Wednesday, October 8, 2014

To Become A Master

The internet says it takes ten years to master something. This is often referred to as the 10,000 hour rule, or some such nonsense. This is, of course, dependent on the blogs you read or the sources you use. The general consensus involves 6+ years of repeating said task to the point of mastery. So my question for you, internet, is why am I still fucking these up? 

 1.) I have been shaving my legs for far longer than I care to admit. It's been well over a decade. Yet I'm still getting out of the shower looking like a just escaped a turf war with a less-than-savory street cat. 

 2.) Making coffee. If it weren't for my Keurig, I'd still be burning that shit. I have no mechanism for deciding on an appropriate coffee to water ratio. Like, I try to eye-ball it but its just a disappointment. 

 3.) Parallel parking. I may as well be driving a space shuttle. I've been doing it for 11+ years, and I still have to do that awkward parallel-park-dance with my car where you pull forward by 4 inches and pull back by 6 inches and then realize you turned the wheel the wrong way so you just keep going like it was deliberate but everyone knows it wasn't deliberate and now there's a small crowd gathering and some 16-year-old is laughing at you because they just took their road test and aced it but he doesn't understand that not everyone has the skill set to maneuver a large piece of machinery in such a way that it is evenly placed between two other giant peices of machinery and that this is a really intimidating process for some people because hitting another vehicle is serious especially if that other car is a really nice car then you're just fucked because that person is going to be pissed that you just hit their new car I mean, they just had that shit waxed so you'll be in some serious first-world trouble especially if that person has an uncle-lawyer then you're totally screwed and then some guy named Dan is sticking his head into your passenger side window asking if you need help, ma'am and you smile politely and say no, I got it and really you're having a panic attack and you just don't want grubby, cigarette-smelling Dan touching your car because he kind of looks like a car thief even though you're quite sure he's just a nice mechanic but hey, you never can tell with people, can you? So you finally get your car close enough to the curb so that it's socially acceptable to be a little crooked even though you're an obnoxious perfectionist with a touch of OCD, you can't do anything about it because now you're late and don't have time to straighten your stupid car out because it took you this long just to get it in the goddamn parking spot in the first place. So, yea. 

 4.) Eating or/and drinking. I miss my mouth more than any self-respecting adult should. 

 5.) Laundry is the bane of my existence. I've been doing laundry since I can remember and I still manage to mess it up. Too much detergent. Not enough detergent. Wrong water temperature. I don't understand seperating my white clothing from the rest of it. Chrissy, why are you putting six dryer sheets in there? I've ruined more clothing than wine, grass, pizza grease, and that red dress you bought last year for that Christmas party you went to and spent 45 miserable minutes at and then left because you had a headache and then you washed that dress and all of your socks are now pink... combined. Hey, at least you looked good. 

 6.) Eyebrow shaping. Been doing it since someone called me Brooke Shields in seventh grade. You do the math. I should be a professional eyebrow shaper by now. But no. Its like a different language to me. Are my eyebrows crooked or is it just my face? No one knows for sure. 

 7.) Walking. I've been walking for a really long time. Why, exactly, am I still tripping over myself? And inanimate objects? And pets? And small children? And my own coffee table? I know its there. I see that shit everyday. I'm using it now. Am I going to trip on it on my way to the kitchen? Probably. 

 8.) Makeup. In general. Why cant I figure my life out? How much bronzer is too much bronzer? Who knows? Not me. 

 9.) Social cues. They just don't work on me. I'm a beacon of social awkwardness. 

 10.) Time management. 30 minutes to wake up, hit the snooze 3 times, make coffee, morning potty break, drink said coffee, take a shower, get dressed, do my hair, put makeup on, make food for the day, get in the car, drive to work, stop for gas, stop for wretched school busses, find parking, and get to my desk? Sure! Why not? Oh... because it takes me half an hour just to shower.... I have absolutely zero time management related planning skills. None. I've been planning and managing life things forever. Still can't do it right.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Define "Artist"

I came across a quote while in a Pinterest coma one day that resonates with me more than most when it comes to my identity as a creative human.

 “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” ― Cesar A. Cruz 

Last night I was watching "Oddities" on Netflix. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this awesomeness, "Oddities" is a reality show of sorts that showcases an antique shop called "Obscura". This incredible store in NYC has the most delightful collection of antiques and, you guessed it, obscure items. They deal in anything from pickled two-headed animals to early medical equipment that seem more like torture devices. They buy and sell only the most thought-provoking pieces and a visit to this little house of wonders is certainly top ten on my bucket list. I hope to get a picture with Mike & Evan, the owners of the store, and possibly acquire a piece from their collection if the price is right. But back to the point...

In the episode I watched last night the owners of the shop were delivering "supplies" to an artist. Although I'm not a fan of her particular esthetic, she said something that shook me, "It is my job, as an artist, to evoke emotion in people. To make them feel something," I don't remember her name or the exact verbiage used but that was the basic idea. And it hit me. So I'd like to take a moment to reflect on this idea and dissect what this means to me. I've been far too polite in my artistic endeavors. I hold back because I don't want to make anyone flinch. I have a small personal collection of photographs and art that I don't share with many people because I don't want to offend anyone. In this, I have failed as someone who considers herself to be a creative individual. As an "artist" I care way too much about my viewer. I've settled for praise when I really want to strive for shock and awe. I want to provoke my audience. To make them think. To wake up an otherwise slumbering world with images and pieces that, as Cesar put it, "comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable." That is what art means and is. It should make people think and feel something. Anything. Art is an expression of the inner most workings of the artist's soul. What the artist sees is poured into the expression and placed in front of the viewer in an attempt to stir emotion out of them. To help them see the world through new eyes, and perhaps discover some feeling in themselves that they haven't noticed before. People are complex and weird and beautiful and enthralling all at once. Yet we do our best, as a society, to fit into polite conformity. Let me elaborate. As people we conform, as a person we are completely our own. We know this. 

I have a special breed of "stage-fright" that battles me whenever I try to showcase myself, or my work, on any platform. I love beautiful things. I love grotesque things. Last night's epiphany has inspired me to create some new pieces and not to worry so much about opinions. A concept I still struggle with. Its mostly my own opinions that are my downfall. I should remember that. 

Peace & Love & all that jazz.

Exact quote that helped inspire this blog-

"My job as an artist is to provoke people. I think if you don't provoke people, they are just numb." 
-Heide Hatry

Thank you for the inspiration Ms. Hatry!