Tuesday, January 12, 2010


We all have obstacles. We all have something that hinders our happiness, a source of inconvenience propelled by forces out of and within our control. My frustrations are no different than the frustrations of anyone else, but I feel compelled to share them with you to give a better sense of who I am, because the one human emotion I feel more often than sorrow, let alone happiness, is contempt.

The greatest source of my frustration comes from an invisible sorcerer, made up of all of the wrong things said to me by personal and impersonal relationships with each person I've met offline and on, who cast a powerful curse on me, uttering such terrible words that I had been unable to see until recently, "You are worthless." This curse has hanged miserably over my head from grade school on. Denied visits to fond cousins, birthdays with friends, shallow observations of teachers, ambiguous media messages, all of which contributed to the growing sense of disappointment and failure I buried deep into the back of my mind. This resurfaced when it came time to think about higher education.

While in grade school, I had not quite developed as quickly as a productive member of society like many of the friends I had kept. That seemed to be a theme for me since I had joined the public school system. I was born past the entrance date for Kindergarten, so I entered at age six, not five like the others. Learner's permit, seventeen, first kiss, seventeen, virginity, twenty one. I felt these delayed rituals of initiation were signs that I was unworthy to some invisible giant who would shake its head disapprovingly at me. These delayed initiation rituals not only came with my social life, but what has yet to become my professional life.

After graduating from high school, the art talent that I had held to, and in a vain attempt tried to get college credit for in high school, blossomed, but not without obstacle. I drew "male nudes" as young as seven or so, and sequential art as early as ten, but as soon as family had taken interest in my works, I was reprimanded for making pornography at such a young age. This somehow burrowed the idea into my brain that I should not pursue that course of action, yet the influence of comics, animation and television, the greatest sources of my inspiration, remained prominent in my development of my art, but still that invisible presence generated by the callousness of such intimate people in my life discouraged me from revealing my work to the outside world.

University life altered me drastically. I had gone from a top mark student to a pathetic creature barely able wake up to the grim reality that things weren't as simple any longer. Entering the university, I had been enamored with the social axiom that having a university degree guaranteed me a comfortable job and a substantial annual salary, however my knowledge of what my talents could afford transposed against what I had intended were greatly distorted.

As I had mentioned in my previous entry, I had chosen Chemistry as my initial declaration. Still wanting to pursue that practical effects career that seemed so perfect, and careers in the scientific field were some of the most lucrative, I blindly followed the ethereal dollar signs hovering over my head, all the while friends I had become acquainted with in the Art department continued to question me as I sat outside, drawing with such ease as I waited for lecture, "Why aren't you an art major?" My reply, and the greatest fallacy I had cursed myself with, "There's no money in art." If I had known then what I do now.

The idea had my attention off and on throughout the six years I suffered at the university, never really giving it any serious thought until it was too late to turn back. Outside of Chemistry, History seemed like an easier area of study, mostly reading, research and writing, things I thought myself fairly decent at, save for the reading part. I suffered much through that course of action, too, especially the three nervous breakdowns I had, each from intensive reading or expansive essays. My lover can attest to the tearful phone calls I made during those times. Through the course of six years, I had changed homes four times, from the home I grew up in, my sister's home, my off campus apartment, and the home I had occupied up until Decembre of 2009, supporting myself by working full time at an off campus McDonald's, which I still slave to till this day, and failing to dedicate myself solely to my studies. As torturous as my undergraduate career seemed to me, I had arrived into the real world with a renewed sense of perspective, having used those six years to deconstruct the bull shit I had fed myself with years previous, though thanks in part to... something, the piece of paper I acquired from the years of study is now considered relatively worthless.

Two years later, this present day, I stand at a crossroads, fully equipped with the knowledge to better myself. My options are many, but still unclear, and those that seem the most alluring and the most fulfilling, are also the most competitive, and I am no competitor by any means. More frustrations await me, but I hope to alleviate their volume, rather than protract them.

Comments, questions or other, shoot them off. I want to hear from you folks.

All the best.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My First Entry by Jarrod Pope age 26

Greetings Gentle Readers,

If you've happened upon this blog, you're either a dear friend, possibly family, a fan, or a curious bystander. I welcome you to my thoughts. Within this blog site you will become privy to my deepest inner turmoils, joys, and ideas, most of which I guard carefully and reveal only to a intimate few.

I am Jarrod Pope. I hail from the States, born and raised in Florida. I come from a large Catholic family, being the youngest of nine children. Art talent runs through my family's blood stream, each of my siblings having some artistic gift, but only one of my siblings has tapped that talent. I hope to change that soon.

As far back as I can remember, I have always been drawing. From the Lucifer I scribbled on my parents bedroom wall to the plethora of character sketches I do on napkins, drawing is something I've been doing all of my life, and now I want to try and put my talents to use.

My biggest fear is ending up like my father. Not many people enjoy being in his presence or think too highly of him, and I understand their frustrations. Looking beyond my father's vices, pettiness, self righteousness, entitlement, and perverse justifications, I've seen his passion unfulfilled. Growing up, he opted to take me along to the movie theatre, whether I wanted to or not. You know that four year old kid who wouldn't shut up during that rated R film you were watching, that was me. He enjoys stories, so much that I ventured to guess he had aspirations for writing them, let alone have them up on the big screen. Instead of realize this vision, my father did what was expected of him for having knocked up his next door neighbor, i.e. my mother, marry her, go to a university and get a job to support a family. Darker times surfaced before my introduction to the world, but they will be entries for another time.

As for me, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life growing up. In the third grade, I was asked that same question. I answered "scientist." For high school, it was special effects wizard, monster sculpting and pyrotechnics. Through the course of my education, I learned that mathematics and I were never going to be friends. Ever. My failing grade in College Algebra my last year at university dictated that.

I went into the university with the sole expectation to procure a degree and makes wads of cash, but did not know what my talents were or how I could put them to good use. Seeing as how my mathematics skills were lacking, I dropped my intended Chemistry track in favor of something I excelled at in high school, History. Three nervous breakdowns and a Bachelor's degree later, I realized History was not my thing, but it did open my eyes to something else. Writing.

The drawing talent I had kept to over the years had developed into a "style." Many summers past I had devoted myself to creating little fantasy worlds filled with fantastic creatures and heroes closest to my heart, wizards. When I paired my drawings with newly polished writing tools, something wonderful happened. I wanted to make a graphic novel... which has ye to be completed.

Since 2007, I've dedicated my creative energies to a world I have dubbed "Everwood Grove." Inside, many of the worries and wonders that I've witnessed in my life are woven deep into the ethereal fabric of my fantasy world. With the aid of this blog, I hope to give some perspective of my personal life and the life I've created within my work.

I look forward to hearing from you all. Drop me a line sometime.

All the best.