Get Out Of My Room...Again
[Sent: August 6, 2022]
Last week we walked through tall grass and had a mind tingling discussion about the big picture of Unsociably High. We dived into a deep conversation of the desire to do more (nude) life drawing performances. There were elements about the first Life & Death Drawing Event we did at Arlington Five in 2020 that we resonated with and we want to share ourselves in that way in other cities. We felt inspired to brainstorm ways in which we could create these events to be more interactive and special. Brendon contacted a few venues in another city with the intent of being both the musicians and models for life drawing. Responses included curiosity, standard rejections, and rejections that made us feel like a bite-sized brownie - small but still delicious.
This made me think (again) about the concept of feeling like certain people are allowed in certain rooms; a topic I wrote about in a previous newsletter. Sometimes it can feel as though there is a room for The Talented Elites and a room for The Amateurs and commingling these two rooms would be like mixing water with oil. The imposter syndrome kicks in when we’re new to a room which leads us to believe that we don’t belong there. Over the past couple of years, I’ve tried unfamiliar art forms for the first time, walking into rooms with a blind fold on, discovering that just because we feel like we’re in the wrong room, or because we feel uncomfortable, doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or that we don’t belong.
Lie #1: I always thought of Life Drawing spaces being a room with artists in front of their canvases, putting just the right amount of shading exactly where it belongs, with an instructor advising them that the shading is in fact not perfect.
Truth: There are spaces where you can choose to write, draw, or sip a warm beverage and take in the atmosphere, uninstructed. These are the environments in which our art thrives.
Lie #2: I always thought that sketchbooks were for people who began drawing inside of the womb, entering the world with a pencil in one tiny hand and paper in the other.
Truth: Sketchbooks are for everyone. I actually follow an illustrator on Patreon and she has what she calls an Ugly Sketchbook which is filled with “mistakes” and takes off pressure to have a ~niCe~ sketchbook. She also SELLS it.
Lie #3: Brendon recently said, “I just don’t know, I don’t have good handwriting,” when I encouraged him to begin journaling.
Truth: You could literally spit in a journal and it would be perfect because it is yours.
After receiving the bite-sized brownie rejections and after hearing Lie #3, I reflected on the ways that I present art and creativity; specifically journaling, to the world. Now and then I’ll share an Instagram story of this display of a perfectly placed journal on a vintage table with a candle and blended fruit in a mason jar under the rising sun. Perhaps this gives off the illusion that this is how I journal all of the time and there’s no point in journaling if it doesn’t look like this:
My journals are littered with full sentences crossed out, half finished thoughts, dated entries with one sentence, grammatical errors, and whining about first world problems. Fill sketchbooks with smudges and stains, put a book in your bag next to a rotting banana, allow your voice to break when singing, forget to colour correct some clips in a video. People can make us think that we don’t deserve to be in certain rooms but sometimes it is us who do not give ourselves permission to see what is behind the door. You feel me?
The goal is to build an atmosphere where our performances are open to interpretation. For those who draw all of the time, for those who do not, for those who simply want to watch. Art is messy, art is uncomfortable, art is hating your work and being proud of it. It’s keeping it to yourself or choosing to share it.
Above is a video of the activities we got up to last month. Some people who create content say to create the content that you enjoy consuming and video blogs are that for me. I hope this brings some calm laughter into your life.
On August 26th we will be doing an Artist Takeover for Artsnet Ottawa (@artsnetottawa). We’ll be taking over their social media for 3 hours and we plan on giving behind the scenes access to our (home) music/office spaces and art studio and showing the projects we are currently working on.
Brendon has been working on a pedal board which makes transporting his pedals to and from venues or even to and from rooms easier. We’re in the process of staining it and it looks like this so far:
I hope you're enjoying your summer and I'm already looking forward to writing to you next week.
*Kiss sound* *Kiss sound*