Friday, November 05, 2010

take a little time today to make a turkey out of your handprint

On the way home from work, NPR had some Canadian radio program on* with Lynda Barry who has written a book about drawing, and how everyone does/can do it but somewhere around age nine people become aware that others can judge them on it and that's when they start nonsense like "I can't draw." She described putting pen to paper or other actions you can do (I'd like to consider knitting or even dancing work the same way) give you a little boost that few other things do. Examples: doodling during a boring meeting makes it go just a teensy bit faster, and smiling after creating a turkey out of the outline of your hand works at any age. It was pretty interesting.

It got me thinking about this past weekend, when my mom and I volunteered at a fun fair of sorts for breast cancer patients/survivors. My mom has been working at this event for years, long before it pertained to her personally, but it was my first time being there. They had booths of all kinds and massages and paraffin hand wax treatments. Mom signed me up to help at the Henna/Mehndi table, and a beautician and I gave the attendees temporary henna tattoos. We worked nonstop from 9a to 3p! It was a big hit, and I think it brought a smile to a lot of people there. They so totally deserve to be pampered. Which made it totally worth the effort.

And on top of it, there was the personal joy I got from doodling. What Barry was saying on the radio really rings true for me. Drawing and painting introduced me to the wild concept of staying up all night. I couldn't get enough, and had an art class nearly every semester in high school. I was almost talked into going to The Art Institute in Chicago instead of University before my parents flipped out over the possibility of my being a "starving artist." I tried to get into classes in college, but if you weren't a declared Fine Art Major, you basically had to fight to the death for a spot/be randomly selected and that only worked once. Of course, just as I was about to graduate college, my mom was like "You know what you should do? Graphic Design! That's not starving artist, that uses COMPUTERS!"

ANYway, there is so little room in my life for that kind stuff anymore. And I miss it more than I realized. We were so busy, I hardly took any pictures of the mehndi event, but here is a rudimentary version of one of my most popular designs that day (I was just starting to get a feel for the cone at this point, which is why it looks so globby).

Trust me, these were better as the day progressed. THERE! I just reacted to the thing Lynda Barry was saying, by worrying you guys would be all judgy judgerson about the quality of my Mehndi work! She's really onto something there.

*The program is called Q and here is a link to the November 4 podcast. Lynda's segment starts at Minute 32, right after the interview with Bryan Adams, and it is about 20 minutes long. The part at the end about the amputee's phantom limb was REALLY interesting.


Syar said...

My dad told me a couple of years ago that he had saved all my drawings from my childhood because he always thought that I would go down the path of being an artist. I used to draw heaps as a kid, and for a brief time in primary school, it got me some attention. It was also drawing that was the real reason behind my wanting to be an architect for three years in high school. I may have diverged a bit from the true artist path, but I'd like to think the visual artist in me will be incorporated into whatever I do.

I bet you'd be kick ass at graphic design if you had done it. I'm not too keen on the stuff at the moment because work is currently a nightmare. I hope somewhere down the life space opens up in your life that you can fill with drawing/art, because that would be such a pity if it went to waste.

Man, this post has got me really thinking now! Awesome post, great blog! :)

Anonymous said...

I love crafting and I always make time for it. I used to draw too, but then I took Art 101 and was told my drawing was only C quality. Oh well, glitter is my specialty. If you need something glittered, and even if you don't, I'm here for you.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I once did a tv show called Through the eyes of a child, I talked to an art psychologist, and he explained how the arts, especially drawing, painting, can help reform children who are leaning towards crime.

Man, I so believe in the power of art as therapy. Maybe we can't all draw but if we do something creative, knit, sew, embroider, papier mache, the world just might just be a little better.

Your henna tattoo volunteer services is so cool. I like!

Jon said...

I've been honing my skills as an artist for literally weeks. Maybe even months. I think it shows.

I really do think there's something to this though.

My verification word is rescla. But I think it needs to be pronounced, "RESCLA!!!!!!" It's a very arty word. I'm sure of this.

Anonymous said...

I've definitely been saying nonsense like "I can't draw" since I was 9, but I must admit, I make a pretty mean hand-turkey.

SupaCoo said...

I'm not judging! It's awesome, and what a cool event.

Madelyn said...

Very cool design.

My favorite turkey to make is on the lanes . . . 3 strikes!

omar said...

I may start calling everyone "Judgy Judgerson" from now on. Everyone who's judging, at least.

I am reading all your NaBloPoMo posts, btw. Commenting from the iPad isn't always as awesome as I'd like.

Liz said...

I still have a pencil drawing that you drew of me about 20 years ago. My dad has been wanting to frame it, but days turned into weeks, turned into... well, 20 years. My kids found it and he gave it to us. I must say, you are a good artist. (I was going to saw drawer, but I thought of a dresser. LOL) Liz