Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The honest truth

The bald honest truth. I want to write a personal blog, very badly. I want to push myself to sketch and write and fantasize on a daily or at least bi-weekly basis. But the truth is, when you have a young baby, your own business, and you work from home, you can't. Maybe if I didn't like cooking.

So for now I have to concentrate on my baby, business, home and cooking, and my blog for A Printable Press which is sneakily turning personal whenever I'm not paying close attention!

You can find me, for now, here. Come say hi and watch to see if it gets kooky, I suspect it might. Because you know what? Perhaps it's okay for business and personal to get a little mixed up, for life to become one continuous thing. Why should everything be differentiated? Or, at least, why should it be when your work is creative, you work from home, your baby crawls into your office and messes everything up in a really funny way—why should things be compartmentalized?

There are probably good reasons. I guess I'll find out!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

AND YET SOMETIMES PORTRAITS OF COUPLEDOM MAKES MY HEART WARM


It is known amongst my family and friends that I am more comfortable thinking about animals than about humans. One friend called me a "species-traitor".

Found here, on a blog called simply "Vintage Children's Books My Kid Loves". Who is this person who has the time to seek out these books, scan them, and write about them? How can there be so many people in the world who are simply so giving to an unknown audience? It might be in promotion of a store or business or something, I'm not going to search to find out. I'll keep it as a gift in my mind.

This is, and I should have known, an illustration from "Into The Ark" about the animals rushing into Noah's Ark. Once again I don't care. When I spied this image on google images I just thought about tigers in love running free. The stormy sky urging them on. This time mate-dom is not about mutual comfort or buoying each other up in a scary world, it is a mutual urging-on. Run faster, faster! Fur all electric with storm and excitement! Run faster, faster towards hills in the distance that you will race up and then get launched into the sky!

In case anyone doesn't know this video, it is the same feeling. It was a french Levi's commercial from 2002 and I will never forget it. I've downloaded it for my own safekeeping, I wish I could find a super hi-def version.

Monday, September 26, 2011

WHO WILL COMFORT TOFFLE

I have a passion for children's books, like a burning burning passion. There are so many reasons. Of course there is the fact that I'm an artist and designer and so I'm drawn to the generous and yet compact way to look at art. But another of the big ones is that they pretty much have to have a moral (we're talking about picture books, not novels). Or if not a moral then a warm and fuzzy feeling (think "Good Night Moon").

I recently bought the children's book "Who Will Comfort Toffle" by Tove Jansson of Moomin fame. I've written about her before and I'll write about her again. And this will probably be the only time I will criticize her.

The story is about Toffle, a little creature of a nervous nature, alone in the world. He runs from the loneliness of his house into the wide world, but is thwarted by his own shyness. Until! Until he finds a letter floating in a bottle, written by a scared and lonely Miffle. He is immediately seized with purpose! He rushes off and does a battle dance and saves the lovely young female thing from the terrifying Groke! And he does not need comfort because I suppose he has found his own strength and because he now has a friend.

The book is beautiful and I was overwhelmed by Tove's graphic abilities that I hadn't suspected. I'd always known of her writing and line art. She is a genius at color and shape. But.

How can the ending be about coupledom as the cure-all for all of one's issues? How can it not have ended when Toffle came to the seashore where "He pulls his shoes off, feels his toes sink into soft white sand/As he admires the pale blue sky, the sea, the rippling land./'How wonderful', thinks Toffle, 'I can rest or dance or shout/or fill my hat with pebbles." How can it go on to say he is still not happy and say "So who will comfort Toffle and remind him that a shell/is nicer when there's somebody to show it to as well?"

Buh-loney. I mean sure, maybe for some. But you know what? If there is a moral, it should be that one can find deep joy and strength within oneself. Why in the world would the moral be that your only hope for happiness and comfort is to get over shyness and find yourself a mate?

I will tell my son, at some point—
If you find a beautiful shell, tell it that it is beautiful. If you see a beautiful sky, tell it that it is beautiful. If you see a beautiful ocean, tell it "You are beautiful".
And they will hear you. The world hears you.

Mate-dom has many happinesses attached to it, or can if you are with a nice one. But no one, NO ONE, should be told it is necessary for joy and comfort. At least that's what I think.