We’re all still learning…

We’re all works in progress. Until we’re dead of course.

I look back at some of my drawings from only a few years ago and cringe. I remember the first few songs I wrote. Cringeworthy.

And of course, my old writing. Cringe.

Only a few years ago, I wrote a lot about alpha males vs beta males vs cartoon males and alpha females vs beta females vs cartoon females. I don’t even know why I wrote about that shit. Probably because everyone else was and tried to make sense of the universe.

Today? I don’t care that the universe doesn’t make any sense. Seriously, I don’t care.

Besides, most of us don’t fall into any of those three categories anyways. We’re all too complex for those bullshit labels.

Sure, some folks are stereotypes. But they’re not the type of people I’d invest anything in anyways. I prefer people who are quite a bit more interesting than a disposable label.

I still do label folks. But it’s usually as an insult. Especially if someone is a walking meme. (Yes, those people exist).

Coaching past a plateau

I burned out of writing awhile back. I’d look at the computer and dread writing anything. It became a chore. It lost its fun.

Then Punch Riot happened. I submitted a few pieces of art and an article or two for it. And got excited again.

I ended up buying three books from people who wrote for that magazine. Two I finished reading already. One’s still on my queue.

Sometimes you’re better off doing things in a group. Especially for an extrovert like me. I don’t like going at anything alone.

I’ve even done that 7 days survivalism thing. I lasted 3 days. Not because of lack of knowledge but because I got so fucking bored being alone for 3 days in the woods in the middle of nowhere.

For my art, I also reached a plateau. And realized I needed a coach.

So I hired an art teacher and am currently taking formal art lessons. Yes, me, who already makes decent money selling art.

Let me be clear – people who think they’re too good to be coached are fools. I’ll be improving my art and music until I’m dead. Learning only stops for idiots and people who have given up in life.

You see it in professional sports. They end up being locker room cancers.

Randy Moss had insane talent. He should have broken at least one of Jerry Rice’s records. Instead, nobody wanted to deal with his punk ass. Even Belichick, who’s more obsessed with winning than anyone since Lombardi.

I saw Moss play with Brett Favre and give up on a beautiful touchdown pass. Favre should have punched him in the face.

Antonio Brown was the best athlete in the NFL only a few years ago. Even the Raiders couldn’t work with his stupid ass. Now he’s having legal troubles.

I’ve heard that Jerry Rice found out what time Cris Carter woke up to train, so Rice decided to wake up a half hour earlier. Rice’s records won’t be broken for a very long time. I have utmost respect for Rice. His mindset was superior and that’s why he got superior results.

You see what I mean? Always improve. Always keep your mind open to more lessons, more coaching, more improvement.

Don’t be a locker room cancer. And in the case of an artist, my locker room is the studio.

Opium Tales is a team

I’m not alone with Opium Tales. It’s a team.

I do the art. My wife takes care of the business end. Allie and Roxy are my main models. And occasionally I’ll use a contract model like Sophia or Jin.

I can’t imagine what it would be like if my wife, Allie, or Roxy left. I think it would fall apart, even though I’m the guy who gets all the credit. Those 3 are my muses.

Allie and Roxy are both entertaining in their own ways. Allie’s an extrovert like me. Opened up to me right away. Heck, she trusted me right away. Just had an intuition.

Roxy’s an introvert. She’s fine spending time alone. But once she opened up to me, we became super close and it’s been like that since.

I started off as a cartoonist. I was doing political cartoons for trolling. Yes, I hate politics, as I’ve said many, many times. But I hate people who try to take my Freedoms away even more. So I made fun of them via cartoons.

You’ll still see traces of my cartoonish style in my artwork. I’ll occasionally do a piece that’s an homage to those days. Like “Stupid Fish!!” below:

Stupid Fish!!

The girls both chuckled when I showed them the finished product. It’s supposed to be silly.

Sometimes, you gotta have a little absurdity in your life, because you know what? Life is often absurd.

I bust my ass the past month. Painted and practiced my lessons every single chance I got. Barely had a social life, other than hanging with Allie, Roxy, and the Mrs.

I also painted Sophia as Selene from an older pose. Sophia has dark brown hair, but with black gouache, her hair would have been drowned out. So I painted her as a redhead.

Did it work? I thought so. I like how Sophia looks as a redhead.

Selene over Romania
Selene Over Romania

By the way, Romania is awesome for architecture. Folks are always talking about Paris, Prague, Milan, Rome, and Venice for architecture and nobody mentions Romania.

I don’t get it. Maybe it’s just been undiscovered. But regardless, totally underrated. Next time I do something similar, I’ll add more buildings.

Anyways back to the original point – we’re all works in progress. I don’t like people who think they know everything. They’re boring as hell. Can’t learn anything new.

When I meet someone who’s interesting, I’m all ears.

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