World records can be tricky things. Rules enforced by governing bodies can disqualify potential contenders. While there was no likelihood of enshrinement at the finish line, Pocket Vinyl went for it nevertheless and got their own book in the process. How to Completely Lose Your Mind finds bandmates and husband/wife duo Elizabeth Jancewicz and Eric Stevenson racing to finish a tour of 50 states in 45 days. Jancewicz joins us to discuss the book, tour and painting in front of a live crowd.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 0:11
No, I mean, it was, it was tough to be motivated. Yeah, I mean, it was Yeah, I was, it was so much easier to just turn to my phone or my laptop and just recheck the same social media accounts over and over again. Thankfully, when the pandemic started, we have like our fan base kind of stepped in and commissioned stuff. So they would do like some paid in commissions at home. But I didn't do any stuff for myself, you know, it was just that kind of motivation was gone. It
Brian Heater 0:43
sounds like they have saved your ass on numerous occasions. Yeah,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 0:47
we, we talk about how we have a very, very passionate fan base, but they're spread very thin all over the country. And so like, we can play most places around the country. And we'll have like, one to five people come out just be like, super excited. But like, that's, that's it, which
Brian Heater 1:06
is like, perfect for the tour that inspired the book. You know, because you weren't like, you know, you went to New York State, but you didn't go to New York City. No,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 1:17
no, we hardly ever go to New York City, actually. It's just a lot of the big cities we typically avoid just because there's so much competition for people's attention. I mean, also in New York, it's like, you gotta pay to go in and you got to pay to go out you got to pay to park salt. I live here.
Brian Heater 1:34
I know. Yeah. You've got kind of like a set, set group of cities that you tend to
Elizabeth Jancewicz 1:41
kind of the ones like, one of our I'd say one of our biggest cities is probably Denver. But we just have like a really good group of people. Like we got this really great dry space. And diversity is the place that was a real city. Oh, yeah. Yeah. No, but I'm just saying like, we that's the biggest city that we probably will regularly return to, you
Brian Heater 2:01
write about it a bit in the book. But like, generally, what is the process of booking a tour, like,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 2:07
just a lot of emails, Eric does all the booking for us. And he does a lot of indie on the move.com, which is a great website for DIY musicians. And you could just click on a state click on a city, it gives you all the listings of all the different venues. And then you can choose the ones that would best suit you. You send out 20 emails, you get one back. Thankfully, now we have like the people that we regularly return to. And so when we're coming through, they're just like, oh, yeah, we'll definitely, you know, book you guys. But we're still like with the with the book coming out on this last tour, we went on this fall, we did a lot of bookstores. And so we're playing a lot of places we've never been before. So that's been just kind of interesting to play, you know, different types of venues and cities.
Brian Heater 2:56
I guess you're pretty malleable in that respect, in that it's a piano and a easel it's pretty easy to do that in the bookstore. Yeah, yeah, it's
Elizabeth Jancewicz 3:03
a library is two that we did on this tour, which was funny, just to be a fuller bands like it is sometimes. So just just a couple days ago, we played a show locally, and we had a full band with us. We got a drummer, a bass player and a guitarist who play with us. They're just New England based and they can't travel all the time. One of them's got a kid. And so they'll do. We were able to take them out to Illinois with us this summer. But we got to work around their schedules. So it's rare that we can tour with those guys.
Brian Heater 3:34
People get older and you know, they've relationships, they have kids, and it's like, it's impossible to say, hey, you know this thing that's not gonna make any money? Can you just like be away from the family for a week or so?
Elizabeth Jancewicz 3:45
Yeah, exactly. But because it is so like rare. It's, it's a fun time to go. Like for them. It's like, it's it's a vacation almost when we get to tour,
Brian Heater 3:54
I guess a nice hack that the two of you figured out is to just be married to the other band member. There's a lot of understanding that comes along with that
Elizabeth Jancewicz 4:03
great way to save money is to share finances. It's
Brian Heater 4:07
also you know, not difficult to explain that you're going out for a week because yes, you're both going out for a week.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 4:14
Yeah, it's much harder for our bandmates to leave their partners at home.
