Without Time, Nothing

Without Time, Nothing

The number one ingredient in any art cake is time. Time is the flour, indispensable. If you don’t have chocolate, no problem, make it vanilla. If you don’t have nuts, add raisins. No, don’t do that. That sounds awful. Maybe add rice krispies so it’s still crunchy? None of that matters. Art isn’t a cake so time isn’t flour but nevertheless without time, no art will get made.

I’ve always thought this but recently I’ve experienced it. So though, believing it to be true, I was perhaps taking it on faith. Now I know. For sure. 100 Percent. It’s true.

I DID NOT HAVE TIME, I DID NOT MAKE ART.

Let me back up and say, despite the all caps proclamation above I am not talking about Capital A art. I am talking about exercising the basic creativity to make life worth living. I mean I am sure Capital A art also needs time. Obviously any endeavor happens over time and therefore needs it.

Oh my goodness, is this blog post worth reading? Can I say something an idiot doesn’t already know?

I guess this is to say, more than ever before, I am grateful for and valuing the time I have to pursue creative activities. It’s been the central organizing factor of my life. It’s been my priority forever. I mean, I do take care of responsibilities first (got to pay the bills!) but if I have a little bundle of time, making stuff if what I enjoy.

So, it was tough when there was no time. And I suspect, I will experience that again. Frankly, it’s made me feel cagey and agitated. But’s it’s also made me want to make the most of now. I want to get back to it!

If you are curious and I am frustrating you with my lack of expository information, I had a ton of work in the last year. I also had a higher dose of anxiety than I am rated for, and I felt I was on the verge of short circuiting at every moment. I didn’t short circuit, I did all the work, and I even did one or two drawings and some sidewalk faces. My friends didn’t find me repulsive, in fact they really came through for me. So, I managed. But I was losing my essence, my joie de vivre, my sense of fun, the thing that makes me excited. Sometimes you can’t see something until it’s gone. I didn’t know this thing could go. I’ve felt it wax and wane, but never for this long. It’s been concerning.

I think the most important thing in the world is being in relationship. I have done my best to attend to the ones I have. And I am committed to continuing to attend to them. But one relationship that must be included in the list is the one we have with our selves. And the way I spend time with myself, is making art. The way I nurture that relationship, the way I grow that relationship, the way I understand myself is through this activity. Without it, I am actually not sure who I am.

I am so happy to have some time again.

I wrote that in late January. I came back over here today to see what if any breadcrumbs I had left myself. How thoughtful of me to have written an entire blog post that is still relevant. I am over here on my WordPress desktop app tip toe-ing around, seeing if I can get back on this blog horse. Maybe I can entice him with some imaginary apple art cake. So grateful I have the time to try!   

Voted Best Sidewalk Face Maker in North America

Voted Best Sidewalk Face Maker in North America

Can you believe it? We were honored with this award by the North American Sidewalk Face Federation. I’m over the moon! What until I tell my mom!

What’s going to happen to the competition when they get a load of this?! Guess who will be landing all the top tier sidewalk face making gigs for the next year? Ha! It’s my time to shine. The voters have had their say and they pick me!

Alright, alright. Let me tone it down and tell you what’s really going on. My brother and I were strolling down Beverly Boulevard chatting. We walk past Shaky Alibi and noticing the giant banner they have over the front entrance; he articulates something I’ve been mentally chewing on for years. He says, Exactly how many waffle voters are there? 

The banner reads, “Voted Best Waffles in America.” It’s been there for more than a decade.

Every time I see that sign, I think, says who?! And what do they know about waffles? Waffle preferences aren’t exactly standardized. I believe a waffle loving person can tell a great waffle from a mediocre one, but do I trust they can determine the best of the bunch? How would you ever have enough money and resources to sample all the waffles and who would fund it? To what end? It’s not a reasonable thing to research. It’s simply a marketing ploy. Get someone to say you are the best and voilà, you are the best. So, I am now doing that here.

I am the founder of the North American Sidewalk Face Federation. Currently I am also the only member. Care to join? They are known for rewarding members with extravagant awards!

SIDEWALK FACE 969

The Happiest Little Star

The Happiest Little Star

This contented cutie, Sidewalk Face 1000, is my second print offering. Click here for purchase information.

I walk by them almost every day, nod and say hello. It’s nice to see friends. I’ve photographed them several times. However, after a rare morning rain, the evaporating water made their halo more pronounced and it was time to do another portrait! I knew right away this one was special, such joie de vivre*! 

They are a personal favorite, radiating kind-heartedness and embodying what I value most in my art: 

Pavement

The classic medium of my genre!

Seeing Potential

I like noticing things and examining closely so I turned that into an art practice. That’s how I entertain myself on endless dog walks, traversing the same streets year after year, I look for what is unusual or has changed. It’s my modern urban way of scratching the ancient hunter-gatherer itch. I got excited by the rusted metal pipe remains of his nose. It’s the small things that make my day.

Minimal Interference

My personal goal is to do the least to get the most. I try to make them feel as if they emerged on their own from what was naturally there. Sometimes my contribution is artificial and obvious, it’s more important to make a good expression than be austere but it’s part of my ethos to not overwork the image. This one is very minimal and that makes me happy.

Availablism

Wanting a little more detail than the curved sticks were providing, I added additional eye features with spit. That’s availablism**. Use what you have.

Emotional Expression

As you all know I post as many miserable faces as happy ones. I am always pushing to find greater emotional nuance in cement, sticks, stains and detritus. I am looking for something I recognize, a feeling I have felt. Sometimes a face is compositionally good but has no emotional authenticity. I don’t like that. I have to feel it.


*French for joy of living

**Term coined by the ever awesome Kembra Pfahler of The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black.