Make it Pretty

  Several years ago I received a comment about my work that really stuck with me. Mainly because it reminded me of those back-handed compliments Old Hollywood stars, and genteel southern ladies are notorious for making. The only difference is, this was made by the head of my University’s Art Department. She was also an instructor I had nearly every semester, was my student advisor, and had a pretty good idea of my work.

‘Oh, Lily, you just always want things to be so pretty, don’t you…’

Maybe this was meant to be taken light-heartedly, but those words have been stuck in the back of my mind with the intolerable tenacity of body glitter after a music festival. You’re tired, hung over, and just want to move on….but

ITS STILL THERE

  In my case, niggling away in the back of my head every time I look at a piece of my artwork. The reason I bring this up, is because as I was looking at a painting I made this week, I thought of this comment for the first time in a while.

 

As someone who tries to stay positive, despite dealing with depression and anxiety, this was a comment that irked me for a long time.  I saw my art as an escape from my troubles. Even today, I still strive for my work to be ‘pretty,’ because I find satisfaction and comfort in something bright and uplifting, rather than spiraling down a dark hole.

I am in no way discounting artists or individuals who feel differently, but I felt there had been a line drawn in the sand, and I was standing on the wrong side. That statement, to me, meant – if your work is ‘pretty,’ it’s shallow. Art can not be meaningful, and ‘pretty’ at the same time.

  Obviously this is untrue, the world is filled with beautiful artwork, and the artists who have worked to create it by pouring their heart into what they do. Besides, beauty is relative. I for one, think my cats are WAY cuter than any baby, but that is neither here nor there.

Long story short, you do you boo. Embrace what you make, find inspiration from others, but don’t be confined by the parameters of someone else.

 

 

 

Things I learned on a liquid diet

Guys, life is fuckin’ hard.

I had some dental work last week and have been on a mainly liquid diet since. I can tell you, there is much more tomato soup than champagne and I’m not appreciating it one bit. I can also tell you, when your dentist tells you to not eat ‘crunchy’ food, you should not eat cole slaw, EVEN if it’s the Fourth of July.

 

  But really, back to the tough art stuff.  I’ve noticed, making things, wanting to create more, and share ideas, and try new stuff; all of that’s a walk in the park.  What’s hard is what to do when your living room is filled with all of the little bits of soul that you’ve smushed, and drawn, and glued, and twisted to make these physical things, that you know need to leave. Like, NOW. I’m ready!

 

Sifting through the mounds of information out there is hard. Doing stuff you don’t know how to do is hard (i.e. computer stuff, brought to you by: hard). Even figuring out where to start, that’s hard!I just looked at the top of my browser, and do you know how many tabs I have open? 19!!!  And they ALL have something to do with ‘what to do next.’

 

Before this, I’ve always made art for people as gifts. I even pushed money away.  I LOVE sharing my art with friends, and finding clients through word of mouth, but I know that if I want to make this my thing, I need to figure out the other side of just making. So, while I am trying to figure out the ‘business’ side…here are

3 things I’ve learned this week, that I’m 97% sure are totally true.

 

1. Doing 5 projects at once means you will get 0 projects done on time.

I am notorious for this, and it’s obviously something I am still working on, don’t judge! (see: now 21 open tabs)

2. Presentation, yes even that instagram photo FUCKING MATTERS.

No one wants to see your dirty socks behind that amazing painting you just did. Also, take advantage of the brightness and contrast levels to really show that baby off. You shed a lot of blood, sweat, and tears over that piece! Your work deserves to shine!

3. If your friends offer you help, take it.

I am using friends in a very broad way. Real friends, mom friends, internet friends, imaginary friends, furry friends. They want to hang your work? Brag to their mom friends and give out your email? Provide you a tutorial, provide a bomb ass idea, work as a free furry model? Great, awesome, cool, done. Now sit still and eat your treats.

Capture8
Now sit and look purrty

P.S. Don’t forget about the 25% off code I provided for my first printable in my last post! Also, I totally forgot to give a big shoutout to an artists I follow regularly, who also provides awesome tutorials and advice. Like this one on Printables I used! So go check out MichelleHickeyDesigns and be inspired to make things happen!

Artist Statement (a.k.a. Am I doing this right)

Constantly; I’m bombarded with images, colors, daydreams, and words, words, words.

I’m prone to being accosted by spurts of laugher, and can be frightened to tears. I always feel inspired, fidgety to make something.

My doodles and trinkets share the flecks of hope, love, humor,

and little connections I find along the way.

 

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