Desires of Comics

In considering thought Buddha broke it down into two part, the cognitive, as in here’s all the crap I know about doing comics, and in the action oriented thoughts, the intentions you create. And in all of this there’s two sides of this the thoughts one controlled by desire, ill will and harmfulness and the opposite of this Renunciation, Good will and non-harmfulness.

So what are my desires in drawing comics? Of course I want to draw “good” comics in itself a well done comics page can be fun and a pleasure to create. But obviously drawing comics should make me filthy rich and praised from the mountaintops. Hollywood should be making movies of my work and I should be hanging with the movie stars. Buddha calls this 4 of the Eight Worldly Winds, things that happen in the wold, they are all Pleasure & Pain, Praise & Blame, Gain & Loss, Fame & Disrepute. Reviewing my work I’ve seen all of these howling through my life.

So the next question is how to deal with my desire to draw comics? That’s tomorrow’s challenge.


An Intention of Doing

To just breathe actually requires a fair amount of attention, developing the craft of watching things come up and letting them go. That intention is the first thing to set which is for sense input, a creaking wall can generate a hundred thoughts of doom says the homeowner. Bad smells can create even more doom. But if you look at those sense inputs (which include thoughts) and realize they can create only three kinds of feelings positive, negative and neutral, the hundred thoughts of doom are fabricated out of the labels you apply to it, you then group those labels into stories and soon you’re worried about your houses collapse.

Understanding that process is going on almost continuously as we live is important because then you can say, just a negative feeling and stop there. That process of noticing this sequence is what you are doing over and over again.

IN doing a drawing breaking your craft down helps immensely in setting your intention for your work. Make a list of what you are doing when you draw, gesture, composition, form, light and shade, costume, expression. Then do just that, one panel at a time. It’s just to easy to jump into an expression, a costume detail or a cool little background piece when I am working on a composition and or a gesture.

The moment I go off of just that one thing is when the problems start and my brain wanders off seeing something that creates a negative or positive feeling. Evaluation happens when you finish the drawing not when you are working.


It’s Complicated

So we have the first step toward happy artisthood which is Right View, there’s stress, it’s caused by clinging to things, it’s possible to end it, to do that there is a path to follow. Understanding that all your actions create stress is kamma. Get that basic idea in your head.

So how do you practice this, lot’s of life drawing, certainly not now. Maybe copy lots of artists that are more successful then you. Not going solve the stress involved in being an artist. The stress is all in how you act, thinking is indeed an action you can take. Try and let go of all the stress about deadlines, “Why doesn’t anyone love my art or me? will I ever think this is any good” Just focus on what you are doing.

Making art is complicated and you need to start with something really simple. Famed art teacher Joseph Albers started his classes with drawing straight lines. To get to happy artist-hood start with something even simpler. Take a breath.

Sit on your butt and pay attention to your breath, it’s easy and all the same issues that come up when you draw will come up when you breathe too. When breathing you can practice letting go of all the issues.

Now I could probably go on and on about this or I can point you to the best most basic manual on meditation it’s free, given away on the internet intentionally. Take five minutes a day and breathe, five minutes to read the book and fine tune what your doing. It’s made me a happier artist.


The Oxford Kamma

The second part of right intention is kamma or “karma” depending on the translator. Everyone knows that means what you did in your past life. When I was a Renaissance painter, then a middle linebacker for the Cleveland Browns so I have ended up as a schmuck in Oakland.

Reincarnation means every every cynic dismisses kamma as a fairytale . But Buddha never even talked about reincarnation. Buddha’s definition is “if this, then that”.

If you eat a dozen donuts every day then you get fat”. It’s cause and effect, the actions you take have a result. Everything you do has a result. Talk about what a great artist you are, the result is people wonder about your ego. Sit on your butt and draw, a finished comic is be the result. Spend all your time on Twitter bitching and you never draw.

Look at any action you take and you can see a result. From the momentary thought you have to scrubbing the toilet. It makes a lot more sense that if you lead a good life, are kind to people, charitable, and don’t harm anyone you end up becoming a better person. So where ever you go after you die is the result of the life you lead.

If you can see those two things, the 4 Noble truths, There’s stress, stress is clinging, It’s possible to end it and the way to end it is following this path and all of this is based on your actions, you have the first step of the 8-fold path.