What's Up with Upshaw? I'm a Creative--Deal with It!

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As a creative person all my life, I've noticed that, yes, I am different from so-called "normal" people.  And yes, I got criticized for not "behaving myself".  This was tough when I was a kid, even as a young adult. I tried to "straighten myself out" in many ways by doing "real" work (substitute teaching, a stint in the U.S. Army Reserve), but I was still "bent" and still criticized.

It's only now, at age 54, that I finally accept my uniqueness.  I'm not crazy, I'm special, in a good way.  And it helped that I found fellow creatives in Northwest Indiana, paticularly at Paul Henry's Gallery in Hammond, which encouraged me more than ever. 

The Internet is a huge help, too.  Recently, I found an article on www.justsomething.co called "22 Things Creative People Do Differently than the Rest'--and all those things applied to me.  For instance:

1.They get inspired at the least expected moment.

I can go for a walk down Indianapolis Boulevard in East Chicago and suddenly a cartoon idea pops into my mind.

2.  They daydream.  A .lot.

My daydreams are all about creating an online cartoon mini-empire--my own personal Hanna-Barbera Productions!

3.  They get easily bored.

I have been known to sit in my living room staring at the TV--when it's turned off.

4.  They watch the world with the eyes of a child.

Children like cartoons, and I turn the world around me into cartoons.

5.  They will fail, and you can be sure they will try again.

I've tried this one crowdfundig source, Teespring (www.teespring.com), to raise money with a designed-by-me T-shirt.  I failed three times but I want to try a fourth time!

6.  They are told to get a real job.

I have had the feeling for a long time that I had to have a "regular" job to fund my cartooning.  The problem was that I paid too much attention to the job and not enough on my dream.  So that didn't work.

7.  They will follow their heart, even if often their mind thinks otherwise.

Now I have made the bold decision to quit subbing and cartoon full time.  I still think I gotta have a "real" job, even one online, but I'm cartooning more and that's the whole point.

8.  They get lost in time. 

This happens especially when things go wrong.  I will run into a glitch in animating and won't rest until that glitch is resolved.  Once I spent an entire night resolving a glitch and it left me so wiped out I almost missed taking my mom to dinner for Mother's Day.

9.They work when you sleep and they sleep when you work.

Some of the best times for me to work are the wee hours of the morning, when my noisy neighbors are asleep--well, most of them.  Those coffee-fueled all-nighters are some of my best creative moments.

10.  Where most people see difficulty, they see an opportunity.

Not having a semi-steady income from subbing is a drag.  However, I have all the time in the world to pursue online outlets for my cartoon work, which I also get to do more and improve at more and be happier!

11.  They fall in love with their pieces of work, and hate them the day after.

Been there, done that.  Most of my initial cartoon works end up in the "circular file" (aka the wastebasket).

12.  They hate what they've just created, but will totally love it 12 hours later.

Been there, done that, too.  I've also rescued hated cartoons from the "circular file".

13.  They are humble and proud at the same time.

I don't always talk about my work with my family and friends outside of the creative world, but I love what I do.  I just had to learn not to depend too much on what my non-creative peers think of my profession.  As for pride, I love my work but as a Christian, I know God frowns on being proud.

14.  They are always looking to new ways to express themselves.

Woman does not live by cartooning alone.  I express my creative side in my "real" life through cooking, homemaking and arranging my wardrobe.  And I sing at church and during singalongs at Paul Henry Acoustic Jams.

15.  They procrastinate.

Guilty as charged.  I am miles behind in my homemaking.  I'll get up and straighten something from time to time but I have yet to do a thorough cleaning just yet.

16.  They see the other side of the coin.

Knowing I'm going for paying cartoon jobs keeps me from worrying too much about money.

17.  They don't like boundaries.

This is why I did so badly at the military and subbing.

18.  They often don't like numbers.

My monthly budget is considered the greatest piece of fiction ever written.

19.  They are great observers.

I like to watch, just like Chance in "Being There".

20.  They always make new experiences.

Nothing much changes in East Chicago so I fall into routines.  My new experiences end up being online, discovering new websites through Facebook and Twitter, and watching videos and reading blogs on Film Annex by other creatives.

21.  They do it all over again.

My animation style has gone through more changes than Doctor Who.

22.  They love.

I love all the people in my life--my family, my fellow creatives, my church friends, my fellow apartment dwellers.  We are so different from each other, yet I truly care for them.  And my art business is about caring at its core.

I am a creative--and darned glad of it!





About the author


I call myself a 'tooner--one who cartoons. Animated shorts, single-panel gag cartoons and celebrity caricatures are my specialty!

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