The Politics of Being Political

For me, when I made the decision that I was an artist, and that I was going to define myself as such, I very quickly realized that it was important for me to have something to say.  If not necessarily some grand message, than a communicable point of view.  Something WORTH saying.

When I initially started Mind the Exit, I thought I could do that with middling political commentary that didn’t really take sides, but just acknowledge the broad absurdity of it all while sitting on the fence.  I realized quickly that I wasn’t really saying anything at that point, so I decided to switch gears.

So I introduced the characters that would become Jake and Steven.  And over the course of the last year, I’ve been trying to use them to make silly jokes about my observations, and use them to learn how to craft a joke, to create a visual narrative, to refine my brush stroke and learn a few new tricks.  Basically to build a toolbox, while hopefully getting comfortable and confident to say things in an articulate way.  I initially very specifically kept away from political statements, and really anything that would somehow build walls that would separate me from people who would see my work.

Over the last few months, I’ve found myself revising that sentiment.  Admittedly I was kind of pushed into that re-evaluation, but it’s one I needed to start thinking about.  Because as it turns out, the 21st century is built on perpetually streaming narratives that we can’t avoid if we want to participate the world.

So today, I made a strip that is overtly political, as I did a couple weeks back.  Because in the wake of the events in Charlottesville and everything happening as a result, it’s hard not to ruminate on the things that make us baffled, sad, and angry.

Mind the Exit will never be defined by politics.  I’m not a cynical enough person to make that leap.  But if something is itching at me, I’m going to be less afraid to express that through the site.  I am still searching to find my voice, but I’m not going to hold back when I have something to say.

Thanks, as always, for visiting my site.  Please, continue to reach out, tell me how you feel, leave comments, give me feedback, and suggestions.  They are always welcome and appreciated.

card design3

Barry

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