I’ve been wanting to get back to a regular writing routine for some time now, but, my excuse is that life got in the way. My discipline as a writer is not up to par with my art. I work on art everyday mostly sitting on the couch with my iPad. It’s not very romantic, but I think of Hemingway standing at a chest-high typewriter propped on a bookshelf in his room. Whatever works to facilitate the work.
At this point in my career, I don’t have the finances or space for a studio, but, because I work digitally, space is not required.
I have been moving away from my representational drawings of Seattle and towards a collage and mixed-media vocabulary. When I had a studio space in the Catskills, I was using this vocabulary on canvas and wood panels.
Lately, I have been returning to exploring these styles using digital art applications. Because I work at a rapid pace and often in a stream-of-consciousness style, the ability to find visual media and get results quickly supports my process. The internet is an effective tool in this regard. It’s quicksilver, a digitized me thumbing through printed matter with no discretion. Anything and everything can be cut and pasted into a new context.
My work is prolific so I often don’t think about what I create until I stop for the day. When I think about my work beforehand or have a pre-conceived plan, the work often is for commercial purposes. Commercial often means constraints about messaging. The most honest work comes through an unplanned exploratory process where accidents and serendipity play a role.
Perhaps it’s related to my social work background where talk therapy is about open-ended questions and the space to allow exploration and new insights to develop about self.
I remember lonely nights in my late teens and early twenties writing perplexed Bic-Pen entries in my black and white mottled composition book. I had stacks of journals in my attic bedroom that were tossed when my parents sold the house a few years ago.
I will never know everything that was expressed in those journals, but I do remember the identity-confused timber. It’s hard for me to know the person I was back then because I had no identity. Without the tools and knowledge to understand my biracial existence, I simply reacted in a white world. I assimilated and denied any identity I was aware of. I was a cipher, a void, an Akira-shaped hole.