Boobs, Bush, and The Creative Process.

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“To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play”

-Albert Einstein

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

-Pablo Picasso

For six years, I worked at a wine bar called Lou, which is where I met my husband and my best friend B (the one who just had twins). Sadly, it closed years ago.

My poor coworkers patiently endured my quarter life crisis (aka my twenties). During that time, I was dumped by my fiancé right before our wedding, I moved apartments an average of twice a year, and I suffered form a severe case of self-hatred and self-doubt. I also kind of hated waiting tables, which didn’t always make for a pleasant work attitude. I don’t like to admit that I was pretty unhappy.

The real problem was that I was an artist who didn’t produce very much art. I was unable to tap into my creativity. I feared I had no imagination and had nothing to say.

Despite my mental and emotional problems, we all really enjoyed our time working together at the wine bar. Things were out of hand most of the time. I can’t imagine what customers must have thought of us. We gave each other a nightly shoulder massage (our boss included), scavenged scraps of farm-to-table food from the kitchen (every restaurant these days is farm-to-table), sat down with the regular customers, danced, cried, argued, and took way too many smoking breaks.

At the end of every night, our boss would subject us to strange American standards from the 60’s like My Bathroom is a Private Kind of Place and sappy tear-jerkers from the 70’s like Send in the Clowns.

One evening, at the end of my shift, I was sitting at the bar doing the close out and counting our tips, when I found myself with a serious urge to doodle something obscene. So, I utilized the only art supplies I had at the time – a tip envelope, and one of the few pens that wasn’t swiped by some thieving customer.

The first thing I drew was a naked woman roller skating, while being propelled through the air by a presumably noxious fart, with an abundance of breast milk spraying from her nipples, and a sassy turd left in her wake. I’m pretty sure the idea came from a combination of a conversation I had with my boss about making cheese from breast milk, my friend B flashing me her pubes during a girly bathroom rendezvous, and odd memories from childhood supplied directly from my subconscious.

I continued doodling every night, until it occurred to me that these weren’t just doodles. They were masterpieces. I was meant to draw boobs, bush, farts, breast milk, and poop. Is it juvenile and repulsive? Yes! Is it lady-like and feminine? Absolutely not. Is there a deeper message that I want my audience to grasp? Mmmm, I’ll just let the viewer decide.

The point is, I found a way to make art that makes me happy. I’m not constantly questioning whether it’s good or not, because it doesn’t matter. I enjoy the process.

I’m not going to act like I’m fulfilled all the time, because I’m not. It’s easy to slip into doubt, and question my self-worth as an artist. Especially since I am doing drawings that primarily consist of ladies taking a crap, and weird fat babies.

I can easily doubt my abilities as a mom too, when I’m bored out of my skull by having to hold Liam’s hands as I walk him up and down the sidewalk for the hundredth time.

Then, I surprise myself and come up with a new idea for my art, and I get to wonder where it came from…

and I notice how cute it is that when Liam practices walking, he looks like he’s drunk…and he holds my fingers so tight, they turn purple.

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Bitchez Be Eatin’ Cheeseburgerz

This week was a little rough. I’m pretty sure it was worse for my husband. He really gets the short end when I’m feeling emotional and crabby…and by crabby I mean a raving bitch – aka PMSing, but it’s safer not to use that term. If I use that term about myself, then my loved ones will think it’s acceptable for them to use as well, and it’s just not. I repeat, NOT OKAY (by the way, I’m still PMSing, so don’t challenge me).

The thing that really put me in a foul mood though was the four hours I spent on Thursday night, doing an extremely shitty drawing. Nothing frustrates me more than making art and realizing it’s god awful. It was so bad that I still can’t look at it, and I certainly can’t post it. So instead, here’s a doodle I found, which I did a few years ago.

pouring water on vagina

It’s probably more disturbing than my post about badly drawn babies. I’ve seen it make some people actually feel physically sick.

Anyway, so Thursday night, my husband got home from work really late, and he walked through the door just as I realized I had wasted my entire evening on this sucky drawing. So, I did what any woman in her not-so-right mind would do…I unleashed the beast…on my husband of course. Who else?!

When we finally got into bed, I told myself, “Tomorrow is a new day.” But when I awoke Friday morning, I still felt lousy. I knew what had to be done. I said to myself, or I guess to Liam (my one year old son), because he was sitting right there staring at me, “I need to get a goddamn cheeseburger.” Just the thought of getting a cheeseburger started to make me feel better. There’s something to be said for eating your feelings.

Liam and I ate at a restaurant in Culver City. I ordered our food and he stared at the couple sitting behind us, as if hanging on their every word. Our food arrived promptly, and I began the process of cutting half of everything on my plate into little bite-size pieces.

Liam was a joy! When he wasn’t shoving food in his mouth, he was waving at everyone who walked past our table. He sat in the high chair, as still as a saint, with the posture of a dancer. I couldn’t believe it. He has never made it through an entire meal at a restaurant without whining, climbing, or throwing food on the floor.

The burger was epic! It glistened with juices that ran down my chin. My eyes filled with tears of joy as I experienced the crisp crunch of the iceburg lettuce. The brioche bun was the yin and yang of sweet and salty. Someone had made that burger with love.

A beam of light peaked through the clouds from heaven, and shined down on us. Little angels burst from specs of dust and swirled all around our table. I mean, really. It was amazing.

Needless to say, the day really turned around. When we got home, I put Liam down for his nap. Then, I sat on the couch and embraced my food coma. I even left my muffin top untucked.