Brian Heater 4:18
When did you actually technically start painting in the band
Elizabeth Jancewicz 4:21
right away, right when the band started. So I did some live art in college. Eric and I met at the end of my college time. And was it like a year later? He had planned a little tour. Just him it was just gonna be him in a piano. And I just I suggested I come along, you know, just do some live painting and see how it went. Our first show was in New York City. And that summer, we just kind of like were bopping around not really paying attention to our finances at all and By the end of the summer, we'd made money just from auctioning off the paintings and like talking to other bands, and there's like, I'm in debt from tour like, how are you guys making money on tour? And so we're just like, you know, let's quit our jobs and do this.
Brian Heater 5:13
It seems like this 45 day tour was pretty rough from a financial standpoint. Yeah, I mean, it's sort of problem of scale.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 5:24
Yeah, I mean, yeah, a little bit of scale, a little bit of just the unexpected things with the car and the stuff like that that happened along the way. We still came out on top, you know, because in the end, because we're pretty active on social media, like I said earlier, and we just posted about what we're going through, and people just stepped in bought albums online, you know, bought art online. And we ended up breaking even so it all worked out.
Brian Heater 5:54
I was reading an interview with you from 2011. And it gave me it gave me a lot of good insight it. You know, it's interesting to, to contrast that with now. And it seemed at the time that you were on the precipice of a lot of things. You just started your Etsy store. Yeah, you were teaching. And then you, you said, I think this is finally the time that I'm going to be able to give this art thing, like a real shot. Yeah, it sounds like it worked out pretty quickly. In that respect.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 6:28
Yeah, we have a very optimistic view of how things are gonna go, that probably probably scares our families a little bit. But it just like, you know, we're getting to the bottom of the bank account, and they're scraping by, and we're just like, I don't know how we're gonna make it next month. And then something comes up, and we make it another month. You know, it's just, we're, I think just having this like Outlook and a lot of luck. We've been able to scrape by this whole time. And
Brian Heater 6:58
I'm basing this entirely on reading the book. But I, you know, I think that you're like me, and that you experience a good deal of anxiety. Yeah. In that same interview, which I promise not to keep quoting from the entire time, but I think it was that when somebody asked you to give some advice to your younger self, and you said Don't, don't worry. Yeah. Not freaking out about finances and having a lot of anxiety, like generalized anxiety, these two things seem to be in conflict with one another. Oh,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 7:28
absolutely. Yeah. It's, it's funny, I, I don't really know how to put it into words, but it's just, yeah, some days, you're great. And some days you're not, you know, like, that's just the way that anxiety works. I mean, at the, at the end of the book, we talk about how we both started getting into therapy, and that's continued on, you know, since the end of the end of that tour, and just learning how to manage those anxieties with real life and, and the realities of how things are going. You know, you can, you can worry. But then my therapist just like, well, but like, look back on the last month, like none of those worries, happened, you know, and just like try to learn from that kind of stuff.
Brian Heater 8:13
was the decision to start talking to somebody was that in part due to some of the stresses from that tour? Absolutely.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 8:20
Yeah, we have a really good friend who is a therapist, and at the end of that tour, we are kind of hanging out with them, and that she's just, you know, talking us through some stuff. And then you're recommended some people that we could go talk to, and it was Yeah, I mean, like Eric was having panic attacks pretty regularly. I wasn't sleeping. And it was all just, you know, from the, the stress of just moving so quickly on that tour. And therapy has been really, really helpful. And thankfully, we're able to do get like the sliding scale. being self employed working artists were able to qualify for some sliding scale stuff. So it's not really hurting us financially.
Brian Heater 9:04
This was a big struggle for you in the book and it seemed in in the moment, like you weren't, you weren't able to figure out what it was that was keeping you up at night. Yeah.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 9:13
Oh, yeah. It's interesting, like talking to my therapist about not being able to sleep and, and like coming to her with this problems. Like, I can't sleep, how do I sleep? Like, gave me some medication give me like, whatever. And her coming at it being like, well, you know, the not sleep is it's not the cause of your problems. It's, it's what's happening because like, it's the symptom. Yeah, that's the symptom of the problems. Just like understanding from talking with her about how to dig back into like, the root of like, what am I anxious about? Or like, what am I? What is the thing that's keeping me awake? And then taking that and being okay with feeling those things? Has that's been a huge thing for me of just like Alright, I'm anxious and I believe anxiety is bad, therefore I want to get rid of it. And her just be like, well, you're anxious.
