Category Archives: Art

10 Ways Not to Be a Perfectionist:

1) Read the rules, then accidentally break them.

2) Have a beer or two. Things don’t matter as much then.

3) If you’re missing an ingredient, add something else instead.

4) Forget about what other people think.

5) Forget about what you think.

6) Break something, drop something, spill something, scratch something, or do something else that pretty much ruins your whole project.

7) Consider the accidents as the best parts.

8) Laugh at yourself. Out loud. In front of a mirror. Don’t stop laughing until your stomach hurts. If you can’t laugh, force yourself to. It will make you laugh because it’s so stupid.

9) Stupid things are good too. They are just as good as beautiful, intellectual, polished, perfect things.

10) Have some tea, take a nap, cuddle with the dog, watch a movie, cook a delicious meal with cookies for dessert, go on a walk, dance in the bedroom, read a book, call your loved ones, do your nails, trim your toenails, make some art for fun, and then, well, just forget about it. It doesn’t matter anyway. Or if it does, do it again until you like it.

Image

 

Image Source: Nobody’s Perfect

Searching for the Opportunity

These days I am searching for the right opportunity, the next step in my career as an artist, a move up the ladder to not just creating art on the side while trying to make a living doing something else, but finding a way to combine the two: art and work. Work and life.

The challenge is, it’s easier said than done. I am seeking out the opportunities, and I have a list of things I’m working on applying for. But the prospect of whether any of these opportunities will follow through is still up in the air. When will I get that one BIG SHOT? Or the many smaller shots that eventually lead to something bigger? And if I do get to that bigger place…. what does it look like? What exactly am I striving for, anyway?

When it comes down to it, to the bare essentials, there are four things that I need to make a living as an artist:

CREATIVITY
Print

SPACE
image640x480

TIME
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

MONEY
Money1

It’s really not a lot to ask. And of course there are more things than just the items listed above, such as friends, family, my sweet dog, a nearby park to run in, some space to do yoga, a fun place to go and see art/music/performance/film, inspiring collaborators, community, students who are eager to learn, and last but not least, OPPORTUNITIES. MORE OPPORTUNITIES. There are so many of them out there, but there are also so many people trying to get them. I’m trying so hard to get that next opportunity. The next thing, whatever it may be, that will lead me closer to my career path as an artist.

Image Sources:
Why Its OK to Fail at Kickstarter
Design Thinking: creativity in business and education
Temp Art Exhibit
There is Always Enough Time

Cardboard Theaters

CardboardCity_3

The Puppet Theater of Cardboard City.

0607-13
0607-12

Untitled Vaudeville Models constructed by Annie MacDonnell and Rob Shostak (2006).

cas902h

Vesnin’s cardboard model for the Kamerny Theatre’s cubo-futurist production of Phedre.

Puppet Theater

Puppet Theater

bird-earings2

Cardboard stage with bird earrings.

5270090e0ae618833ec7b38adbbd6e55

Cardboard set design for “Only If Romeo Knew”.

excity4

A fantasy metropolis by Exquisite City.

Howl's Moving Castle, Southwark Playhouse.

Theater in an underground tunnel.

Aesop-Fables-Set (1)

Aesop’s Fables stage set (2006).

Image Links:
http://www.core77.com/gallery/sofia-design-week-2011/117.asp
http://www.dioramasandcleverthings.com/2012/05/three-fab-cardboard-models.html
http://library.calvin.edu/hda/node/2215

http://www.dandee-designs.com/2010/08/puppet-theater-tutorial.html
http://luckypony.co.za/tag/cardboard-stage/
http://www.behance.net/gallery/Cardboard-stage-set/1484287
http://blog.ponoko.com/2009/01/29/on-site-the-exquisite-city-of-cardboard/
http://www.shoppedanddropped.com/2012/01/theatre-howls-moving-castle.html#.UPeVoaFFcqg
http://jeffreytbaker.blogspot.com/2009/02/natural-childrens-theater-design.html

Why Going Home Makes Me Wonder What the Hell I’m Doing With My Life

childhood-flashback-110

Going home for the holidays is always wonderful. I love seeing my family, lying around the house, eating Mom’s delicious food, enjoying the California sunshine and cuddling with the dogs. I also like passing by all the familiar places of my childhood: elementary school, the corner store, downtown, my first job, the old movie theater, etc. etc. These places bring back memories and remind me of what I am made of.

However, despite all the good things, going home can be challenging too. Back in my original element, I remember my original dreams and aspirations. I think about where I am currently, and start to feel depressed. Am I doing the right thing? Why haven’t a made it to the top yet? Why aren’t I living in a place with more opportunities? Why am I working a full-time job instead of pursuing my career as an artist? Why why why??

