Happiness is making art at a chain store

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“I love Color Me Mine!”

I am sure that is something that serious artists never say and somehow I got it in my head that serious artist is the way to go. Even when I am doing things that are slightly humorous like the Vegetable Plate I still have this idea that it should also be this heavy statement about food inequality. It can’t just be that I need direction when I eat or I will go crazy with the rice.

I love going someplace where they handle all the artistic logistics. (Note to self: copyright incredible new phrase) One of the reasons I have struggled with being creative at home is simply that our house is too small and we have no garage or yard to speak of. Yes, one of my dreams is to do large outdoor sculpture, but where exactly will I store the large pieces of scrap metal and welding equipment?  It’s not like it fits in a Rubbermaid container under the bed. I have turned that problem over and over again in my head – how to make big art in a small place. I am sure there are places I can go, but my lifestyle isn’t conducive to it for today. So, I have been ignoring these impulses to make stuff because I didn’t want to make anything that was embarrassing.

The great thing about getting older is that now it is actually more embarrassing to be worried about making something bad than it is to actually make something bad. When I was younger I always had this idea that I could never risk making bad art because I was supposed to be some great fill-in-the-blank artist. Painter, writer, comedian, whatever it was I was going to be INCREDIBLE. From the get go, it was all about impressing other people. And now I have children, I am the new 30 – which is actually 40 – and I am so far from being cool that it is a gift. A gift to be able to sit in an uber-serious manner while choosing paint colors, taping lines and fretting about paint pens in a suburban chain store decorating plates. Sometimes I even bring the kids, but that’s another story. Tomorrow I’ll show you what happens when you are foolish enough to try and do detail work with a bored three year-old who is high on vanilla milk and dried cherries.

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