What is Around

just make art

I am very unorganized. Disastrously messy. Borderline incoherent in both my actions and my words. My art is a reflection of this. Sometimes I worry that it is a sign of my deteriorating mental health, this unfocused and sloppy approach to art-making that I have fallen into. Today I scrambled into my first painting class of the semester 10 minutes late. I was carrying a large tote bag, a backpack, a large tool kit full of paint, 5 canvases, and a panel of plexiglass. It was hard to walk in unnoticed. Oh look! The other students whispered to each other (probably). The infamous grungy bag lady is back for another semester. She’s always late and paints terribly fast because she can’t be bothered to spend more than half an hour on any one project.

It’s true. But it’s not that I don’t like spending time on things. I have spent a very long time on Some Things. But I think I have trained myself to believe that perfection is unattainable so I should therefore just make really bad art and hope someone sees the beauty in it.

I’m working on a piece right now that is large and confusing. I can’t afford to buy a large canvas, so I cut up a cardboard box instead. My good paints are at school, so I’ve been using a strange combination of fabric marker, acrylic, gouache, sharpie, thread, and plastic to achieve my desired effect. I don’t even know what the effect is. I believe it’s called ‘I’m poor and lazy and messy and I want to make art so I’m just going to glue a bunch of weird stuff to cardboard and hope the MoMA takes notice.’

People ask me what kind of artist I am. They expect me to say painter or photographer or something that they can understand. But really I’m just an artist of What is Around. I can’t be bothered to devote myself to one medium. I can’t devote myself to one piece of art without getting bored or frustrated in a matter of minutes. I work fast and I am sloppy. But I don’t remember the Book of Art Rules saying anything about art needing to be slow and neat.

In preparation for an art show I have coming up, I bought 18 picture frames at the dollar store for $18. I am taking out the cardboard backing and drawing directly on it. Who needs to spend money on paper, am I right?

The moral of the story is: just make art and stop spending all your time on Facebook and pick up whatever is lying next to you and start drawing on it. The end.

above: one of my $18 picture frame creations.

-alicia

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