We are what we art


A friend designed me a set of business cards once. An empty frame greeted me on each card, with the disclaimer, “Artist at large.”

I’ve always loved the permission to play. From recess in first grade; to, getting to sit in an airport on a long layover–just so I can have extra time to draw, write, create something on the diner’s paper place mat.

Ironic somehow that when the artist is at large, the art is usually missing too. Getting in the box with the art is where it really happens. No matter how hard I try to think my way out of it, the box, the studio, the landscape, the arena, is where the final work is created. Wherever we make our art, it’s usually a place that confines us. At least until the work is done (or is it ever?).

3x4 foot enlarged artist proof. Original drawing, 1.5x1.5 inches.
3×4 foot enlarged artist proof. Original drawing, 1.5×1.5 inches.

In turn, the medium, the substrate, the canvas we choose, has it’s share of boundaries too. These devices, like the cards I have, ask us to place our boundless ideas within the finite pages of the tablet; to the length of the frame; at the edge to our mind.

No wonder it’s the ideas which run from reason, beyond any borders that I like to romanticize with the most. The classic struggle for me has always been, when I do go into that creative space, what shall I leave behind, within. What remains, once I’m at large?

Currently, my little ‘Zilla Doodles are getting a bigger cage. I’ve begun to do some sky scraper sized scans of the tiny, 2-minute drawings, and have enlarged them into 3×4-foot prints.

Now that I’m enslaved to this process, the doodles are wanting to roam a little more on their own. We’ll see who gets out first …