March 3, 2008.
Um, Top 'O' The morning to you, Erinn Go Brach, Don't touch my lucky charms.....Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Yes we are all enjoying some corn beef and cabbage and some potatoes over here. It is March! March is here and we are knee deep in Leprechaun Traps, four leaf clovers and lucky for me the kids are too young to know what green beer is. And, yes Abby and I did us some painting this weekend.....
Painting for the Irish
I did an anchor man for the blog and a stress monster, but that is it. How sad is that? 2 drawings in 4 months just for fun? I started to realize, I never just paint to create, just for me. I never, ever just paint what I feel like painting. I don't know if I lost that desire, or I just don't have the time like I used to. I usually paint due to deadlines, exclusive designs, new products that customers have asked for or a bedding designer needs something to compliment their products. Last July I created 20 or so new Christmas designs because our line of products was so limiting, and did not have a lot of diversity....this was lots of research, and lots of painting. I enjoyed doing it - but it was to sell the ornaments, not to just make art for me.
I think somewhere between 2002 and today I lost the ability to just paint for the heck of it - just for fun. I never ever draw for fun, I never sketch for fun, I never paint for fun. I doodle with my daughter, I show her how to draw things, I give examples, I sketch....I do not create.
I Am A Sell Out
Years ago, when I was in college (okay not that long ago but I did graduate in '93) the mantra of the SJSU Art Department was something like this:
- Don't go work for the man
- Do not ever do what the industry wants you to do
- If doing an installation, do it naked
- Come out of the closet some artistic creative way
- Never be a sell-out
Now, dont' get all upset with me, these were not the rules, they were unspoken but Iwas not the most popular girl in the art department. I did not color my hair purple, I did not have a nose ring, I did not wear black leather and I uh, did not fit in. We are talking the start of grunge, the heart of Silicon Valley - before the dot com boom. I hate to say it, I always knew I would sell-out.
I liked cartoons, I liked animation, I enjoyed cutesy (not a real word, I know) characters. I majored in Computer Art but I focused my time on cartoons, t-shirt designs and posters. I used "bubble letters" for every "project". Not sure if other art departments across the country were so dark, goth and non-conforming as mine was, but I am guessing they were.
The Children's Industry
I love this industry, I do love creating art for children's rooms. I create art though, I do not create themes. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I create accessories, add-on's, nice to haves - I compliment the popular bedding styles of the day. I mean who would have thought 5 years ago Pirates would have been popular?
Sometimes I create themes, tile designs that I think will sell, sometimes I am right. Other times I am wrong. I now (only took 5 years) know what my job is - to make accessories to help accessories a child's room. I love my job, no really I do. But I am not going to cure any diseases, I am not going to re-energize some long lost over-looked design. I sort of go with the "there are no original ideas" theory on this one. Whether I change the industry or not, I know that until I get to design bedding and wall paper (no I am NOT doing that....yet) I just have to go with what is popular.
When I started a popular store told me to "NEVER, EVER do Dinosaurs, because they are so 1980's". Yes....well, I did "dinosaurs" a couple of years ago and our Name Plaque and Just Because Plaque are both best sellers....thank you very much. Sometimes I do choose to buck the trend, but for the most part I just do as I am told and I follow the lead of my large accounts.
So, yesterday I got to paint just to paint. The blogs header is just for fun, it is just for me - I will not use it again, wait I may use it again - don't quote me. I designed the cute little guy, I actually got to paint a rainbow, I have not painted one of those since 4th grade - I LOVE rainbows! No one told me what the new "hot" theme was, no one demanded I do a <in the blank> product. I just got to paint, with my daughter - just paint. She painted a birthday card for her Papa - I painted St. Patrick's day art.
I have been reading many a blog for about two years. At first I laughed at all the "art for art sake" and the old "just create" days. I mean, I am not able to dilly dally with my acrylics on a Wednesday and bake a cake, sew a skirt, plants some flowers and um well fool around. Don't get me wrong, I love these blogs and I wish I could just paint somedays. So, I digress - it was nice yesterday, even it was only for a couple of hours to just paint to paint. I hope you enjoy my little March Madness header....because you know in about two weeks I'm going to have to switch to Easter. I know, I know I have a real problem, I am working on it.