Thursday, May 1, 2008

Better Living Through Art

I have a theory that our environment pulls out of us the things we have within us that match the requirements or conditions of the environment. For example, I make my living manipulating information, mostly words, to help people integrate software into the workplace. My inate skills allow me to do that well. I excel at this work. But if I had been born 50 years earlier, or 100 years earlier (or even 10!), I wonder what skills would have arisen from within me, and how these information skills would have manifested in that work.

Over the last few weeks, I've discovered some changes in my interests and a change in the activities that seem juicy to me. Activities that used to totally engage me, activities I've participated in for decades, suddenly seem dry and uninteresting. It's more than a passing phase. I realized yesterday that those activites fed my art while it was underground in my life. It was the place where I could study designs, break apart inspiring examples, and think about how to apply and reinvent techniques for various effects. Of course that was my art at the time. And now that my art is more mainstream, I don't need that outlet.

I'm wondering what else is going to change in my life now.

I am pretty burnt out from working too many hours last month, with no end in sight. I had a hard time focusing on work today, so I played hookey. Normally, a day of hookey means escaping from the house, shopping, exploring, and looking to the horizon. All fun things. But today, I stayed at the computer. I did some online shopping (for art supplies, of course). I reviewed some of the inspiring websites I've collected in And I made the banner graphic for the site. It's not exactly what I had in mind when I started, but like any collage, I started by finding images that capture the meaning of what I want to say, and then I experiment with ways to put them together to tell my story. Today's story, the blog banner's story, is about the messy energy and vibrant colors of art, mixed with the joy of laughter and the freedom of flight. I had a blast looking for the images that captured the essence of these things. Of course there would be a crow, but what crow? And the watercolors seemed perfect as soon as I spotted them.

Perhaps I will soon be scanning a custom collage for the blog banner. But in the meantime, this one says that I want to say: I'm living my best life today by embracing my art.