My ideas grew two sizes the other day. Want to know how? Collaboration. A healthy helping of friendship. A little thing called social media. Yes, social media can lead to actual, productive work, who knew?
I just happened to read a post by Molly Field on her Feather Fish. Then I headed to Twitter to make fun of
people myself and crack bad jokes. That’s when the magic happened. Molly asked me to interpret a poem she had written and I jokingly said I would do it for free feather fish.
She not so jokingly said, “OK.” I hadn’t even read the poem yet. That made me a little nervous, but then I read the poem and laughed because it was so funny, and familiar, and about being a mom which I could totally relate to: A busy, has a lot of interests mom, not the Betty Crocker kind. You can read Molly’s poem here: homage to the microwave.
So, we had a poem and I started a collage. I immediately went to Molly’s Facebook page and bought her photos with my five-finger discount. Seriously, I stole them right off her page. Who knew it would be so easy to take your friends face and give her a cartoon body? All I can say is, watch your back friends and family, my collage scissors might be coming for you.
Then I just put her in a kitchen with her ravioli and microwave and voila, we had a collage. We had a poem. We had art meets life. We had two people who had never met in real life involved in a conspiracy to make something awesome even more awesome. Not to mention, the poem-collage has real meaning for us and probably in more ways than one.
This is where the ideas grew two sizes that day. While we were laughing and joking about poems and glue and photographs we came up with an idea to turn the poems and collage making into a bit of a series. It was the perfect plan because I have wanted to do something like this forever, but I could never get the words right. I’m a collage artist. I’m not a poet. All I could ever think to do was plagiarise someone elses catchy sayings and since that is illegal and amoral and also boring I just waited for inspiration to strike. It finally did, because I collaborated with a friend. I should say, the inspiration struck Molly and then me, like a bolt of crooked lightning. She writes, I paint. Has there ever been a better match made in the history of humankind? Have I told you I am prone to exaggeration? Did you figure that out on your own already? Seriously, this is going to be an incredibly fun adventure and while we may not be creating world peace, we are creating something, and I am pretty excited about it, obviously. I think we might turn these collages into a calendar of some kind so other cranky, silly, adorable, awesome women can enjoy our antics as much as we do.
Have I mentioned how important friendship is? Do I need to? I mean, you probably already know. Still, friendship is important, especially to the creative process. I’ve been sort of stuck in a rut lately. I’ve been doing a lot of staring at the canvas and blobbing paint on things and then hiding it all in the back of a dark closet. I’ve also been painting some watercolors in a real bad way. One painting I attempted of my daughter ended up looking like a giant, baby version of Barbie pretending to be taking LSD in the forest. At least, that’s the back story I finally came up with to explain the colors, the giant headed figure, and the arm that seems to be floating next to her instead of being attached to her body. Anyway, I digress.
My point is, collaboration and friendship can get you unstuck and make your ideas grow or just come alive. Not to mention, these collaborative moments tend to grow on their own and seep out into other areas of your life. Our moment did for Molly (you can read about her experience here: Transcendental Frienditation). Our moment did for me too. I started three different paintings yesterday. One I even finished. It’s a gift for someone so it’s kind of personal and about love. I just started and couldn’t stop working yesterday. I was all, “Art me, Universe!”
Even Tiny-Small helped.
You just never know where life is going to take you. One minute you are searching for inspiration and the next minute it just falls into your lap in the form of microwaves, ravioli and feather fish. Saying yes opens so many doors. You never know where you are going to end up. It’s pretty exciting! It’s also good to have friends. Thank you, Molly! You have no idea the gift you have given me.