Thursday, June 23, 2005

Creativity in a NUTshell - Emphasis on NUT

I seem to be getting many inquiries surrounding the how and why I make what I make. This is a terribly difficult question to answer without going into a long treatise about the philosophical underpinnings of my creative process which is informed by my upbringing, education, personal aesthetic and oh, just general life-shaping experiences. So, instead of putting you in a comatose state brought about by trying to impart these not-so-juicy life details I will try to put together a Cliff Notes version of LadyLinoleum's Reflections of The Art Neurotique or how I came to crochet a Cheez-It.

It all began the 18th day of May, 1969, in my Mother's birthing chamber at West Hills Hospital, nestled in the bowels of the San Fernando Valley in sun-soaked Southern California...

Just kidding! I scared ya there for a minute huh? I know what you were thinking...OMG this is going to be the most tedious blog post to read E-VER! Well, it still might be, but we won't start at the beginning. Ha!

No, really, in simple terms, ever since I can remember I've been enmeshed in creative thought and process. When I was old enough to hold a pencil in my hand I was compelled to draw. I see my environment in terms of color, form and composition. Everything around me is surface and texture, linear and curvaceous, flat and perspective, veggies armed to their stems with dollhouse-sized weaponry...Really. For me there is nothin' better than dipping my brush in a fresh dollop of paint, feeling fiber slide between my fingers while creating a fabric of loops and knots from this glorified string or using my scissors to liberate a unique and often-times ornate object from something as mundane as 20lb. bond. I have visions of artful objects that appear in colorful three-dimensions. Characters and other errata develop their own voices, personalities, ancestry inside the walls of my mind, eventually birthed from my fingers in a fury of color, light, texture and form.

Sounds sexy, huh? Well, it is. Much of the time. What I have neglected to mention is the other side of what makes LadyLinoleum creative (the dark side) that I don't share with the rest of the world much because I might seem, for lack of a better word, craaaaa-zy. Oh yeah, pull out those prescription meds and make sure your restraints are securely fastened because here we go!

Have you ever stayed awake all night because you were excited about something or conversely bothered about something that pushed your body's need to sleep, oh say, into the next dimension? Okay, do I hear two nights? Three nights? Enter LadyLinoleum who has been known to escape the confines of that silly state called sleep for short and sometimes long periods of time much of her life. Why, do you ask? There are myriad reasons ranging from trying to figure out how to crochet the perfect (and I mean perfect) mermaid fin because you know, in nature, mermaids don't have flaws, to authoring the complete dialog of a three act puppet play that has been haunting my days as well as my nights. All the while, lack of sleep plaguing my mind and body as I go to work the following day(s), feeling utterly exhausted and something akin to a gnarly hangover without the fun of slovenly drunkenness the evening before. Excuse me Mr. Huge Boss Who Is The National Head Of $80 Million Dollar Investment Banking Practice, but I am unable to get my revenue analysis done because I was up all night obsessing about a LEMON WITH A GOGGLE. Hope that's okay...Not sounding real sexy anymore is it?

Let's delve a little deeper into the wild and wacky world of my creative process shall we? Have you ever thought, gee, that scarf or skirt or crocheted churro would look superb if made with yarn the color of ochre with a dash of umber and a pinch of crimson chased with a shot of white to give it that extra pop? No? Well, I have. And I have searched for this color yarn oh, EVERYWHERE ON THE PLANET. So, maybe I will get back into dying my own fiber as a result of this futile yarn-store reconnaissance. I can't quite remember how to use Procion dyes, but that's okay I will just have to STAY AWAKE ALL NIGHT trying desperately to remember when to add the soda or wonder whether I even need to add soda to Procion dye at all. The sex appeal of this creativity thing is really beginning to suck air, is it not?

No wait, there's more. Husband, child or animal need your attention, a little food, affection or conversation from you? Now, how the hell am I expected to have human and animal interactions while obsessively trying to work out a very important creative conundrum such as trying to figure out how to make a sufficiently gorilla-like nose for a life-size King Kong-inspired ensemble taking literally hours, days, weeks of pattern making and experimentation? Just grab some Cheetos, give yourself a hug and I will be with you shortly Oh Loving Family Who Puts Up With My Crapola No Matter What. You see, it's not that I don't want to be with my family, friends and animals. I am, unfortunately, compelled to create above all else. This compulsion/obsession/tortuous/mind-fandango/creative-anti-funfest takes over my psyche, my biology, like a virus. At times, it is very difficult for me (painful even) to switch gears while in OCD-art-making-mode. I agree. Not sexy. Not at all.

Anakin Skywalker's decent into the Dark Side? Yeah, I get that.

Any of you craving the need to make some wacky creation such as a Limon with a pink wig now? I think not.

My brilliantly bookish mother (very grounded and very tolerant) *Hi Mom* says that artists, writers and musicians walk a fine line between reality and madness. Further, she states that one who creates has to journey down said path to be visionary. I don't consider myself visionary, but crazy? Yeah, I got that down. However, I will tell you that I am much less nuts in my "pushing 40" years than when I was younger. I sleep through the night most of the time. I have the ability to put down the yarn or paint or fabric or pencil when I have other more pressing "life things" to attend to. Also, I'll buy yarn "off the shelf" (actually, truck-loads of it, yeah, I'm much better). So, I've mellowed with age, like a good wine. Oh, and drinking wine? Yeah, that helps too. Hey, I'm not boring!

Ideas like Killer Korn wielding deadly corn-holder/prong weapons? This kind of stuff just pops into my head in full living 3D color. Sometimes these ideas are fully fleshed out upon arrival into cluttered brain. Sometimes they take more time to "fully materialize". Does this stuff come to me in dreams? Well, I'd have to sleep through the night for that to happen...

14 comments:

Jessica said...

LOL! You nutbag, you.

But we all love you ... even more, now that we know what you go through to create the things that make us laugh, cringe and envy.

Catana said...

I can dig it.

Sheila said...

Every artist has a medium and an object of their creativity. At one time, we had things like the "Garbage Pail Kids" and you just took it to a-whole-nother level! Regardless of your where's and why-fors, it's damned entertaining to see what you have done with crochet. Some have nice garments and blankets, some have stuffed animals and you have odd looking produce. We love it!

rodentia said...

Some call it crazy...others call it genius!

Sara said...

IMHO, you are a visionary.

Heather said...

Right on. I'll think of you next time I'm up at 3am being tortured by a new idea. :)

MomThatsNuts said...

I think you missed one of your callings babe! You should be a WRITER.... as for craaaazy, I beat ya there so come on over to the DARK SIDE, we got chips and guacamole...

Mom

ladylinoleum said...

Thanks you guys! Truly, it means a lot to me to know that you take me for who I am...a piece of work. I am old enough now to know this and own it. I dunno about the writer thing, but I am definitely up for chips and guac Mom!

~drew emborsky~ said...

Mom? Hey, am I invited to the dark side too? I've been such a good boy...and it's getting annoying! I looove guac & chips!

Regina, thanks for opening up and sharing. It's great to learn how others' minds work!

Martha said...

Your imagination is brilliant and artistic output, inspiring. I am so happy you chose to develop your skills and indulge your muse!

MomThatsNuts said...

Drew, of COURSE you can come to the Dark Side!! I will even make some tamales and homemade salsa...

Mom

Granny said...

I luv your mind and I'm going to the dark side with you.
Mom, make more tamales and salsa. I'll bring some iced tea ya'll.

~drew emborsky~ said...

I'll bring the agua fresca de mango!

Kelly Kell said...

I Heart Lady L!