I can't remember the name of the font I was using to label the *cough* 'polaroids' that I have recently posted, so I picked another font to try that I will probably also forget the name of in another few weeks. This is certainly the least interesting and/or useful piece of information you will receive all day.
I don't know why I draw things, 98% of everything that comes off my pencil ends up in the recycling bin within a few hours. There's always that one last stroke of colour I go to add which ruins everything. You'd think I'd learn, but...
And I can never draw what I'm imagining I want to draw either, no matter how hard I try. Everything comes out distinctly Megan-ish. I used to feel that way about my face too, I'd look in the mirror when standing next to a (invariably skinny) friend and feel so embarrassed and weird because I looked so clumsily, irrevocably, potato-nosedly like me. The me I imagined myself to be had far more elegant cheekbones, was almost certainly descended from woodland elves and born in a misty cloud of glowing stardust. Very high probability.
The odd thing, though, is that when I am drawing I also can't imagine doing anything else. Literally. Even drink tea, I know. And I get so behind on everything when I do, even more than usual, which is an ashamedly large amount, let us never mention it again. I Ignore my obligations, my beloved peoples, my basic human need for sleep. I don't mean to, I don't even really want to, I just move into a parallel universe where the stroke of the pencil, the brush, becomes The Only Possible Thing.
It's not important work. It is, let us never forget, mostly just fodder for the recycling bin. Expensive fodder, and I'm all out of paper once again, just a few days after buying my last lot, and I'm debating with myself whether I can justify buying any more if all I am going to do is throw everything away; not forgetting the orthodontist and dentist and occupational therapist and psychologist and university and school and rheumatologist's fees all withdrawing soon from a bank account near you...
I probably will buy it anyway, and here is probably why:
I'm an overprivileged white female hipster. Lol, no, I don't even like beards. Okay, privileged and a bit of a luvvie, true story, but also, as James Salter writes**: how can we imagine what our lives should be without the illustration of the lives of others? The cutlery-chicken-tree-lady might, in one sense, just be a nonsensical waste of time, but she is also an imagination stretcher and a possibility grower and a tacit illustration that there are points of view in this world outside of my own. It's about mistakes and humility and perpetually embracing the beginner's mind. That is what practising any art can give us, but those of fantasy and make-believe in particular (stealing from Tolkien because WHY NOT?) can provide the imagination a place to escape to, where it may live free-range in complete creative and intellectual liberty. Perhaps there can be no possible world in which cutlery-chicken-tree-ladies exist, but also there always is.
She is, after all, wearing the outfit of a woman whose head I just ripped off, so you'd think a bit of self-protective concern on her part would be a wise idea.
Moving on. If you click on the 'about' link in the column on the right, you'll see that I intend to post here once a week, to post something I've created that makes me happy and to tell the story of that creation in a year long (possibly lifetime long) project called Weapons of Mass Creation. The idea came from an artist friend who gets her students to make guns that shoot glitter, or some such thing, as literal weapons of mass creation, but my own more modest goal is just to honour the freedom that making things gives us to alter our world one small act of creation at a time.
I haven't really told the story of the cutlery-chicken-tree-lady illustration, because mostly there isn't one except that she is what my brain served up in the early hours of this morning when I told it to just go for it and make-up whatever kind of crazy shite it felt like. I've been in a deep state of grief over a series of relationship losses and failures which has manifested mostly in a chest-squashing anxiety that I cannot seem to shake, even though I know not to take the feeling too seriously, not to hang on to it too tight. And that stupid picture? She made me smile, albeit ruefully, and remember some of the things that I deeply enjoy about my own company, even if I am, perhaps, the only one who does enjoy them.
And breathe out...
Until next week, then. I'll leave you with one more quote, because it makes me sound a lot smarter than I am and has the handy attribute of being precisely what I would have said if I had known to say it: Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE. - Joss Whedon
*I get so confused and jumbled up at all the myriad creative impulses my brain fires off at me every day that I kind of flit from thing to thing randomly with no plan and less progress, and any efforts to tidy it up and sort it out tend to leave me feeling flat and uninspired. I had the brainwave today of re-wording my Instagram bio to read The Random Imaginary of Mrs. M.C.M. Young, because it sounds kind of like a magician's emporium, a place of discovery and adventure, rather than a desperate and ultimately doomed attempt at explaining why it's such a jumbled untidy account. And you know? It kind helps me to just own and even be proud of my dilettante tendencies in a way nothing has really ever done before. Words? Who knew?
**Quoted from a book called Maps of the Imagination, by Peter Turchi. Reader, I bought it.