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Last Post of the Year: Past and Future Selves

The end of the year is finally here! Well actually, New Year’s Eve is tomorrow but I didn’t want this post to go up on a Monday. Call it a rigid over-adherence to my posting schedule (because I’m just so good at sticking to my schedules). I mean, it’s almost midnight, so you probably could argue that I am indeed posting this “tomorrow”. Time is funny that way. I’ll have to leave it up to future me to decide. Future me. Past me. I’m always acting like my past and future selves are separate people. And it’s the truth! We are not the same person now that we were moments ago. Our future selves, yet to be, don’t really exist yet. They have not arrived yet. Until the instant we actually become those future selves; and then, they’re gone from this fleeting moment called the present.

That’s what this last entry of the year is essentially about.

Without a doubt, it has been a trying year like the many before it. A long, arduous year with little respite to breathe and think ahead to what comes next. Yet, here we find ourselves in this liminal time between the years. On the precipice of a year to come. We have a moment to rest and breathe. To look ahead and consider our future selves. We think of what our past selves may have done for present us. And what can the present us do for our future selves when the time comes for them to be.

The end of the year

The days ahead may wear a different mask from those past, but they still come only one at a time.

It’s a common practice around New Year’s to come up with resolutions. Goals to accomplish. Changes we’d like to see in ourselves. These resolutions are like dreams. As we get further and further into the next year, these resolutions may fade away. Just as dreams may fade as you get further and further into the waking day. But even if they fade, like dreams, these resolutions can leave lasting impressions. They can set the tone or pace for the year, subtly guiding our future selves. But just as not everyone dreams at night, not everyone makes new year’s resolutions.

Some folks simply leap headlong into the future, accepting the present as it arrives. This is the type of person that I try to be. Sometimes, I can’t help but see how broken the world has become in past years and Despair the coming future. I envy those opposite me, who see a broken world and carry blind Hope into the future with them. One day at a time, they look forward to a better future in spite of the difficult past.

Fortunately, most of the stories I’ve come across online recently have been about various successes others have had in 2018. Many folks are talking about how they hope to carry the momentum of those successes into the 2019 year. I can’t help be feel a bit envious because I don’t necessarily have that kind of momentum going for myself. If I’m to achieve my own victories in the coming year, I’ll have to lighten future me’s load a little. I won’t get into the specifics of what that means, lest I jinx my future self.

Last Art Post of the Year

Present and Future Me can’t keep up with modern “standards”

Towards the end of last month, I queued up a series of art posts to go up throughout the month. These posts consisted of a wide variety of works. From older drawings and sketches of years past, to more recent illustrations as new as this year. I put these posts up without too much rhyme or reason. The goal here was to set up a steady stream of content for the site. I’m grateful for the fact that past me used artwork that was already finished. But these posts took quite a bit of time to actually write out. That said, my queue is starting to catch up with me. This post was actually only partially written when I first queued it up. Now that I’m here finishing it up, I can see the end of this little posting streak approaching.

Social media today has created this toxic standard where you either post content consistently or get buried alive by algorithms. On the internet of today, going at your own pace is social media suicide. While it was nice to post consistently for awhile, I shouldn’t have given in to such a demanding standard. It’s not a pace I naturally work at and I’ll only get burnt out from trying to stick to it. This isn’t a social media site. I can do as I please here. That said, I have a only have few more posts queued up until the end of January. After that, future me is on their own.

Hopefully they and I will have figured something out by then.

Jake Fox; Young and Old - A look at our past and future selves through Mage Punk:

Description: A far shot of a pencil drawing on yellow paper with red and green watercolor accents. Young Jake (11) stands next to his adult self (30+), surrounded by mist.

I had a bit of time dropped on my lap one day

And not enough self-control on buying art supplies

A few weeks ago, we had our annual holiday meeting at the Blick Store that I work at. Unfortunately, I’m cursed with having long commute to work. As such, I had a huge chunk of time to kill between the end of my shift and the meeting. Before the end of my shift, I bought a few of these Canson Mi-Teintes papers that Blick carries. Until that day, I’d managed to avoid succumbing to the desire to buy them. Not that they’re expensive or anything. In fact, they’re quite affordable per sheet. But I was trying to exercise some level of impulse control.

Anyway, this drawing was done using graphite and white colored pencil on these toned papers. At the end I added a little extra color using some light watercolor to help it pop.

My main inspirations were classical anatomy studies and the cover art on some of the toned paper pads we carry. For the sake of keeping it simple, I decided I wanted this to be a pencil drawing from the beginning. I jumped into it without any planning whatsoever. No preliminary drawing. Not even thumbnail. I simply started with a light sketch and then layered up my values and line weights as I went along. Erasing and cleaning it up as I went along. Finally at the end is when I added a touch watercolor and white colored pencil.

Jake Fox; Young and Old

A look at our past and future selves through Mage Punk

Jake has a very special relationship with time and with himself throughout time. He’s a natural born musician with perfect pitch. As a child, he befriends a Time Mage and helps her thwart a potential time catastrophe. He meets the Time Keeper and casually calls them “gramps”. His past and future selves “accidentally” meet face-to-face. Several times. His friends don’t understand how Jake isn’t time mage himself. They say things might be different, had the stars aligned ever so slightly different on the day he was born. Jake says there’s no use dwelling on things that aren’t. Life is all about being present, just like a Flame.

Jake’s simple nature might be one of his greatest strengths. If he’s just in a standing position, I always give him a basic “pawn” shape in the beginning. Here, I tried to keep close to that pawn-like shape. Aside from using a simpler medium, my focus was on highlighting the subtler difference between Jake’s past and future selves. Looking over from past to future Jake, you see the changes in his appearance over time. His hair falls differently. His face is less round. He gets bulkier. His head is the same size but he got a little taller, at least. Both of these characters may be Jake in essence, but they are not both the same person.

That special relationship we each have with our past, present, and future selves through time.

Past, present, and future me are not the same person. They and I are entirely different people, every moment that passes. We constantly work together to keep things running as smoothly and easily as possible. Communication between us is limited, but we can work around that. The key is collaboration and consistency. I’m always thanking or cursing past me for some decisions they’ve made. “That’s a problem for future me” I chime aloud sometimes. Whiles I can’t communicate directly with my future selves, I can send messages to them. Often times, I can depend on some form of consistency between my different selves.

The Moment Between Each Second

Be kind to your future selves

They have no idea of what’s coming

Sometimes, I can’t help but see how broken the world has become in past years and Despair the coming future. I envy those opposite me, who see the broken world and carry blind Hope with them. They look forward to a better future in spite of the difficult past. If I had to make a resolution, I would want my future self to be more like the latter.

How nice is it that I got to end the year with a nice little Sunday post? What better way to leave a year behind than with a display of youth and age, side by side. I’m sure some of you are using today to try to relax before the new year starts rolling in. I mentioned earlier that time doesn’t take breaks between the seconds. The clock strikes 12:00:00 12:00:01 12:00:02 no need for commas. How appropriate that the year starts on a Twos Day. Even more appropriate that Day 2 of the year 2019 is a Wednesday.

I said time was unrelenting.

Me and my big mouth.

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