Cartooning In My Sleep

20 Apr

Most people can work a 9-5 and be done with work.  Me?  I can’t.  I’m always working.  In fact, when I add it up, I figure I put in at least 18 hours a day.  Well, that’s if you include the “thinking” process behind comics.

I’ve admitted before to having insomnia.  I sleep typically four hours a night – off and on (just ask my wife).  A lot of that has to do with working while I’m trying to sleep.  I’m thinking of ideas or what I’m going to do on the drawing table the next day.  Maybe 5% of the thinking is what kind of cereal I’m having in the morning.

A big part of cartooning IS the “thinking” process.  Therefore, I put in an 18 (or more) hour work day.  I’m bad at math, so if I subtract the 5% part of me thinking about cereal, I’m not sure where I’m at?

I try to go to bed around 11 or so – and I usually can’t sleep.  So, then I aim for midnight.  That sometimes works, but usually it’s about one or so when I actually count some sheep (or turtles, depending what my thinking process is).

Adding in all the other days activities, my noodle is still observing things in a way where it could enhance my career.

“A guy dressed up like Peter Pan.  Now THERE’S some comedy gold!”  I’d say as watching this person prance around an alley downtown.  (I mentioned this person in my last blog.)

Usually it ends up NOT being comedy gold – so I’m back to square one.  However, a lot of times I pick up some comedy silver.

So, I am tired a lot, but I also force myself to get motivated to do whatever it is that needs done.  Even if it’s pointless things – like this blog.

I hope to be able to sleep better someday.  I don’t take any medication or sleep enhancers, and I never will.  Maybe someone should just hit me really hard with a frying pan.  That should get me at least five hours of sleep or so (with a minor headache).


9 Responses to “Cartooning In My Sleep”

  1. Bo Lumpkin April 20, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Just a word of friendly advice from someone who knows what you mean. I used to sleep only 4 hours a night… until around my 3rd heart attack. Now I sleep around 7. Make yourself start early. Get up at sunrise or before and keep going until you are tired. (A 30 minute nap doesn’t hurt in the middle of the day either.) The problem I have now is that while I am in bed thinking of new ideas and comics I fall asleep and can’t remember them in the morning.

    You have a lot to contribute. Some people burn out, some people rust out, but it is better if you just wear out naturally.

    Just some friendly advice from someone who really admires your work.

  2. Nate Fakes April 20, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    I try. I’m usually up before daylight, and keep on going. I wish I could take naps – I’m just not able to.

    Hopefully this will change sometime. There are rare occasions when I do sleep good (usually vacations or away from home)!

  3. Bearman April 20, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    I take naps every weekend. I tend to think about a subject and can’t figure out how I will use it in a gag. Usually I’ll then wake up in the middle of the night and rerun it through my head as I drift off. HOWEVER, if I think of it, I am wide awake and running to the computer to draw. Ugh.

    • Nate Fakes April 21, 2010 at 5:55 am #

      That’s why I don’t think there’s any other profession where one has to work harder. It’s a 24/7 job….and I can’t help it!

      Why can’t I come up with stuff and not dwell on it like Paul McCartney did with the Beatles songs? A few of those came in a dream (so he says). I would love to dream something and wake up refreshed and write it down. Damn it.

  4. frigginloon April 21, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    OK Nate, I too have a mind that goes 24/7 here’s some advice before you get a friggin “bloggers ass” like Bearman. Exercise. I don’t mean friggin jogging or gym shite. I mean find somewhere that is steep (with stairs preferably) and which will give you a good cardio (path up a hill is good). You will discover that while you are puffing away your mind will begin to process succinctly. Honestly it will cut your mental mapping down considerably and will force your body into a good slumber.

    • frigginloon April 21, 2010 at 7:14 am #

      Oh and you won’t get bloggers ass 🙂

      • Nate Fakes April 21, 2010 at 8:04 am #

        I might have to amp it up. I exercise A LOT though. Lifting and cardio almost daily. I’m 6’1″ and 177, so I don’t have blogger ass – yet. Hmmm….maybe I should go climb a mountain or something. Sleep could prevail!

  5. Bo Lumpkin April 23, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    I am tired from reading about all this exercise and I don’t know what kind of behind I have because I can’t see it. I am going to go and take my nap now.

  6. George April 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    I’ve found out now that, even though I have a lot going on these days with jobs and family, every free second I have is spent thinking about my comic. If I get an extra moment, I spend it on AC.

    I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I have been able to acknowledge it. I had someone cancel an appointment and my wife asked if that meant we could go shopping. I was like, “No! This gives me more time to work on my new AC header, or color Thursday’s comic!”

    Needless to say, she wasn’t impressed. 🙂

    I fall asleep trying to think of new storylines. It’s not that it’s work to me, but it’s more of an obsession that I had before other responsibilities came about. Now that I’m busier than ever, I still try to keep up with it ten hours a day.

    HELP! 🙂

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