This is probably my favourite song of the moment, I listen to it every day when I wake up and then leave iTunes on shuffle for the rest of the day:
Most of this post is going to be old news for my regular readers, so I apologize in advance for that and it is also for that reason that I won’t be x-posting this to Live Journal; I’ve bombarded that place enough with Cube spam this week and they’re probably ready to string me up by my ass hairs.
So, @thehypercube said yesterday: “Show me how you’re creative… blog about your art, your music, poetry, shoe collection, record collection… surprise me!” and because I was busy at the time and didn’t think I’d get a chance to actually make this post, I sent him links to the paintings in my gallery, which admittedly was a prosaic move on my part, so here I am rectifying the situation so the guy doesn’t think I’m a hack.
Although, before I begin trying to prove how amazingly creative I am and posting, like, a billion pictures, I do want to say this: The next step of the contest is to fill out a Facebook-like profile on the Hypercube.ca website, then they pick 500 people from those and the step after that is to use this mysterious “blank canvas” on the site to blog, add pictures, add videos and do whatever you want to prove that you’re who their looking for. Therefore, I’m a little leery of making this post. I kinda feel like I’m blowing my wad by doing it because everything I’m about to post (well, most of it), I intended to blog about should I be of the 500 chosen to elaborate on myself.
So, it is with trepidation that I make this post.
I guess the first thing to know about me, if it isn’t already obvious, is that I’m hypergraphic. Put simply, hypergraphia is an overwhelming urge to write and it is commonly linked with mania in bipolar disorder, which I have, so it kind of makes sense. Every single week, I estimate that I write the equivalent to a novel between this site, my Live Journal(s), Twitter and my paper journals. It’s compulsive, I just can’t help myself, so it’s probably a good thing that I’m not a bad writer.
I go through about a notebook per month. This is a picture I took of my journals from January 2006 to October 2007. There are 21 of them.
(Click to get a better look.)
It’s hard to tell in that picture, but most of my journals (as well as my sketchbooks and notebooks) tend to have hand-painted covers:
(This is a journal I painted, most of them have my business card on the front in case of loss.)
(This is my current sketchbook. Click here to get a better look, I think it’s pretty cool.)
My current journal actually isn’t all that exciting, though. An old friend used to intern at this ad agency in Toronto called Zig and stole me two of their notebooks that say “ideas” on the front in a rounded orange font so that’s what I’m using right now. I’ve of course graffiti’d them with words of self-loathing, but that’s neither here nor there.
Something else to know about me is that I’m a domain name junkie. I just wake up some days with phrases or words in my head and think, that’d make a great domain and out comes the credit card to register them. Some I register for future profit, some for future projects, most just so no one else will register them. Here’s a list of current notables:
- Textibitionism.com and .org
- BunniesAndBees.com (which used to be my kids’ site)
- TheBestGuildEVAR.com (used to be for our Alliance guild when I played World of Warcraft)
- VulvaZine.com (for a project that never really got off the ground, but the domain still cracks me up)
Ones I’ve let go in the past few years:
- CottonPwnies.com (my old menstrual-themed Warcraft guild (Horde) that was headed by Endometria, a shadow priestess)
- Schmuckish.com (just a word some friends and I made up in college that meant a mixture of everything on a restaurant table to be mixed and a person dared to eat it)
Annnnnnnnd a bunch of others I’d rather not admit to and ones I’m totally forgetting at the moment. The fact is though, that I register domains a LOT and let them lapse constantly and I’m not even sure why. Luckily the friend who hosts this site for me is also a domain registrar so I get a good deal on them.
So that’s the words portion of this post, I suppose. It may be worth mentioning that I used to have a zine called “The Paper Blog“, which I sold through this site and I made a PDF book called “Textibitionism: The Paper Blog Anthology” in 2006 which was downloaded several thousand times despite only giving the secret url to about 50 people via snail mail. Word of mouth works.
I’ve also had two articles on marketing and the internet published in Marketing magazine and was offered my own column, but shortly after it was offered they laid off a bunch of staff and cut their freelance budget significantly so it never happened. I’d link the articles but I didn’t get to pick the titles and they’re really really embarrassing.
