More art on ebay! Including this lovely and talented Namor, the Sub Mariner!
OK, so for all you city folks who never had a tomato that wasn’t red and didn’t come out of a grocery, know that tomatoes come in all shapes, funky sizes, and colors. Yellow, striped, green, purplish, orange. And they also come in a wide variety of tastes and textures and are grown for different uses. A roma tomato is for sauces, a green zebra for salads.
Heirloom tomatoes often look deformed and kinda creepy, but they have the best taste. Tomatoes in grocery stores are not bred for taste or nutrition, they are bred for their ability to take abuse in transit and to survive storage. They are often picked while they are green, so they have less (or no) flavor). And if refrigerated to 40 degrees or under, all tomatoes lose flavor.
Country folks are mad about their tomatoes and grow all kinds of unusual varieties for home canning, soups, stews, pasta sauce, and yummy sandwiches. In a good year, I will grow hundreds of pounds of tomatoes on no more than about 10 plants. Here’s a pic of the tomato sauce production in my kitchen!
Heriloom tomatoes can be found at the farmer’s market at $3 or more per pound, but any farmer will tell you they are harder to sell, because customers are unfamiliar with the unusual shapes and colors. They are often blemished as well, which has no effect on taste.
If you’d like to try growing a few tomato plants of your own, with just a little knowledge and diligence, it’s fairly easy. Check out this terrific catalog for great tomato varieties and tips. Once you’ve tasted a home grown heirloom tomato, you’ll never be satisfied with store bought again!
I’m having some technical issues. Nothing major, but time consuming, and I’m working a rough series of deadlines here, so will get back to posting pages next week.
My ebay auctions continue apace and include some lovely unpublished A DISTANT SOIL art, and this super-cute CATWOMAN.
I’m testing my brush and ink skills. Also, since everything I am doing right now is labor intensive, I’m giving myself a treat by doing these cartoon sketches. Hope you like them, they are now on ebay.
So, about ten years ago, I was Artist in Residence at the Smithsonian, which was groovy cool. I also won a government grant to travel across the country and study American popular culture. And I worked as a lobbyist off and on for a couple of years, so I’ve spent some time doing neat stuff in Washington, DC.
That meant getting to go into the secret bowels of the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Archives. I got to take the Super Secret Senate Choo Choo train. All of this is way underground in the big city beneath the city. This was very exciting, and a real privilege to be able to see these wonderful things.
In the Library of Congress Archives, there are these huge bays
behind great big bank doors. And on the moveable shelves, there are grey archival boxes, stacked several high, and in each box there are treasures.
Page after page of rare drawings, set in leaves of tissue paper.
And I dreamed I was going through a box full of Thomas Nast originals.
And that I projectile vomited on them.
That is the kind of nightmare cartoonists have.
Here, have a picture of the Super Secret Senate Choo Choo. It was totally E Ticket!
And my Senate Pass.
This is a really important lesson for everyone, not just creative types: Survivorship bias. Why following success can doom you to fail.
When we focus on gurus, TED talk meisters, self help rah-rah types, we miss a lot of important relevant info, funneling our thinking by following models that aren’t necessarily what is best for us.
For example, the popular advice for creative people is often of the “Just Do It” variety, for surely if you don’t produce, nothing will follow that production.
Truth. If you don’t write the novel, it won’t become a best seller.
Missing the important point that over 99.9% of all books ever written fail spectacularly on that scale.
Just making something isn’t good enough. Just feeling motivated isn’t good enough.
Just putting your work on the web isn’t good enough.
Almost everyone who tries art, self publishing, or internet fame will not get very far.
What tech gurus, and “Just Do It” types aren’t telling you is that what they are selling with their “how-to” books and blogs is not a recipe for success. They are selling you the narrative of other people’s success.
That is not about you.
I love a good pep talk just as much as the next person, and inspiration is a great thing. But pay attention to the world around you and make sure you’re not blindly following what someone else did because you think they’re selling you a secret recipe.
What they’re selling you is a recipe without the prime ingredients: a life and a product that cannot be duplicated. If it could, everyone who reads those how-to books would be producing best-sellers, too.
And with direct reference to publishing. VERY important read.