Sunday, January 31, 2016

Navigating worlds and finding inspiration

Last post I promised to try to do better keeping up with my blog in 2016. Hmmm. In an attempt to post at a minimum of once per month, I figured I better write today...the last day of January.

I've been pondering how it is we navigate the various worlds
we inhabit, the challenges and the inspirations we receive
from wandering through.

The political scene in the U.S. at the moment seems at times
like a fantasy or horror film depending on your perspective. I'm guessing many directors would find the script so
incredible that they would not be willing to take it on. 
Certainly it provides  plenty of fodder for late night comedy
shows and cartoonists.   Yet, of course, it also provides a
deep insight to the varying passions and opinions which
coexist in the United States.  The challenge is to figure a
way to actually listen to different opinions without dismissing off hand preventing any sort of deeper understanding.

When asked why I incorporate eyes in my work, I often
mention my belief that each of us "see" the world through
our individual perspective, life experience and filter.Sometimes
those filters are so opaque that is is impossible to see or
listen to others who don't see things as we do.

January is when from a show perspective, I venture into
a different world than the usual fine craft scene. As I have done
in previous years,  I participated in the art show and had a table in
the dealer room at Arisia, the fantasy/sci fi convention held
here in Boston Jan. 15-18.  I love seeing the care and flair visible in
the  costumes attendees wear and their comfort in their various

Certainly my customers have a bit of a different look than those at other shows.  I feel close to my costume designer brother who died years ago when I look at details. I was set up next to Cloak and Dagger Creations who sold corsets cloaks, googles and more.Although I've never been interested in wearing a corset, it was fun watching all shapes
sizes of folks trying them on. (Wired undergarments were one of my brother's specialties.)
It is different, and yet wonderful to be in an environment which is open, accepting, and "safe" for expression of creativity and exploration of identity.  There is a lot of fun, music making, gaming, film watching, listening to panels with a literature focus, etc, but likewise many panels exploring images of gender, sexual orientation, discrimination, racism in literature, games, films and society.  The teens have their own unconvention and determine what topics they want to discuss.  Like most worlds, there are strong opinions, conflicts and disagreements...and yet it seems like a place that encourages listening and trying to understand another point of view.

I am always intrigued to see the impact knowing I'm participating in the show has on my artwork.  I don't specifically create for Arisia, but items I see or pick up there from year to year find their way into my work.  A number of items (like kindle
and ipads covers and checkbooks with eyes) were the result of
orders at Arisia. Last year I became fascinated with roll playing
game dice and began using some in figures.  This year, a species of
Rpeggies showed up to dance on my table. ...each incorporating an
RPG in their heads and holding a removable one for playing.

Wandering in worlds which are on the edge of my comfort zone stirs
up creative juices, challenges me to sort through my opinions, and
if I am lucky ends up presenting new materials.(Next post I'll
show images of a couple new leather dragons incorporating items picked
up at Arisia!)

May you wander in new realms this year - both physically and in spirit
and see what opens before you.

Adventure on.  Wendy