if you need to
declare war on the
but never declare
By Passion Alone
I am a writer
by passion and
by passion alone.
Give me money or
leave me unpaid.
Recognize my name or
leave me living in anonymity.
I will move forward
with my craft
and ply my trade
as zealously as
my want and need dictates.
Despite my pain, fatigue, and headache, I was able to pull out my art supplies and make some art today. I'm beyond happy that I was able to have an art-making session! I must say, I'm proud of myself.
My current studio space is problematic. I simply use a desk to make art. This desk is in my bedroom. In addition to being an art studio space, it is a craft studio, a writing space, and an office. I have to do a whole lot of preparation to be able to make art. I also have terrible lighting in my bedroom and my chair is uncomfortable.
I consider it a chore to have to pull out all of my art supplies, clear off my desk, and set up my supplies on said desk. In fact, I consider it such a chore that it has become prohibitive to my artistic practice. Often, I will settle on just taking out a few collage supplies and go from there. That is, I will settle on working with a glue stick, some ephemera, and some supports (which are usually postcards and canvas boards). This is not necessarily a bad thing, per say. However, as an artist, I feel it's unfortunate to be limited like this.
This, of course, leads me to explore what I can do to prevent myself from being burdened with these preparatory tasks. I know that I need to have a better studio set up for myself. I have, in fact, known this from early on in my art career. My dad has suggested in the past that I put a desk in the basement of our home.
In the past, I deemed myself unworthy of having a better studio set up. I thought that it was unnecessary and perhaps selfish to take up more space for this little hobby of mine. Now, I believe that I have finally reached a place in my life where I am no longer ashamed to ask for a better studio space.
I will talk to my dad about setting up a studio in the basement tomorrow. If all goes well, he can help me get a desk, a chair, and some good lighting there. I'm hopeful that having a dedicated, functional studio will help me expand my art practice.
I would love to hear all about your art studios, past and present, in the comments below.
Hello, all! I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe and healthy. I was able to make fifteen collages in the past week or so. According to my friend and fellow artist, De Villo Sloan, I've had a creative breakthrough. It has been fun being able to make some art! I made most of the collages while sitting up in bed and watching TV. I find that watching TV while I make art helps block my Inner Critic. Another thing I do to try to avoid my Inner Critic is work quickly. I enjoy gluing things down with wild abandon and only briefly stopping to plan and critique. Plus, I have always felt that it is better to make bad art than to not make art at all. What are some tips you all have that help you overcome your Inner Critic?
My public library hosted an online watercolor class last week. The class was taught by Swetha Shenoy of The Paisley Corner. The class was a lot of fun! We started out with practicing some brush skills. Then, we made shapes like flowers and leaves. We concluded the class with a final project. The final project was a freehand-style bouquet of flowers and leaves. I did not like the way my final project came out. However, I will share a picture of me doing the preliminary work (such as the brush skills). It was a delightful class. I highly recommend Swetha's classes.
I originally heard of blackout poetry a few years ago, back around 2015. I heard about it through the author Austin Kleon, in his book Steal Like an Artist. That book is not exclusively about blackout poetry, but Kleon mentions it a few times, as he himself has published a book, Newspaper Blackout, of his blackout poems. When I first heard of blackout poetry, my reaction was something like, "That's so cool! Why didn't I think of that?"
My first time actually making blackout poetry came in 2017. A local library, which hosted take-home art projects, gave patrons the supplies necessary to make a blackout poem. The kit even included a frame in which to put your final product. Sweet! I made the following poem,
Shortly after making the above poem, I ordered the book Make Blackout Poetry by John Carroll from an online bookseller. I enjoyed the concept and process of blackout poetry so much that I could not resist buying the book. Make Blackout Poetry contains various texts, like fairy tale excerpts and dictionary entries, which you then use to make your poems. The paper the book is made of is thick enough to take the abuse of a black permanent marker without bleeding through to the next page.
Here is an example of a page I have turned into a blackout poem. The text is an excerpt from Victor Hugo's The Works of Victor Hugo.
Although I also encourage you to buy used books or bundles of book pages from, say, Ebay or Etsy, I truly think that Make Blackout Poetry is a solid investment for folks looking to start a blackout poetry practice. Furthermore, the book would be fun to bring on a trip, and especially a creative writing retreat. Blackout poetry is a great "warm up" to get your creative juices flowing. If, however, you do not consider yourself a writer, I still think that you could benefit from trying out some blackout poetry. It is fun! Trust me!
Esteem hold yourself high and if you need to you can declare war on the dragonflies and the pumpkins but never declare yourself invalid ...