Brian Heater 10:05
It's okay to be anxious. You're anxious about being anxious. And you're right.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 10:09
Yeah. And like that like, but just like being able to understand that has helped me sleep, which is just so it feels so basic. But it's been mind blowing,
Brian Heater 10:20
I find that any free throw seems like such a dramatic word. But in any sort of like realization that I have in therapy is usually just be talking through it. Right? Yeah. There's almost a sense in which like, she doesn't even like need to be there. I'm just like, you know, could be anybody listening to me just basically talk through my problems and figure them out in real time.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 10:40
I was literally talking about this to Eric yesterday, and just being like, it's embarrassing. It's embarrassing how basic some of this stuff is. And I'm just like, wow, look, how mind blowing this is like, if I am okay, with being anxious, then I can sleep like,
Brian Heater 10:52
I think it's because it's a lot easier to recognize these things and other people, and it's really hard to figure it out as you're going through it. Yeah. On a base level, it seemed as though you were worried about the financial thing. But at the same time, there may have been something subconscious going on that was actually keeping you up at night.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 11:12
Yeah, yeah, I think like, we're pretty good at lying to ourselves. And like, like in the book, for example, like, we're just like, oh, you know, if we don't do this record, it's not that big a deal. But I think that was a lie that we were telling ourselves and that like we like under it all, I really wanted to, you know, accomplish this goal. And just the anxiety of trying to hold it all together, was really what was keeping those stress and anxiety levels pretty high,
Brian Heater 11:41
you discuss all of the Guinness Book qualifications to actually hit that number. And there were certain things that like by the nature of the bandit, how you Tory, you were able to meet? So you know, not you're really doing it for yourselves. And it seems to me that like the primary and I'm like this, too, it seems to me that the primary motivator was to prove to yourself that you could do it, learning that that wouldn't be officially recognized as a world record. What did that put a damper on it? Initially?
Elizabeth Jancewicz 12:07
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, it was, that was a tough thing to deal with and to. Validation is always what you're kind of striving for. And in, even if it's just, you know, you want your friends to think that your job is legitimate, or whatever, you know, even the whole process of getting your parents in the whole process of getting this book published. Like I've self published a bunch of books, but now to have like, a publisher, who like looked at us and was just like, oh, yeah, like, we will back this book, because we think we can make money on it, you know, like that validation is such a big thing, even though it's not that big, you know, it just like that. It's just in the back of your brain. I'm just like, there's someone else out there, like, believes in me,
Brian Heater 12:55
it would also be cool to have your names and your band name in the Guinness Book. Exactly.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 13:00
Yeah. That would have been that would have been so cool to be able to, like, pull that thing off of a middle school library and flip it open. See our names in it. The Scholastic
Brian Heater 13:11
Book Fair and right, yeah, I was thinking about validation, from the standpoint of auctioning your work off the show. So you know, so there's a level of validation. In just playing a live show, generally, you know, how the crowd reacts, but then you really get it, like, you're really faced with it the way that a lot of people are, when there's this like real time auction of your work happening in front of you. Yeah, it's
Elizabeth Jancewicz 13:37
bizarre. For quite a few years, I would actually go to the bathroom during the live auction bar, just to not be right there when it was happening. I've gotten some thicker skin, you know, so it's, it's easier to watch it in the past year or so. It is, I mean, I hear from other artists talk about how they don't sell paintings, you know, a couple dozen paintings a year or whatever the way that I do and, and even though they're not going for huge amounts, or anything it is it's cool that I get to sell them. It's cool that it's especially cool that I get to know that I'm starting a lot of people's art collections, like I have a lot of people who've never bought art before, because they can't afford it or they are not in a space where they see our, like real art being made. And it's that that is a cool, really cool thing to hear from those people after the fact of just like, Oh, I've got your painting. It's been you know, up in my house for the past six years and, you know, started my decorating or whatever.
