Arts or Alcohol, Books or Beer

This week in my email there was a Groupon for a Paint Nite.   It is a painting activity scheduled in a Pub:  In just about two hours, while you’re sipping on a cocktail, our performing artists will guide you through each painting so that you come up with your own unique masterpiece at the end of the night that you will be amazed YOU created…You just bring your fun loving friends and have a few cocktails to keep the spirits high and inhibitions to a minimum and we’ll make sure your inner Picasso is unleashed.

How did I manage to get through 4+ years of Art School without a drink?!  Geeze – Do you think I could have earned better than an “A” with alcohol in my system?    I know artists and musicians are considered “free-spirits” and “non-conformists”, but I realize after all these years since college (35), is that I am one of the few TRUE non-conformists in the world. I don’t do drugs.  I don’t smoke.  I don’t drink.

I founded an art studio in the early 1990s, promoted musicians, added Coffeehouse in 2006.   We were the most amazing and creative facility in the area — till an abuser became determined to destroy the joy.  I had a Drink-n-Draw activity in the studio/coffeehouse 10 years ago, so I find this new Art and Alcohol activity amusing and annoying.
I became successful because I have ALL my “faculties.”

Back in 2009, my mother and I displayed our picture book “A Box of Bears” (I’m the illustrator) at a downtown festival in a former bank along side a photographer, potter and painter.    We met many people who were gracious enough to listen and hear how the story and illustrations evolved.   We sold a handful of items.

I walked out the front of the building and noticed a long, long, line of people forming on the opposite side of the street, stretching all the way from the middle of the main street intersection down the block.   I inquired what the line-up was about from a gentleman who was also selling his illustrated book.  He informed me that there was a special wine and beer tasting event scheduled at 2 pm.  People had to sign up for it ahead of time, get the special bracelet, and wait in line to show they were of legal age to drink.

I had three thoughts:

  1. I have never or probably will never drink any alcoholic beverage.
  2. Who would ever want to wait in a line that long just to get a drink?
  3. Wasn’t the event supposed to be a community arts & crafts day?!

So, I went inside to let my mom know what all the fuss was about.   I shook my head in disbelief for the condition of the human race. We haven’t evolved socially over the centuries.  We just have technology to talk about it and take risks with the effects.

I said:  “Art or Alcohol”, Books or Beer – I could add: Music or Meth, Dance or Drugs

We have become a culture that can’t get together socially without expecting some form of alcohol in our hands.   There are signs outside of eating establishments with BYOB – as if 15 + different beverages they have aren’t enough of a choice and suitable for customers to consume.

It’s enough to “drive you to drink.”  But don’t drink and drive – difficult to do when you drove away from home to that event.

 

Creative Process

The creative process is not without its troubles. I too, am an artist, and snicker (or grimace) at the comments or questions about how easy it must be for me to draw, paint or create something “from your imagination.” I think “amazing what 15 years training will do for ‘ya.”

I can understand young children being in awe of my skills and assuming that if they just say the word “elephant”, I will know exactly how to draw one. (now is that an African or Asian elephant?) Dog or Cat (100s of breeds), horse (yikes, they have lots of muscles), chair (how many millions of those are there?). A person (running, walking, standing, sitting, age, etc)

So do you kinda understand how complex the “just draw something simple” comment is to a real artist? Sometimes people actually think that in art school you can do anything you want to do. You can’t be right or wrong — afterall it’s YOUR work. Not so. There are assignments with guidelines and grades. After art school, if you only do what you want to do … you may be a starving artist OR you just count on being the one in half a million artists to get “discovered” and make it rich.

Cartoonists — there are limitations to the space alloted in newspaper publications. Ever wonder why you see the same cartoons for decades even after the death of the artist? Comic books have morphed into “graphic novels” — picture books for mostly teens and grown-ups. The artwork is fabulous, skilled, creative, dynamic. Artists making their mark — tiny as it may be — in the huge world of art. There are SO many styles of “cartooning” you could spend a lifetime studying, exploring them.

See what Laurissa is learning about the process of creating art:
Today I Learned: 100!.

lestwentytwo

Today I Learned:  100!

This is the 100th official “Today I Learned:”!  Technically though, including Interims / con reviews / other drawings / etc. I have posted 136 things on here!

Again, thank you to everyone who reads this comic, it’s awesome that so many people like it! 😀  Onward to more comics in the future!

Also, I wanted to thank Melissa and John, who I went snowboarding with a couple of days ago, and they took that awesome first picture.

View original post

Costumes, Candy, Creativity

This is a repost of a blogpost from last year.  The only change was with the weather – a dreary drizzly evening – yet the groups of visiting treat seekers was varied and steady.

It seems like a strange tradition to me, but tonight I really enjoyed handing out surprises to all the children who were “drawn” to my house by the porch light. Children and adults have a longstanding interest in playing dress up — wearing costumes. Our Trick or Treat night was rescheduled to Saturday night due to hurricane Sandy’s Frankenstorm. The change was a good move since everyone would have been puddle jumping and slipping around on wet leaves otherwise.

The air was crisp and cool this evening. The sidewalks were darkened through the absence of street lights and limited household participants on the block. A porch light is the symbol for We’re Open For the Event, and I used the word “drawn” above because my chosen treat was a colorful pencil. There was a huge selection of pencil designs: aliens, camouflage, daisies, smiley faces, cars, hearts, dinosaurs. The response from the chilled costumed characters was favorable, each reaching into the basket and digging through the assortment till he or she found the perfect pencil.

1243649910qasuEqS

The children were very gracious about the gift. They used good manners to say “Thank-you”, then ran back to their parent to proudly report “I got a pencil!”

One little fella asked “Are you a teacher?” “Yes” I said. “I teach people to draw.” “What will you draw with your pencil?” I asked. Nearly every child had something that popped into their mind that they would draw when they returned home. A few children proudly announced “I’m going to use my new pencil in school.”

 

Sometimes it’s the unexpected things that make a day stand out among the passing of the week. My happy highlight was Halloween this week.

This year the most special treat for the night was a mini paint set:

MiniPaintSet

What was your happy highlight this week?
Drop a line and let me know.
Thanks, mARTi

Comfort in Comedy

Without a decent sense of humor, I never would have survived the last couple years, as it was an unbelievably bizarre tragedy. Fortunately, since miles of separation and safety, my innate sense of humor has been able to emerge again. I began to see the tragic comedy or a comedic tragedy of the  whole situation and began to picture cartoons to ease the pain of reality.

I just came across some cool site about creating cartoons and comics for various settings.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter
and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss