The Year of the Dog has started and it promises to be good, if you stay loyal to your friends, true to yourself and innovate. Lets compare notes at the end of this Lunar Year!
Today's Valentine's Day! My sweetheart is away, so I will wash my studio floors tonight.
The part of my brain in charge of words have been asleep lately. I can't think of any clever lines to say to other people's jokes, I am pretty bad explaining tasks to my workers and I cannot write well (that's why rarely write on my blog). Maybe because in the last few months I worked mainly with images?
So, to express my love for you on this special day I used images and made some Valentine's Day cards.
Every day I sit at my work table and try to produce or to shadow as many drawings as I can. At the end of the day I maybe have drawn 70 drawings but have no satisfaction of accomplishment - finishing the project is still 2 years away.
To remedy my satisfaction blues a year ago I started a sketchbook that I draw into after work, on subway. The rules are pretty simple - don't be afraid to fail, draw any lines that hand wants to draw, then make a finished drawing of that mess. Show to no one.
I filled one sketchbook and started another one. But a nagging thought kept creeping into my head: if I make a drawing in my sketchbook and no one sees it, does it really exist?
To assure the existence of my sketchbook, I am bringing one drawing outside of it, for you to see:
Now, there. It exists.
It is clear now - the 2017 was like a drunk gift-delivery driver. You watched it with hope and anxiety: will it run me over? will it remember to give me gifts? Running away from being hit while trying to get closer to the gifts was quite a task. But we managed it, somehow.
Now we wake up in the middle of night with a new anxiety. It has become obvious that 2018 is not going to be the same as 2017. The needles have moved, the accustomed points of references discarded. New piñatas are craving the abuse. Will I avoid suffering? Will I succeed to eat, work and be merry?
Facing my old fear in front of uncertainty of future, I drew 4 cards for happy 2018:
Happy New Year!
With love and gratitude
Every 6 month there is a major Solar event that I dedicate a great deal of my thoughts and efforts to: Solstice. Solstices punctuate my bipolar nature swinging from too much darkness to too much light. To celebrate this awareness I make greetings cards, sometimes more than just one.
This December I drafted 8 of those Merry Winter Solstice cards, 6 of them you can see HERE.
But 2 of them I had doubts about and consulted with my Inner PR person.
- Too phallic, - she said about one. - In this political climate golden balls attached to a golden penis is the last thing people want to see.
- This is too dark, - she said about the other. - And what are those little hairs between the legs? Too suggestive of pubic hair. It will upset parents and will ruin your reputation. If you publish this you may never be able to run another successful Kickstarter campaign.
So I didn't publish them when the Solstice took place.
But the effort that went into making them kept nagging me. Now when my Inner PR person sleeps on her soft nest of laurels I am publishing the drawings for you to judge if they are too dark and too suggestive. What do you think?
What the woman says to the man? Post your caption in the comments below and in a few days we'll do a poll of 5 finalists to determine the winner.
Since I woke up this morning I keep seeing posts like "Happy International Women's Day, Dear Women!". They seem well meaning but just don't make me feel the overwhelming happiness for the day that was supposed to celebrate my gender. And what does it even mean to celebrate women?
It reminds me of March 8 in Soviet Union, where those celebrations served as a mix of a Valentine's Day and a ritual of penance and absolution of one's (mostly male) sins. All a man had to do on March 8 was to show up with a bunch of red tulips on the doorsteps of all the females he had wronged and say: " Happy Women's Day, dear women! I love you so much!" and all the abuse he caused for a year was forgiven and forgotten.
I don't want women to be celebrated in exchange for absolution. We need no celebration, no flowers, no sweet greetings. We need true equality. The original March 8 in 1917 showed the power of women. Then the meaning of the day was hijacked and corrupted to keep women placated and away from the real power of governing and wealth.
This March 8 put your marching boots on and join the March forward!
When a Rooster sings in the darkest hour of a night all unfriendly fiends scatter. Lets sing together to clear the way for the New Year! Happy 2017!
On the day 5 of my Holiday Special offer to draw your favorite animal if you name one favorite thing about the animal I got a request to draw a beagle. The person's favorite thing about beagles was:
"Beagles have an understated, dignified quality about them (well, what I mean is that mine did). They’re not always serious, but they are dedicated."
A beagle and dignity. Makes sense. But how to show it in one picture? Hmm....
And so the race to find the perfect beagle begun. First I had to check if I remembered how a real beagle looked. Googled it.
Then tried to draw a beagle from memory.
After clarifying an image of a beagle I had to decide how to draw dignity. This person really admires dignity in beagles. It says a lot about the man. Lets put them all together - the man, the dog and dignity. I made a quick sketch.
The beagles are on the lookout - like proud captains of a huge ship they look for approaching dangers to divert them with a bark or bite.
Eh... I can do better. Lets make the beagle a real captain facing real dangers.
Although Beagle looks dignified now, after his ship butts heads with the iceberg, he may not. Scrap this idea. 2016 was a bad enough year for all of us, no need to remind people how vulnerable this dignity thing is. Beagle must lead the ship to a better place, or to find something that's missing. Maybe tracking a trail lost in an ocean of smells? A beagle can lead a beagle. Lets try that.
Lets see if there is a better angle to look at Beagle leading a beagle.
Yes, this beagle is right on the nose! But wait!... beagles have beautiful ears. So warm and fuzzy one could eat them. Enwrapping ears.
I have to remind myself that the thing about beagle I was asked to draw was dignity. What could be more dignified than giving a speech at United Nations?
The problem with giving a speech at United Nations is with all those people wanting to know you afterwards.
And, God forbid, they may want to bring you to strange rooms and surround you.
You try to run away but they run after you.
Even if you escape, they still send you presents.
And more presents.
Only after they leave, Beagle is able to take a good look at people.
But it is obvious Beagle has something that people are drawn to.
Finally Beagle was able to shake people off. But life wasn't the same without them. He had to find them again.
People didn't like that Beagle lost them.
To please them Beagle does whatever people ask.
Beagle soon gets tired of the chore to feed people. He puts them in a biodegradable bag with marinade and puts a weight on top.
Beagle steeps people in the marinade for three days then puts them into a pot.
He gives the pot to charity. But life without people is indeed not much fun.
So Beagle finds some seeds people left on the floor and plants them in terracotta pots. But even planted in small pots people still have their own mind.
Wait, where was I? I had to make a drawing of a beagle with dignity. Stop fooling around!
I think I had a perfect Beagle at some point but I lost him in the process.
Sitting in the darkest night of the year I rake my brain and cannot remember last time when I have felt such an absolute despair and desolation. Before, when I felt rejected by a lover or a film festival or a friend, the rejection was painful but it felt like an isolated event. I thought that the larger world was still behind me, the Universe still had a provision of love in store for me. I had hope.
But where do you find hope when Universe seems to be smashing in pieces everything you love and cherish, turning against the very core of your Being?
I look and see that hope is still there - at my core. It is just more fragile and more secluded. So I made a few MERRY SOLSTICE cards to send you my Love in hopes to connect with you. Lets unite with the cores of our hearts: I am you and you are me. If you love me back, please let me know.
Lets all be carpenters and united together carve holes in the walls.