Inktober 2020 Day #21: Sleep. My arch-nemesis. I’ve always struggled to sleep, because my Brain goes into overdrive. I’ve also always felt like I was wasting time when I slept, probably because I wasn’t sleeping well at night so I nod off at odd times sometimes. The only time I really like sleeping is when my dreams are crazy.
This illustration became deeply personal on a level I didn’t entirely plan for or expect. I tried to come up with something funny, but then started thinking about Calvin and Hobbes again, and I found one of Bill Watterson’s beautiful watercolor paintings of Calvin and Hobbes napping under a big tree in full fall foliage. I decided I’d do PMD napping in a pose similar to Hobbes, but there’s no corresponding Calvin character, other than me. For some reason, I thought of having PMD dreaming about hanging out with me as a Calvin-aged kid. Now, I hadn’t dreamed up Plunger Monkey back then, so this quickly turned into something…weird. It made me incredibly nostalgic and sad, thinking about how much life has changed, how much I miss the people that are gone and the simpler times, like sitting and reading comics at the beach, being with family. I started thinking about how different life is now due to the pandemic, but also how there are some huge changes right around the corner for us with our oldest in his senior year of high school, and how different things like family trips are going to be and how weird it’s going to be to not have him around. Which got me thinking about parenting and whether or not I’ve prepared him for the rest of his life, what teaching opportunities did I miss, am I too overbearing about certain things, have I helped or hindered him?
Then I got to thinking more about why PMD was dreaming this. Was it because he wished he had been around for me when I was an awkward kid, getting bullied and retreating into my daydream worlds? Was he always there and I didn’t realize it yet? Or maybe I’m gone, and he’s dreaming about the good old days.
I can’t believe I’m actually getting a little teary eyed about all this. The power of and the reason for art, I guess.