Flattery will get you Everywhere

I received a 'love letter' yesterday, in the form of a blog comment:

I guess I will be the one to state the obvious.. this blog is dead. R.I.P. joe's blog. Lets all try to remember the great times we had.. the laughs we share.. seems like just yesterday we were watching a tom cruise podcast.. where has the time gone. Frankily, I blame michael jackson's doctors for the death.. apparently joe's blog had a little known drug problem that all started when traffic first began to slow on the blog.. Lets all just try to remember the good times and pray that its gone to a better place.. and maybe one day a podcast will pop up or a new post and we will all just smile and think about what could have been.


This is motivating, aggrevating, flattering, annoying, and caring... all at once. I think I get the cute intention here, but every joke has honesty, and I think there's more honesty here than anything.

First off, it looks like I've been posting drawings and such here, several times each month... seems needy to want more. But that's not the point. So what is the point? Lemme tell ya.

For the last 7+ years I've been focusing primarily on caricature and caricature illustration. Hm. it's fun, yes? Yes. But after a while the mind races and moves to other things. I gained interest in character design and animation. I've been painting more and yet not painting enough for my own desires. I've launched a small art book publishing company and had an increasing desire to edit and direct almost anything I touch. And most time-consuming of all, I've been working in animation and am completing (among several comic/art/animation conventions) a strenuous life-changing move to another part of the Country.

My brain tells me to try new things. My talents are behind my critical mind, so I am practicing different techniques and still trying to find even time to sketch, between work and obligations.

I have a little freelance work that takes up my time, and I even owe a distant friend a caricature from over a year ago! Time is tight and my ambitions are changing. I want to paint. I want to direct. I am doing new work that is exciting and very time-consuming. I am finding my place in a new town in a new state, and am helping my girlfriend find solace in this new little journey. I am making new inspiring friends and am meeting new people who change my interests and shape my tastes... as well as old friends who are opening my eyes to their methods and practices, ever-enlightening my own perspective.

This all takes time. I love updating a blog and I know that from time to time I like to say "I'll update here every month/day/week/minute" with all sincerity, but I (and you) know that it's not realistic. My favorite bloggers will update daily and sometimes yearly...

...and I understand.

So hey, I'm not mad about this comment, I'm actually motivated.

I'm still in San Diego, unwinding from the International Comic Con. Some of the most encouraging comments were those from fans wanting more podcasts, tutorials, online classes, and even just new sketches on the blog(s). It has energized me to do more of this and focus harder in my free time. I will perhaps work on some new books (mine and others), paintings, art exhibitions, blogs, classes and podcasts, websites, styles of art and illustration, and maybe even some bigger projects.

But this takes time. I will share what is on my mind here, in the art rhealm. I will share sketches and paintings and illustration. I will also let you know what's going on in my professional life, as much as I can. However, if you need a personality fix, I've got a new online journal for ranting, rating and commenting on life, movies, events, and people in general.

And life is important, outside of art. I like to think that it's the top-dog in my mind, but sometimes relationships become more important. Old and new... fitness is important as I get older, and I take more time to care about eating right and exercising... I care more about my family and my girlfriend... I care about other forms of art, as I was getting at earlier, and sometimes actually drawing caricatures becomes less interesting to me, so I can use that time to explore other techniques, styles, subjects and materials (DON'T FRET, I'll keep doing caricatures at conventions, parties and in my spare time... that's one stain I can't wash off, and I don't mind it... it's a part of me).

Well, this post may be more appropriate for my LiveJournal blog... or maybe it's fitting here, I don't really care. I just hope that everyone who reads this is understanding and patient. I think it's SO DAMN COOL that you actually check out what I'm up to, and I'm flattered. But I'm also humbled on a daily basis by what I see online and what I'm around in real life.

So there are times when we work and need to explore, and if you see a pause here for a week or a month... consider it that. I'm not going anywhere, even if I move around the country or around the world. I'll update on my travels, my work, my opinions, and my art.

I hope you can dig.


Will Appledorn said...

pretty funny, and true.

I check here once in a while, hoping for a new post, though have stopped holding my breath. good thing too. :)

I can totally dig what you're saying, especially about moving on to other types of art.

However long between posts i always enjoy seeing your art, hope to see more of it here.

Amy said...

Wait, so someone decided to get 'cute' on you because you don't update all that often?
Dude, that's every art blog out there!

You post whatever cool artsy stuff whenever time and inclination permits and you'll get no complaints from me.

I have Sketch Infectus to fill in the time :)

Unknown said...

