NOTHING to complain about

Mon 1/23/2006

I've been having kind of a hard week. Basewood is done, but now I'm dealing with all of the hassle of scanning it and printing it, which is not a lot of fun. Also, since it was the first week of classes, the homework hadn't really kicked in yet.

My life "slowed down" to some extent and I actually had some free time. But instead of feeling GOOD, it just made me realize that I'm pretty unhappy under all this crap. And the REALLY depressing thing is that I know in a week I'll be so busy again that I won't notice again and won't have the time to deal with it anyways! So I've just been trudging through my to-do lists, trying to check off some of the countless things I neglected while working hard to finish off Basewood.

Then, this morning on the subway, I saw this girl--about my age--with the most horribly disfigured face. Burn marks, huge scars, chunks of her face missing, her nose completely gone. I only glanced at her for a moment and still I was almost nauseous. Everyone on the train was sort of looking at her, but AVOIDING looking at her and I felt so awful for her. I thought, "WELL AT LEAST MY FACE ISN'T ALL FUCKED UP" you know? Can you imagine dealing with THAT all day every day? Imagine working up the courage just to leave your apartment!

I mean really, what the hell am I complaining about??? I see something like that and I think "I have no right to complain about ANYTHING. EVER." I am totally healthy and live in such a position of privilege. I go to SCHOOL to study ART for christ's sake! I even know what I want to DO with my life, what I want to share with others and teach to future generations.

So...yeah. I just wanted to say that. LESS COMPLAINING--that's my goal!

9 comments on this entry

I don't really go in for this "Someone's worse off so I have no problems" thing. Just because someone is in a worse situation, it doesn't mean my lesser situation suddenly doesn't suck. People who have had their leg cut off still do not like getting paper cuts. That said, I think complaining less is rarely a bad thing (very few people my age, myself included, are so reserved that we're likely to not report a real problem because we're so restrained), and seeing somethig like that does add useful perspective. (Man with the papercut: "At least my damn leg didn't get cut off again!")

Matt Jan24

I know what you're saying Matt. I think I was just saying I should focus more on POSITIVE things than negative things. Instead of: "Aw man, I'm having trouble getting my self-published comic book out the door" I can think, "I HAVE A SELF-PUBLISHED COMIC BOOK." !!!

Alec Jan24

And a face!

-Matt Jan24

this one's on my new year's resolution list, too :-))

i think i am one of the worst complainers when it comes to thinking that everyone else leads a more productive and personally rewarding existence than me--- i just need to follow 'the schedule' and give less of myself to the icky day job (:)> peep!

thanks for the perspective :-))

stephanie Jan25

Hey Alec, just checking out your site, pretty nice.

Anyway, I had a similar experience this morning, I saw a girl who was just covered in boils, looked like the elephant man almost...(mighta been the same girl since I took the C) I too complain a lot and generally knock myself around in my own head, but it could always be worse I guess.

I think that I can't necessarily say that it put things in perspective for me because it's a subjective matter really, but in general it's better to look at the positive things in your life. Otherwise you'll have wasted a bunch of time just thinking about how much things suck.

Anyway, from my view you have a lot of positive things going for you, for one I wish I had the willpower and drive to do a whole comic. Man, I would get so many good ideas done...

Ajani Jan25

Holy Crap Ajani! NICE SKETCHBLOG! I bookmarked it so I'll be able to see the latest from your super-awesome sketchbooks.

As for Comics--DO IT!!! Give yourself a standard page layout (say a 2 x 3 grid) and do one panel a day. Or just work FIFTEEN MINTUTES each day on a Comics project--you'd be suprised how that time adds up. You'll have a minicomic by the time we leave Pratt if I have to DRAG it out of you!

Alec Jan25

Somewhat unrelated to this current blog, but related to the last: How the heck was the comics exhibit? :)

The Comics Exhibit was AWESOME. I've been back a couple more times since the opening and every time I leave I am totally inspired. It's really neat to be able to see how other Cartoonists work. You can tell A LOT about someone's process by minutely examining their finished art.

Also, the curator did a really great job of getting complete excerpts from each of the artists, instead of a bunch of random pages it's an actual sequence so you can see some of the more subtle aspects of Comics (pacing, page layout, etc).

Hopefully I'll remember to bring my camera to school one of these days so I can take some pictures (which I'll post here, if I do). Who KNOWS when I'll be able to see some of these originals again!

Alec Jan27

Awesome! I'm working on my fourth visit to the "Masters of American Comics" exhibit currently in LA. (It's been worth the two hour drive and wicked traffic everytime.) It's traveling too, so make sure you check it out when it hits New York!!! Keep doin' whatchu do, Alec!


Post your comment here:

A week in the life...
I've officially had each of my classes at least once now. And I have some REALLY great classes and ..
Okay, first of all, everyone should go check out the latest issue of which ..