Piece No. 1 // Click here to purchase // On January first, I was sketching and doodling, struggling to decide what my first Make//Sell project was going to be. I thought, this is the first one, its got to be really good. But nothing “epic” came to mind. So I drew an old favorite, an ice cream cone. I thought to myself, well, its better to just get started than to find the “perfect thing”. So I decide to make a block print of an my ice cream cone sketch.
I got to work on the print and was reveling in the process. Block printing is extremely satisfying and gives me so much pleasure. And, being early January, I had a lot of freedom to make art when and how I liked because it is our slow season for photography work. Later that week I was talking with my therapist, who I should mention has a background in the arts, so I get to talk a lot about my artistic journey. I was discussing my big project and how I decided “just” to do the ice cream print . I was really quick to dismiss it as “just a picture of food” and not really having much meaning or value as art. She then asked me, “What does the image of ice cream mean to you?” I hadn’t really thought about it. “Well,” I started, “it’s a treat…” and as soon as the words left my mouth it all made sense.
Ice cream is a treat. It evokes images of youth, childhood. It is summer vacation. It is happy times, smiles, delight, excitement.
This time in my life, January, is a treat. It is my summer vacation. It is a time when worries are limited and dreaming is at an all-time high. It is a bubble from ‘real life’. But it is also real life in of itself. It is a brain break. And it is not. It is brain freedom. It is pleasure. It is leisure. It is relaxation. It is happiness. It is being together with friends. My summer break comes in the winter and I am treating myself to the the thing I crave most, creating.
I would never have realized any of this without therapy. I am learning to reflect on everything especially the things I am the most quick to dismiss. When I disregard something, that is the thing that is probably most in need of reflection. Especially if it is something that comes easily or most naturally. Those things will say the most about myself. Like this image of an ice cream cone. I thought it was simple, just something easy. Who doesn’t love ice cream? I was quick to write it off as a cop-out, easy image. I thought I wasn’t trying hard or digging deep enough to make art with real substance.
I’m still learning what it means to be an artist and to make art. I’m realizing that images will come from within me, and just because they don’t seem deep or complicated, does not mean they are not meaningful. There is something more there, something I know and feel, and maybe don’t realize, but the meaning is there.