Thursday, July 30, 2009

I’ve decided I want to be a traveller in my own city. I want to see everything with fresh eyes. I want to make more art. Stick things to other things. Sketch. Play with paint. Go on adventures, solo or otherwise. Feed my brain with colour and ideas. Read poetry. Create perspective.

Art supply shops do this to me. I’m not an artist by training or design, but the vaguely grubby aisles, the the wet and dry media – gessoes, pastes, powders, inks – the plethora of surfaces – light and heavy and handmade paper, canvas, cold-pressed, varied in weight and tooth – the implements – rollers, awls, brushes, palettes and nibs – it all speaks to me. It feels familiar and foreign; home and far-off lands combined. It speaks of solitude and community both.

I drink it in, but nowadays stop short of playing with any of it. Perhaps because, deep down, I’d like to work with it, and I’m forever dissatisfied with my efforts. Or I’m so overwhelmed at the choice of media that I freeze.

I feel no need to make pretty, empty art (pretty empty?), but I’m paralysed when it comes to embarking on something with meaning to or for me.

Hence my refuge in words…though my fear of the pretty empty and the tragically terrible has kept me from producing anything of substance even in words…if words can be said to have substance.

I think there’s a dichotomy within – creativity (freedom) and structure continually batter at one another and none of us wins.

And so I’ve decided I want to be a traveller in my own city. I want to see everything with fresh eyes…

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

trucking hell

I'm overhauling a document (no pun intended, as you'll see...), which contains many gems like the following. The editor in me takes a horrified delight in stuff like this, whilst my planner-self and my actual self cringe...for different reasons.

For example, instead of one vehicle with two drivers (one daytime and one night-time), each performing an eight hour workday, time of day restrictions (typically twelve hours) force use of a second vehicle because 16 hours worth of work cannot be accomplished in 12 hours because of time taken loading and unloading products.

It is of such things as this that my work-days are currently made. In a cube farm, no less. Laugh? Cry? Have a quiet seizure? I've really got to get around to figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. I wonder how many more years I'll spend saying that to myself...

Friday, July 03, 2009


I made the usual mundane trundle up to my tobacconist to buy cigs. Weird to say I have a tobacconist (whose name, I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve forgotten). Guess I must be a grown-up, huh. He was there, as always, but there was an unknown woman helping him behind the counter. “She’s a mixed-media artist,” he said. “Show Sophia your work.” She pulled out an expensive artsy magazine with which I’m familiar (“I know this mag. Very well.” “See?” she said to him), and showed me an article based on her latest project. She was apparently the cover last issue.

So we got to talking about collage, and carving our own rubber stamps, and painting, and inspiration versus darker moments of being completely overwhelmed and putting it all away. Finding structure in other things, like knitting, or, in her case, crochet. “See?” she said to him. “She knows. She knows.” Common haunts, common acquaintances, common interests.

She invited me to join her artist trading card group. I'm almost to the point where I just might.