Boobs, Bush, and The Creative Process.

cropped-rollerbladerfinal12.jpg

“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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Bananas – The Worst Fruit

banana boobs final copy

Remember when you were a kid and you used to have pretend phone conversations into a banana? Those were the good ol’ days! I’m actually kind of pissed I ever switched to a real phone. It got me thinking (which ultimately made me a little depressed), about how my baby, Liam, might never talk into a banana.

A Few Reasons Liam May Never Talk into a Banana:

1. Pretend phone conversations with fruit have been replaced by the imagination-killing glow of the cell phone screen. Anytime Liam gets his hands on my iphone, he becomes irritable and obsessive. It’s actually kind of creepy. I don’t know why, but obsessive babies that have pent up anger remind me of Chucky – minus the red hair, facial scars, bad language, and propensity for violence and murder.

2. We don’t really eat bananas in our house, especially if I buy them. In fact, there are presently 6 over-ripe bananas sitting in our forgotten fruit bowl. I’ve tried to be more Pinterest-y and use over-ripe bananas for homemade banana bread, but they turn black in the fridge and then a month later, I discover them and wonder why I go through so much trouble for a fruit I kind of loathe anyway. In theory, what’s not to love? They’re convenient, healthy, sweet, fun to draw, and phallic. But the truth is that they aren’t juicy! Period! By definition, a good fruit is supposed to be juicy. They are the opposite of juicy. They actually make me thirsty. That’s reason alone not to buy them.

3. Bananas are soon going to be too expensive to buy and then become extinct. Can you imagine paying a dollar per pound for bananas?! Gross! It’s old news, but according to this article, we’re looking at only three more years of bananas.

I have endured a banana on occasion, but I have strict rules for banana consumption.

The Conditions Under Which I Will Consume a Banana:

1. Slightly under-ripe (so it’s not too mushy), sliced over cereal, with a good amount of milk. It has to be in a somewhat healthy cereal, though. Bananas look ridiculous in something like Fruity Pebbles or Lucky Charms. If you eat it in those types of cereals, you’re wrong. Also, for the record, Lucky Charms is a terrible cereal and Fruity Pebbles really shouldn’t ever be eaten, unless it’s on top of some frozen yogurt…and not just any frozen yogurt – it has to be Yogurtland.

2. In a peanut butter sandwich…again, don’t forget how un-juicy a banana is. When you pair it with peanut butter, you will desperately need something to drink. You cannot wash it down with anything other than water or milk, unless you want to be disgusting.

3. Running late for an afternoon appointment, shaking from hunger, with no time to stop for food – not even at a drive thru McDonalds or anywhere else equally as shitty…this is one of the two occasions a banana may be consumed without other food.

4. While extremely pregnant, low blood sugar, in need of potassium, with a strange craving for a banana. This is occasion number two in which a banana may be consumed without other food.

When the banana industry meets its maker, I will not mourn their absence. However, I will continue to draw ladies with banana boobs. I may not find bananas tasty, but they certainly are funny.

Milk Milk, Lemonade…

 

spraying milk color final

This post is dedicated to the poor souls who are accidentally getting pregnant while they’re still nursing their infants…

I’ve been hearing a lot about women who think they can’t get pregnant if they’re breastfeeding. Apparently, some obgyns are telling their patients that breastfeeding is a viable form of birth control! Who are these doctors?! I’m so happy my midwife is not a moron.

We are currently trying to decide if we should have a baby now or wait until Liam is a little older. As tempting as it is to wake up ten times a night with a newborn, while simultaneously attending to the needs of a tantrum throwing toddler, I think we’re going to wait.

My stance right now could have something to do with the fact that my son is currently piling his oatmeal onto his lap. It kind of reminds me of my great grandmother who, when she really started to lose her marbles, used to stuff silverware in her sheets. Ohhhh Grandma!

Failed Drawings Part 2: Crippled Horse Legs and The Fence Adding Technique

When I was a kid, I loved to draw. When I wasn’t drawing women in ball gowns, I was drawing horses. For some reason, I never managed to obtain a reference photo of a horse, and ended up with horses that had back legs that looked like someone had taken a crowbar and smashed the knees back in the wrong direction. Do horses even have knees? I don’t know. Seems to me like they bend in two places, kind of like a finger. Anyway, the pictures usually looked something like this:

horse crooked back legs

So, I could post images of a well drawn horse, but why do that when I can implement the discovery I made as a kid?! I found a way to avoid drawing certain subject matter. I call it the “Fence Adding Technique.” It’s a great tool to have anytime there is something you can’t draw or are too lazy to obtain a reference photo.

horse with fence

Notice when the unsightly, crippled legs are strategically placed out of site, the subject matter has the potential to be improved across the board.  In this case, the horse now dreams of some day becoming a unicorn, the details in the grass are more apparent, and there is even a pretty pink flower that has sprouted from the soil. Also, let’s note that this horse is decidedly more attractive than the first one with the crappy legs, all thanks to the “Fence Adding Technique.”

The same idea can be applied in different ways. If you are unable to draw hands, for example, then all the characters in your drawings can be wearing mittens. Same goes for feet – they can all be wearing socks…and so on. Just so it is clear, the idea is that you take something you can mostly draw and hide the parts that you have continually failed to render accurately. Let’s face it, drawing hands and feet really sucks. Plus, there is endless entertainment to be had with socks and mittens, especially if the characters you’re drawing are naked.

Crappy hands and feet

Or maybe you don’t know how to draw socks or mittens either. Just like the horse, you can have your characters standing behind a fence too!

girl with fence

Or Maybe you can draw the feet, but not the hands, then you can simply have your character standing with their hands in their pockets:

girl hands in pockets

or coyly placed behind their back:

girl hands behind back

Now, of course, if i wanted to improve as an artist and get better at drawing all things, I could reference a photograph, and practice. I have done this before and I can tell you, it wasn’t half as fun.