Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Stick Yo Neck Out" or "Waterfalls"

"If I had a big giraffe he'd have to take a real long bath and that's why waterfalls are really neat" Dwight Yoakam

A few months ago as I sat with a guest creating a painting of some polka dot/stripey/zig zaggy coated giraffe onto a small canvas I was asked a question. I do believe the question was harmless and not intended to hurt my feelings yet...for a while now, 6 months exactly today...it kinda stung. Don't mistake my notation of the date as a deeper emotional blow, I am after all "rain man" and certain dates and things just stick out. I can't help it kids- it's who I am! Speaking of that.... The question was not intended to insult my very being or as imposed judgment on my artistic ability it was a practical question about something that isn't really practical at all...My art work.  So it went like this: I finished the last stripe or dot or whatever on the giraffe and proudly displayed my canvas to my guest "Tadaaa!" I said (I am 7 years old you know) "Neat" says the guest...."who would buy that?"  errrrrrrrrrrkkkkkkk....... record scratch... I'm sorry-what? Did you, a math guy-evidence finder-logical self proclaimed stats nerd, just imply my art work is not worth purchasing?????  I didn't say that because to be real honest I couldn't catch my breath and my face was burning hot and my eyes were stinging so I just sat there breathing in and out and slowly turned back to my supply box to start cleaning up. All the while thinking "seriously tho...who WOULD buy this? it's stupid...I don't even know why I drew or painted these giraffes like this..I mean brightly colored and with the coat of other animals (one was leopard print I remember), What good does it do anyone?  I think I muttered something like "people who want to support what I get to do in Kenya mostly buy my little canvases. Next month I will do a new canvas every day and people have blindly reserved their dates."  Feeling a bit self righteous  I then mumbled..."some very smart people buy things like this." 
It's true. I create quirky and non sensical things and some times people buy them.. And sometimes...people see the little creations and actually commission bigger versions and you know what else? Sometimes people don't. It's also true that people who want to support my orphans in Kenya buy my work and smart people buy my work. Good- we got all that settled. Only took 6 months to get to  this "Does it matter who buys it? Does it matter if anyone buys it at all? Is it any less art? Are you any less "you"? The answer to all of those questions is a resounding "NO".  It's the very essence of the series  I call U.B.U.  Be the best you-you can be. Don't worry about others and don't try to fit in or measure up. Be YOU!  Uhh...good idea AK I think I will. Good! Thank you! You're most welcome. Good night! 

And now, the song that started all this giraffe painting anyway. Take it away Mr. Yoakam