Week 1: Exploring Categories

IMG_1890Oh, gosh. Jenn stopped by on Tuesday for a multi-hour chatfest and, as if that wasn’t enough goodness for one day, also brought a cute jar of emergency mommy candy to soften the landing whenever the babe finally shows up. And I was doing GREAT at ignoring the stash for like a day. It’s sitting next to me as I type this during Iris’s nap—open, of course—and I keep making up new and random and ridiculous rules like: I will just eat the Starbursts on top, or: perhaps one more piece of chocolate; or: but really after this I’m done.

Vain hopes, but so comforting!

Also delicious.

And week #1 of the project is going well—despite a major case of the sniffles that Iris caught on Tuesday and passed handily to me on Wednesday. Boo. I’m hoping it doesn’t turn into a full week ordeal like last time. I lost 2 hours of sleep the first night with Iris’s many wakeups, and Carl lost 2-4 the next night, and then, magically enough, last night she slept 11 hours straight. So maybe there’s hope? Maybe? Besides a runny nose and headache, I don’t feel too awful.

Oh, except for the 8 pound baby who keeps stretching himself out as long as possible to push his head, already lodged in my pelvic cavity, into the tender bits of my cervix and bladder. That feels about as lovely as you’d imagine.

But creativity goes on and so does life. I roughed out a draft of the poem over the weekend and have been hoping for a chance to do at least a minor edit before posting. Carl started off with an easy project of his own, which he finished up last night. So it looks like I will be posting them both right on time this Saturday. Woot for first week enthusiasm!

I also started a new board on Pinterest to house my art inspiration for the coming year, project possibilities, the germ of an idea or the way the light throws in a snapshot. And then, because researching is half the fun of any endeavor, I spent a long time looking around online for different categories of art. It’s all well and good to decide to do 52 artistically interesting projects, but it does sort of beg the question of how you define art.

I have thought of myself as “a writer” since I was a preteen, but I’ve never had much affinity for the term “artist”—at least in reference to myself or anybody else I knew personally. It seemed sort of self-aggrandizing and wince-worthy. We were forever doing stuff, my sibs and I. Sculpting miniature busts out of plaster, making short, goofy films, writing novellas, and staging impromptu “scenes” (my brother Jon proposed to me several times in mundane, crowded public spaces just for the fun of seeing the incredulous—and at Taco Bell, pitying—looks of strangers).

Doing stuff was fun. If it hadn’t been, I’m 100% sure we wouldn’t have done it.

Being an artist who creates art… I still don’t know how I feel about that. I guess I’m still in it for the fun, maybe especially after getting my heart semi-broken (speaking of uncomfortable phrases; I can’t even help myself. The “semi” is reflexive) two years ago when the only really SERIOUS book I’ve ever attempted got me the coldest rejection letters I’ve ever received. I could (and did) feel shaken in my quest to be a Grown Up Writer of Artistic Merit, but maybe it served a valuable purpose in helping me reevaluate my standard of art and reconnect with the basic joy of is. If it’s not on some deep level FUN, then why do it?

The more I think about art, the less interested I’ve become in pursuing Serious Art. I have trouble making myself read Really Serious Novels anymore. I appreciate a good drama for sure, but I do not particularly appreciate the few Serious (aspiring) Actors I have ever met. Sometimes I think the people I know who have taken a good look at their lives, have come to terms with both the good and the bad of it and learned to craft their own happiness and create art in the details—those are the really successful artists of the world. Life itself can be art, you know? I don’t want to be too rigid in my definitions…

So I started a list of art categories—both to help me think outside the classic box of visual/literary/music and to consciously dignify some of the homier arts. This is what my list looks like today, but I’m still adding all the time so feel free to brainstorm in the comments.

Art Types/Categories

  • Calligraphy/typography
  • Collage/mixed media
  • Drawing (ink, pencil, chalk, crayon)
  • Mosaic
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Embroidery
  • Quilting
  • Other fiber arts (knit, crochet, etc)
  • Digital art/graphic design
  • Film (animation, stop motion, live action)
  • Literature/written word
  • Garden design/cultivation
  • Performance art (singing, spoken word, music, dance, theater)
  • Musical composition
  • Crafts
  • Edible/Culinary
  • Home decoration
Advertisements

One thought on “Week 1: Exploring Categories

  1. I love this post. May I quote you on this: “Sometimes I think the people I know who have taken a good look at their lives, have come to terms with both the good and the bad of it and learned to craft their own happiness and create art in the details—those are the really successful artists of the world. Life itself can be art, you know? I don’t want to be too rigid in my definitions…”

    This seems so true, and for the great majority of us, about all we can do. I used to feel like we can either live life or write about it, but it’s nigh unto impossible to do both well. Living artistically, on the other hand, provides outlets within the flow of life. That’s what I’ve been praying for our homeschooling moms…enjoying the creativity of life in the midst of living.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s