Thursday, August 28, 2008

All These Things That I Have Done* Part II

Layers of blues. Will overlay in... something else. I'm not entirely sure what yet. But, I like this base, so if I can keep from going overboard and throwing some crazy non-complimentary color onto it and then cringing.

Because I totally did this. The non-comp color & cringe. I have this beautiful dark green weave on a canvas, that for some reason I decided to try to write on with a paint pen. Yeah, my handwriting isn't readable when I write on paper, so whatever crazy inspiration hit that made me think I could write on a painting, well, that crazy inspiration should be ignored next time. So I tried to paint over the words in blues and pinks, hoping to make it look like a flower pattern... Yeah, not so much.

Probably a good idea to sketch these things out before jumping in, but then, it wouldn't be me if I did.

Ooof. Pardon. I just pulled the dried paint brush out of my ponytail & went to wash it & see if I can save it. Yes, it's savable. (It was only $1.49 & I have dozens of them, but still...)

Hmmmm... I was probably 12 and taking some art class during the summer at the college and I remember the boy across the table from me reprimanded me for leaving my paintbrush in the water!

"You'll ruin the brush!" he exclaimed.

I'm pretty sure I ignored him and left the brush in the water, because I don't like being told what to do by anyone, especially a boy. That, or the fact we were probably using like tempra paints and the cheap plastic paint brushes you get a dozen for .50 cents.

Admittedly, most of the art 'techniques' I've learned over the years came from listening in while standing as a model in the middle of the room. And from trial and error. Error like writing on a painting then covering it over with bright colors in hopes it'll work. Error like leaving paint brushes in my ponytail to dry, then remembering them hours later and trying to wash them out. Like I said. $1.49 at the worst.

Anyway. So. It's blue. Ish. It's a start. And it's a better frame for my mind to be in than the days before.


*More of The Killers. It's a good one. Loud. Very, very loud.

"I got soul, but I'm not a soldier
I got soul, but I'm not a soldier"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

All These Things That I Have Done* Part I

I can't write this on my blog. Or can I? Do I want to taint this image that I hope I you have of me here? It's hard. Will I hit delete or publish?

I called in sick on Monday and half of Tuesday. Sore throat. Allergies. Drainage. Sure. Whatever.

My throat is sore because I'm not speaking for myself. I'm not voicing my true opinions because I'm afraid of pissing someone off, of saying the wrong thing, of doing what I want to do.

I know this. I know why it hurts.

I know why I'm depressed. Because I spent all day Saturday wandering around shops with my two best friends, looking at these creations that others have made and they sell. And I want to be doing that too.

So badly.

And yet, I can't. Not right now. Who knows if ever. Right now I have to get up when my god-forsaken alarm goes off so I can drag my ass into a job that is actually an ok job in the list of jobs I've held. I get to write, I usually feel good about helping people and in this area the pay is ok.

But. I sit all day. In front of a computer. I sit and my scars hurt so bad some days it really isn't pleasant. I listen to people complain about something and wonder why they fell for it in the first place, then remember I've done my fair share of 'believing' and fell for a few things, too. So then I wonder why can't they just learn from it and go on with their lives. I did. I've never taken sunflower seeds from friend or foe again since that one afternoon in fifth grade...

So. I know I'm depressed when I want to stay in bed all day. I have the small (tiny, minuscule, piece of fuzz...) small moments of manic creativity - but those flames are so quickly put out nowadays. Just remind myself of where I'm living. What money I don't have to spend. The projects I haven't finished, much less started. The projects I've made messes of, and the fact that it's 1:30 in the morning and I need to get some sleep so my alarm can wake me up in a few hours. Snap. So easy. Drop down like a lead balloon.

I am proud of myself for finally being able to call myself a writer - because I get paid for some of these words I put together in other places.

I am proud of myself for...

For what? Working 40 hours a week (no more than - no overtime allowed) to pay off debt so that maybe someday I can again dream of building my own space?