Brian Heater 14:40
You mentioned that you were doing live art prior to the band, how did you how did you get into that aspect of things.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 14:46
We went to a small school and they had some events happening that they asked if any of the art majors wanted to do some live art for the event. So it wasn't like a big deal or anything. I think there was one that It was like a, like a coffee shop open mic thing, my friend was doing a reading and asked me to do some live art. And then there was another one that was like a church type of thing that they needed some live art for. So nothing huge. It was just, I did some theater in college too. So it was like kind of used to just being on the stage, and then doing live art. I've got my back to everybody. So I don't even have to look at the audience. Psychologically,
Brian Heater 15:22
obviously, you're very aware that there are sure eyes on you. I'm sure it's like, it's not. There's not as much pressure when there's when it's Eric, or when there's a band like actually playing with you. Because there's a lot of places people's eyes can be. But I don't know, as far as, as far as anxiety goes. And it's you know, it's
Elizabeth Jancewicz 15:42
really funny as I hate it, if anybody comes up while I'm just drawing, like if I'm like working on the book, for example, like we're working on the comics for this book, if I'm like sitting at my drawing desk, and drawing and air comes up behind me, I get like really anxious, I'm just like, go away. You can't like I'm not done yet. You can't look at it yet. Which is the exact opposite of what I'm doing on stage over I'm like inviting people to watch the process. So it's, it's I think it's about controlling when and where that happens. Well, it's
Brian Heater 16:09
also funny, because and I don't know how collaborative it was, ultimately, but it is a collaborative book.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 16:16
Yeah. Yeah. So the way that collaboration works was, the plan was I was going to do the whole thing myself. It's all from my perspective, I made the webcomic is all you know, the web cover, the webcomic is all me. And I've always wanted to be a graphic novelist. And so I compiled the entire story together, and then sat down to start writing the actual script, and realized I hated writing. Just it was tedious. It was like I was on every other like website, just wasting time not being able to focus. And so I, I asked Eric, if you wanted to jump in, and like kind of pull it together for me. And so he was able to just put it into, like an actual story and keep trying to keep it in my voice still. And then, you know, I went over it and made sure that it was, there weren't things that I wouldn't put in the story. And so that was how we collaborated on that. But it wasn't planned, in a
Brian Heater 17:12
lot of ways. It is episodic, I mean, toric is episodic. From that standpoint, it's not super dissimilar from writing a webcomic.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 17:20
Right? Yeah. And I was fine with that I was able to like, be like, Okay, I definitely want to put in this little story on putting this little story out and put in this little thing. Eric was the one who really found the through line of the dress, basically, the the anxiety that I was feeling throughout everything, like I put that in there, but I wasn't able to see how it was all connected and how it was like kind of telling the story. He was also able to help out with the the How to aspects of the book that was like a later part of it. That I think was a suggestion by our agent. But we had like a few little how to things and then she was like, Oh, why don't you like kind of make that a thing. And sort of put that in with us breaking the fourth wall and then to break down like later as the anxiety gets worse and worse in the book. And those how tos, you know, we start to not really care about the actual how to part of it. Yeah, he was really good at just like, really pulling it together to try to make it more cohesive. Even the title is a how to write Yeah, and that's funny too, because the title we that was a completely last minute. Title like we it took us the book was done. And then it was like I want to say not even a year ago, is when we came up with the title. And it made it made so much sense to because we had all the how tos in there already. And so for it to be a how to title. But it was that well, that was a really hard thing to come up with.
