Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Beginning the New Year

I entered 2006 by bursting out of the starting block into an all-out effort to catch up with my dreams. These dreams seem to always be running just a tad bit ahead of me. The chase is alway on. My dream this year is to catch up. To at least run... with the same momentum. If for a time, we can run, hand in hand.

Did you know? That when I was a small girl, I couldn't pronounce my ers. I would call squirrels, skwoy-luhs. My aunt who lives in Lindenhurst, NY said I talked just fine. I also talked faster than my mouth could pronounce them, leaving me talking part of the conversation and playing charades with the other part of the conversation.

Sometimes even now as a adult, I find myself still playing the charades while talking.

I have all these words and feelings I want to express, but often times the words just get jumbled up inside me and I have difficulty in expressing them. I marvel at these wonderful writers and people who can converse so effortlessly. I am rivoted.

I started drawing my life in comic strip form back in high school. It was therapeutic for me. Later, I sold children's records door to door (while being in a youth ministry). I hated doing that and felt so awkward and embarrassed and shy to walk up to homes of strangers and try and act brave and enthusiastic. Despite my fear, I sold many records. Often times, I would take a break and sit on the curb and draw my door-to-door experiences out. Then I'd stuff them in my record bag and head out to sell more records. It gave me a whole new wonderful and different perspective on my life. And how I viewed the world around me. It helped me clarify my thoughts. It was a form of charades for me.

I've always felt huge feelings. It sometimes fills me up in such a capacity, I don't know how to release it. Sometimes I wouldn't even know how I felt, until I drew my experience out and once I did, I was able to collect my thoughts and feelings about the situation.

In my mid-twenties, I was hired at a large insurance company. My mom said, "Shawn, you will meet friends for life there."

Friends for life. Friends for life.
I was so excited. I couldn't wait to meet these friends for life.

I was completely out of my element, though, feeling trapped wearing a dress everyday, sitting in these long rows working as a clerk typist.

It was my first (and only) non-creative job. My survival back then was to draw out my uncomfortable experiences as a clerk typist and then tape them along the wall next to my desk. I'm quite sure, no one had ever seen the likes of me before. I lasted six weeks before the creative publications department hired me. I only worked there for a couple of years before I discovered I could only be so creative in the insurance world. I wanted more.

I think for the most part, I often feel out of my element.

I can be at the mall and feel self-conscious. I feel out of my element, when I'm waiting in a doctor's office or walking alone through the neighborhood. I feel out of my element, when I'm getting my nails done and wonder if the manacurist can sense that from me. The only time I really feel in my element is when I'm drawing comics about my life and feelings.

So. With all that being said. I have decided to start posting my comics online... just little snippets of a day in my life. They won't necessarily be funny. Because my life's moments aren't always funny. But usually they will always be thoughtful.

I'm not a great illustrator. And I know I'm not a good writer. But the combination of the two help me see the world and myself in a new way.

It is called doodlesoup.

I've already posted a link to it on the column to the right.

I've been drawing these for more than 20 years. It's time to put them out there for others than myself to view. This is my big dream. I'm catching up to it and holding hands with it now.

Doodlesoup is a blog of sorts. It's a day in my life. It begins January 1, 2006.

Happy New Year.


Monica said...

I am always in awe of your honesty, talent, and creativity. Never lose any of them! I love Doodlesoup, keep up the great work!!

Janet said...

Shawn, I'm so excited for you that you have decided to do this for yourself.But I'm equally excited for those of us who like seeing the little snippets of your life, in your doodles and stories.Of course, your illustrations are wonderful, but you're a great storyteller too.It's always nice to read your stories and say,"that sounds like me, or...yes, I feel that way ,too.Best Wishes !

petunia said...

I am proud of you for doing this for yourself. We all need to be doing what we feel the most whole at. It's a self discovery for you that will reap rewards in ways you cannot imagine. Thank you for sharing it for all that want to see and read. We will benefit too... by knowing you better. By glimpsing into a part of your soul where you most feel at home.

c h e l said...

I am so pleased that you are sharing this with us- I can't wait to read along!!

When you wrote;
"Friends for life. Friends for life.
I was so excited. I couldn't wait to meet these friends for life."

I want to scream ME TOO, ME TOO- where are these people? I'm still ready to meet them, even at 31 years of age. If any of them are out there, please get in touch. There's a lot I want to tell you ;)

ValGalArt said...

yes, so true! "Friends for Life" is a nice mantra! Good on You Shawn for making your life happen!

Dave's blog said...

Hey Shawn, you know what?
Sometimes I feel like I'm living in my own tiny "Who-ville" on a little speck of dust. I've studied the periodic table, and I still can't figure out what my element is, so I can relate.
You're awesome,

Courtney said...

Can't wait to see it. I also have those I don't belong here moments, they have faded as I've gotten older, married, create much more and had my daughter but they still surface. You go girlie for accomplishing one of your goals, what a great feeling and we'll be there beside you. (I also talk too fast and my charades drive my husband crazy but he's learned the language) ;)