I’ve been busily working on our Etsy shop these past couple of weeks. Blake has started back to school (as of Monday.) And I’m still waiting on clearance from the immigration department so that I can pick a departure date, purchase my plane tickets, and finish packing my bags for the United Arab Emirates.
I was reading our friend Ann Flowers’ blog recently, and I came across a great post where she reinterviewed an artist/photographer contact of hers named Maria-Thérèse Sommar from Harnosand, Sweden. She’d done the original interview back in 2009, for her “Day in the Life of an Artist” series, but Ann was in grad school and so busy that she never got to finish and post it!
Ann’s working on a similar series on her blog again now, and so she returned to the old interview and spoke with Maria-Thérèse again to see how things have changed in the intervening years. I know the “re interview” occurred because Ann was just busy, but I actually think it makes for a really interesting look into a self-employed artist’s life–how their strategies and business has changed over 4 years.
It reminds me of a series of made-for-tv British documentary films Blake and I started watching a few years back called “The UP Series.” The first one was 7 UP, and it followed a group of 14 seven year old kids around. They they checked back in with those kids every 7 years and spoke with them again. So far they’ve had 8 episodes over 49 years! We’ve only watched the first 3-4, but I look forward to watching them all again in the future.
The series set out to investigate a very specific point about classism, but what I find the most interesting is how little we could predict some of their narratives. It gives me hope, in a way, that none of us quite know where we’ll end up or what we’ll be doing. That’s a big part of what makes life exciting! And I sometimes feel this is especially true for artists.
For example, one character in the series, Neil, went from living in the suburbs to being homeless, to running for public office and placing 3rd! It’s funny to me that I should even call him a “character;” he’s a real person who’s life is just being filmed. But I suppose I often think of many things from life with a veil of fiction over them–not for protection, but for the fascination that a slight remove of fantasy may bring.
I sometimes think on my first decision to leave home after high school and go and study in New Orleans. No, it wasn’t the smartest choice in a variety of ways. I probably should have gone with the lot of my colleagues to the University of Georgia, an excellent school in a wonderful city. But instead, I was entrapped by the city of New Orleans, a place I still feel is my home. I went through a lot there, good and bad, and I’ve certainly had some down times over the intervening years since–but I think that somewhat wild choice has led me to very interesting, if not always pleasant, experiences: 3rd Degree burns over large parts of my body, the hurricane of the century, and a fantastical home filled with some of my dearest friends that has engulfed my heart.
In related news, I happy to say that I recently had 4 pieces juried into an exhibition at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans. It’s the 17TH ANNUAL NO DEAD ARTISTS: JURIED EXHIBITION, and it’ll be up September 3 – Sept 29, 2013. I hope you can check it out if you’re in the area. Here’s one of my works featured on their website: Rocinante.
But here I am, rambling again. To get back to Ann’s post with Maria-Thérèse, I pulled this quote from the interview, which particularly resonated with my days as of late:
“I work according to my inspiration because I feel it’s really the only way and I get more things done if I don’t try to force myself.”
I try to give myself permission to do the same because it does seem to be true. I know doing the same thing over and over again can be more efficient, but it can get so tedious and then my mind wanders, and it doesn’t end up making things go any faster in the long run. That’s not to say we don’t all spend a good deal of time doing tedious things that we don’t really want to do, but by mixing it up with other things, one can really get a lot done with very little discomfort.
The quote also reminds me of when I was a little kid, and I had to write “I will not talk in class” 500 times or something, and I would write all of the “I”s first down the whole page and then the “will”s and so on. It made it go faster because I became interested in how I wrote each letter instead of the word itself, and it also felt like rebellion because I never once wrote that sentence.
So why am I writing about all of this? Isn’t this post supposed to be about my Facebook Project? Well, I’m clearly avoiding the fact that I have fallen dreadfully behind on my Facebook Profile Pictures Drawing Series. But I’m not here to apologize. I honestly thought I would already be overseas right now, and I’d be doodling away to keep myself company in the long sleepless hours of 8-time-zone difference adjustment–catching up on it and then some.
But here I am, sitting in our apartment finishing up print projects, blogging, and working on Etsy instead. I’m avoiding the final packing, just in case of the “worst case scenario.” I don’t want to be “jilted at the alter” standing there with my bags packed. Not that this is going to happen, but anything could. Somehow not finishing packing is keeping me from being too anxious. As if the worst part of not getting my visa would be having to unpack my suitcase.
As I thought I would be leaving this week, I keep having to go to the store to get my “last bag of coffee beans” or “last bottle of wine” before I move–things that Blake won’t use in my absence. I’ve finished off another bag of coffee this morning, so there will be at least one more.
As for the Project, I’ve reached 400 drawings, and that’s nothing to sneeze at, but I’m still short of halfway with a little under a month left until my arbitrary deadline. In the words of Maria-Thérèse Sommar, I won’t “try to force myself” to work on it, but hopefully I’ll be able to get back into a routine soon.
There’s hope for me yet, folks. But mostly keep your fingers crossed that I can figure out my travel plans soon.
Sometimes these come out blurry because our scanner sucks, and the notebook is pretty crumpled at this point. If yours is blurred, and you want a better image of it to set as your profile pic, just leave me a comment or send me a message.
- 939 Drawings: My Facebook Friends’ Profile Pictures in Watercolor & Ink
- Part II of 939 Drawings: My Facebook Friends’ Profile Pictures in Watercolor & Ink
- Part III of 939 Drawings: Charles Beneke, You Asked for It
- Part IV of 939 Drawings: My Facebook Friends’ Profile Pictures in Watercolor & Ink
- Part V of 939 Drawings: My Facebook Friends’ Profile Pictures in Watercolor & Ink: #102-145
- Part VI of 939 Drawings: My Facebook Friends’ Profile Pictures in Watercolor & Ink
- The Long-Suffering Eisel, Part VII of 939 Drawings: My Facebook Friends’ Profile Pictures in Watercolor & Ink
- Hot Mess, Part VIII of 939 Drawings: My Facebook Friends’ Profile Pictures in Watercolor & Ink
- Part IX of 939 Drawings: My Facebook Friends’ Profile Pictures in Watercolor & Ink
- Part X of 939 Drawings: My Facebook Friends’ Profile Pictures in Watercolor & Ink
- Part XI of 939 Drawings: My Facebook Friends’ Profile Pictures in Watercolor & Ink
P.S. Any Birthdays/Anniversaries/Blank Walls Coming Up? Check out these new items in our Etsy Shop! We also do custom orders.
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(see more shirts in our “Screenprinted Clothing” section)
One-of-a-Kind Geometric Design Greeting Cards with Envelopes and Postcards that I printed on the letterpress at Les Cheneaux Design from a linoleum block I carved:
(see more in our “Notebooks and Cards” section)
And, of course, our prints at a discounted cost!