Aside from being a compulsive writer and domain register, I’m also a rogue gardener. In the spring of 2006, some friends and I tore up my entire front lawn and planted a wildflower garden. This was the original idea:
(Click to read the text.)
The entire project was documented in a (now defunct) Live Journal community called “KeepOfftheLawn”, (archived here) hence owning the domain of the same name and the whole thing was funded by seeds donated by people from the internet and the sale of Sunnyland “post-tards”, which were postcards I made of my house and decorated using the seed packets of the plants I’d started indoors in March.
(Don’t you think a new Nissan Cube would look lovely parked in the driveway beside my garden?)
So of course the weekend the actual lawn desecration took place was May 24 weekend and it involved a LOT of alcohol.
(Me & Scooter with Sondra in the background. The weekend’s pics can be found here.)
(My friend Jesse & my mom the day we planted seeds.)
And even though it was FREEZING we got it done and then I unceremoniously dumped about a 1/2 lb of wildflower seed on it all, watered it and waited. We’re now known as “the house with the garden” and get many visitors every summer who just want to look at it.
(This is the sign that I painted to hang on the front of the porch. It’s kinda large.)
(This is the walkway I built by hand. It has coloured glass hearts embedded into it.)
(Part of the garden the first year.)
(The garden summer 2007. Looks a lot like the postcard, huh?)
(Also 2007, that’s what most of it looks like.)
(Garden path lined by bachelor’s buttons.)
For the full set of 2007 pics that were taken at 6am, including a little surprise at the end, click here.
I’ll spare you the 2008 pics because the garden didn’t do too well due to less rain than the year before and relying 100% on American wildflower seed which turned out to be a big mistake as it was full of what I’d consider weeds. This year the garden will have 2 lbs each of pink cosmos and multi-coloured bachelor’s buttons dumped on it and it’s going to look fabulous.
In the winter, when I can’t garden, my thoughts still wander to gardeny things. For example, these concrete planters I designed for use in a park:
Or the infamous “teacup wall” that’ll probably never happen, but I dream of it constantly anyway:
So that’s my rogue gardening. Basically my philosophy on the whole thing is to stick stuff in the ground and then ignore it aside from the occasional watering and maybe pulling a few weeds. If it’s gonna grow, it’s gonna grow. If it doesn’t, then you plant something else next year! Simple.
Being a multi/mixed-media artist, there’s photography. I consider myself a fluke photographer in that I know basically nothing about the science of photography and I don’t use the best cameras, yet I still somehow end up taking nice pictures when I actually try. Here are a few notable ones:
(Madison aged 3. Full series can be found here but since these are scans, the colour’s a bit off.)
(Click to embiggen.)
(Click to embiggen.)
The last two of the kids (my kids) are the only pictures I’ve ever photoshopped, mostly because I don’t know how but also because I’m kind of anti-photoshop when it comes to art. You either get the shot right the first time or you don’t, none of this retouching bullshit. That doesn’t mean you’re good at photography, it means you’re good at Photoshop! Shenanigans. I know a lot of artists who even photoshop their paintings and that bugs the crap out of me.
This would be a good segue into my paintings, but I’m going to save them for last because they’re actually the most recent of my artistic explorations. (Gardening doesn’t count…I mean *I* think my garden is sort of performance art, or at least that was the point of it in the beginning, an attempt to announce “WE ARE HERE!” and rattle the locals (we’d just moved here), but now it’s just a garden.)
One of my first artistic loves is copper tooling. It was taught to me in grade 5 or 6 by Judith Tinkl, who’s now a quasi-famous textile artist and who lives with her husband Viktor who makes some of the most amazing outdoor sculptures I’ve ever seen. (If you ever get a chance to go on the Uxbridge, Ontario Studio Tour and they’re on it, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend it.) Anyway, Judith used to be a traveling art teacher for the Durham Region board of education and is the person who really made me love art. Most of my copper pieces have been ruined or given away or sold and I made most of them before it ever ocurred to me to take pictures of things, so I’ll just post “The Anger Fish” and tell you that there are two other (mediocre) pieces here:
My first experiments with paint came in the form of wooden boxes. For a while I was doing something I called “painting with fire” where I’d mix acrylic paint with hairspray, paint with it on the boxes and then set it on fire while it was still wet, which caused a burnt, almost metallic bubbled effect. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of these anymore due to a hard drive crash a long long time ago. What I do have pictures of, however, are some of the boxes that followed:
(Pretty Pink Pills, more images here.)
