G A N Z E E R . T O D A Y


Praise all Gods, the imaginary and fictitious.

Both inboxes are at a reassuring zero. And, my workspaces are fully organized and ready to receive me and my [work] load head on.

Shall we take a little tour?

Let's start with the office:

The Office

The chair at the far end near the window? That's where I sit. Not to do any drawing (that's reserved for the drafting table in the foreground to your left), but to do all the other things; email, graphic design, writing, etc. You'll notice a narrow draw/erase board for weekly to-dos, right above a magnetic strip where I put up important future dates to keep in mind (deadlines, scheduled talks, travel, etc.).

When it's time to draw, I drag the chair to the drafting table, where nothing is in front of me but the drawing at hand:

Dafting Table

Focus is the name of the game. You'll notice a small rolling side table to the left. Typically, that's where I place only the tools I need for any given drawing, most of which are now placed on the shelf above the drafting table. What is on the table now is a small stack of some recently finished pages. I may have to find another place for those (Perhaps add a bottom shelf to the rolling table? Right above the wheels?).

You'll also notice a small magnetic strip above the drawing table, where I keep a few other tools I need to reach every now and again (sharpeners, nibs, erasers). And of course, the big HELLBOY ARTIST'S EDITION looming over me (Because Mignola is one of the greatest comix storytellers of all time and his work is to be studied for all eternity. I'm also considering getting Steranko's NICK FURY one, but... I oughtta sell a couple paintings first.).

Now you might ask; but Ganzeer? Where do you paint your large canvases and do your other odd artsy things?!?!

I'm glad you asked. It's been a while since I've been able to do that sort of thing with any level of comfort. Now, however, I have this:

Ganzeer's Garage

Welcome to the garage.

You'll see at the far end there's the pegboard and Craftsman thing where I keep a large number of tools pertaining to painting as well as handyman stuff. Next to it are my flatfiles where I keep my printmaking results as well as other works on paper. And above it is where many supplies pertaining to the making of that stuff is kept, as well as packaging and shipping supplies (to fulfill online orders with a degree of efficiency).

The table on wheels is of course very important (it was time to chuck out my trusty orange one, no wheels). The bookshelf is for books and comix and magazines as well as my own files (because frankly, there just ain't any room inside the house). I should also note that my bookshelf is... very full and I cannot under any circumstances acquire any new books without first getting rid of some (which means, I need to read my unread ones very quickly and decide on which ones I'm cool to let go of).

In the extreme foreground, to your left are a number of folding chairs (for myself as well as visitors). A couple boxes filled with used packing stuff that I should just go ahead and toss out. A little trolly there containing numerous painting supplies, and those tall boxes? One of them contains plain canvas, the other contains a half-finished painting I started in New York earlier in the year, and the third contains three paintings on canvas ready to ship out to their new owner.

The clothes rack? That's my makeshift solution to hang work-in-progress paintings and things. Current unfinished project dangling off the thing and jeering at me every time I walk in?

Ramy Essam's Jacket

Denim jacket for Ramy Essam's stage presence. It was once white, and now it's just stained. But soon enough... it will look entirely different. 😈

Future plans include installing a big sink (but... I oughtta sell a few paintings first). Gotta keep them brushes clean and you don't wanna mess up the sinks inside the house.

I quite like that I get to work out of a garage though. When the weather's good, I just roll the door wide open and it's like I'm practically working outside. I've never had a garage before, but that didn't keep me from naming my online store Garage.Ganzeer, which must've been some peculiar form of magical foreshadowing. Β―_(ツ)_/Β―

#journal #houston #studio

The air is thick and humid today.

And it is just about starting to rain. Just a drizzle, nothing violent. It'll likely go on like this all day though. Generally speaking, I am not a fan of gray skies. I need to see the sun rise to start my day (standard Egyptian practice), but y'know what? It's warm in Houston; 22 Celsius (that's 71.6 Fahrenheit), so I will very gladly take it.

(Also, the sound of light drizzle is rather soothing.)

Work inbox is at a taunting 11. Personal inbox is at a threatening 349. As an inbox zeroer, this brings me great anguish. Luckily though, personal inbox is mostly filled with unread newsletters and notices (I clearly have no friends), messages I can just click away once I get around to it.

