March 11th, 2009
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in which she unleashes it all, thoughts on creation, life, ads, things not making sense, grumpy feels and a whole mess of stuff

I’ve been having one of those periods that happen every once in a while where your confidence becomes shaken on a variety of levels. Probably nothing out of the ordinary, but as always it throws me off kilter for a time. A friend of mine upon hearing this said, “god, if that happens to you, what does it mean for the rest of us?” Referring to the fact that my confidence appear unshakable for the most part. alas, it is not. and I am entirely human and as fragile as the next guy.
I suppose the lesson is that no matter what level of a career you reach, this process will always repeat itself. You think once you get to a certain stage everything will take care of itself and you will not have to deal with all these messy human things. Ironically when reaching a place of strength there exists some strange internal and external pressure to continue to “perform” and at the very least stay where you are. I ponder the thought that I would be perfectly okay if I had to start over from scratch every single day. actually aren’t we all doing that anyway?
I have many little internal battles going on all at once. Mainly having to do with wanting to let go of anything having to do with the ego or the need to perform, and yet to being a working artist is somewhat incompatible with an egoless existence. Lately I feel like withdrawing a bit as I have become tired with the “look at me” feel of the internet. How can one share their work with the world and at the same time not feel the need to promote it and in turn receive praise and admiration? Why do we feel the need to constantly receive praise and admiration? I suppose if we work commercially it is because our survival depends on it. Oh, how I would love to leave the commercial behind entirely. but then I would have to leave society as well and I am not willing to do that.
so I continue to put my work out there with as little promotion as possible and rely on it speaking for itself. or word of mouth which seems to be the way my work travels best. I prefer people to write about it only if they feel moved to do so on their own, not because of any need to promote or make me or themselves feel good. I don’t want anything to do with any campaigns or pitches, or obligatory endorsements. these things feel icky to me, and I prefer to stick to a kind of anti-promotion. and maybe I will lose many sales in the end, but I am not doing any of this for sales. only to put some of my ideas out into the world. and maybe to act as a bit of a contradiction in this world of selling. this is one of the main reasons why I continue to hold such strong opinions against advertising and sponsorship (most notably on blogs), because I am tired of a world that is all about selling and making money with little emphasis on the more important things. If you believe in a person or product and want to tell the world about it why is it necessary to receive money for this? (If you believe what Marshall McLuhan said, that “the medium is the message” then we have all become walking billboards, for sale at any price.)
This is also why I decided a while ago (after trying a few things that didn’t feel right) not to create products for products sake, (i.e. things that have no meaning, tshirts, watches, mugs, etc. with my designs on them.) I am not making a judgement here about people who do these things, there is nothing wrong with creating tshirts and selling them. But like Charles Eames I like to ask the question before I create something new, “why should this exist?” and the root of my own integrity lies in the answer to that question.
And if I am going to put something out into the world I prefer to have a really good answer for myself. (The difficulty in asking this question is that you can take it as far as you wish. when it comes down to it the planet doesn’t need any more stuff. but we make compromises and justifications, and let’s face it, I’m here to do something, to make something, to feel something. I’ll just try to keep it at a minimum so as to not clutter up the place too much. we all need some limits don’t we?)
Other questions also come into play, where do we as individuals find the most value? What kind of world would I most like to create (because I am creating it on a daily basis whether I like it or not)? I am responsible for what I put out into the world. Is it in line with my beliefs?
(the question that keeps coming into my head in the last few years is “how do you create nothing?” I don’t have an answer yet, I just get excited thinking about the concept.)
My mood also coincides with a very cold and snowy March, which is enough to push anyone to the edge. I need some sense of hope, some sign that new growth is going to occur in the near future. Something green. alas, I look out onto a sea of white this morning as it snowed solidly all night. I pretend it doesn’t exist. I want to get in my car and drive until I find spring.
Reading Jose Saramago’s “Stone Raft” I am reminded that we are all living in a story. and that these little pieces of moods are really just little blips and bumps that make no sense at the time, but later become just small perfectly formed parts of the story. Not out of place at all.
“Don’t worry about things not making sense, a journey only makes sense if you finish it.”
i’m not even close to being finished. I just don’t know exactly what direction I’m headed in right now. guess that’s just par for the course.
whew. I had no idea I was going to write all this today. but I feel a lot better now.
thanks for listening.
p.s. I understand there are many out there who do not hold the same opinions as I do. I do not wish to enter into a debate with you about these things (I am too busy with other things), they are for you to make your own decisions about. I have no need to prove that I am right or change your opinions. I’m just throwing it all out there into the ether. let it be what it is, my thoughts from today.

 
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