Low Flying Art Attack

Despite the general flux of life lately and a few rather sneaky and prolonged bouts of muted depression (and I mean SNEAKY), my creative output hasn’t slowed. In fact, it’s been such a means of escape that I’ve honestly had a lot of trouble shutting it off. Cooking? Nah. Let’s think of more shit to make! Yardwork? As long as it doesn’t take too long. I have stuff to make. Kid? He can take care of himself (not proud of that, but, hell, I’m human). You get it.

First major idea is a 12-part series of cryptozoological creatures as astrological signs—all hand embroidery, of course. Cryptoastrology! I’ve mapped out the entire zodiac and each sign’s corresponding cryptid in a crude Google doc. I’ve completed two so far. Jackalope as Aries and Jersey Devil as Taurus.

Jackalope Aries

But, wait, aren’t those supposed to be antelope horns? Maybe I’m really a Jackaram. But, then again, when’s the last time you saw me to prove it? I’m confident and believe in magical thinking. I’m a chaos magician. I make sigils under the fiery desert sun by dancing my messages in the dirt. I lead with my horns, sometimes to my detriment.

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Jersey Devil as Taurus

Though some might describe me as an ugly mutt, I am misunderstood. I am reliable and practical. I’m a strong supporter of forest bathing. Tuck away your smartphone and let’s talk about the healing power of mugwort. I can get a bit impatient though, so don’t stand behind me—I use my hooves for kicking.

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Also completed a jacket patch with an original design adapted from Ben Kissel’s favorite line on Last Podcast on the Left (of which Ben generously shared on his Instagram page gaining me a few new followers).

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A commission for my friend Becki.

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Two new patches…

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And this sketch—an homage to Radiohead’s “Karma Police” and this ridiculous ennui I’ve been going through—which is currently being made into an embroidery, too.

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Enjoy oogling at the fruits of my existential dread! Cheers! x

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Jeez, Louise! Joy in existing.

  1. Who am I?
  2. If I had just 4 months to live, how would I spend that time?
  3. What would I like to have contributed when life my life is complete?

Three questions posed by the Rich Roll podcast. Three pretty obvious “la la woo woo new agey self development” questions. Maybe not? To me, at least. I’m no stranger to that woo woo shit. But, are you surprised that these three questions absolutely fucking paralyze me? Especially that “who am I?”—who is anyone? FUCK.

I try consciously to notice love and joy in every moment of the day (I’m looking at you sweet ‘lil chirping birds in the trees outside the Children’s Museum this morning), but I also get easily caught up in negativity and expectation (both societal and self imposed). My emotions fluctuate a lot in day, hell, in a hour sometimes. Digressssss. During this podcast, there was mention of the things that stirred happiness in your six-year-old self. I suppose that’s a good jumping point from my gravy brain, so I am going to attempt to suss some of this out.

As a six-year-old, I was talking to trees. I was standing on stumps and singing to grass. I was outside a lot. I was riding a bike (I want a new bike—this is something recently on my mind). I drew pictures of super tall women and portraits of my family. I watched movies and kept to myself a lot. I wrote in my diary. I recorded songs from the radio onto cassette tape. I begged my mom to buy me poster boards from the grocery store and I would spend an entire afternoon making a GIANT collage from old Metropolitan Home magazines (We lived in a trailer; I resented the shit out of this magazine and I know my mom never willingly subscribed to it. There was this weird time bubble in the 80s and 90s when magazines just appeared at your fucking house—it’s a fact).

The past couple of nights Eliot and I have spent an hour or so working on collages made from old National Geographic magazines Joe picked up at a yard sale (from the 80s, no less—I’m just putting that “coincidence” together at this moment). I found myself in that sweet spot where you lose time. Even cooler to get to experience it with your eight-year-old kid. (Will he sit down and write something like this one day?) I have a lot of ideas and feel cool about making simply for the sake of it.

I’ve been caught up the past couple of years in having a “plan” financially to get out of my day job. I’m not entirely divorced from that mindset, but it has almost always included a way to make money from art—not that I’m downing that—but it really helps you to lose the whole purpose of making art in the first place. I think most creative minds can attest to that. The making, the doing, has to be the first priority or the rest of it is just an inauthentic wank off fest.

To quote David Lynch: “Enjoy the doing. So many people do stuff but they don’t enjoy the doing of it. And I always say, that’s your life going by. It’s important to enjoy the doing of something. Jeez, Louise!”

So, I suppose I do find joy in making. Joy in existing. Joy in creating. Joy in expressing myself and convening with nature. Joy in consuming the art of others. I am pretty sure that answers all my questions in one. I’m not shocked they are all interconnected…I’m sure that’s the point of the entire exercise. I need to do all or part of these things every day with that intention alone—joy.

How do these questions make you feel?