Friday, April 28, 2006

Photocopiers, inspiration wires and "the dog".

My mum works in an office supplies store. This comes in handy on days like today when I need to photocopy things. I get a lot of books and magazines out from the library and most of the time I want to keep them, but of course can't. So instead I photocopy the pages I most like. This time it ended up being about 20 pages or so from three different sources: a book called 'The Warhol Look: glamour, style, fashion', an issue of Vanity Fair and another of American Harper's Bazaar. I always have intended purposes for these images, but most of the time they end up in this cardboard document box that I keep hidden away in my wardrobe. I already have a whole heap of pages photocopied from another book on Andy Warhol. As a 1960s-obsessed person I am intrigued by the Factory years, and mostly by Nico. So I have a tonne of pictures of her, and now this one on the top of the pile that I rather like. She's holding her hair up while Andy prints straight onto her paper dress.

So that was the first thing I did today, and when I got home I had a few things to do to finish off my 'art studio', which is actually a tiny space in the garage. It looks much cleaner in this photo - the walls really aren't that white and the desk feels much more cluttered when I'm sitting at it (also, the lamp shade has a big hole in the other side). I was very chuffed last weekend when my mum and I went to a garage sale put on by my old primary and high schools and the church to fund the schools being able to keep their chaplain. They had a whole heap of old school desks for sale, of which this was one. So now I have my own art desk and can leave it in a mess rather than having to pack up every night like when I worked at the kitchen bench. I also love that it's yellow, not that you can see a whole lot of it when it's covered in art supplies. The chair is also a work in progress - I bought it from the recycle market and stripped back three coats of paint (yellow, blue and white) but haven't got any further than that. It's going to be painted white at some stage. I also strung up an 'inspiration wire' to hang pictures off of, tacking one end behind my art cupboard and the other to to edge of the door frame to the lounge room. Hopefully that won't leave too much of a hole if we ever leave our little rented home.

The other highlight to my day, and all my days, is my cat Simba, otherwise referred to as "Fergus" (because that's his middle name) or "the dog" (as in "where's the dog?", as opposed to "where's the cat?". Who knows why). Here he is hiding under my mum's desk. It's always hard to take a photo of him because he turns out as a black blob, but that doesn't stop me photographing him. 'Simba' is Swahili for 'lion' and he is quite a vicious little thing. We definitely have our moments - and I have the scares to prove it - but there are occasions where he shows me affection. I say he loves me but he just pretends he doesn't. I think he looks sad today, which is why I took the photo.

And lastly, thank you to Samantha for being the first person to comment on my new blog.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

You probably couldn't see for the lights, but you were staring straight at me.

This is my very first entry in what I hope will turn out to be a much-loved (by me) blog. I've had many a blog before, starting from my teenage years at Teen Open Diary and then onto Livejournal, but I've never been very good at keeping them up to date. I've also found those types of places to be very clique-y and am often too intimidated to write anything for fear of not being very interesting. I still feel that way, but this time I am writing this for me and my creative process.

I thought of starting this new blog, brand new and afresh, after coming to the decision that I want to start making things, possibly even one day to sell. I know this will be a long way off, the most important reason being that I haven't made anything yet! I've always tried to be a creative person, though there shouldn't have to be any 'trying', it should just be natural. I'm not sure if it's natural in me - I can't draw and never really have my own original ideas. But I feel the need to make something of my own or do my own thing, even if it has just been a website or writing a letter to a special friend, listening to my favourite music or watching my favourite movie. I don't ever like not having time to myself. I'm a very independent person (some may say anti-social) and I would rather be on my own even if it is just to watch TV.

So to continue this point, after four years of university I have finally graduated and am looking for a job. I have been looking for three months. I studied Arts, and I'm beginning to believe the stereotype that an Arts degree leaves you qualified for nothing. I absolutely loved uni though. I can't think of anything better than spending three years (the first year I studied Business, what was I thinking? I absolutely hated it) studying politics, film, the TV industry and history - writing essays on American imperialism, war propaganda, the Vietnam War, music in the 60s, Jim Morrison and science fiction film, while watching movies, documentaries and reading awesome books. So I'm stuck somewhere between knowing uni was such an amazing experience, and wishing I'd gone straight from school to work or a traineeship.

I'm unsure what sort of work I want to do. I applied for a library assistant job and didn't get it. I was excited about this one because the library is my happy place (maybe not so much anymore, grr) and I love books. I might not be qualified in the strictest sense of the term, but I have spent the last four years in libraries. I couldn't count the number of books I've had to get out and read for assignments. If there's anyone who has read every book on music in the 60s, the Kennedy family, film history, the Cold War and so on that the town library has on it's shelves it's probably me. A job counsellor even helped with my application and said she'd be surprised if I didn't get an interview. Well I was surprised too. I'm not going to pretend it doesn't hurt when you get those 'rejection' letters in the mail, but I don't want to be defined by it. I don't want to place too much importance on job searching because it's not what I want to be doing anyway. And to be made to do it makes me even more defiant. Maybe I really want to work in a museum. Or in TV. Or write for a magazine. These are all dreams, and I suppose options, but I wouldn't even know where to start. So... the point is: rather than be depressed about there being no jobs and even the crappy jobs not wanting me, I am focusing on the simple things.

I think I'm a very easily pleased person. Give me my favourite magazine (Time, Vogue, Frankie, Harper's Bazaar, Rolling Stone, Real Living etc) and I'll happily live through it for days. I am obsessed with my TV shows (CSI, Law & Order: SVU, ER, The OC, Lost) and love my music even more. I also like thrift shops and garage sales, and what I most like to do on a Saturday morning is go to the recycle markets. I'm a collector of many things - books that I don't read, back issues of magazines that sit in a pile on a shelf, 1970s dinnerware that lives in a cupboard waiting until I have my dream house and can deck out my kitchen in browns and oranges.

But what this blog is really about is Enfant unique, a title I got from the phrase I most clearly remember from French class: je suis enfant unique - I am an only child. I want to make craft. I don't know what type of craft, I just have a whole heap of ideas and a million thoughts at once of things I should do. Enfant unique will encapsulate all of these thoughts and give it some sort of purpose. This blog will follow the process. I did a quiz once that said I'm process-oriented person when it comes to tasks, rather than focused on the results. Which is true. I'm a perfectionist and you will regularly find me throwing something that doesn't work at the wall, whether it be a painting that looks a right mess or the TV remote control. I'm not sure this entry is at all where I wanted my blog to go, but I feel I've been honest and certainly more open than is normally me.

And to finish, a quote that I found yesterday that I feel describes the state of my thinking lately: "outbursts of drunken violence and manic activity and creativity", only I don't drink.