January 21st, 2004
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bag lady

The above drawing came about after reading this post. In the last few years I have become a little obsessive about collecting bags. For me they serve as a portable comfort zone (little world), holding everything that I might need on my travels. There are many qualities a bag must have before I will purchase it.
1. It must be large enough to hold a 6X9 inch journal, a few art supplies (pens, glue), a novel, wallet, water bottle, a lucky stone, snacks, and keys.
2. It must be comfortable to wear. My current preference is courier style, with a thick strap to disperse the weight.
3. It must be colorful. I like it to be the focal point in my attire.
4. I prefer it to be handmade by an independant artist, (though I will admit to having a couple of mass produced items, there is something more meaningful about something that is created by the hands.)
I get really excited about putting on my favorite bag, almost a feeling of invincibility, I’m ready for anything. Or at least ready to write in a cafe or bus station. Sometimes I will throw in a random book off my shelf, (without looking) and not pull it out till later in the day. Books are like friends you can bring with you whenever you need them.
One of my favourite illustrators Maira Kalman keeps notes on the “Contents of Pocketbooks”. She says about her fascincation,
“There is a great deal of mystery and romance in what one carries about. Possesions reveal some small and large truths about the owner. What, I do not know.”
Reading the lists is intensely interesting. An example,
“4 eggs, 1 bitterroot, 1 pair of socks that need to be mended, 1 single lilac glove, absolutely no money.”
After reading these lists I’ve decided to include some more random and interesting items in my bag. A ball of string, a photo of someone I don’t know, some buttons, a finger puppet?
What are the contents of your pocketbook/bag? (I’d like to draw some of them.)
further reading…
From Razorbill Zine, what some authors are carrying around with them.
From Canoe, What’s in Your Purse?

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