Friday, August 17, 2018

Graphic Medicine Conference - Day Two

Here are my sketch-notes from today's conference:

I was STARVING by lunch - which was also Day Two of the Marketplace. I stuffed bites of sandwich into my mouth between conversations. I did sell a few comics and buttons, but I think I spent a lot of it on other people's comics (there were more that I wanted but didn't get).

 I got it signed! Yah! It's nice to have so many famous cartoonists in one room.

I cleared my booth, ran to my car, tossed it all in and...

...then off to another workshop...

 This is what the group created for the Interconnected Energy Exercise in the "Cartooning in Education Workshop. Kind of like artsy dominos!

In case you were wondering - Sketch-noting a lecture is exhausting. Normally, you doze off and perk up as needed. But when you are Sketch-noting, you're hyper "On". You have to be listening incredibly carefully and FAST - almost like you know what's coming next. All the time. You LISTEN and interpret and draw SO fast... It's incredibly exhausting. These Notes are drawn in real time, scanned in an App on my iPhone, then I go to the next lecture.

I was FRIED. No other word for it. And add in all the talking and noise at Marketplace... F-R-I-E-D.

I was supposed to draw notes for one more Field Workshop and the evening Keynote. But I excused myself and ran. Actually I sat in my car trying to breathe for half an hour.

I decided to go to the Co-op and get some sushi to bring back to the hotel. I was standing near the deli, trying to remember why I was there.

The probably-also-exhausted-deli-lady said, "Can I help you dear?"
I almost burst into tears at her obvious concern - "I need a chocolate chip cookie!"
She said, "Of course you do. It's just about that time of day."
She understood! And pointed me toward the locally made cookies - where I took an oatmeal one as well. I deserved it.

My hotel room smelled like a florist's shop! The white and purple flowers smell like honey...

 I had to post two pictures because the flowers on the back are completely different! And there was even a VASE this time! :-) I think I'm getting spoiled...

I'm still thinking a lot about depression - all the talks mention it, the speakers suffer from it, and most of my head is consumed by it. I've been wondering if cartoonists become depressed... or depressed people become cartoonists? Either way - seems like a school for depressed cartoonists, and a conference that seems to be focused on mental health issues and cartooning - should be able to find another model for educating - other than sitting for hours on end in semi-dark rooms. And don't get me started on anxiety and stress!

OK. So, I'm fried, depressed and reaching the conclusion that it may be best to give up the studio in Concord (talked with a fellow cartoonist who is also considering it).
I'm going to a movie. I want to watch someone else's life and not have to talk Notes!


  1. Wow, and I thought covering events as a newspaper reporter was a challenge. Bless your heart. I wish I were there to give you some hugs and share cookies. Not sushi though. Not a sushi person. I too am a lifelong depressed person. I am convinced that most creative people have this ailment to one degree or another. It has to have something to do with our paying attention to everything, and not having a lot of filters between us and reality. I have learned to live with my depression day by day and treat it like a sort of really screwed up companion that I have to keep disciplining so I can get something done. It has taken me a lifetime to get to this point and there are still days when I can get nothing done at all. I am immobilized. I just have to throw up my hands and wait. Bless you, and take joy in those times when you manage to accomplish so much in spite of the depression. I am cheering you on from far away. You go, girl!

    1. Back at you. Keep swimming, right? I like your analogy too - I think of it like my cat keeps jumping on the table. I keep picking her up and putting her on the floor. Over and over and over... just don’t stop.

  2. Windy's conclusion that "maybe" creative people have the "ailment" of depression has some merit. Would explain why so many artist seem to "cut off their ears" and stuff like that. Or drink. Not that I recommend either of these ideas! I would say that creative people have higher ups and downs than others. Your cartooning notes DO seem like that would be hugely debilitating to actually do! Wow. My daughter is a graphic facilitator and it has some of the same issues...BUT she had the added help that she usually works with another person. THAT helps greatly. She works with large groups but her work is "visible" to people as she produces it. THAT really is stressful too. Throwing up your hands and waiting is appropriate behavior in this case! Just don't fret too much over that. Your work is wonderful...

  3. Yup...depression brought me to my art for sure. It saved me. Still depressed but I have my pens and paints.

  4. A thought about depression. Google for information about "brain frequencies." Children up until around 6, have very slow frequencies as it cements attention and helps them learn a lot. As we grow into adulthood, our waking frequencies are at a higher level and we can pay attention to more things, but we don't learn as quickly. During a 24 hour period, our frequencies slow down into light and deep sleep.

    As a cartoonist, your long hours would reflect frequencies of high attention and slow waaay down. You could say that you were existing just above dream level and at that concentration level, things could get pretty intense. You could be making yourself depressed simply because once you concentrate like that for long periods, you simply cannot easily escape your own thoughts.

    OK - waaaaay out there, I know. You are most certainly welcome to blow this off . . . At 74, after fighting breast cancer and having a few other injuries old folk are inclined to get, I tried a really expensive Whole Body Vibration machine being sold at a special presentation in Costco. I was amazed that it immediately helped with various problems, so I returned to the store twice to determine whether I was crazy or not and ended up buying it for around $2,500.

    OK - I figure that if it helped me, it seemed to surpass anything the medical community could do, so why not.

    Anyway, since getting it and using it several times a day, I'm plugged in creatively and intellectually, plus some old folk pains have disappeared.

    Whole Body Vibration Machines are sold through Amazon and Walmart for about $200 (not the $2,500 I paid) and seem to have good reviews. I do not know if the machines provide the same benefits as the one I bought, but I'm betting they do. I do not regret my purchase at all (it is a Zaaz ... you can find it online) BUT for the price of $200 it is worth getting one of the less expensive machines just to try, especially if you are not overweight. I believe that the vibrations stimulate the entire body, even the brain. You don't want to rattle yourself to death, but what they provide might be a lot better than pills or psychiatric services.

  5. My husband had a vibrating lift chair... and I kept it after he passed away. I have found that to be very relaxing and helps with my arthritis in my knees. Think it may have more to do with helping with circulation but who knows. Your workshops sound very exhausting... it is hard to be "on" for that many hours in day. Pretty flowers too.


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