Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The wrong things are important.

I've been feeling artistically stifled lately. And a friend on Facebook made a comment, after I listed a bunch of important things I had to do instead of paint, that maybe the wrong things are important. He was right. And those things didn't even make it on the list.

I hate to admit it. I've had a ton of fun being a circus freak and redefining myself as a musician, but the expense for this fun has quite literally been my artwork. There's just been too much going on. My time with Circus Bacchus is drawing to a close soon, I'll be calling it a done deal after this next show. I had tons of fun. But I really miss my babies (all the embryos). And I need to get back on the horse and paint some more.

Portland is looking like a real possibility for relocation, followed closely by San Francisco and trailed eminently by Tucson. We'll see how it goes! Whatever happens, by June I will be out of Flagstaff and on to bigger and better things.

So long, small town. It's been... something.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Things I've been thinking about...

I'm an American. As ashamed as I am of that fact sometimes, I don't know anything else. My art needs some direction, and I've been thinking I should stick with what I know. So here's some subjects I've been thinking about.

Dia de los Muertos - I've been conceptualizing a tribute project to all my dearly departed in which I will make a skull portrait of each loved one I have that has passed. And maybe make actual candy skulls to go along with them. Having lived in Tucson for 10 years, this small part of Mexican folk culture has lodged itself in my bones, and I think I would like to explore it further.

American Folklore - Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, Davy Crocket, John Henry, Calamity Jane. Those are the mainstream ones. What others? Where are all the women? Who were they before they became the stuff of legend? Frontiersmen, Cowboys, Ranchers, Lumberjacks, Hobos, Railroaders, and stage coach drivers. Why the romance? What other romantic figures didn't make it into folklore (gangsters, militiamen, other rebels)? Are there any heros that chose harmony with nature instead of overcoming it? And what about our actual historical figures? George Washington didn't want to be president, Abe Lincoln didn't want to free the slaves, Martin Luther King Jr. didn't want to be used as an advocate for lower taxes for the rich... If we were still writing folklore, who would the modern characters be?

Embryos - I need to expand this concept into the political realm. And with all the stink being made about women's reproductive rights lately, that shouldn't be hard.

Immigrants - Unless you are a native American, you're essentially an immigrant. Doesn't matter how long you've been here. Or does it? How long does it take, how many generations, for a person's blood to be tied to the land they live in? Am I an immigrant? Immigrant spawn? Or am I too a native American. The short answer is no, but what is the long answer?

Little ramblings. I feel like I need to expand myself a little in the realm of creativity. I also feel like I need to attach more meaning to my art. What is my message? I'm not sure anymore. After 2 years as a designer, I feel like I'm working for/within a system that I fundamentally disagree with on multiple levels. How do I use my skills to raise my voice within that system? And what do I have to say?