My work has been buoyed by several people. People who love what they do; writers, children’s book illustrators, conceptual artists, painters, actors, movie makers, foodies, musicians, interior decorators, textile designers, typography designers, set designers, clothes makers, dancers, stop-motion animation creators, sport aficionados, shop owners, gardeners, memoirists, teachers, comedic skit writers and performers, poets, astronomers, photo journalists, playwrights, people who make seed catalogs, archivists, kennel workers, documentary film makers, cops and robbers, curators, cartographers, graphic novelists, athletes and advocates. I refer to their work because I feel safe in it; it’s like home. But mostly, an attempt to trap the fleeting preciousness of my own sweet and terrible family to recorded history is what makes me sit down and think about what to do next.
A simple, engaging story is the perfect tool for creating moral and invested human beings. Equally as curious; how easy it is to control not one person, but many, if that magic is stealthily taken away. And there is my perfect argument for funding the Arts and Humanities.
I digress. Let me get back to it.
When I finally focus, inevitably, I’m facing myself down and trying to cajole a vast network of ideas bottlenecking between synapses. Sometimes they’re just taking a nap, which can last for months, so I keep showing up. I’ve learned this, to keep showing up from writers and artists who have shared their creative process in their memoirs or in interviews they’ve granted and articles I’ve read. I have repeated writing advice to any captive audience I’ve been able to get my hands on, including animal shelter colleagues who were not listening, weekend warrior clay class attendants already walking out the door and a bundle of seniors more anxious to learn about three-dimensional decoupage. It’s not what they signed up for and I don’t care. My point-when the teacher is sincere and passionate and the advice is good, not only do you learn, you’ve got to share because you never know where those pearls will land. You just reinterpret their lesson to fit your setting. Someone will hear you.
Writing and making art is what I do, as honestly as possible. Save for the occasional social media skewer, I’ve been given a voice that rarely holds back so I’ve decided to use it for good. Not just to hand some egghead his hat. Even eggheads have bad days. As a matter of fact, I have been an egghead on several occasions and for that I am truly sorry. But there are things happening outside the small expanse of my own head, not only in this neck of the woods but in the whole of the world, things that I perceive as unjust. I’ve decided to bring some of this to my audience’s attention if they exist or care to listen. Art can be divined in all kinds of ways; you know it when you see it. If I can, I’d like to do that more often.