These questions started when as a family we watched the Kennedy Center Awards last night. Dustin Hoffman, Led Zeppelin, David Letterman… all these people whose careers reached the point of ultimate success. Who blazed through all the challenges and carved out their own unique niche in the world. I try to imagine what it would feel like to be honored in that way. Could I just give up at that point and be able to spend a week in my hometown without questioning whether I’ve made the right decisions in my life? Could I let myself off the hook once and for all and be happy with the path that I’ve taken? Don’t get me wrong- I am in many ways satisfied with what I’ve done and where I’ve been up until this point. However, I also feel there’s more to do, and more to overcome in order to reach my goals.

As a New Year’s resolution, I’m split. My goals in many ways are contradictory: follow my dream, and yet still manage to enjoy life along the way. Easier said than done, but no matter what I’m determined to be a successful artist and still have a life than is relaxing and enjoyable. The big question is….

Is that possible?????

Image Sources:
http://theberry.com/2010/06/02/back-in-the-day-20-photos/

Brutally Honest Stories About Being Human

There are those times when you feel alone. Even if you’re surrounded by people, you are alone. And you alone love the people around you so much that you fear losing them. I will not lose my life and I don’t want you to lose yours either. We are humans. We breathe & fart. We have air coming out through all sorts of holes. We thrive on routine and live for play. We are nice to each other, or we should be.

Life is too complicated. We are too driven by our brains. And fear.

I fear death as much as I fear being humiliated in front of tons of people. And yet I humiliate myself and call it art. For some reason that’s okay. I allow my creative juices to interpret and embellish on my everyday experiences.

robert-leighton-i-ve-never-been-so-humiliated-in-my-entire-week-new-yorker-cartoon

I’m reading a book, What’s Not to Love by Jonathan Ames. It is the most honestly grotesque book about male puberty and bodily dysfunction. The chapters have titles such as “An Erection is a Felony”, and “I Shit My Pants in the South of France”, and “Insomni-Whack”. The titles say it all. I am in love. With honesty that exposes the inherent imperfections of human nature, Ames has a witty sense of humor and wonderful knack for autobiographical storytelling.

ames_manson_061507

One summer during my teenage years, when I was waiting for my Godotish puberty, I went away to a Jewish Camp in Upstate New York. I was in the Levi division (Levi was the name of one of the original Hebrew tribes before it became a pair of jeans) of newly christened teenagers, and to my horror I discovered that I was the only boy who still had a small, undeveloped penis and no pubic hair! So I had to hide myself the whole summer. I would quickly change my clothes with my back to my tentmates, and only showered early in the morning when no one else was around. It was nerve-racking. (Ames, pg. 8)

Several weeks went by and I didn’t hear from them and I forgot about the whole thing. In the meantime, I was busy regrowing my hair. I had done some research on the subject and I was taking certain actions. I was trying to quit coffee since it robbed my body of hair-related vitamins, and I was avoiding masturbation because I read a book on Eastern practices of semen-retention, which told me that masturbation dried up my spinal fluid and made my hair fall out. I’ve now come to see my bald spot and the bald spots of other men as the mark of Cain for excessive self-abuse.
I also purchased rosemary oil, which is very good for the health, and a rubber scalp invigorator. And I started eating lots of sea vegetables because I read that people in Asian cultures had very good hair and that their diet was rich in seaweed. (Ames, pg. 20)

These are the stories I want to hear, and want to tell. Stories that capture universal human experiences and humorously assure the reader that he or she is, indeed, not alone.

Image Sources:
http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/tag/jonathan-ames
http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/I-ve-never-been-so-humiliated-in-my-entire-week-New-Yorker-Cartoon-Prints_i8472479_.htm

References:
Ames, Jonathan. What’s Not to Love? New York: Crown Publishers, 2000.

Visual Aesthetic

Hello readers,

It’s been so long since I’ve posted on this blog! So much has been happening these days. In celebration of being active, I thought I’d write a short post on my own visual aesthetic. I got an MFA in Studio Art after doing my undergrad in Theater & Original Works because I knew the importance of both the theatrical and the visual in my work. I create objects for theater and theater for objects. When I write, I see images. This translates into performance and film projects (often both at once) that are stylized and visually bold. Below are a few inspirations that I use frequently in my work:

1) RED CURTAINS
Face Off
IMG_4588
Mamma Donna Falls in Love
MamaDonna
Buoj iz Jeb, Professional Figure Model
IMG_8972

2) POLKA DOTS & STRIPES
Isabel Jukes Karaoke
Isabel1
Red Blob Massacre
IMG_5836
Red Blob Massacre storyboard
Scene 4_1

3) Sexual Body Parts
Ode to the Boob
Photo 71
The Dick Tater
P1000671
Red Hole Circus

Buoj iz Jeb, Professional Figure Model
IMG_7538

4) Cardboard & Foam
Hot Ripe Burning Sex Parts
IMG_9262
Red Blob Massacre
IMG_4875
Beneath the Concrete
_MG_8835

5) The Grotesque
Red Blob Massacre
Red Blob Leg
The Shooting

Face Off
Sequence 1 010346;22

6) Influences
Food by Jan SvankmajerBe Nice to Me by Pipilotti RistLighting Strikes by Klaus NomiPsycho Beach Party