In looking over the course of my work (and play) with Messy Canvas, and to do my best at really simplifying it, I see that there have been three main divisions:
- My blog pre-thrashing was about learning how to call myself an artist, a name I cared deeply about.
- My blog during thrashing was about gaining creative control of my life. Essentially, getting to speak for myself.
- My blog post-thrashing has been about picking up where I left off with that name "Artist" and taking it and me (and anyone else who wants to own their creative living and come along for the adventure) to the next level. I am all forward movement these days.
As an artist, what has come out of these phases of my life have been a number of "stand alone" creations. For example:
Pre-Thrashing I wrote:
Thrashing I wrote:
I also wrote for a blog called Deeper Story and the Secret Rebel Club at this time and contributed a chapter to a book that is coming out this Fall.
Re-Envisioned The Secret Message Society and poured into my zines in a new way.
I tell you all this because I think it is often assumed that artists live their lives with intentional preferred art mediums. Instead what has happened in my case is far more organic. Though I have gone through a variety of audiences, I have been telling one unified story from the very beginning of Messy Canvas in 2005. Many of those posts are not even available anymore (due to a blog crash in 2013) but trust me on this. I have poured into whatever medium made itself available to me at the time, but the story is one continuous outpouring. All of it is me.
Isn't it the band the Decemberists that has created albums that are an entire story and each song tells a chapter of it? So it is with my creating. Be it zine, or guest blog post, or custom secret message, or my personal blog posts, or my elementary art classroom, or the coffee shop I flipped waffles at, or the work I collaborated on, or The Magic School correspondence letters I write, or my twitter and instagram feed, or my books, the message has been one long continual story. The mediums are just chapters. Sometimes even paragraphs. They are containers.
Each "finished piece" shared with whomever the intended audience was, always promised more. More of me.
In its completed, present state a "finished piece" nods to where I have been and hints to where I am headed. It is one continual conversation of my wholly (and holy) occupied now.
As an artist I can't help but express myself. I am always finding the meaning in my life, and if a book deal doesn't arise or the time to write a blog post just wasn't in the cards for today, you better believe there is going to be something creatively magical about how I wheel my garbage cans to the curb or how I fold down the purple sheets on my bed or how I talk to the man waiting on me at the library circulation desk.
I'll be a bit excited that you had to miss out on a few of the details of my fully occupied living, those details that weren't quite as public, because it means I have some secrets and a girl with secrets can surprise you, and if I can surprise you (because you missed a few crumbs on the breadtrail of my ever unfolding story) then I might just be able to catch you off-guard and re-introduce you to the wonder of your very own living, wholly now.
Go ahead, Artist, put your head down and get to making something of YOUR story. The opportunity to creatively express yourself will always present itself, in one form or another.