal a thing that few are willing these days to step that close to fire this hot. It's just me, not being a very good salesman, not liking the business of promoting myself. But it's not me want to promote, it's the work......it's always just the work.
And then there is that old bugaboo, time.
I'm not getting physically any younger. My time here is limited. I see that now, and I have far to much work to do before the passing of my dream. It hurts. Like hell.
I have and will have constant pain from a back injury, I'm constantly on guard for heart disease and colon cancer, two genetic markers that are strong in me as my fathers son. I fight with subsistence living, worried about the mortgage and being able to supply myself with the necessary materials to continue.
And it gets fiercely lonely sometimes. Again, I shouldn't be surprised, my exit from the mainstream was not very graceful and grace under fire is to be desired.
Least you think this is just a litany of crows bitching in a dead tree, there are so many rewards.
I have a lovely home, and the finest companion a man could ever want. I have cloths to wear and food to eat and warmth when it's cold and cool when it's not.
But art hurts and I get lonely for those friends some days.
Digging deep into your soul to find the truth without the savage veneer of pop culture has never been something the masses have been overly interested in. Cool.
So, when I have enough to give you, enough worth giving by my standards and no one else's, I'll give them to you.......
The question then, is how badly will I fail.