It’s true. I love everything about birds. I love how they can be simple and fun, or complex and full of detail. I love that they come in every color. They represent spring, and good mornings, and warm weather, and freedom. They can be whimsical or serious. I made some magnets with cartoon birds on them for no real reason other than the little bird cartoons become characters to me. I even make up stories for them in my head. I make up a lot of things in my head, but this post is especially about the birds. Here they are…
For drawing, I mean. I love the human figure. Unfortunately, people are not just lining themselves up outside of my door to take their clothes off and let me draw them. I don’t know why not, though. It makes perfectly good sense to me. Soooo, I have to resort to compilations from references of nude or almost nude people I find on the internet (tasteful nude people don’t get any ideas). This is a lady I drew with colored pencil on wood. I can’t remember, but there may be some acrylic too. Anyway, at the time, I was feeling sort of “artist-y” and contemplative and a little sad and trapped by normal life things and this is what came out of it. It took me about an hour, which I was happy about because sometimes I take forever. depends on my mood and the project, I guess. I like this one because I feel like it is kind of design -like and painterly at the same time. Anyway, I am happy with it, so I am going to put it up here.
…And they always will be… at least to me they are.
So, I am at work and Lori, my co-worker and friend, who also thinks chickens are funny (one of the reasons I love her), and she comes into my office and tells me this great story. She says, “So this woman (another co-worker) has some chickens, and there is a fox that comes to her house to check out the chickens. Normally this wouldn’t be so much of a problem since chickens are usually stowed safely away behind chicken wire, in their chicken -houses , and happy as can you can be if you’re a chicken. But the chickens see this fox and get pretty scared. They don’t have real chicken wire, though. Instead they have wire from some hardware store (probably not Home Depot, though, since they provide me with wood for my art projects so we won’t assume they are responsible for this situation) that is meant for like a garden or something, and it has waaay bigger holes than it should have. These dumb chickens, in their terror, stick their heads through the holes in the wire (um, yeah, that makes sense), and the hungry fox literally bites off all of their heads (this is the sad part)!!! So the woman wakes up and comes out to collect eggs for breakfast and greet her happy little pets, and instead is greeted by several headless dead chickens! So sad, right? (But also a little bit funny. Okay, it’s a lot funny). It’s okay to laugh- you aren’t a bad person of you do. Anyway, of course, I had an image in my head immediately. So I drew it on a post-it at work with a ball point and some white out. This was the highlight of my day. I even signed it. Here it is…
But I never really decided to “do” anything about it until now. I have always felt like I wanted, (or more accurately), needed to make stuff. Even though I have felt this way since I can remember, and I even went to school for it, I have had so many things that have held me back from creating and truly enjoying it. And by “things”, I mean what actually goes on in my head on a regular basis.
Firstly, I have always felt like I had to create the most perfect things and that whatever I had created was never good enough. I had to make it better in order for me to even consider enjoying my creation or the process. Whatever I had made was just “practice”, and that some day, I would make only awesomely and perfectly wonderful things that I would be awesomely and perfectly proud to display for whoever would want to see. Today, however, I have realized that this is simply not true. It’s not going to happen. I am never going to make anything that is perfect. And you know what? It is okay to create for the sake of creating and enjoy your imperfect result. What a relief.
Secondly, I have always wanted to meet everyone else’s standards (in other words I have placed a lot of value on what other people think). I mean seriously- I have been trying to meet the “standard” that I have created for people that I have imagined that they have created for me. Really, Julie? Not only does that not make any sense, but it is unbelievably exhausting. Today, (apparently today is the day of realizations), I have decided that I really do not care. It isn’t that I don’t value what other people think, but I can’t control what anyone thinks and I can’t make everyone happy. And it is dumb to base your actions on what someone else might think. And that’s okay. And that is also a huge relief.
So…I will embrace today, and I will embrace the making of the stuff, and I will do it without regard for how it might please or displease other people, and without a goal of perfection. In fact, I will make my only goal to have fun. That’s it. Fun for fun’s sake. What a brilliant idea. Yay for realizations!