When Artists Get Sick
I can’t remember the last time I was sick like this. Probably when I went to spend Christmas in Cebu in 2019, when I had the worst cough and cold I’d had in a long time. I’m always getting sick at the most inopportune moments, and by such moments I mean either when I’m travelling or when I’m *arting*.
I’m writing this in bed in the middle of everyone’s favourite virus ~ I wasn’t asymptomatic, unfortunately, but gratefully lucid and able enough to write (and even log into work the other day, and hopefully again tomorrow). I’m resting as hard as I can, haha ~ which means, *the painting factory is closed* at the moment.
How to Kill Your Creativity
My art and my ‘other job’ overlap in a lot of ways. For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’m also a writer ~ the kind that works at ad agencies, marketing departments and media (the publishing and broadcast kind).
I guess this overlap can’t be helped in that creativity is a requirement for both ~ admittedly, maybe not as much for some of the companies I’ve worked for. So I guess it also can’t be helped that my other job gets talked about here on the jillablog, like how I wrote about what happened with my ad agency co-workers once.
…that is, after working all day and without pulling an all-nighter. 😛
Anyone who knows me personally knows how I’ve led a *double life*, i.e. working as a writer during the day and *arting* at night, for a really long time. For good or ill, it’s been the only way I’ve been able to keep the *painting factory* going.
Thing is, the older I get, the harder it is to keep it going this way. But I want to keep it going ~ and I think I can, too. It’s just, I’m having to find other ways, other things to help me do it.
I’d like to share these six things in the hopes that they may help anyone who’s got art or anything they’d like to work on but can’t during office hours. These six seem the most viable to me now that end-to-end all-nighters for months on end aren’t such a good idea anymore. 😅
I mean I hate to admit it, but I guess even jillamonsters need sleep like everybody else. 🤣
Some dozen odd years ago I was attending some Asian artists’ conference in Singapore, and I remember asking someone what made something (art) liked by everybody. By ‘everybody’ I meant everyone, everywhere in every time (age, era, century). ‘Like Shakespeare,’ I remember saying. The person I asked remarked laconically, ‘Not everybody likes Shakespeare.’
After a stupefied pause to consider the justice of that remark I attempted to explain, ‘Sure they do. I mean, the guy’s been dead a bazillion years and people still like his stuff.’ It was toward the end of the day at the time and we were on the beach, so, I don’t remember getting an answer back. But to this day, I find myself still asking.
What is it about Will’s stuff that makes people still stage it, watch it, quote it~ or Wolfie’s stuff or stuff from Vinnie, Leo or Remy? Or, closer to (my) home, what is it about the Noli or the Spoliarium (or pretty much anything by Amorsolo) that make them live on today?
Maybe it’s that time of the year ~ you know, when people get all *existentialist* looking back and trying to plan for the year ahead.
It’s just, personally I wonder whether any of my stuff is going to survive me a bazillion years from now. Or (as is the more likely), join the heap of Salieris that lived alongside Wolfie and ultimately disappeared into oblivion. (That actually isn’t fair, I mean they did use Salieri’s music in the first Iron Man movie ^^)
Or, more to the point: Is it worth making anything when you know they’re going to toss it all into the nearest landfill as soon as you become worm food? (Hopefully they at least recycle the wood and glass ~ or even the paper.) Are these questions even worth asking?
How do you keep going when (as half of that early 90s World) put it, you’re out of gas and you need a jacket? And the tyres are flat and the paint’s peeling ~you get the idea.
Obviously I haven’t been brimming with sunshine or handing a fistful of lollipops out to everybody lately ~truth be told I can’t remember the last time I had.
So what does the average monster do when they’ve got no one within easy reach radiating UV rays or spamming sugar on a stick? They look for it on the internet, of course ^^
These pick-me-ups worked for me when I got so low I hit the bottom of the mountainside the Grey Pilgrim smote the ruin of his enemy on.
Just to shake things up a little on the jillablog, you know? And maybe to point the way towards a little sun and something sweet ^^;
Better if you watch rather than take my word for it (cos what’s that worth really, right). But I will be taking some notes (for me as much as for you), and noting how I may not agree with everything these people say or do. But what they said here really helped me a lot <3
19 Relationships Expressed in Art
I put key relationships I've had with people (and then some) into a blender and this is what I poured out ^^
Seona is a German artist I met in art class who specialises in hyper-realistic oil portraits and whom I somehow managed to stay in touch with after we both *got out of school*.
Recently I discovered she’s begun to explore relationships in her portraits, specifically those between old friends. It reminded me very much of Claudia, this other German artist who painted a picture of a friend of hers who (if I remember correctly) wasn’t her friend, anymore. I think I only saw that canvas of Claudia’s once but I never forgot it.
So I’ve always been a fan of boredpanda~ not all of the content on there, you understand, but a whole huge hefty chunk of it ^_^ Not just for things like this ^o^ But understandably for things like this and this and this. Once in a while, I’m lucky enough to catch a video or two from them on Instagram.
So you’ll understand when one day out of nowhere, as I mentioned last month, I’m over our one natural satellite because someone from boredpanda asks if they can interview me for an article. I was happy to oblige because it was something I had rather marked opinions about and that I’d written about before.
You’ll understand again, I hope, when I tell you that I was happy to acquiesce to a request for an interview for a second article about delusional artists. The request came in the middle of the constant whitewater of my day-to-day about a week or so ago, but I couldn’t help answering on the spot.
So lately (for heaven knows why) I’ve been boldly going (where no man has gone before) a whole lot. And there’s this scene in that episode full of those adorable furries where the chief engineer says ‘We’re big enough to take a few insults.’ Aren’t we?
Especially when none was intended. ^^
The Art of Daydreaming
I saw a movie once where an artist (a composer, actually) said something about how he wasn’t really in his body anymore. That was because his body ‘was a great disappointment’ to him and that he was just happier to float around in his music.
Daydreaming for me is kind of like that.
I mean, my supermodelesque (not) physique aside, being trapped in this human form has always been irksome to me. So naturally, I guess, nine out of 10 times I’ve had recourse to an admittedly (and perhaps unhealthily) hyperactive fantasy life.
Practically speaking this does come in handy, sometimes.
Of Blobs and Potatoes
Viva le kalabaw! Viva il kalesa!, Detail, 42.75 x 34.25" / 108.585 x 86.995 cm, Acrylic and Oil Pastel on Paper, 2016
“Cookie cutter people.”
“Amoebas with hair.”
“Why don’t they have fingers?”
These are a few of things I’ve heard about my work over the long years I’ve depicted what I just call blobs in my art. I remember trying to, explain myself once or twice in a couple of those descriptions of your work that you put in the exhibit proposals you give to a gallery. But I guess I never, you know. Explained myself properly ^_^;
On the cusp of my second exclusively online show, half of which comprises blobs, I thought now might be a good time to, ‘explain’ how and why I draw and paint this way. And since the other half comprises what I just call potatoes, which one might say evolved out of the blobs, I thought I might take the opportunity to explain those, too.
Not that I feel I need to explain anything to anyone, of course. Just on the off chance anyone might be interested or even mildly curious, or something ^o^;