I started drawing and painting in earnest a little over a year ago. It started with a picture I painted in watercolors on a postcard made from watercolor paper. Then a birthday card for my son where I drew Trent Reznor singing a special birthday version of “Head Like A Hole”. It was a last minute effort to make up for procrastinating picking up some overpriced Hallmark card for the boy’s 17th. Turned out it was a blessing in diguise as that card kickstarted something in me.
From there I just went for it.
I don’t think I’m very good, but that’s fine. The point of me making things from colored pencils and acrylic paints wasn’t to ever win over hordes of fans. It was, for me, the sake of making things. I always loved drawing and coloring as a kid. And even in high school I had a friend that encouraged me to draw these big-headed characters, most of which were just versions of my Geometry teacher. That friend was the artist, and his absurd and wonderful art he drew in school I still have in a briefcase in the basement. His work also hangs on my living room walls, along with New York by way of Indiana artist Greg W. Locke. And yeah, me.
It’s fun, drawing. Painting, too. I don’t get that feeling from doing anything else. It’s both total concentration and thinking nothing at all at the same time, which I would guess is as close to Zen as one gets. I wish I did it everyday, but it’s more sporadic. Last Saturday I painted for three hours and got two pieces done which I’m very proud of. But random Saturdays just isn’t enough. I need motivation to do the work. They say practice makes perfect. I’m not sure anything is perfect, because if its perfect then I’m not sure you’re fully you. The best art has imperfections and mistakes, and those imperfections and mistakes are what make you, you. So in the end, I guess it is perfect.
Anyways, the more I do this the more I fine tune my imperfections and mistakes. The more they become who I am as a maker of things. The songs I recorded were never perfect. I’m sure someone who knows what they’re doing in a recording studio would balk at some of those albums I made because a drum part wasn’t perfect or a harmony may have been slightly off. I’m certain they would and could have made me sound a hell of a lot better. But then it wouldn’t have been, well, me. That’s how I’m approaching art. It’s not great, but it certainly is me.
Well, I decided to start a page where I will share the work I do. A gallery of sorts to post works and let them live somewhere outside of my own home. I started that page over on Instagram yesterday so now I have no excuse. I have tens of fans that are biting their nails, waiting for the next great work of art from this Midwest goon who’s trying to find a means to work out his Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock cosplay for the world to look at.
I was always very self conscious about the music I’d make. I loved the process of writing and recording and putting it out on the interwebs and on CDs for people to locate at the local record shop. But when it came to promote myself on local stages I just wasn’t interested. I don’t have the entertainer bug in me. If people came across my music and liked it then great. By then I was probably onto the next album, or the one after that. Once it was released I was ready to move on and make the next one.
With the drawing and painting I’m not nearly as self-conscious. I’m still not the great self-promoter, but I’m happy for people to see this stuff. With music I always felt I had to be an adult and serious about it, whereas with art I’m fully engaged in it the same way I was as a kid. As a kid you’re never self-conscious about the things you make. You’re proud of the weird face and the hand with six fingers with the backdrop of space and a space shuttle that looks like a carrot with wheels. That’s the spirit I’m locking into with making art. I’m damn proud of my carrot with wheels.
That same friend whom I grew up with and encouraged my silly work was the one who prompted me to start a page to share my art. He basically said “If you do, then I will.” That was a few months ago. I may not have jumped at the chance at first, but better late than never. Feels good to take the step to put art out into the world, even if it’s just tiny pictures of it on someone’s phone. More than sharing, it’s motivation to fill a page with drawings and paintings I made. I’ve got a few music pages on the interweb with proof that one time I used to write and record a lot of music. Now I want to have a spot on the internet where people can peruse and go “Oh wow, look at this child’s work. I wonder if he’s mildly disturbed?”
So hey, if you do the Instagram thing feel free to go follow me at jhubmakesthings. If you do, you get a complimentary splotch of paint on your best shirt. But hurry, splotches are available for a limited time.
2 thoughts on “Fine, Art.”
Sarah started painting again over the last few months. It’s good to have a real artist in the house again. Aaron has me listening to Pigmy Love Circus this AM. ‘dark improvisations’ is fitting the vibe.
LikeLiked by 1 person
That’s great about Sarah getting back into painting. I’ve found it quite therapeutic for tampering stress and anxiety. Plus, it’s just fun seeing what I come up with. Last Saturday I had the 5-disc CD changer filled with Miles Davis so I think that’s where ‘dark improvisations’ came from. Glad Pigmy Love Circus has similar vibes.
LikeLiked by 1 person