Brian Heater 18:51
If you Google the name of the book and then scroll down a little bit. There's a you know, Cora, Cora website. But yeah, people ask questions. It's somebody asking, what is the best way to lose your mind? Yeah. It's funny that, that that's something that somebody would seek out, but I guess, in some sense, you, you kind of were, you knew it was gonna be tough on you.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 19:13
Yeah. Yeah. I don't think we knew it was gonna be quite that difficult. Like I said, we're pretty delusional delusionally optimistic because what we were referring to ourselves as
Brian Heater 19:24
I was gonna say, The frustrating thing about it is that a car breaking down happened on your way home, but But I mean, the the flip side of that, obviously is like, things would have been much worse if the car yelled out on tour. Yeah. And
Elizabeth Jancewicz 19:37
that was a constant. We're like, I'm sure that was a constant anxiety in the back of our brains to just like, what if the car breaks down? What if we can't make it to our next show? What if there's a snowstorm? What if there's a hurricane, what have we, whatever, whatever, whatever. And the fact that it broke down on our way home, like obviously, we're exhausted, but our very first optimistic thought was, oh, thank goodness, we don't have children. ain't like That's great.
Brian Heater 20:01
I'm thinking of the times that like I've been, like, I've travelled long distances, you know, like it was on a plane to Asia and coming back. And then like, I'm stuck in traffic on the log on expressway. And there's something about, there's something about that final stretch that is just like so much worse than any other
Elizabeth Jancewicz 20:19
we, we always talk about the worst drive, the worst part of our drives when we're on tour is as soon as we cross the border into Connecticut. And so we're coming from the west, and we cross the border, it's about two, two and a half hours to our home. And it's that last section is just so tedious. And like we can't get our brains into that, like travel brain, like mindset is just like, like we feel every single minute of that last two hours,
Brian Heater 20:49
when the two of you envision the idea. Was it clear to you that this was something that you were going to write a book about?
Elizabeth Jancewicz 20:54
So the idea for the book showed up when? When we were in the airport, to
Brian Heater 21:02
go to Alaska. Okay, so that was a second to last show. Yeah.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 21:06
So I literally said to Eric, we didn't put this into the book. But he's been, he's been telling the story on stage where we're running to catch our flight to go to Alaska. And I as we're running, I turned to them. And I just go, I think this would make a really cool book. You needed
Brian Heater 21:22
that sort of, like that cinematic moment to really? Yeah, you know, I know a lot of people who do memoir and autobiographical comics, and people, you know, we're doing them. Like, like daily and their default is to turn something into a story. Yeah,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 21:40
that's kind of always in the in your brain a little bit when you're, like, what I've been doing the webcomic for the past couple of years. And always just like, especially at shows, just looking around just being like that interaction be turned into a comic? Is this a funny little snippet that I can? Is this relatable? Will people get this? So yeah, that is what it was kind of in your head a little bit. That's why it
Brian Heater 22:02
surprises me that you only had that realization toward the end of the tour.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 22:07
Yeah. Well, I mean, this is the first long form book that I've done, you know, the first like, graphic novel thing. And I had, I had a few ideas for like, and we have some some projects in the works that like other graphic novels that we're working on now. And then we're working on before. But yeah, that was I know, it was just felt really clear in that moment. You said
Brian Heater 22:30
we have some projects. And yeah, the collaboration will continue.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 22:35
Yeah, Eric is pretty good at. We're both pretty good at coming up with ideas. And then like I said, Eric's good at, like actually flushing them out into stories.
Brian Heater 22:44
This is like one of those things that nobody likes to admit. But a lot of people experience it is that when you have this, this when you've set this obligation for yourself that you're going to be making, especially the daily people. I don't know if you know, like Ben Snake Pit is an example of that he does a daily comic that there's a degree to which people will have experiences for the sake of putting them in their strip.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 23:10
Sure. I have you heard of the hourly comic day? Yeah. So I, typically for hourly, common day, I don't draw the comics, as they're happening, I'll pick a day, and then just be like, this will be my early comic day, I'll record everything. And then tomorrow, I'll draw what happened. And I try to pick a day when we're doing stuff, you know, like, not a day when we're just sitting at home, and I'm just sitting at the drawing board all day. So their
Brian Heater 23:37
hourly Comic Book Day or early comic day is like, a specific day. Yeah, it's
Elizabeth Jancewicz 23:41
February 2. So I'll do I might do like February 1, or like January 30, or something like that, and just be like, Okay, this day, you know, I've got an appointment, I've got to talk to, I've got a meeting that I've gotta go to, or I've got this or that and like, I think those would make more interesting hourly comic day stories. So I'll pick this day to do those things between
Brian Heater 23:59
the webcomic. And this it's, it's really has been auto bio. Yeah, but like, basically, I don't know, has has your entire comic output been that up till this point?
