Saturday, December 31, 2011

On Christmas, Activism, but chiefly Making Things For People.

Ho Ho Ho (or, backwards, Oh Oh Oh)

For it's Christmas time, when we travel far and near;
May God bless you and send you a happy New Year

Well, not any more. But the sentiment stands.

I had a most joyous season of good will. I travelled far and near and I gave and received and ate and ate and ate.

Something which I may have mentioned previously, is how busy in the manner of a bee I am in my life currently. I have a full time teaching job, an epic commute, portraits to paint, resources to make, plus illustrating for things like the Think Act Vote book which is being crowd funded here go buy them a drink or worth a general check out for their sterling work, plus the occasional magazine illo. Anyway I barely have time to watch X factor, so it's lucky that's finished.

I had thought therefore, that come the festive season I would want to give hassle free gifts, pay with the more money that I have to save the more time in the holidays I needed for sleeping and watching Gilmore Girls. But no. Before the term even ended I began to fantasize about hand making gifts.

I played with ideas of garlands and biscuits, altered vintage photographs, in the end I plumped for uniquely tailored chocolate hearts for the majority, choosing confectionery and mixing different brands of chocolate for each of my immediate and in-law-to-be family members. I also made some mini lightswitch artworks, bird shaped tree decorations and my traditional set of handmade cards for my mother's extended lot.

I forgot to do the obvious and photograph any of this, so here is an annotated diagram of how to make your own, me-style chocolate heart. I may have got carried away with the diagram. There wasn't really a bunsen burner.
Is it racist that love hearts still say BLUE EYES?

I didn't really forget by the way. It crossed my mind to record these endeavours and do like a twee crafty blog of it all. But that felt wrong. Because these things, and here we are coming to my actual point, were not for self promotion. They were for my loved ones, and also, for me. In a private and pure way, to keep me sane.

I think this is a big part of why I am an illustrator more than I'm a fine artist, and why I love doing portrait commissions, why I spend longer than I have to making resources for my Art classes,
(like this example of a one point perspective shop interior I did at half term)

why I am doing my facebook project too in a way. Making things for other people is one of my all time favourite things to do. (obvious jokes about chocolate and sex).

It's better than Art for Art's sake, Art for Sale, Art for The Betterment of The People, Art Garfunkel, Art for kids, Art for fun and profit, and Art for impressing the Opposite Sex.

Making things for other people is basically like having a dinner party, but with less last minute hoovering and soup angst.

Making things for other people is Ace.

And that's why I know that whatever happens in my life, if I have a dozen kids, or get a job so lucrative I am not compelled to draw for moneys ever again (neither of which are likely, but you never know), I will still Make things for People.

I suggest you do too.

I exercise my self given right to say 'Merry Christmas' right up until I start saying happy new year.

Merry Christmas. I may write a proper post tomorrow.