A few weeks ago I rented a movie called “Julie and Julia”. It was pretty entertaining overall but I never expected it to literally “plant the seeds” for an idea to take me through a year. Now, if you're not familiar with the movie I’ll just tell you that the main character, Julie, decides that over the course of one year she will cook every recipe form Julia Childs' “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” She also writes a blog based on what she learns about her own life along the way. After watching that movie, I thought about what a creative feat it was for Julie. I thought about the course of a year- a simple structure that can be broken down mathematically, 52 little weeks, a good way to organize those darn pesky things called ideas. During the movie I rooted for Julie to achieve her goal, but later I wondered if I could make the same sort of commitment to something I regarded with the same passion.
Passion. Well, I have many passions, maybe a few too many. Just look around my apartment and you’ll see. You’ll see tons of books. You’ll see kids drawings (you’ll defiantly see some cat hair “tumble weeds”). You’ll also see some more random things I collect, like the plastic cris-cross mesh that they put on your wine bottle at the store, even the corks from the bottles them selves. Anyway, there are ceramic bowls and vases all over the place. Some bowls are filled with buttons or beads or loose change, others with seeds, pods and all sorts of dried goodies I find on my walks. So when I consider what I am most passionate about I’m sure I must consider the organic objects within my bowls; those things in nature that stop me in my tracks.
By now you probably think I’m like some garden guru or something, one of those ladies you see in a nursery with the canvas apron and gloves. NOT. I don’t even have the slightest resemblance of a green thumb. In fact, I have to confess that I have killed so many plants in my day that I think when a plant sees me in a store it must kind of look the other way and hide so I won’t want to take it home. Even my Christmas tree is so dry and wilted that he looks like he belongs in a nursing home for Christmas tress. But seriously, by now you can see where I’m going with this “plants as human beings” thing.
Over the course of the past five years, since I’ve moved to Westchester, I began looking at nature differently. Whenever I explored the simple beauty in nature, I began to see innate references to the human psyche. Maybe it’s a character trait I see in a type of flower, like for example, the extravagance of the overflowing pedals of a peony flower. Or maybe it’s the way plants grow and adapt, how they can suffer and have needs just like us. With plants, like with people, all you can do is just try your best to take care of them, to respect them in your own way and they will try to give back…sometimes…maybe, if you're lucky.
I’ve had my doubts about blogs, to be honest. I was always suspicious of people’s motivations in doing them. Anyway, It really wasn’t until I saw “Julie and Julia” that I understood that a blog could be like a classroom. A place to share, learn and grow just by putting yourself out there. With this new medium you can define you own parameters and create you own way to connect to the world. Lord knows as a freelance illustrator with all the time I spend alone, I need all I can get of connecting to the world.
So enough about me. Enough about my motivations. Enough about blogs. Here we are at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. A blank canvas and lots of blank space here on this page, and so, with the color white I’m diving in.