Elizabeth Jancewicz 24:11
Mostly? Yeah, yeah. Mostly pretty autobiographical stuff. Um, the comic, the graphic novel that we're working on now. That, like we're just kind of in the works with is a it starts out auto bio, and then it shifts how we're describing it. It's a sci fi. We're calling it like a graphic novel memoir, with a sci fi and theological twist.
Brian Heater 24:41
So it's magical realism, maybe in there a bit kind of
Elizabeth Jancewicz 24:44
it's like the whole idea is just the characters of us and how we met that's real. And then it turns into, like these celestial being beings watching us and trying to like mess with our lives. drives? I don't know, it's fun. I'm really excited about it. My agent thinks it's going to be impossible to sell though.
Brian Heater 25:08
They were enthusiastic about this idea. It sounds like, yeah. When you were younger, and you were envisioning, you know, I mean, so I, you were kind of alluding to this before, but it sounds like you were really, you wanted to make making comics kind of your, your main thing? Yeah. What sorts of comics? Were you thinking about? Was it always some form of memoir?
Elizabeth Jancewicz 25:30
Um, no, not particularly. My dad had all the Calvin Hobbes books. So you know, those are my first like that. Those are how I learned to read. Honestly, that's
Brian Heater 25:42
a pretty common gateway. Yeah, mind to both reading and comics.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 25:47
Right. And then we I grew up in northern Quebec, and we had a lot of like the French and European.
Brian Heater 25:58
Elizabeth Jancewicz 25:59
Asterix and Tintin. Tim. Yeah. Lucky, Luke. You know, like all of that kind of stuff. And so those were my first graphic novels, was that kind of stuff. I don't think I thought about doing auto bio stuff until I was an adult. And I just like seeing other people do auto bio stuff online and thinking like, oh, that, you know, that'd be a great way to start.
Brian Heater 26:23
I wanted to ask you about Northern Quebec, like, how northern are we talking about?
Elizabeth Jancewicz 26:27
Well, you got to drive from Connecticut. You got to drive for two days. And then you got to take it. You got to take a train for 12 hours, because there's no roads that go there. It's on the bay. Now. Now. It's in the middle of the of the province. Yeah.
Brian Heater 26:41
So we're talking like, Northern Lights? Oh, yeah.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 26:44
Yeah, really great. Northern Lights snow all the time. This
Brian Heater 26:48
is a thing about Canada, right? It's like, populated by the US border. And then it gets colder there like fewer and fewer people. So
Elizabeth Jancewicz 26:55
yeah, my whole town was about 2000 people. And yeah, the nearest other town was 12 hours away. By train. No roads.
Brian Heater 27:05
What's the closest Quebec City? Is it Montreal sets?
Elizabeth Jancewicz 27:10
Hill? That's a long, I know.
Brian Heater 27:15
Yeah. Was it the kind of situation where you were like, biting? Just just counting the moments until you could get out of there?
