Tuesday, May 13, 2008

hi, there big scary goddess! it's me, doodling.

The thing about art, and me, and art + me is that I overthink it. A lot. Like a pathological amount. I get crippled by the idea of art hovering over my head like a heavy, leatherbound textbook telling me art is Very Fucking Important.

And it is, of course. It is important universally and personally. It's a beautiful thing to create meaning and beauty at once, and to share it.


It's also terrifying. But hey, "It's only art." I attribute this shiny little insight to Keeley Steele (artist and jill-of-many-trades, including the best vegetarian BLT on the planet) although I'm sure she was channeling some ancient knowledge there- possibly knowledge so obvious and natural that everyone knows it but me? But of course: art is just art. It's lovely things or shocking powerful things, large and small things or pixel things even, but art is what it is. It needn't intimidate.

But it continues to, nevertheless.

Art is like God. Well, Goddess. One Goddess in particular, in fact: Kali Ma. Art in my life is Kali, the Hindu Goddess who wears a necklace of skulls and has daggers for teeth and inspires awe in the way that a black hole or the pain of childbirth or death inspire awe.

Art for me is very heavy stuff. Voodoo and term papers, the meaning of life, mud becoming stone at 2300 degrees Fahrenheit.

It fusses around in my head, waiting to be perfect and stinging me like trapped bees. It turns into more fear than art, fermenting in a not pretty way. So the solution is like this, in Yoda's voice, paraphrased: "Do not think; do!"

What happens is, while I'm stewing and worrying and have critiqued into oblivion an entire gallery's worth of art before it even hits the sketchpage, some people start asking for art. I think, Oh! That's art I want to make. Before my brain has a chance to ask what the hell I'm doing, I've already said, "I'm in."

And then someone sees a doodle I posted online, and she wants to know where she can buy my work. Buy. My. Work. So I think, yeah, I should do that. Be buyable.

And then there is a new magazine, with the best title in herstory: Weave. They're blending word and image and crossing genres and just generally digging into the rich, delicious places where boxes stop happening and real creative power lives. And they want me to submit stuff, because they like the things I'm making, and they like that they are poems and drawings and journals and collages all at once. And ohmygods how loudly I just say YesPleaseThankYou.

And that is how I distracted the shaky frightened parts of me, and just jumped headfirst back into artmaking. I spent one evening online grabbing a domain name that popped forcefully into my mind: twoserpents.com (No click. Not yet. I'll tell you when OK, nevermind. I set it up to just come here.) and setting up a shop on Etsy. I submitted work to a little gallery in my favorite bookstore, and I have two pieces there now for a benefit show. I decided to start this art blog that'll eventually be part of the new site, and I'm just vaguely dizzy to find myself being an artist after a few years of thinking really hard about how to be an artist and failing fantastically to actually make any art.

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited about seeing your art on the walls Heidi! After reading your blog, I can imagine the lightening bolts coming off the canvas/paper. Art with passion is always so much more than just art. It's art with soul.