No. Actually I'm miserable. Because this is not where I had hoped to be at this point in my life. And this is not where I want to be even with the changes that have happened.

And I may want things for my life that no one else understands but it's one of those things. When I follow my heart, my gut, my instincts - I'm right. When I second guess myself because someone else pipes up and says "You're doin' it wrong!" - that's when it sucks.

Because alarm clocks and desk jobs may work for you, but they sure as hell don't work for me.


*The Killers.
"Yeah, oh don't you put me on the blackburner
You know you got to help me out
You're gonna bring yourself down...
If you can hold on
If you can hold on..."

Holding on...

I hit publish.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lotsa Thinkin' Goin' On

I pondered the differences of trademark vs. patent vs. copyright. What do I need to get for these guys before we get really into it and find out someone has taken the idea or worse yet, already had the idea and I didn't know it.

Googling those three is no easy task - all the proper governmental websites have pages and pages full of big, hard to grasp words that seem to talk in circles.

Why can't anybody just make a point anymore? I blame all those english classes that force people to write descriptive sentences and extra paragraphs, and now these poor people think that's what they have to do is fill pages full of extra words for a good grade.

Perhaps this is why I like Twitter. It's 140 characters - you have to get to the point.

Ok. Side rant. Done.

From what I've been able to grasp of the skimming (because reading all that stuff was making my eyes dry out) and from Gina who is sorting out her own copyright/trademark/patent issues.

So. If I understand it correctly, I need to copyright.

But what?

Each character? The name? My name & list everything under it? The design? The idea?

I have no clue. I have 12 pages of the "Copyright Synopsis" - the short version - of how it's supposed to work and what I need to do. And then there are eight pages of things to fill out and send my hard earned-from-my-day-job money in to take care of. If I can do it once, that would be better, but if I need to do this for each idea & character - then I'm gonna give up right here. I'm not that ambitious, I hate to say. Just too much damn work to design a few things.

But that's where I need to do it, I know. Because I can design & draw & write & Rob can sculpt & if they're not "protected" then someone else could come along and do the "too much damn work" and it would disappear.


Why can't I just create? Why does it have to be so hard to deal with the rest of it?

I have ideas for a line of cards, for paintings, for sculptures, for carvings, for these characters - and I'm tired from my day job and from trying to figure out the "how-to" stuff... Where's the gnome to sort it all out for me?

On other notes - spent the weekend with Amber & Bobbi down in Menard & over in Fredericksburg - lots of ideas. Lots of hope & possibility. Lots of "If these people can make their own unique business work, then so can I. Someday. I hope."

And in other notes - I figured out I much prefer taking pictures looking up than looking down. Catch some beautiful sight lines this way.

So. Maybe this means I need to look at things from another perspective. Get down on the ground more often. Get down to the "doing" and figure out the cover-your-a$$ legal stuff later. Keep it all in the dark just a bit longer till it becomes more apparent.

Or just magically falls into place by itself.

Monday, August 18, 2008

in which I start. something.

This is going to ramble a bit, or maybe it won't and I'll get straight to a point. Maybe. Maybe not.

Idea: these little amusing characters that Rob & I made up to amuse each other. A cast that can be made into stuffed toys or vinyl toys and have children's books with their stories in them. So far rob has been way more creative & productive than I have with these guys. But we have fun making up scenarios and putting them into them to see what they do. We let our imaginations run free and it's fun.

Stuck: He's sculpted a few. I've drawn a few. We talk about them & make up stories. Want to actually "bring them to life", so to speak - write out these stories, make these characters, draw the pictures.

But. I. Haven't. Yet.

Fear: Lots. Things like "failure" and "finances" and "do something useful with your life" keep popping up. There are other, smaller, slightly less pestering fears that filter in here and there, but those 3 are the main ones. The big ones. The "DO NOT HIT THIS RED BUTTON" ones.

