I don’t breathe, eat and sleep art. I really don’t live up to that cliche of the artist life. Being an artist is a delicate balance between the daily tasks of everyday living and creating art that I still have yet to master. But when I do turn my attention towards art whether it is my own work or the work of others, my spirit comes alive with awe. It is that liveliness that reminds me and lets me know that this is “my thing”. Other than the natural beauty of Nature in all of Her diverse forms, art is what makes my heart dance and creating it is my act of devotion to the Spirit that created me.
Sitting down to draw is a difficult thing for me. The desire is there but I’m often easily distracted by my thoughts, my daily chores, my doubts, my worries, my daydreams, my quest for inspiration, my need for social interaction and affection, the pressing issues of the world and my feelings of guilt. That last one gets me the most. How dare I try to shut out everyone, the world and all it’s busyness to focus on something I enjoy? I feel guilty for trying to add a sliver of artistic beauty into this life. Who needs beauty and art when people are starving, civil and human rights are being trampled and the love for profit has seeped into every faucet of our existence? I should be doing something more important or at the very least making some kind of political or social statement with my work. Shouldn’t I?
I wonder if other artists wrestle with such things.
My little buttercup was diagnosed with cancer in one of her kidneys today. Feeling really sad and a broken. I’ve had her since she was 2 and she just turned 14 a week ago. I know in human years that’s pretty old and that cats are more susceptible to such things as they age but even with that in mind, it’s still difficult to deal with. 😢
Finished up my second lettering carving today. This piece was done on an 8×10 linoblock I had just collecting dust on my shelf. I have an 12×12 also collecting dust but I think I’m going to get started on my third drawing for my Voodoufairy series before I try to tackle another carving. You can see this and other carvings I have in store at: http://qrumbley.com
I have a confession, I have a background in graphic design…and I hated it. Hearing the word “kerning” makes my skin break out in hives (figuratively). A great amount of my graphic design studies consisted in learning typography and needless to say, I was about as passionate about typography as anyone can be about watching grass grow. I wanted to draw not learn about letter spacing and typefaces. But because everybody said you can get a stable job in design and every affordable college and university in my state seemed to be discontinuing their illustration curriculum, I found myself unwilling being funneled towards graphic design.
I ended up graduating with a degree in Urban Planing with intentions of getting a masters in Landscape Architecture, which is another story in itself. But life got a hold of me and I found myself in the Health Administration field wiling away my days scanning medical records while periodically doing freelance work designing logos and brochures. Surely not the glamorous life of creativity I had dreamt of in my younger years but as the saying goes “It paid the bills.” The wonderful thing about experience is its truth. When you’re young, you’re idealistic and a bit naive. It’s not until you truly experience a thing that you realize whether it is right for you or not.
Looking back, I’m glad that I didn’t become a designer, I probably would have been miserable regardless of the pay. I really like the freedom of doing my own thing and being able to experiment. And this recent carving was just that, an experiment that turned up a new interest: lettering. I had been thinking about trying it out for a week here but I had some hesitations due to my distain and past experience with typography. But to my surprise I didn’t know that lettering and typography are two different things. Back in college my professors talked about them as if they were the same but to my salvation I stumbled across this wonderful article that explains the difference and put my nerves at ease. In a nutshell lettering is simply drawing letters and that’s right up my wheelhouse; drawing. I was fearing that I was gonna have to learn all the specifics of typography all over again just to design and draw letters for my carvings. I’ve been spared the horror. With relief I can continue to indulge my new interest. I’ve been looking for some kind of over all focus for my linocut work and nothing has really appealed to me. I feel this will be a good fit. I’m always collecting quotes, short sayings and inspirational words. Why not carve them?
This recent carving was a first attempt and it came out pretty decent. I have some work to do learning to draw letters but I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m drawing up some nice pieces.