New Year, New Things

Hi Everybody..

Lately I’ve been catching up on some ghastly overdue paperwork, ignored now for 6-ish years. I’m finding forms and papers and documents from what seems like another life. Becoming a camp counselor was the meridian which divided the course of my life from *artist-who-listens* to *professional-listener-who-is-alarmingly-artistic*. I have grown up so much since becoming a counselor, and now I realize how disastrously un-ready I was to run an art business. This paperwork through which I now wade is the result of running a business without a bean’s worth of expertise.

Needless to say, things that mattered to me before becoming a counselor, such as fame, attention, approval and indulgence, matter to me less now. New things now matter to me, such as whether the physical, emotional, nutritional and educational needs of at-risk kids are being met, and by whom, and under what circumstances. I get up at 5 a.m. I go for a run. I get to work and set out breakfast for the kids. My coworkers arrive. We chat about the coming day and try to find where we put the stash of new spoons. The kids trickle in and we metal detect ‘em at the door. We have breakfast with them and go to class. We do fun stuff, boring stuff, exercise stuff, play stuff, creative stuff and we address problems as they occur. The kids go home. My coworkers and I debrief on what worked and what didn’t, then we do our paperwork. I go home. I have a couple of hours left to do some creature making or housework before preparing for the following day. Then I sleep and repeat the process.

My life is focused, driven and full. When the kids are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, I manage to jot down a few doodles of new toy designs and old comic characters. When I manage to find some good art time, I take it slow and steady, focusing largely on the planning and preparation for production rather than just hacking into fabric and seeing what transpires. My spontaneity has mutated into decisive, intentional planning. I will make fewer pieces of art this year, but they stand to be remarkably better than anything I have ever done. And Stupid Creatures™ as they have been known will change forever.

I’ve just finished writing book #3, and I will be editing the first run of black/white laser prints in February. It’s a new sock creature book, and it focuses on not just the projects, but the way an idea can transform, expand and evolve when shared with hundreds of thousands of people. 15 of those people became guest designers in this new book, which is why there will be 20 projects for you to enjoy and further evolve. I’m excited to show it to everyone when it’s legal for me to do so. Next on my creature roster is a set of robot-like characters made from old trousers, and a new way (for me) of making a 3-toed foot.

Take care, everyone, and more soon!!