Autumn 12: In the Backpack

by The Artist on September 12, 2012

Today’s got a couple of lessons.

First, it’s that cameraphones sometimes don’t work all that well as a camera or a phone. Apologies for the big blurry.  Every picture came out like this.

We’ll get to lesson #2 in a moment.

That said, let’s talk about backpacks.

Starting a new school year is always better when you have a spiffy new backpack to fill with School Stuff, right?  There’s that smell that a new backpack has — all shiny and fabricky and without any leftover peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to give it that musty smell yet.

I still carry a backpack sometimes.  (It doesn’t smell like PB&J, either.)  Or a big honkin’ purse.  Which might as well be a backpack, considering that I could probably carry an entire school’s worth of stuff in it.

What do you carry with you?

What’s always in your pack/bag?  Take pictures, or draw them (like I did here).  List out the contents, and maybe use it as an excuse to clean it out.

How does it differ from what you carried in autumns previous?

Here’s where we get lesson #2.

Sometimes, even in art journals, your stuff isn’t going to look much like Art.

With this book, my challenge is that every page is different. Sometimes, those hold together just fine together,and sometimes, they need a unifying factor…or to just be painted over.  The pattern may be stronger or less than I thought, or the color choice on one page might clash like nutbars on the other.

Sometimes, your drawing will stink, or your layout, which looked perfectly fine in your head, comes out looking like kitty hairballs.

The point, though, is to keep going anyway.

Nobody says you have to be Always Perfect.  My books are a fair mix of decent-looking stuff and stuff that looks like a five-year-old got ahold of the good pens.

Thing is: art journals are about learning things.

I liked pulling everything out of my bag and drawing it.  (And was fairly amazed that all of that fit in one bag.  Clearly, it’s bigger on the inside.)  I liked how it looked after doing a thin wash of putty-colored paint around the edges.  Less jarring.  I even liked using the markers to pull in some color other than OMG PINK.  (That right hand page is eye-searing pink.  Seriously.  It’s probably what’s messing up my cameraphone.)

But the drawing today was hard.  There were interruptions, and the jitters from too much coffee, and I was, frankly, feeling completely uninspired.

But I did it anyway.

It may not ever be my favorite entry of all time, but if it came down to doing this for an hour or hitting myself in the hand with a hammer, this would win.  And I found out that Triplus Markers show up even on OMGPINK.  And that a putty wash on the OMGPINK comes out kind of a nice shade of khaki rose.  It’s not a total wash.

(Even if I’m a little embarassed and thought very hard about gessoing over the whole shebang and not posting it at all.)

So today, do it anyway.  And look at what you carry.

Make some mistakes.  Make some bad art.  (Or make a masterpiece, either way.)

It’ll still be time well spent.


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