FOCUSING ON OILING THE BLOG
It’s taken me a long time to think about what tabs I wanted to use to label my writing. In a well ordered mind, perhaps I would know who I am, what matters to me, what I want to say to the world.
But the truth is I am often scatter brained and confused by this modern world. I do the best I can with whatever I have on hand, everyday. Stephen King forgive me, I live with a zest for life.
There are many things I come across in everyday life, in the course of reflecting on a lifetime, in the world and on the internet (the digital sea) that strike me as worth sharing, discussing or thinking about.
I feel the need to digest ideas and every so often the ones I chew on improve my life so much I think, why not share that, it’s not for everyone, but it was for me and perhaps mentioning it will help the right person find the right tool for this moment?
Because I don’t believe in a fixed destiny, at least not a totally fixed destiny. Maybe some things are destined like birth, aging and death? But I think others are not, I think we can sail this world largely in the course we set, now more than ever. So if I can make some maps to places I either struggled with or enjoyed, why not?
It all comes down to why not?
So, I’m an imperfect person and an imperfect writer, but life keeps showing me remarkable things and I don’t see any reason not to share them with the world.
Finding Barbara Ann Kipfer’s book and website Things to Be Happy About, has been really helpful in showing me the style I would like for my website.
I always had a really veigh sense of what I wanted, glimmers of it, but seeing her site, very close to what I wanted, helps me imagine a way I could REALLY put it together instead of just imagining it.
So I looked at her site and main categories, arranged so cutely as a town, and decided (at least preliminary what I wanted):
Rays of Hope
Light in the Darkness
Shinny New Pennies
A Remarkable Life
I kind of want a song for each, but I’m sure that will come in time.
It seems like an ambitious project to redraw my own version. Somewhere along the years I got really afraid of drawing, I was quite talented or at least a bit talented growing up, I shut that door at some point, threw away the key, and put a chair in front of it, I think if I want to go in there it will have to be from the window and I’ll have to break the window because it is closed. Maybe I can throw a rock at that window?
I’ve noticed that although I really enjoy and write articles, such as this, well (in my opinion and seconted by the kindness of strangers) and decently consistently and with very resonable speed, I’ve strangely been able to have pretty much a writers block in terms of the novel I had started with enthusiasm a few weeks ago.
Interesting to be writing every day or nearly everyday at the same time as having writer’s block. It’s as if I have a Bert and Ernie and the Bert is doing well but Ernie is suffering the loss of rubber ducky or something…
I am attending a writers meeting today and a writers class before that, so hopefully I’ll find a clue to the functional process that is perhaps missing.
I have the:
1. Be Alive,
2. Want to Write.
3. Have Somewhere to Write. < Down, yet
4. Write Things. < Is missing.
In a way that’s just a small problem, when I’m missing steps 1, 2 or 3 it would be much harder to fix.
A LITTLE ARTISTIC THEFT SIDE QUEST
So essentially I want to create a town drawing that links to different pages that then have the articles related to those themes.
Thinking of doing the whole town is daunting for me. It may look simple to you, but it’s a larger art project than I’ve ever done in terms of components.
So I just decided to start by mapping the whole town very roughly, labeling the sections I want, renaming the sections and changing the labels (using Autodesk Sketchbook a free app).
I decided I wanted to start somewhere, I ended up starting with the Art Cafe, it was a pig shaped idea bank in Barbara’s site, but mine is an homage to Jonathan, the MS Paint Chicken maker artist.
“Sketch for the Art Cafe”
There is a holographic fence with a hole on the bottom right, there are five tables with wooden crates for seats, there is a stair case because there are two floors, the art gallery is the upstairs floor, the bottom floor is a dog friendly cafe. My family dog Canela is lounging comfortably inside. Someday I plan “flesh out” the drawing more, but I find that in this basic sketch I could begin the next step much more easily than I could from a blank canvas. Perhaps some people can just draw the image right away, but I find scaffolding easier. Maybe I have a timid soul, that I need to make a coloring book page for myself, but it is what it is, I am who I am.
I became inspired to do more sketches by the Step-by-Step City Paper Illustration article in Art Rocket by Vince Dorce:
My first sketch isn’t at the level of Vince’s but seeing his process was helpful for me to allow me whatever “bones” I need to begin my design process in my own way.
On thing is I just used my touch pad rather than hooking up my drawing tablet. I could probably get more control with my drawing tablet, yet I’m at an annoying phase with it and I don’t necessarily want to be fighting the frustration of beginning to use Krita (the only app that works with my Chromebook, my only computer) at the same time as I try to generate and note down my ideas for the project.
I actually always wanted to have a mostly art based site, where I could write, yet where art was the main focus… but I ran into some problems early on, I was using Inkscape which was fine, but I kept trying to find a better program such as Illustrator and I actually didn’t love the “professional” most legitimate program. Though I loved Adobe Photoshop for a long time, I never clicked with Adobe Illustrator and I tried to force it.
I was a novice in a beginners world. Out of my depth and trying to take on bigger projects and greater challenges than I have the tools to complete.
I should have given myself time to do tutorials, or practice joyously, but I didn’t, I kept wanting to do better than I could and much much faster than I could until I became disgusted with the difference between what I could do and what I wanted to do. It’s only much later, with all the pressure gone that I have become smart enough to change what I expect from myself to within the limits of what I can currently do.
I know if I begin again, I’ll catch up to normal, I’ve always been talented in art, so perhaps that was the pain point of starting digital art, finding that I’m suddenly untalented in that arena and not at the top of a much larger pond. I find that art is as healing as exercise and I’ve missed it, but I’ve atrophied through years of disuse so that I begin again as a baby would, from level 0. Before I had issues with perspective, with perfectionism, but with very fine motor control, now I have lost that, but gained an acceptance for my imperfections that will hopefully sail me through the sea of digital art unto tropical islands of wonder and fun.
If I always either draw and write a novel I can always procrastinate the more important one by doing the less important one. I think perhaps that is a fear, that by doing both I will do neither well, but I can do badly at art or writing without doing both. Even if I do only one, it’s possible to do a horrible job at it.
When I imagine my best life, it includes some kind of art, I’ve always found a peace in the flow of drawing, I don’t need to be great at it, there are other people to do that, but if I can represent my ideas graphically, no else can do that for me, it may help me do things I want or good things, it may be a good tool that fits well in a good life, and maybe not, but if I don’t try new things, push myself out of my comfort zone, I won’t find any answers to the questions I haven’t answered about life and about myself, if I don’t practice living I won’t be better at it than I am now.
I’d like to die knowing I took things almost too far, I squeezed out of life nearly all I could have out of it, that I didn’t not take the road less traveled as I ate the free continental breakfast at the excuse hotel day in and day out, instead of getting started down the path of doing things.