Monday, April 1, 2019

Spring 2019 News: "I don't know how back I am, but I'm trying"

You are in the maze. The maze will cover the following subjects:
from the Marvel series Legion,
which posits metal illness as a super power
  • Being in a maze
  • artist and shaman are different, but related, professions
  • studio transformation
  • a slight attempt to be serious
  • Creativity Project 
  • Many Plates Method TM
  • a version of Empire, but where everyone is a cartoon shark
  • the only way to win a fight is by not fighting and making art instead


Don't Believe Your Own Bullshit

I don't think that artists and shamans are necessarily the same thing, (altho there are people who can be both), but there is a shamanic path that begins with an event that either kills you or makes you try to become an artist, mystical healer, or both. That's the most artfully I can put that because I am conscious of the perils of being a woo-w00 out-there hippie-artist, and I don't want to be caught taking myself too seriously.

You are in a maze. The maze is your body. 

There have been some developments behind the scenes here in 2019, and I don't want to get too excited and spill the things before they're corporeal. Suffice to say, there will be more news this year than this one singular lonely post -- unlike last year's one singular, lonely post. I don't want to say life has gotten away from me in the last couple of years, but it sure went somewhere. Piled up on my desk probably.

The Proper Placement and Installation of Things

I've made some changes in my studio, rearranging things and drilling things in to other things; I don't know if adding little bits of furniture to the space over the last year has made it function better, but it certainly looks like somewhere a person can be creative in.

For starters, we dumped that old futon and got a second-hand sectional that has turned into quite the throne, if I do say so myself. I know the coolest people, and when one of them was getting rid of their couch, I messaged Peter immediately "you said I could have a new couch if it was free." And while it was technically free, getting it home was about $60. Still a good deal. (Luckily, the health crisis we were about to fall face first into didn't happen until a few days later.) It won't be possible to keep it clean, so I piled a bunch of blankets on it, and let several of my plush friends make themselves at home on and around it. It's also much easier for Bo to use his stairs to get onto the new throne couch.

There's a permanent (for an apartment) painting station now, and my little plants get a nice amount of sun reflected off the building to the north of us. LilBo Puggins likes to stand on the balcony and bork at anyone and everyone, particularly large trucks. I have around me reminders of the majesty of this beautiful place I call home, and the wisdom of the ages that I draw upon for my creative output. Yet the simple-as-anything bit of subway garbage that is my most precious souvenir from my last trip back east; a white piece of card with red capital letters PAINT on it remains the centerpiece of this place my brain has taken to calling home.

How does creativity work anyway?

Unpacking the luggage of the last several decades has given me some room to process more than one idea at a time. While I continue to develop other projects, it's nice to have one that is mostly reading and journaling so I can get better at writing about my own work, and sharing ideas in general. This year I started a dive into understanding the creative mind, and how to make adaptations to the creative process based on my particular skill-set and limitations. It seems like a lot of my creative process right now is intellectually wandering in circles until I've encompassed the entirety of a given body of work. That may be a perfectly fine way of doing it, but I also run several of those simultaneously because I've always use the Many (spinning) Plates Method of doing anything. And who knows, that could be the best way for me. But I can't not find the answers now that I've asked the question.

Mostly it's writing in the margins and on postit notes right now, but if anything interesting ever comes of it, I'm sure I'll share eventually.

Fiii Brooo Shark *doot doo doo doot doodoo*

When possible, I've been doing a lot of graphic drawings and exercises in order to cultivate a style for the next phase of the FibroShark Empire. It sounds easier than it is. In an effort to monetize the things that art scavengers will be begging my estate to license when I'm dead, I've been aiming some of my illustration practice at coloring pages. Nothing has come out yet, but the informal polling I've done has lead me to conclude there's an audience for something like a cosmic horror or something coloring book. And an "I Give Several Fucks About The Environment" coloring book.

FibroShark himself has had the opportunity to continue development as well. I've reached a place where I can see what this project is really supposed to be. Rather than a long treatise on some kind of feminism that includes queer disabled people of color (which is still the basis of the whole project, never fear), FibroShark Hungry has evolved into a coloring and activity book and solo-tabletop role-playing game that helps the player adapt to their limitations and develop actual life skills for functioning in a world where people think that using a wheelchair means you can't have sex. 

I've come a long way using the idea of asking myself what I need to make me able to take the next step. I'm not procrastinating, I'm making accommodations for myself like a good boss should. It takes longer because I have to do things more slowly and systematically; I can't just work constantly for a few days and have a piece of art at the end like I once did. 

It's like being in a maze. The maze resets every night and you wake up at the beginning every day, in pain, as tired as when you fell asleep. The fact that most people in the world do not experience this makes your head explode.

You are in the maze. Your head exploding sent you back to the start of the maze. At what point do you stop trying to find the end of the maze and start making art to get out. That's kind of what I want my art legacy to be: arting my way out.

So, for now I'm going to stay mysterious behind the cut. Follow my IG (@rachelsetzer) for the bits of work I can post, and watch this space for developments...

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