(Pills For Ills, more images here.)
(Performance 187, more images here.)
During my boxes phase, because I have severe endometriosis, I created this small shadow box out of plaster, copper curls and burnt matches:
(Click here for full gallery.)
And finally, this brings us to paintings on canvas, which I discovered shortly after the boxes phase. My mother’s a painter so I’ve never really been a stranger to the media, but I’d never used canvas before and now that’s pretty much all I use, although I am experimenting on wood these days but nothing’s finished yet.
My early days of painting were…experimental and a lot of them, in my opinion, not very good. So instead of wasting space by showing you all of my disasters, I’ll just link you to the gallery of older stuff and post the ones I think are okay.
(Indigo Ocean, mixed media on canvas. This was the first painting I ever made.)
(Fetal Mermaid, mixed media on canvas.)
(It’s Okay If It Hurts, mixed media on canvas.)
(It’s Okay If It Hurts detail.)
(Autumn, acrylic on canvas.)
All of the above were pre-2005.
In 2006, as you may or may not be aware, I had a psychotic break that I was ultimately hospitalized for, but during that period I created the piece I call “Camp Tampon” but renamed “Mania in the Key of Psychosis” for the art show Touched By Fire in October.
(For the full explanation of this painting and detailed pictures, please see this post.)
After my little break from reality (which led to my bipolar diagnosis and 2 years of psychiatric medication hell) it took me a long time to trust my imagination again. If you’ve never experienced psychosis, I pray you never do because it’s like being stuck in your own imagination indefinitely, like a really really bad acid trip. but worse because you know you didn’t take anything and at the same time, you don’t even really know that you’ve broken from reality, you just think the world’s gotten inexplicably fucked up. Because of this, I became afraid to use my imagination for a solid 2 years or so. It wasn’t until my shrink and I finally agreed on the right medication and I felt I could trust it that I signed up for an online art class and suddenly it was okay to paint again.
I won’t post everything as this post is already gargantuan, but here are a few of the pieces I’ve completed during the fall and over the winter:
(Hope, for more pics click here. This was one of 3 pieces I showed at Touched By Fire in the fall.)
(Dream, for more pics click here. This was also one of the 3 pieces I showed at Touched By Fire.)
(Ennui, for more pics click here.)
(Beloved, for detailed pics, click here.)
For the full fall gallery, click here.
(Imagine, mixed media on canvas. I actually made two of these, the other in purple, for my little sister and my daughter for Christmas. For more pics, click here.)
(Mermaid Bait, mixed media on canvas. For more detailed pics, click here.)
(Inspire Boy, mixed media on canvas. made for my son’s 6th birthday.)
(Five O’Clock Abortion, mixed media on wood. Most recent piece. For more pics, click here.)
For the full winter gallery, click here.
Recent commissions can be found by clicking here.
*WHEW!* Okay, I think I’m done! Well, not really…I could do a whole other post on hair alone (I shaved my head 2 years ago and had a big green mohawk for long enough to take pics – and I did it all on a live webcam stream with about 30,000 people watching – and I’ve had hair of every colour imaginable.) I could do a whole other post on advertising schemes that have never seen the light of day (I made have mentioned that I went to college for creative advertising). I could also do an entire post just based on my sketchbooks and some of the photography and art ideas I have that I haven’t gotten around to actually executing yet because I’m a big chicken and currently have a hard time leaving my house.
The point though? I’m an extremely unique and creative person. I just don’t know any other way to be, that’s just me!
Anyway, I hope this post got me one step closer to being a Cube owner, I could really use one, but not only that, I really really want one because I think the car just fits me.
The 2009 Nissan Cube.
Canadians! Try to win one at Hypercube.ca!