Havi: The awesome inspiration of Havi Brooks and Selma, over at The Fluent Self, whose blog I read for great "You can do it!" type of thinking, who does amazing things with yoga and brains (totally in a smart way, not in a weird "Ruutting on dee Ritz/Frankenstein" way) and offers ways to stop procrastinating that are really, really effective and well, awesome. We talked last week, as a training session (I got to play guinea pig for her to work on a new method in return for a bit of help and insight to what I want to work on) where I voiced those fears and walked through some of the things affecting my creative process.

Let's just say I learned that this is one tree I want to climb and am figuring it out as I go along.

This is where this "start. something." comes in.

Process: I now admit I'm not good at the photos part. I admit I dislike video blogging, and 99% of the time I will close a page with a video article because I'd rather read. And I know writing takes the time and effort, but it's what I prefer. I prefer the tactile of painting, sculpting, making messes. Remembering to take photos -then download, resize, save, and upload -those photos takes a lot more time than I am willing to invest on a real routine basis. So I will do my best to continue the photos as I can, but I'm going back to the words. Because to me that's what blogging is all about.

More process: Havi suggested (gently urged in that "Just Do It" way she has) that I write myself a permission slip to take 45 minutes to actually, well, "Do" something with this.

Ok. So I failed for this past weekend. I let myself procrastinate on this 'process' and did not use that 45 minute permission slip. I stretched canvas & gesso prepped. I worked on the articles I have on deadline in the next few days. I attended an Airsho meeting where we sorted things out for the Sho next month while beating the usual dead horses (not literally, that would take more than the four hours). And I spent time talking to Rob whom I hadn't gotten to talk to much for the past two weeks.

But! I feel ok about this. It's like I'm clearing the table to make room to work on things. I get these articles done & I can work on these self projects.

And here is where I will document it. Because as we worked out, there have got to be lots of other artists out there who have the same fears and wonders about bringing these things together and making them happen the way we visualize them.

So. Raise your glass. Or tube of paint. Here's to figuring out the process, accepting that it is all about the learning, seeing where it goes, and making things happen. And knowing that this is just one tree. There are plenty more trees out there to go climb later. Right now, this is the one I want to climb.

(Thank you Havi. You are wonderful to work with. I bow in your presence! And will name one of these lil' guys after you. Or Selma.)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

spider dance

In the realm of symbolism, I can understand meanings. Usually. If I'm paying attention.

A delicate weaving of threads so light that they catch the morning dew to glisten in the rising sunlight. There is a peaceful space here, between the broad leaves of a flowering plant. I cannot name the names, other than the daisy or the rose, and the hibiscus next to the jasmine vine. So I have no idea what this yellow blooming thing is. And in the long run of life, I realize I don't really care. I'm way more fascinated by the delicate webbing softly strung between the broad green leaves.

I have a respect for this space. The flowers and the webs. The leaves and the earth. I can respect that this space is sacred and beautiful and meant for this little creature to call home.

So I ask for the same respect in my space. It is unnerving to see a small eight-legged creature making its way across the wall above my bed or desk. It moves so silently, so quickly, so effortlessly across whatever path it may be on.

There is enough of awareness in me to know if the spider I'm watching is a menace or not. After all, a black widow or brown recluse is far more dangerous than the scorpion that stung me the other night, and a daddy long legs is just a very awkward little spider body with big long legs that brings out the torture gene in most children but really can cause no harm.

Spiders mean creativity. They are a sight to behold as much as the learned fears that we react to. Does it mean I'm on the path I belong on, the path across the world that leads from one place to another, is the right path? Or that I perhaps need to follow another direction? Am I in a beautiful garden, weaving a delicate and resiliant home between blades and flowers, reflecting the light and dancing in the breeze? Or am I wandering across the wall in someone else's space, trying to figure out where I belong, running into dark corners in avoidance of being squashed?

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