As I was drawing the cover of my favorite Sabrina Ward Harrison book to include in the May Secret Message Society Zine, I was overtaken with a cloud of nostalgia. Moving to California. Riding the train to Pasadena and buying this book. Spending a weekend with the artist. Having her sign it. Trying to both accept and figure out my own artistic voice and wondering if I was inspired or jealous of someone else who was doing it (the business of being herSELF) so well. The insecurity, the vulnerability, the risk felt unbearable at times. And always that nagging inner-knowing of my potentiality.
So when I went to draw the cover, and I flipped the book open to read her inscription "Free Yourself" and then I stared at my forearm to see the words transcribed again there, a gift to myself when my thrashing book deal came through, I thought, Here it all is. Everything I hoped for back when the word "FREE" felt like something I could do (as in of course I AM ABLE), but maybe never would do because it was just so big and looming and impossible given all the barriers in my life (FYI - my barriers usually equal other people's opinions.)
Here it was in REAL living colour before me, the FREEing had to be done by me. Somewhere along the way I swallowed that truth and dug in deep and got it done. And I'm still doing it. That's the thrilling thing about freedom, it just keeps expanding.
The things I put into the pages of my zine are so important because they are glimpses of my living today. I am seeing how I view the world through my eyes. I am witnessing my shifting and my growth patterns. I am catching myself in the act of enjoying what I already have (which is always the next clue to what more you want). I am recording the steps along the way because seeing IS believing. Seeing is believing. Seeing is believing. I have over three years of this work underneath me (I'm on Zine #38!), and let me assure you, it's a sturdy base to build upon.
Making art puts imagination (think "vision boards") in REAL living colour before you. Art starts the ball rolling. Art BEGINS the process of MAKING the life YOU want. Press it into paper. Say it is so. Create a way for it. See the way your life already includes that thread of who you always knew you could be, but were never sure you would be. Then chase that thread with all the curiosity and sweat and smarts and guts and love you've got in you. Keep your head down. Your zine is YOUR map and the treasure is freeing yourSELF. Again and again. The freeing is expansive. You can't out art it. (<----- I'm currently putting this theory to the test and want you to join me!)