Don't worry Joe, i think most of us know how busy and jam packed your schedule is, + when you dont post everyday it makes it more exciting when you do post, its kind of like waiting for christmas...

Ricardo Vsqz said...

We can dig...we'll be patientlly waiting on those updates. Best of luck buddy!!

Craig Zablo said...


I check your blog regularly. Sometimes there are gaps between posts. It's understandable. You sharing your talents here is a gift to us. Who has the right to complain when gifts don't come daily - weekly... or whenever. You're NOT on a time schedule. It's YOUR blog. Post what you want, when you want.

Your fans will understand, appreciate and be here. I know I will. You can count on it.

J. Bustamante said...

As much as i miss the video podcasts, its just as inspirational to see you becoming more and more successful. It makes an aspiring artist like myself see that with hard work good things CAN happen. So with that, thanks for even trying to keep up with the blog and thanks for the inspiration!

AdamB said...

Let me know if you ever learn to weld, Joe. I have the desire to build a scale Formula 1 go kart with full double wishbone suspension. You could help with the body fabrication.

Dan said...

Just to respond I would like to say that the msg was meant in jest although there were factual statements I chose to make funny. Joe is a big inspiration to me and his sketchbook as been a constant source or motivation as well. I check this blog all the time as I am a fan of Joe's artwork and forever grateful that he was producing podcast and giving away his knowledge for free when other artists won't draw a straight line without some form of payment. I believe in giving back so my intention was to be funny (and maybe true) and perhaps inspire Joe to post more as he inspires me. I think sometimes when your at the top of the triangle you don't realize how many fans you have. Joe if I offended you my bad.. just kind of disappointed when I read awhile back you saying you were going to post more.. etc.. etc..

SO lets just say that instead of dead your blog is in a coma. lol I understand all you have going on.. thats great man, and don't worry you'll get used to the south, trust me i've lived here all my life.

You guys may hate on what I said.. but I got a post outta this guy what have u done? :-) Are you not entertained? is this not why your here?

Keep em' coming when ya can Joe.

Joe Bluhm said...

I knew your intentions were good, Dan... no worries.

Keep at it. ;)

Attractive Art Community (Big Sam) said...

can't wait to see how your new life inspires your work! keep on truckin!

Terri Kae said...

Hm, so much in this blog. I'm glad you feel motivated, I don't think you should feel obligated though. You've got fans, but there's so much that you do in life that you can't restrict yourself to updating this blog x amt of times a month.

Yes, there are many artists that do this but it takes a lot of dedication; I wouldn't hold anyone to that standard. It's a real treat when you do update. I hope that you will update more even the little rants and comments or update on life or theories or tutorials advice.. whatever. But it shouldn't ever be expected out of anyone (unless you're paying them).

I'll have to add you to the LJ.

Sagan Lacy said...

All it means is that we love seeing your art!

By the way, you drew my good friend Nate at Comic-con - Mushroom-shaped brown hair, big shiny black eyes, impish smirk, muttonchops, dunno whether you remember. We all think it's dead hilarious and it's a perfect likeness of him. I'd love you to do mine someday...

Brian Oakes said...

That was a pretty bold comment, and I'd be really irritated if it was left on my blog too.

Unknown said...

Joe, I'm always amazed how people can find to update their blogs as often as they do. Jason Seiler is always updating his, and Tom Richmond. I'm happy if I get more than 2 posts a month. Don't worry, you don't owe anyone anything. when you get time you'll post, it it will be great as always.


I understand the feeling of being burned out on caricatures... especially when you have a talent that is limitless... why put a lid on it... Do work son!

Ken Knafou said...

Have you not been posting? I hadn't even noticed.

i would never do that

Tooninator said...

Great meeting you at the con, Joe...thanks for the caricature as well. That's one of my career milestones complete now. Time for the next. By the way, your sketch infectus book is truly inspiring.

Unknown said...

Well, this is a reality check out there to all of us. I am a hard working artist, I'm proud of how much I produce along side my full-time job, but this is just blows me away.

Your schedule and the public's 'demands' on you must be incredibly high-pressure.

I admire the amount of work you're able to do as an example above and beyond your art, it makes me want to work even harder.

[Humble suggestion to the other bloggers...use Google Reader or subscribe to the blog some other way so you don't have to constantly come back to the site and get all bothered when there's nothing new.]

Unknown said...

well said! I'm a subscriber on Google Reader so it's not such an issue. I'm still a fan, and good on you for saying it like it is.