Elizabeth Jancewicz 27:23
Oh, yeah, definitely. By the time it became a teenager, like, I loved it as a little kid and just playing in the snow and all that kind of stuff. Once I was a teenager, though, like, I lost a lot of my friends to drugs and alcohol, and, you know, people having kids, you know, I had a lot of friends who ended up having babies when we were 1314. Yeah, and so it was it was rough and lonely. But at the same time, because I was alone, I really got into art. I don't know if I would have gotten into art as much as I did if it weren't for that living situation. And ultimately, you know, I still love that area of the world. And I still love to return there. I don't you know, as as a as a grumpy teenager. I resented living there for a while, but I don't know, what
Brian Heater 28:14
did you first realize that art was something that you've that, that you could do.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 28:20
Um, actually, it wasn't until my senior year of high school, my parents came down. So in Quebec, high school, and it goes to grade 11. And so we came down from my senior year, here in Connecticut. That's how I ended up here. And I actually I kept thinking of like other jobs like, like, for a while a family moved to Connecticut. Yeah, just for so my dad, like took a sabbatical. My grandparents lived in this area. So it was like, oh, we'll be near the grandparents for a little while. But yeah, I was I was thinking about, like, quote, unquote, normal jobs. And my dad was an engineer. I was like, Oh, maybe I could be an engineer, right? Maybe I can be a geologist, like all that kind of stuff. And then I had a teacher in high school who just asked me very matter of fact, like, so you're gonna be an artist. Like, just like that. And it was like, it was like, that kind of thing. Like, what's the therapy or just like, it's such a simple thing, but it kind of blew my mind open. I'm just like, I didn't even consider I could do that. Like, even though I knew I wanted to make comics. I knew I wanted to, like, have books. I always thought it would be a side gig. Yeah,
Brian Heater 29:23
I mean, comics, especially. I have this conversation with a lot of cartoonists and it's, it's similar, you know, it's probably web comics in your world. And that's a big part of it, too. But it's the tie. It's you know, seeing like, Love and Rockets or something and like realizing that there is this world of smaller you know, self published comics and that it is something that there is something you can get your foot into the door and actually do. Yeah,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 29:50
yeah, actually, on this book tour, we did a, we did a comics workshop at one of the libraries and talking to it was like all teenagers and talking to them and just telling them how they have everything they need to make comics right now. Like, they have actually now, right? You know, like you've got a phone or an iPad, you got paper and pencil, you can take pictures, you can like, post it, you can make yourself a social media, you can put them online and you're published, there it is, it's on for the world to see if you want it, you know, and that's pretty remarkable. Like, if you want to make music, you might need some more equipment. If you want to make movies, you definitely need more equipment. But to do art, and to just put it out there. Like I'm always trying to remind people like you don't need to buy expensive art supplies. You can just use a ballpoint pen if you want to. Yeah, I
Brian Heater 30:41
part of me is like glad that when I first decided in junior high school that I was going to that I wanted to write and started writing that the internet wasn't as open to me. So
Elizabeth Jancewicz 30:54
glad I didn't have like social media as a kid, that would have been a nightmare.
Brian Heater 30:58
I know a lot of you know, very successful cartoonists now who I followed their career very, very early on, and like it's rough. You know, the first comics anybody makes are rough stuff. And yeah, it's just even. And
Elizabeth Jancewicz 31:12
even when you're established, like I was actually just reading what is her name? The red.is, her webcomic. And she just posted today of just like she's getting she post, she put up a comic last night. And she woke up the next morning to just hundreds of hate mail messages, just just mocking her art, like nothing like she didn't say anything controversial or whatever. It's just just people being jerks about it, you know, and it's just like, she's well established. She's got a great fan base, but she still gets that kind of stuff. And it's, it sucks to have that kind of access to people who just want to bring you down. And as a young artist, it would be devastating.
Brian Heater 31:54
Have you had an experience like that? Not hugely,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 31:56
I had a few like, not even quite negative, just like not great comments. And then I realized I could turn off comments by people who didn't follow me. And that seems to like really curb the whole thing. Like I even had I had someone once send me a DM and we're just like, Why do you have commenting turned off? Like I don't have it turned off? You just don't follow me. And because you don't follow me, I don't get your hate messages. And it's, it's nice.
Brian Heater 32:23
You assume that this person was gonna send you hate messages? Like based on the tone of them? Yeah, definitely. As you were talking about, you know, Eric, or anybody else, like walking up to you, while you're making work? Like really kind of like, like scheming you out? I? I was thinking about the handful of times in the book where somebody touched your wet painting. Oh, my goodness. Like, that's a real trigger for you. It seems like Yeah,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 32:50
yeah, it was. It was just it was it was just hard to imagine that happening. And then to see it happening was just ridiculous. I don't know, I don't know how to describe it. It was really funny, too. Because we were on this book tour, we went to this one place where that had happened, you know? And I saw a guy that looked like the guy that had touched the painting. The art professor. Yeah. And I was like, hiding behind like stuff. Just be like, think that's him. And then people are just like, yeah, that's not him. It just kind of looked like him. But I was like, Oh, my goodness.
Brian Heater 33:29
Is it just like a, like a form of disrespect? Is that the issue?
