January 10, 2007

Scraps & Jam


What is art? I've decided it's mostly escapism... at least for me. It's either escaping TO someplace or escaping FROM someplace.

It's creating pictures and stories to escape from the world I'm in... or it's drawing or painting a picture of a place I'd want to escape to.
Imagination is the band-aid of comfort in a painful world of reality.

I suppose the proof that this is so is to just see how much more work I seem to get done the miserabler things are in my 'real' life. Just a little imagination can smooth a bit of jam on the hard burnt toast that day to day reality hands out.

Obviously it's easy to draw the conclusion from all this introspection that the artist must be spoiled, precious, overly sensitive... a whiner, a hopeless dreamer and afraid of the real world. To all of which charges I plead guilty.

But enough philosophy!


Here's some of the new books I'm working on. Looks just like a pile of scraps doesn't it? That's because it IS just a pile of scraps. This is how I luv to work... just drawing bits and pieces... at a tiny size or any size I like. I just draw what I feel compelled to draw... whatever feels fun and right to draw. Later on I'll patch it all together effortlessly and effectively in Photoshop and InDesign.

And the best part of working like this is I can ride my bike up to a cafe and hang out and draw away for hours and hours. Escaping the penitentiary of the old studio every now and then feels like a working vacation... believe me I already spend enough time in that room. Happiness is an empty cafeteria table by the window... with a pile of blank tissue paper to draw on, a 2B pencil, eraser and a good book. Oh... and a cup of tea. The hours are filled with the joy of creativity.

Turns out I get to go the ALA midwinter meeting here in Seattle next week! That ought to be a nice day out from the padded cell. I've never been to one of these book events, as they are rarely ever held in Seattle. What fun!


Anonymous said...

I have heard a lot of artist taking their art of the studio. I love this! I am gonna try it too! The freedom to take you work where you please. We artists are truly lucky to have work that we can take anywhere and it can take us anywhere.

ps. love your work!

John Nez said...

Oh it's easy... just prepare about 5 or six pages that you want to work on... print them off and you can work anywhere.

Staying at home 365 days a year can get stale.


Thanks for the compliments...

Anonymous said...

Great plan for getting out of the studio and reviving your work! I need to do this more. Especially this time of year when we have our nicest weather! (I live in the desert southwest.) Great blog you've got here. Glad I found it.


John Nez said...

Nicest weather... that sounds perfect!

I'm having to take the hummingbird feeders inside today to keep them from freezing solid! Ice & Snow everywhere!


Anonymous said...

I have drawings all over the house, wherever you look there are papers or scraps of paper or even folded papers in origami birds or boats, lol. I love to draw as much as I love writing. I feel lucky to have two passions.
But my husband sometimes wishes he could find just one piece of plain white paper in the house...

And thanks for the comment on my blog. You know, I sold 20 novels to four different publishers. I have no idea why I think I need an agent. *sigh* Are we all so insecure under our bluster?

tlchang said...

I may trot on over to the ALA conference as well (assuming the roads are passible by then! We keep hoping for above-freezing temps. The kids are actually getting tired of staying home from school). One of my publishers is hoping I can do some book signings... Will you just be attending or set up somewhere?

John Nez said...

Amazingly, my main publishers don't seem to be attending the mid-winter ALA! So I'll just be in the back row... going through the booths.

Maybe I'll run into someone I know... just by accident most likely.

I looked at the schedule and didn't see any programs for children's books, writers or illustrators. It's mostly programs for librarians.

Oh well...