I have been posting to Illustration Friday since it was introduced to me in 2006, predating my own blog by nearly a year. The concept of Illustration Friday is pretty simple ... and pretty cool. They post a new word each week and artists from all over the world create an illustration based on their individual interpretation of the word. The words are pretty unassuming (recent suggestions have been secret, underwater, power, fresh). It's interesting to see the different styles and concepts and compare them to your own.
Illustration Friday led me to another blog for artists called Portrait Party. Presenting another interesting concept, Portrait Party challenged a pair of artists to draw each other - either in person of by exchanging photos via email. I would frequently see an artist named Patrick's fierce and angular illustrations mixed among the weekly entries on Illustration Friday, and now, I was seeing his work on Portrait Party as well as his personal blog, fifty-two fridays. (I spend a lot of time looking at and searching for art blogs.) After participating in a few portrait exchanges (including one horrible episode), I believe that I initiated the "portrait swap" between Patrick and myself. The results of which can be seen here.
A day after my 49th birthday, I received an email invitation asking me to contribute to a new blog. The offer was from Patrick. The blog was called "This Day in Real Life" and it was conceived to chronicle "all those wonderful/horrible moments that would have gone undocumented otherwise," or so reported the blog's tagline. I was game, as I felt that I needed an outlet for illustrations (and rants) that didn't quite fit in with stories of my youth, Illustration Friday words and profiles of unsung dead celebrities that made up the bulk of the content on my main blog, josh pincus is crying. So, on August 15, 2010, I made my first post as an invited member of "This Day in Real Life."
As time went on, I still actively (sometimes obsessively) contributed to my blog. I researched obscure celebrities and weird death stories. I supplemented my posts with visual travelogues of my visits to cemeteries. All the while, I found time to post an entry or two to "This Day in Real Life." Since it was sort of an "in the moment" blog, I wrote and illustrated little narratives of things that happened to me. If someone in a store pissed me off or I witnessed an act of total stupidity or I made an observation about something mundane, I'd scribble out a sketch and write a few funny paragraphs and post it. Soon, I realized, that I was the only one providing "This Day in Real Life" with content. Patrick and few other authors had dropped out of sight. But, I plugged away. Just earlier this year, without asking, Patrick made me a site administrator.
Then, in September 2013, after months without a peep, Patrick posted to "This Day in Real Life." His entry read:
"i think that this idea has run its course. thank you to all participants, it's been swell but the swelling's gone down. ."I immediately sent him an email. I requested that he turn the blog over to me and I would maintain it. After all, at this point, I was the sole contributor. He replied with this incoherent, somewhat cryptic, ramble:
i would like to begin by saying that i respect you as an artist, and you seem to be my kind of human being. i like you.the only reason that i am sending you this is that you have contributed heavily to this blog since the beginning, that is why i felt i am waiting until october 1st to take the content down, to give you a chance to move it elsewhere.as for the reason i have decided to end this blog, i have several and they are personal, they have nothing to do with you or any other contributor, suffice to say that i totally get that you don't understand why i dont pass this along to you and i'm sorry that i can't really explain. you have to just accept it. this needs to be done. i am sorry.please feel free to start a similar project on your own, and i will happily put a redirect link to wherever you move, so that the people who are looking for you work will have an easy way to find your work. i will leave that up for a little while.again, sorry.if you need to be mad or hate me or whatever i understand.
No, Patrick, you don't understand. I had built a following on that blog. You abandoned it. My individual posts were racking up views in the hundreds (which is pretty impressive for a "word of mouth" blog that I was promoting on my own). Faced with little choice, I copied every one of my entries - all 104 of 'em - and moved them to my own new blog. I'm lucky I did that when I did, because Patrick rescinded my Admin status and locked me out of "This Day in Real Life." I don't know what deep dark secret Patrick has, nor do I care. You want sympathy and comfort for your troubles? Stick to Facebook, because the rest of the Internet doesn't give a shit.
Thanks, Patrick. I'll take it from here.