Goodbye Drawger
posted: October 9, 2010
I got an email late last night from the operator of this website that I am being kicked out because somehow my presence has taken the site away from his original vision. It seems that I'm not alone, but he offers no clue about who stays and who goes, nor about, "why us."

I have mixed emotions about leaving this place. I know a lot of wonderful people who are currently members and count many of them as my friends. I have also seen a very nasty vibe develop over many months. It's especially nasty in the small and intimate setting know as the Speakeasy, a section I haven't visited in more than a year for just that reason. On occasion, it gets rough on the top level page, where people using phony names and plenty of the terminology peculiar to  this place post asides and barbs, needling their enemies. It reminds me a lot of high school. But I'm not alone.

Aside from personalities, there are two issues that seems to weigh heavily on the minds of a small group of active members who I am willing to bet will survive these expulsions. I, too, feel strongly about them, but I draw different conclusions.

1. I work for myself. I don't mean the business of illustration but the passion of art. I do what I do because I love it, not because it is a high-paying job. I have always spent time painting for myself, since childhood, long before I ever sought to get a commercial job, and I continue to do so. If this violates some kind of unwritten guild contract in some people's minds, then that's just too damn bad.

2. I love to learn new things and to try new things. I was like that long before I met any of you. I'm willing to work extremely hard, long hours, seven days a week in order to experiment with techniques and new materials. I'm fortunate to have this quality because the publishing business is changing. It will change whether or not a bunch of illustrators cry in their beer and snipe at others.

And, Robert, if you move anything of mine to this new "robust site" you mention, make sure you move this post.