Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than

Zen Pencils

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  1. J2P2

    J2P2 said, over 2 years ago

    Brings a whole new meaning to the Brain in a Vat analogy…A great piece of art and quote!

  2. Richard

    Richard GoComics PRO Member said, over 2 years ago

    Been doing that for 33 years now and still going.
    It is true.

  3. Darren Blair

    Darren Blair said, over 2 years ago

    Thing is, as I keep advising people –
    Find a way to do both if possible, and if not be prepared with a fallback.
    The girl who wants to be a painter? Had she gone "art’ + “teaching degree”, then she could be an art instructor.
    Writing? Businesses need all sorts of writers, including “copy” writers (the people who write packaging blurbs) and technical writers.
    Poetry? Another teaching degree.
    Riding horses? There’s a largely unknown field out there called “equine therapy”. It involves using horses to help rehabilitate children with mental, emotional, and physical ailments. It works, but for whatever reason hasn’t been getting the press it deserves.

  4. terrabeth7776

    terrabeth7776 said, over 2 years ago

    What I really love doing is supporting and taking care of my daughter. And my mundane job allows me to do that. I’ve been doing this job for eighteen years and it has its rewards. Although boring, it allows me to spend quality time with my baby under our roof, with food on our table and clothes on our backs and the occasional special treat. Reality is that not everyone can do what they love for a living and that’s ok! Someone has to clean bathrooms and someone has to push papers around for corporate America. I don’t consider my life “wasted” just because I have to pursue what I love during my non-working hours.

  5. LittleCatFeet

    LittleCatFeet said, over 2 years ago

    I disagree with my stepdad over this sometimes. But, I think he’ll end up being proud anyway once I get going. It’s the school system you have to wrestle with if you want to do anything worthwhile.

  6. hippogriff

    hippogriff said, over 2 years ago

    For the most part, I have been able to live off my hobbies. It has been 10% below to 20% above the poverty line, but growing up in a parsonage during the Great Depression, I am used to that.

  7. Richard

    Richard GoComics PRO Member said, over 2 years ago


    Parents are like that. They want us to have success.
    I used this with my parents when I made the move to be a police officer.
    Its dangerous, hard, lonely, unappreciated work but I felt the need to do this because I felt happy and fulfilled about doing it.
    I started back in 1981 at 700 dollars a month. Went through 18 weeks of boot camp where I was pummeled, punished, pushed to the extreme of endurance only to fall then made myself get up because this job is what I wanted to do. I never noticed the pain when it was all said and done.
    It was like giving birth, painful but the result is wondrous.
    If I was paid less I would still be in this job.
    Personally I am very satisfied.
    Just keep to the course LittleCatFeet. That alone will make your stepdad feel proud.
    If not turn on some sports and sit and watch with him. (hehe)

  8. Troy Peterson

    Troy Peterson GoComics PRO Member said, over 2 years ago

    Oh, if only it were that easy. If only I had seen this 30 years ago when I finished high school. I am stilling trying to do the thing I desire, but Gocomics has yet to send me a contract… so in the mean time I contribute to Sherpa and stuff my brain in jar in order to pay the rent and buy food. Hard to live without food.

  9. Teanna Byerts

    Teanna Byerts said, over 2 years ago

    Good art, great insights. Neat strip.

    Um, the horses. Yeah. Nope.

    I grew up on horseback. (not actually making a living at it, or the art either)…(yet)…

    Your horsewoman is going to be sued because her students will A. fall to their doom when their horses bolt and the bridle falls off because there is no crownpiece or throatlatch on the bridle to hold it on… and B. when the saddle falls off because there is no girth holding it on either. One mounts on the left side, not the right (don’t know about Australia or New Zealand…). Horses come in lots of cool colors, really (um, not just mud brown). English saddles and Western saddles are both nice, and look very different.

    Points for the helmets, though…

    You can learn how to draw a real horse, in real horse colors, with real tack, and real riders wearing real riding gear here:


    and here:


    (there are 14 more pinterest boards on horses 101 there too)…

    Sam Savitt and Wesley Dennis and George Stubbs are way better than me, only they’re dead. Look ’em up :)

  10. Chrystos

    Chrystos GoComics PRO Member said, over 2 years ago

    Hi Swordwhale,
    You’re obviously savvy about horses, etc, and you obviously have missed the gist of the whole strip. Talk about missing the forest for the trees! Please get off your annoying macro lens / microscope / “Aren’t I so authorotative!” male track and look at the big picture. If you met up with Buddha or Jesus, would you go on & on about how well they were shaved? Or maybe think about their insights a little…… Sorry, I’ve worked on / with people (mostly they are guys) who are so addicted to their own authoritativeness that they have to wrestle the center of gravity back to their own little area of extpertise in the name of bringing home another trinket for the ego….. If you think this strip is about a career in horsemenship, or drawing, you have REALLY missed the boat.

  11. Darren Blair

    Darren Blair said, over 2 years ago


    It’s not that Swordwhale is being needlessly authoritative.
    Present anyone with a deep background in something an account of that something which is severely flawed and you’ll get an earful.
    As a movie reviewer, I’ve hammered at least two movies now for sloppiness that should never have made it into a finished product. (“Shotguns do not work that way!”)
    I’ve also had to stop watching certain television shows because I couldn’t go a single episode without noting gross mistakes that people were making. (“You claim to be a toy expert but walk right on past an expensive G. I. Joe playset! WTF?!”)

  12. Tue Elung-Jensen

    Tue Elung-Jensen said, over 2 years ago

    Still – where did she get the money to buy all the horses, or food for the horses? Advertisement? etc etc etc. Yes I get the point of not being satisfied, but you still have to be realistic in some matters and balance out – or find something else within reach.

  13. ppbryant

    ppbryant said, over 2 years ago

    It’s easy for those who’ve been lucky enough to get rich doing what they love (No matter how hard you work, there is an element of luck involved) to criticize people who have to work for a living. Many people who follow their dreams end up homeless and starving. Try telling your landlord and your doctor and your grocer: “Forget the money, I’m doing whatever I like.” Nice cartoon though.

  14. alexzabala

    alexzabala said, over 2 years ago

    The poet will land up living under a bridge eating cat food. But hey…ya followed your dreams, right??

  15. alexzabala

    alexzabala said, over 2 years ago

    The poet will land up living under a bridge eating cat food. But hey…ya followed your dreams, right??

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