Elizabeth Jancewicz 33:34
I guess I just I would never consider touching someone else's heart. It's just, you don't know. Like, I mean, for one, it was wet, you know, like, and then just to? I don't know, it's just, it just seems like common sense to me of just like, you know, you're in a museum and there's all these don't touch signs everywhere. It's just you don't touch unless unless someone is handing it to you or something. Like if unless someone's obviously giving you like, Here, go ahead. But yeah, I don't know. It's just a part of my brain that has trouble processing. Yeah,
Brian Heater 34:09
I mean, apparently, in Europe, I think it's a much bigger problem. They don't have the same kind of security and people just love to go up and touch paintings. Big thing over there. But, but I think that, you know, I think that psychologically you are you're giving people a very different experience happening on stage versus a museum. So it's like, right, it's kind of part of the show. So
Elizabeth Jancewicz 34:31
and most people don't see that happening, like, like, not that many people watch a painting get made. And it's very, very unusual, especially in a bar or something like that. You know, where we typically are. So yeah, I know I can get that.
Brian Heater 34:46
Does that impact does doing it live? And obviously, like, in a set amount of time? Does that impact the process at all? Oh,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 34:55
sure. Yeah. Yeah, so during their shows like air I will write a setlist. And I'll know exactly you know how many songs we're planning on doing for that show and keeping an eye on the time keeping an eye on, like what I can or can't accomplish and the amount of time that we have. And then also just like the I get, I get a strong vibe from whatever the venue is that we're playing in. And that will affect maybe the colors that I'm using the imagery that I might put up. So yeah, I partially mean,
Brian Heater 35:28
technique wise, you know, if you're doing something for speed, sure,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 35:33
yeah. Yeah, definitely, um, you use, you know, bigger brushes, or, or maybe keep things a little bit more loose. Because the amount of time that I have, you
Brian Heater 35:45
must have found some good shortcuts to a decade of doing this. Yeah,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 35:49
it took me maybe about a year to realize that I could cover the whole canvas in color, within a few seconds if I just use an old rag. And so I just like, take an old rag, throw it into paint and just like, scrub the whole canvas down to get a color down first. And then even if I don't, fully, even if something isn't fully finished, by my standard, at least the whole canvas is covered, you know,
Brian Heater 36:14
giving like people, it's like a shorthand for people to realize that the painting is like, finished, because there are no blank spots in it. Exactly. Yeah. Is it useful to have that that base color and is do you well? Yeah. When you're not timed? Do you do something similar?
Elizabeth Jancewicz 36:30
Yeah, yeah, I still do that. It just it Prime's the canvas, it gets things. If you're just a paint straight onto a canvas, it just dries everything out real quick. So if you can prime it down first with a color, then it'll keep your canvas wet. And then you can like change things scrape things off if you need to. Stuff like that.
Brian Heater 36:52
You mentioned teaching the the comics workshop. And as I said before, 10 years ago is prior to joining this band, you were you were teaching is, is teaching art is that still a big part of your life,
Elizabeth Jancewicz 37:06
not a constant. I've done workshops or camps here and there. I enjoy it. But I really don't like the administration part of it, you know, just the behind the scenes, like the paperwork, the paperwork, or the having to work with, you know, when I was teaching art before the band, I worked at a school, a public school. And it was just really difficult to work with the, you know, the principal and the faculty and like, all that kind of stuff. A lot of the kids, you know, actually being in the classroom and being with the kids is super fun. I love getting to see kids start to develop that love of art. And you know, showing someone that they can do something that they didn't think they would ever be able to do is amazing. Were you able to get
Brian Heater 37:58
a bit of that in the comics workshop even though it was kind of short and one off.
Elizabeth Jancewicz 38:02
Yes. Yeah. Yeah, it was it was really cool there was there there was especially this one girl that came and she was just so excited to be there. You know, and just like that, getting to getting to look at her work, and it was good, but then being able to tell her that it was good and to see her face just light up and like like oh, this person that like she's admiring me because I'm a published comic artist telling her that her work is good. It was just just like magic. To see just the the way she reacted to that right and astounding she was made to leave