Thursday, June 13, 2013

What's Up With the Exile

Here's the thing: The Exile of Natalie Rios should have been done months ago. I feel like I'm letting Katie Zall down. I HAVE been drawing it when I've been able. I haven't been able to draw often in the last couple of months. First, the good news: I have a new job. That job knocks nine hours (at least) out of my work day, but it means I'm likely to keep my house and I'll be able to feed myself. It does eat into my drawing time, though. Now the bad news. I'm having some medical problems that are affecting my hands. This is what my hands look like these days:

Each of those little red spots is either a subcutaneous blister filled with blood or one that has ruptured, leaving a subcutaneous scab. These are exquisitely painful if you hit them wrong, but they are usually just annoying. They are preventing me from drawing, though, because drawing irritates them. Not all the time. But often enough. And when they aren't irritated or inflamed, they itch. Christ, they itch. My skin has become so sensitive that scratching those itches is positively orgasmic sometimes, which in the grand scheme of things is horrible because scratching this shit is the last thing I should be doing. At other times, I just want to take that Xacto knife and skin myself and be done with it.

I've got windows when I can draw, and I do draw then. But they're becoming infrequent.

I don't know what it is that is afflicting me. At first, I thought it was tophaceous gout, but it doesn't behave like gout and it certainly doesn't look like it. It's possible that it's psoriasis, but, again, it doesn't fit the descriptions I've read on the internet. My current theory is that it's a drug reaction to a medication that I started taking earlier this year. The timing is right. I've stopped taking that pill and a couple of others besides on the off chance that it's an interactive reaction and not just one pill. Since these pills are my hormone therapy, I'm cranky right now, and often, when I can draw, I don't want to because I'm full of rage or on the verge of crying or deeply depressed.

So why don't I see a doctor about this? Easy: I don't have insurance and until three weeks ago, I didn't have a job. Welcome to America, friends. Best health care system in the world. They hate us for our health care. But I can't really ignore this for much longer because it's spread to my legs and my torso. It's not on my face yet, nor on other more sensitive parts of my anatomy. So I've made an appointment I can't really pay for in the hopes that there's a treatment that won't put me in an even deeper hole than I'm in. I'm sure that this is something that's eminently treatable if I had any money or insurance coverage. But I don't, and I can't draw these days to get money. It's a vicious circle.

I'm in a black mood. That's not good for drawing, either.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A couple of Illustrator projects

Here's what I've been spending my time on this week. Above is a poster for The Center Project of Columbia, Missouri's annual Atomic Dance Party. The Center Project is a GLBT community center, and I wanted to be as inclusive as I could, hence the essential androgynous genderqueery nature of the main figure. This the first actual type design I've done in a while, and I'm more or less happy with how it turned out. Adobe Illustrator over red pencils.

The other thing I've been working on this week is an ad for the Voices Against Bullying comic. My editor gave me ad space to promote my stuff, so who am I to say no, eh? Longtime friends and readers will recognize this as being based on my usual profile picture, minus the Silver Shamrock boxes. It even looks like me, which is gratifying. Adobe Illustrator.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Doctor Frankenstein, I Presume

This is another warm-up drawing that took on a life of its own. It's Peter Cushing as Doctor Frankenstein, as he appeared in films by Hammer Studios. This week was Cushing's 100th birthday, so I was planning to do some art to celebrate in any event. Brush and ink and Copic markers on Bristol board. 4"x6".

This is available in my Etsy store.