Hiya, my buddies. I hope this new 12 months is treating you nicely. It has been glorious for me thus far. Quickly I have to announce the 2023 Ecuador chautauqua about money and meaning, however earlier than I do I will give a short replace on what I have been as much as.

Deciding to increase my sabbatical from Get Wealthy Slowly indefinitely has been liberating. The second I dedicated to this, it was as if a heavy load have been lifted from my again. I can pursue different passions now with out remorse. I do not really feel responsible. I do not really feel like I want to provide myself “permission”. I simply do what I would like, and it is superior.

Is not this what monetary independence is meant to be?

How I Spend My Time

My meals and health decisions have remained sturdy now for six weeks. (Official begin date of my re-dedication to well being? December 13, Taylor Swift’s birthday.) I am lifting weights 3 times per week. I am strolling roughly 5 miles per day. I am doing yoga. My alcohol consumption is method down. Extra importantly, I am making smarter meals decisions.

I am losing a few pounds, sure, however for as soon as I am not obsessing over the quantified outcomes. I am attempting as a substitute to concentrate to the precise habits and routines. I am targeted on the course of as a result of in the end that is what issues most. (That stated, I am happy to report that my blood strain has dropped from a mean of 144/96 in early December to a mean of 126/84 this week. Yay!)


  • The canine and I proceed our challenge to stroll each avenue in Corvallis, mapping the farm stands and little free libraries we discover.
  • I proceed to work within the yard.
  • I proceed my adventures in cooking.
  • I proceed to handle my mom’s property.
  • I proceed to look at loads of motion pictures, together with the Wednesday night time second-run movies at a neighborhood theater. (Tonight’s film? Patrick Swayze in Street Home. Not a movie I would decide for myself, however I am watching no matter this place decides to point out.)

Principally, although, I have been exploring artwork. Particularly, I am educating myself how you can cartoon.

A Clear Line

I took some images courses twenty years in the past — and I even offered a photograph to Audubon journal, which implies I can name myself a professional photographer (ha!) — however I’ve by no means created every other types of artwork.

[Photo of Opal Pool]

I’ve needed to discover ways to paint and draw for a few years now. Since October, I’ve floundered determining the place to begin. Do I be taught watercolor? Educate myself to attract? Discover different mediums? Do I be taught from YouTube? Take college courses? Educate myself from books?

Final week, I spoke with a few precise artists. One is a pal from highschool who makes her dwelling by promoting people artwork at native markets. The opposite is a Get Wealthy Slowly reader named Jacob. Jacob is a civil engineer by day however works with watercolor by night time. (His stuff is great!) These two conversations gave me some readability.

You see, I am drawn to visible storytelling. As long-time readers know, I am a life-long comedian e-book aficionado. However I’m also obsessed with film (particularly cinematography). To me, comics and movie are primarily the identical factor. I wish to be taught to inform visible tales like this.

Speaking with Jacob final week helped me work out the place to begin my journey with artwork. Jacob has the data and expertise and vocabulary to parse my ramblings and inform me what it’s that pursuits me and how you can start exploring it.

I like illustration. I just like the ligne claire fashion of drawing, most famously seen in Hergé’s Tintin comics. (Though Hayao Miyazaki’s work is not strictly ligne claire, I believe the films of Studio Ghibli embody an identical fashion: clear and easy characters drawn in opposition to detailed, real looking backgrounds.)

[Tintin in Tibet]  [My Neighbor Totoro]

“If I have been you,” Jacob instructed me, “I would decide one medium and use that to discover illustration.” Mild-bulb second!

Penny Quick

So, that is what I have been doing for the previous week. I’ve picked a medium — ink, however particularly brush pens — and I am ranging from scratch studying how to attract. For the time being, I am watching YouTube movies and studying books. Jacob inspired me to take in-person courses and workshops, and I believe that is a good suggestion. I will have a look at these later within the 12 months.

As a result of I am ranging from sq. one, I’ve many a whole lot (and 1000’s) of hours forward of follow forward of me. I’ve quite a bit to be taught. I am okay with that. Thus far, it has been enjoyable.

Yesterday was revelatory.

First, I lastly got here up with an preliminary character idea for Penny Quick, the ostensible heroine of the sketch I have been plotting for the previous two years. Impressed by Dr. Seuss, of all individuals, I discovered a method to attract her.

[Penny Short!]

Additionally yesterday, I started exploring how you can colour my characters. Thus far, I have been utilizing solely a black brush pen to make easy drawings. (The Penny Quick pattern above was drawn with a normal Sharpie, nonetheless.) Coloration hasn’t entered the image. However on a whim late yesterday, I added colour to a sketch and voila! added dimensionality.

[Penny Short...in color!]

Primary stuff, certain, however that is the place I’m on this journey…

I will admit that a lot of what I am doing with the artwork is scattered. I flit from one challenge to the subsequent. I will be watching a movie once I discover an fascinating body, pause the film, and spend the subsequent hour attempting to attract what I see. Here is a pissed off Chihiro from Spirited Away that I drew in my artwork journal utilizing Papermate Aptitude pens.

[Chihiro from Spirited Away]

As a result of I’ve by no means performed this earlier than, most of what I am doing is primitive. That is superb! I do numerous copying and imitation. Additionally superb! It is enjoyable attempting to determine these items out. I can draw the top of a cartoon canine, as an example, however I wrestle to attract the physique. So, I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying with completely different physique types.

Or, take eyes for instance. I imagine eyes could make or break character design. It is so bizarre to spend two days obsessing over how eyes are drawn, however that is what I did. Completely different artists strategy eyes in several methods. Every technique has its benefits and downsides. Which fashion do I take advantage of for which characters?

Principally, it is numerous repetition: drawing the identical characters time and again and again and again till I’ve the actions memorized. The kitchen desk is piled with papers that comprise the identical elementary sketches repeated dozens of occasions.

Discovering Success

Anyhow, all that is to say that I am having a very good time. I am in a very good psychological house — one of the best psychological house I’ve present in virtually a decade.

And you recognize what? This time without work has helped me to see that maybe I haven’t got to desert Get Wealthy Slowly fully. Maybe all that is required is an angle shift. As an alternative of considering GRS first, I can deal with it as secondary (or tertiary!) in my life. When I’ve one thing to say right here, I can say it. Perhaps which means lengthy gaps between publication and that is superb.

We’ll see.

Within the meantime, I’ll proceed having fun with this era of my life. It is fulfilling. It is simply what I’ve wanted.

Postscript: Like I say, I have to formally announce the 2023 Ecuador chautauqua on money and meaning. That is what I sat down to do that morning, however as a substitute I wrote this replace on my life.

The fundamentals are this: In late July and early August, I will be becoming a member of a few of my favourite people (Jess and Corey from The Fioneers, Tanja from Our Next Life, Jess and Lauren from Bitches Get Riches) to debate cash and that means throughout a retreat in Ibarra, Ecuador. That is my fourth time presenting at one among these occasions. They’re at all times superior.

I will publish an official announcement subsequent week!