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the return of metal-christ & his robot army
6th-Apr-2009 10:51 pm

+ So when I was last in San Francisco, last month, I managed to secure a sublet. No job yet, though. I'm leaving Michigan on Wednesday (the 8th), and driving back out west. I'll be taking a slightly longer than straight-shot trip, but not as long as the trip I took in November. I'm going to swing way south, visiting my friend Vanessa (sharpelbows) in Dallas, then my aunt in Tucson, then Dawon in LA, then arriving in SF. This is partially to avoid any dregs of winter weather that may be in the mountains, and also just because I don't have a strict deadline date for getting back to SF (even though I'm not paying rent for a room I'm not living in yet, so I guess that's some fire to move me.)

The room itself is pretty small, and has a weird makeshift loft (didn't seem super strong), but I'll be leaving most of my stuff in storage so it doesn't matter. What I do like is that the apartment has a living room (I lived without one in SF for four years), and an awesome sun room on the top floor, with windows all around and great views of the city. Also, the people living there seem really awesome. The sublet is until the end of August. I'm not employed right now (still), but I'm making a little freelance money here and there, and my unemployment insurance is taking care of me, thankfully.

Once August hits, that will be a time of reevaluation. Hopefully I will have a job in SF by that point that I don't completely hate. I don't have much hope of getting anything that really makes me happy, but I'd like to at least get something that doesn't make me wish I'd stayed in Michigan. If things are looking bad, I might take Dawon up on her offer to put me up in LA for a bit, and I might retry moving down there. Who knows... its all up in the air.

+ I'm 1/3 excited, 1/3 nervous, and 1/3 melancholy about moving back to San Francisco. I'm excited because, duh, it's San Francisco. I have great friends there and it's more the kind culture I prefer. That second 1/3, nervousness because this move to SF is going to be very different than my 2005 move. Back in '05, San Francisco to me was emblematic of great opportunity and a personal paradise of sorts. Things are a bit different now. First, the economy sucking so bad, combined with an extreme dearth of creative jobs this past few months has got me expecting that even if I have the drive to succeed in photography, it's not going to really happen there, or anywhere right now. Also, I built SF up to be a panacea for all of my personal problems, thinking that just being there would really set things in motion. Now I certainly was able to achieve quite a bit there (I'm sure more than if I'd have stayed in Michigan), but I've come to realize that it doesn't matter where I live, who I know, or how much art I make. The problem is me. I need to find a way to:
A: really believe in myself, and believe that there's a place in the world for my art.
B: be better at self-marketing and "selling myself" and my art to other people.
C: be more persistant. I need to be submitting to galleries / ad agencies / competitions / etc all the time.

We'll see if I'm a different enough guy when I come back to San Francisco. I'm hoping to hit the reset again (partially)... being in a new neighborhood, getting a new job, meeting new people, keeping those closest to me close & and forgetting about the people who hurt to think about, and getting back in good health again. I fear that I haven't changed enough though.

The final 1/3 - melancholy - is simply because I've been back in Michigan for four months now. Juuuust long enough to feel sad about leaving. It's been nice to spend a lot of time with my Midwest friends, meet new people, and have the comparative freedoms that come with living here. I'm definitely making some trade-offs in returning to SF. I'll have access to more culture, more opportunities to be healthy, and (possibly) more art opportunities, but... I'll miss having the setup I have here for making art, listening to music (loud), going on walks in tree-lined neighborhoods with my dad, playing with my cats, actually being able to drive and park places without it being a total pain in the ass, eating more good Middle-Eastern food, and just having a more relaxed pace of life.

+ I turn 29 tomorrow. Oh shit. One year away from having that turning-30 total mental breakdown. I'm sort of having a preview of that feeling lately. My 20s really came in like a lion, and I fear that they are going to go out like a lamb. It sort of feels like it doesn't matter if I get my shit together anymore this next year or now. The opportunities seem so much more scarce now. Guess I'll just have to hope to be a late-bloomer in the personal achievements arena. Man, I've always been so terrified about growing older. I remember when I was in junior high, drawing comics all the time (40-50 pps per month), I was determined to be one of those rising young stars in my early 20s. Didn't happen, and I felt crappy about it. I made a lot of music for a long time there, lots of albums. Played live a few times. Never got anywhere with it because I didn't believe in myself. I'm worried my photography might be on the same track. Hopefully this year of being 29 will be the year that I learn to defeat my greatest enemy - myself.

+ In cheerier news, I got a couple of really nice new toys recently. First off, I got a wide-angle lens for my 30D (finally!). It's a Sigma 10-20mm, and I LOVE it. I did some fashion shots with Kat a few days ago, using it, and I'll post pics soon.

+ I also got an XBox 360, the Resident Evil 5 edition. I love it so far. If you are on XBox Live, add me! My gamertag is "Hell Dimension".

+ I started getting a cold today. Of course I had to get one a little over a day before I'm set to drive across the country. Yayyyyyy.

+ The pics I've scattered through this post are from a new Flickr set I posted, "Mangled".

+ More later. I'll try to post again before I hit the road, but you know me...
7th-Apr-2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the move, bro! Sounds like you're doing the right thing to me... And I really do think you'd like L.A., too.

I know how you feel about believing in yourself and needing to sell your art more. Damn, do I know how you feel. Those are my weak areas, too. When I feel good about myself, that's when I actually end up writing and getting substantial work done. And then when the feeling is gone, well, if I'm not writing a script or book then I should at least be trying to sell what I've already written, but my confidence has left me by then and I can't seem to do it. I have such an awful time writing query letters to agents. And since I lost all of my old ones and no longer have those to look at as building blocks -- since my harddrive was accidentally deleted last year -- well, it's even worse.

But, I did enter one of my screenplays in a screenwriting contest recently. And it was a contest recommended by a friend who works in the business as an assistant director on a bunch of movies and tv shows and stuff, so hopefully it's one of the better contests to be involved with. Their website listed a ton of things that previous entrants had gone on to do, like writing for a bunch of T.V. shows I watch and sell their scripts, etc. So even if I don't win anything in the contest, it could prove to be some sort of gateway. We'll see. At least I feel like I have something out there right now.

I really need to move back to L.A. though. But financially I don't know how I could swing it. I probably won't be able to unless I sell some of my writing first, unfortunately.
21st-Apr-2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply, man. Thanks for reading my tirades.. Good luck on the screenwriting contest. I really hope it works out. You just always need to keep pushing yourself.

I think you'll manage a way to get back to LA sometime. It's really where you need to be, and even if it means living in a shithole and eating peanut butter sandwiches everyday, you just gotta be where the work is. Good luck!
7th-Apr-2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday, dude. I'm looking forward to seeing you back out here.
A lot of the stress is supremely understandable, but I'm looking forward to seeing what the next 3-4 months looks like. I think you've hit the nail on the head in saying generally: "It doesn't matter where I live, who I know, or how much art I make."

the name of the game (especially in this climate) is Self-Discipline.
WORD IS BOND. Do it to it, my friend
21st-Apr-2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks dude, for all of your tireless support. I may not always have the self-discipline or confidence, but you always motivate me.
13th-Apr-2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Happy belated birthday! (sorry just got back online today). I'm hoping twenty-nine in 2009 is a good year for you. Your plan sounds good and it seems like there are a lot of options/opportunities just waiting for you to seize!

Keep positive and make it happen :) All the best!!
21st-Apr-2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Hey thanks Viv! Let's hope things go smashingly.
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