Scribbling While Rome Burns

 Posted by on April 23, 2020  Comics, Doodling, Updates, Work  Tagged with:
Apr 232020
 

It is strange to look at my last post and think how much has changed in a just few months. Back in January, I’d never even heard of the ‘coronavirus’ and wrote about enjoying casually drawing outside. Nowadays, we barely leave the apartment, and it looks as if we’ll all be homebodies for quite sometime to come. Any drawings I do for the foreseeable future will be done AT HOME.

Scribbling While Rome Burns

A few weeks after that last post, in late February/early March, Several cities in the Bay Area got their first coronavirus infections, including San Francisco, and quick follow through by local government and the private sector meant that I was working at home full time by March 13th. However, two months later, much of the world seems to be losing its mind at being housebound. Even the survivalists, who always appeared to be gleefully preparing for just such an apocalyptic moment of societal collapse, are now taking up arms and angrily storming City Hall steps across the USA: ‘Dammit, society.. we cain’t quit yew!’

Perhaps I’m better prepared for this moment than most, having already endured a personal apocalypse not so long ago. When paralyzed by my stroke, I was functionally a shut-in for 2 or 3 years, while re-learning how to talk & walk, etc. My effective range was only a few feet from our front door and I rarely left the apartment, gnawing my insides out with anxieties about my future, mounting medical debt and inability to earn a living. So, I already have plenty of experience with this existential crisis thang. Last time around, I learned that the human mind is quite capable of eating itself if you let it. So you must not let it. Instead of plunging into a pit of despair, look in the other direction and keep your mind occupied, ideally with tasks that help you climb out of the hole.

My current situation is actually a vast improvement over my previous crisis. I can now draw (sort of) and therefore have the means to entertain myself, plus a job, and fortunately it can be done from home. Freed from my daily commute, I have 3 extra hours to sleep-in in each day. While I feel very lucky, I’ve learned to never take any moment for granted. Fate is a drama-queen that might flip over your banquet table at any time, so enjoy as much of that tasty pudding as you can, before you’re suddenly sitting in it.

Between work assignments, I doodle away on Rocket Rabbit comics and coincidentally, the book that’s been my art-therapy project for the past few years already had a post-apocalyptic setting. A cartoon version of all that Omega Man/Andromeda Strain/Mad Max stuff. A few years ago, it seemed amusing to do a silly-apocalypse comic book, and now, in the real world, we have people battling over rolls of toilet-paper. Mad Max got it wrong; actual Immortan Joes are stockpiling hand-sanitizer and bum-wad, rather than aqua colaguzzoline.. Cartoon absurdity has become our reality.

New Sketch Gear

 Posted by on January 26, 2020  Lefties, Location Sketching, Watercolour  Tagged with:
Jan 262020
 
New Sketch Gear

For Christmas I received some new drawing paraphernalia. A monogrammed sketchbook given by John Hoffman and a pocket-sized set of handmade watercolours, from Julia. The Christmas/New Year break was very relaxing and I barely got out of my pyjamas the entire time, but on one of our few ‘proactive days’ (when we actually left home) I got to use these gifts [READ MORE…]

Life in the Lean-to

 Posted by on December 26, 2019  Family, My stroke  Tagged with:
Dec 262019
 
Life in the Lean-to

The Baker family has volatile brains. People on both sides of my family tree have suffered strokes, and on this day in 2012 it was my turn. The most recent victim of this family curse was my poor Dad, in mid 2018, and his stroke was much more massive than my own. I used to be a plucky & frequent [READ MORE…]

Mickey ♥ Chewie

 Posted by on October 6, 2019  Drawings, Lefties, Location Sketching, Watercolour  Tagged with: ,
Oct 062019
 
Mickey ♥ Chewie

I’d been to Tokyo Disneyland (in the mid 1980s) and Florida’s DisneyWorld (in the mid 2000s) but until recently I’d never been to the real deal Californian original; DISNEYLAND. Our trip was on 3 weekdays just after the Labour Day long weekend, in hopes of avoiding crowds (which I’m allergic to nowadays). The park was surprisingly busy, but thankfully the lines [READ MORE…]

A Day in The Presidio

 Posted by on August 4, 2019  Drawings, Lefties, Location Sketching, Watercolour  Tagged with: ,
Aug 042019
 
A Day in The Presidio

Last Christmas, Julia gave me a gift voucher for a posh massage place, and last weekend I finally got to use it, giving us the excuse for spending yet another pleasant day in The Presidio. After having a few kinks kneaded out of my battered body, there was time to kill until a dinner reservation, so we sat on the [READ MORE…]

Happy Birthday, Dad!

 Posted by on July 29, 2019  Drawings, Family, Lefties, My stroke  Tagged with:
Jul 292019
 
Happy Birthday, Dad!

My Dad’s 80th birthday is July 29th. I couldn’t get back to Australia to celebrate with my family today, but sent this card of cartoons and limericks to mark the completion of Dad’s 80th trip around the sun. Apart from all the typical similarities between a father and his son, Dad & I are bonded in a unique way; I [READ MORE…]

May 252019
 
Critters

I’m a much slower story-artist than I used to be, but random pauses at work sometimes give me chances to dabble on my pet personal project – an expansion of old Rocket Rabbit comics stories. For the past few years Rocket Rabbit has become primarily an art therapy project, as I continue to learn to draw with my left hand. [READ MORE…]

SF Botanical Garden

 Posted by on February 17, 2019  Drawings, Lefties, Location Sketching, Watercolour  Tagged with:
Feb 172019
 
SF Botanical Garden

The weather has been stormy & rainy lately and we’ve been housebound for several weekends in a row. When the sun finally came out briefly last Sunday, Julia & I hurried to Golden Gate Park. Julia was eager to see the magnolias, as it is now the season for them to bloom, so we quickly made our way to the [READ MORE…]

Jan 062019
 
Holiday Sketching

Just before Christmas, Julia & I attended the DICKENS FAIR again. Our focus this time was eating and drinking, with hearty portions of ‘Bangers & Mash‘ and “Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding‘, washed down with Hot Buttered Rum at a nearby pub, where there was a jolly sing-song (in drama club cockney accents). Christmas Day itself was a quiet one, [READ MORE…]

Mary Poppins Returns

 Posted by on December 26, 2018  Lefties, My stroke, Storyboards, VisDev, Work  Tagged with: , ,
Dec 262018
 
Mary Poppins Returns

Today is the sixth anniversary of the day I almost left this mortal coil. Ever since, December 26th has become my own personal day of thanksgiving, where I count myself lucky to be here at all. This year I’d like to write about the landmark year of 2016, when I worked on “MARY POPPINS RETURNS” (in cinemas now) and began [READ MORE…]