Still working on accounting stuff, which I am several months behind on. Feeling the pressure of the buildup of all the things I have to do once I'm done with that. At which point, there will be the buildup of other future things.

Kind of longing for the day when I no longer have to postpone any of the day's tasks till tomorrow or the day after.

I'll get there. Soon enough, I'll get there.

#Journal #Houston

Today is a glorious day.

It's not that I've slept till noon, it's that I've lazied around till noon. I can't even remember when I last lazied around till noon. Sometime in my 20's maybe?

It is exactly 12:41 pm right now and I am just about having breakfast; Fuul Medammes, that is... Fava Beans prepared Egyptian style. I cooked up a humongous batch about a week ago (not even halfway through), and its such a great thing to have around, to quickly get a meal in.

One of the great things about Fuul Medammes is that it's very easy to avoid getting bored of, because its flavor profile can drastically change depending on how you spice it. And you spice it only before eating, post-cookage. You essentially just simmer a big batch of beans, sans spice, and have that around, and every time you decide to whip up a bowl, you can spice it quite differently from the next bowl.

Perhaps one day I oughtta make a little zine on all the possible variations of Fuul Medammes, from the most simple to the utmost elaborate.

Before breakfast, armed with my cup of coffee, I put in a large Amazon Fresh order. Two weeks worth of groceries to be precise. It should arrive within the next couple of hours, during which I'll be getting some laundry done, dishes, and some tidying up here and there.

Upon arrival of my groceries, I shall draft a menu of meals for the next couple of weeks, to save my brain juice from being depleted on thinking about food or any other chores for a while.

Because this week, I work πŸ’ͺ

#journal #houston

It wasn't my plan to disappear for a month.

In fact, my plan entailed the exact opposite: fully chronicling the tour with Ramy Essam (which ended up being more of an eye opening experience than I ever could have imagined), followed by the detailed chronicling of getting the newly acquired house (and studio) in order. The latter is something I thought wouldn't need more than two weeks at most.

I've been back in Houston since January 27th, and I shit you not all I've been doing since has been attempting to get the newly acquired house (and studio) in order, and I am still so not there yet.

One more week, I think. One more week and then everything should at least be in just about enough order that I can maintain a level of equilibrium that would allow for getting actual work done and back into a steady stream of online updates (not to mention reading, exercise, socializing, and y'know... life).

By the by, I'll be in New York again next month. March 26th to be precise, for the official launch (and signing) of WE ARE ALL THINGS at Printed Matter (231 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10001) together with Elliott Colla in a discussion moderated by none other than Molly Crabapple.

We Are All Things

The book (or chapbook rather) is available for pre-order right now, by the way, directly from our admirably print-obsessed publishers Radix Media.

The great Seth Tobocman had this to say about it: β€œWe Are All Things is the perfect collaboration between an artist and a writer. Words and pictures combine to show us what cannot be seen and to tell us what must remain unspoken. A tiny room in a contemporary Arab city becomes the gateway to an infinite horizon. The universal experience of desire and loss. A small, but stunning, work of art.”

#journal #houston #nyc #work #publication

In 2004, Hunter S. Thompson had this to say about Houston:

Houston is a cruel, crazy town on a filthy river in East Texas with no zoning laws and a culture of sex, money and violence. It's a shabby, sprawling metropolis ruled by brazen women, crooked cops and super-rich pansexual cowboys who live by the code of the West.

Which is to say; Houston is my kinda town.

(Well, to a degree. More pedestrian areas would be nice, and maybe lose the drivers who aggressively harass cyclists.)

I've only β€œlived” here for 6 months now, but take away the time it took to unbox shit and move in as well as all my travel elsewhere, then I've only actually lived here for 4-5 months. But I'm embracing it. In fact, the wife and I are due to close on a little townhouse in just a week's time.

Which means a week's worth of packing everything up to move again, followed by however many weeks it'll take to unpack and settle back in. Not looking forward to that part, but I am looking forward to finally living in a place I can call my own, a place where I don't have to worry about hammering a nail in the wall or unleashing buckets of paint if I felt so inclined. I'm ready to nest a little, rebuild my library and record collection and feel secure in where I live, and just get to work without having to worry about the forthcoming wind of displacement.

Granted of course the swamp this city is built on doesn't flood and sweep us all out to sea. πŸ™ƒ

#journal #houston