Monday, June 16, 2014

On really needing to pull oneself together.

Brooks Salzwedel

You know when someone asks you to do something that you don't normally do and you say 'okay' because Why Not? (and you need the money) and then it gets to the day before and you are on the verge of vomiting and you cry actual tears and wonder if there is any way you can get out of this because YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND WHY DID YOU AGREE TO THIS AND OHMYGOD IT'S TERRIBLE AND YOU'RE PROBABLY GOING TO DIE and then on the day you leave super early and you walk very very slowly like a dog on the way to the vet or a seven year old due at the head teacher's office and you feel physically sick all of the way and the rain is dripping on you and your phone dies so you can't actually be sure where you are going and you get hungry and the only thing that you can find to eat is a £12 sandwich which turns out to be half a sandwich and so now you're still scared and still hungry but you also want to punch whoever came up with stupid fucking Le Pain Quotidien and their stupid fucking half sandwiches and then you finally get there and you have to start doing what you're so scared of doing and you're still a little bit shaking and kicking yourself for ever agreeing to it in the first place and wait, what is this? You're enjoying yourself? And you're having a good time? And you're actually quite good at what you do?

Yeah. That.

Friday, June 06, 2014

monkeys, babies, creative blocks.

Everywhere around me people are having or are about to have babies and I had this lovely idea that I was going to knit something for them all. HA! The one that came first was the lucky one, he got all of my knitting mojo and then I decided that if I was going to put that much time into making something then it was going to be for me. I'm giving like that. So now I'm making myself a scarf, at the rate I'm knitting it should be finished by winter 2016.

I made the kid a monkey. Everyone I showed it to was surprised, the people who had seen my hot water bottle cover were the most so. "It looks like a monkey," they said. "An actual monkey." I took the opportunity to practise my modesty by quietly smiling and offering a demure shrug but inside I was shouting 'DAMN RIGHT it looks like a monkey motherfuckers.'

I really wanted to keep him, I'm not going to lie. But then I also really wanted to show off a) how much I care about the new baby and b) what a genius I am, so I packaged him up with a bottle of whiskey, some books, a set of ear plugs and some mini eggs and posted him off to be puked on and thrown in puddles.

We met the baby for the first time last week and he's kind of adorable. I spotted the monkey sitting on a shelf and I briefly considered stuffing it in my bag and taking it home but then I looked at the kid and I looked at the monkey and I looked at the kid again and he gave me this ridiculous, gummy, whole-face-creasing-up smile and I thought 'Fine, I suppose you can keep him. For now.' Then later, when he schnuzzled his nose into that gap between my boob and my armpit and fell fast asleep, I briefly considered sticking him in my bag instead; the kid for the monkey seemed like a fair swap. Then I remembered that I'm done with babies. They're nice and all that, but I'm done.

Sometimes when I'm feeling creatively stuck (all the time at the moment), when my photographs don't look right and my words come in the wrong order, if at all, I have this urge to make another baby. If you like making stuff, objects, then babies are pretty fulfilling. While it can be a pain in the ass getting the project off the ground, once it's ticking away you don't need to put much work in. The end product is, from a technical point of view, likely the most impressive thing you will ever make from two ingredients. Spending time with an actual baby helps to add a little perspective to that genius idea though, helps to remind you that while you might end up with a very nicely constructed craft project, the end result is a bit more of a commitment than the photos your struggling with or the words that just won't come.

I think that maybe I need to learnt to sew. Clothes seem like the next most impressing thing you can make, after people. Then again, maybe I should just stick with the photos and the words, as infuriating as they both are. I stuck the kids out from two and a half through to three and a half and they seem to have come out the other side of that shit-fest (literally) of a year so maybe the words and photos will too.