Art: Friday Self Portrait 006

This one was a little late. I’d been working on it Friday morning, but ended up getting side-tracked with things like sun, flowers, trees, and being outside. I made up for it by finishing hurriedly on Saturday.

“It’s not better to be safe than sorry.”

Yes, few people realize that I wasn’t born, but rather escaped from a black-and-white norwegian comic book in the 80s. For real.

Like the Joker, my origin story changes all the time, but this one suits me best. For now.

As I write this, I’m sitting near the most obnoxious young couple I’ve encountered for a while. Blandly good looking, clean, white, and in their early 20s, they strode into this cafe with the confident ownership of all they surveyed; breezing right past me in line to take my favourite table so they could drum on it loudly, beatbox, and laugh at high volume videos on their phones.

I think these two have heard that they’re special a few too many times.

I’m seated directly behind the guy. The empty chair at my table is perfectly positioned against the back of his, and if he keeps being a dick, I’m going to give my empty chair a sharp kick.

Media of the Week:

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it here on this blog, but back in the early 2000s, I went out of my way to build myself a movie theatre.

This project came about after I’d read about how Quentin Tarantino would have people around to his place and bust out his vintage film prints to screen for his friends. I really liked the sound of that, and I already had a pretty vast collection of the same kind of films (on DVD) so, I turned my living room into a theatre with a high-powered digital projector, media centre, and sound system.

For a time, it was the best theatre in town – though very few knew of it. I hosted film festivals almost every weekend with friends traveling in from out of town to crash and watch movies.

In fact, on summer nights I’d haul my equipment outside and watch movies under the stars with a screen hanging from my gazebo and a bonfire close at hand.

I feel like I should start doing that again. It’s been a while.

My theatre has had a few minor upgrades over time, but media has evolved so much over the last few years that now I can watch anything I download, anything on Netflix, and anything on YouTube – and so when I decide to go down a media rabbit hole, I can really, truly, properly get lost.

Lately these rabbit holes have lead me to live performances by my favourite bands. Last week I suffered a minor obsession with Camera Obscura’s 4AD session, and this week I’ve been revisiting some of Beirut’s live shows. This one, of course, is my favourite:

I wish I could build a little house in this performance and live there.

The Docket:

In other news, I’m working steadily away on a print media project that seems to grow bigger and more daunting every time I chip away at it. I’d started it back in March in earnest, but here it is May and I feel like it’s changed shape and identity half a dozen times since then.

More news on that soon.

Apart from that I’m working slowly on a commissioned piece of a local woman’s children, and my weekly self portrait project.

It feels as though I’ve had much less time to work on creative things, but with good reason. Work and money has been incredibly scarce lately, and in an effort to change that, I’ve been spending many of my days walking down to the local jobs office for things like career counselling and related workshops.

I told them I’d been getting by on 40$ worth of combined art sales a month (securing me just the basics) with a few supplemental fishing excursions to Cranberry Lake to round it out. Hearing that, they handed me a map to the local soup kitchens. Oh my.

Well, everybody in the creative field has to have a starving artist period, I’m sure. This is mine, and though it’s tough, it’s also strangely exhilarating.

I can’t find the downside of reading Twain or Hemingway by the lakeside with a fishing rod in hand, knowing that your dinner will either be rice, or fish and rice earned with a little cunning.

Unless it’s raining maybe. That takes some of the fun out of it. And the reading.

Still, I’d like to have more time for painting and writing. I feel like I’m losing my edge a little.

More qualified people than myself are finding it hard to find good work, so I’m resigned to this course for a while. In the mean-time, I’m taking advantage of all the training I can get. I’m now qualified to serve alcohol, and soon I’ll be qualified to prepare and serve food. In the mean-time, I’m plugging away at my resume and portfolio so I can score a little work doing the things I do best.

It’s hard to stay productive when morale is low, but I’m finding good work arounds. That said, I think I’m ready for a bit of extra happiness if I can find it. I’m running on fumes, but I’m trying to be blissfully in denial of it for a while longer.

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