A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Word Art: For Mr. Imagination

I first met Mr. Imagination in front of a now-defunct punk club called 513 which, I murkily recall, was having some kind of all-day event on a pleasant Saturday afternoon.  I don’t remember much about the event, but I do remember Mr. I.  He wore a vest that was completely covered with bottlecaps that we all tried on at some point–it was a magical thing, clothing as percussion instrument that made a shooka-shooka noise as one danced.  He was a friend of my friend Lake–they went back quite a ways, apparently–and Lake’s living room had a number of his pieces on the wall.  When I saw the installation of his at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, I recall my thoughts being along the lines of “Wow, I feel like I’m at Lake’s.”

The party where my art career started was actually a joint celebration by Lake and Mr. Imagination.  Mr. I had recently bought a house not far from Lake’s place and partway through the festivities some of us walked over there in the chill December night to have a look at what he’d done to the place.  The walls were already covered with art and this was only a week after Lake’s husband had hung up the drapes for him.

That night, Mr. I paid me two tremendous compliments.  One was that he’d never seen anything like what I’d done.  The other was that he wanted to trade art with me.  My first official commission.  I set to it not long after.

I picked up a frame from the same Goodwill run that I picked up the frame for Guide Dog.  It was actually a bit of mass-produced framed art, a twee arty rendition of an elephant, but I took to the back of it with a flathead screwdriver and got rid of that nonsense.  (I made my living as a picture framer in my younger bohemian days, so I know my way around a frame and mat in a pinch.)  I cut the paper, drew the lines and one fine afternoon got out the pens and did the piece in roughly one sitting.  The words were thus:

The first rule is to start with what you have.

Start with your imagination.

You do not have to wait for permission for anyone other than yourself.

You do not need just the right moment.

The only moment you need is the moment of inspiration, the moment the muse breathes into your mouth as if to revive a near-drowned swimmer.

The muse doesn’t care where you live.

The muse doesn’t care how much money you have.

She didn’t show up to make you rich or famous.

Nice work if you can get it, but that’s not her job.

She gives you the work to do and it’s up to you to bring it into being.

But as the breath of life is shaped by lips and tongue when we speak, so the breath of the muse is shaped by our hands, our lives, our circumstances.

Take what you have right now and make use of it.

Don’t wait until you can afford the shiny toy.

Don’t wait until the school has handed you the slip of paper that declares you qualified and competent.

It is no shame to be a beginner.

It is only a shame to never even try in the first place.

Each and every little attempt is an education, even if the only lesson learned is what not to do and why.

The only really right way to do things is the way that works. And only you can really decide what works.

Never be afraid to admit when you’re wrong, but never be afraid to insist that you’re right, either.

The only way to lose is to fake it, to pretend in the worst possible way, not in the way one does to invoke the imagination and consider the possibilities, but to pretend in such a way as to say what you think will impress somebody else.

If you really want to impress? Try being completely honest about who you are and what wants to come out of you.

You may find that people will be more than a little upset (some of them, at least) but few will fail to be impressed.

Anybody who lives authentically will be seen as something of a weirdo.

This does not mean that there is something wrong with being so, it just means that the standards for what is normal do not include being completely who you are.

Being shocking for the sake of being shocking is not true creativity. It is merely being normal from the opposite direction.

Just speak the truth, even if it seems banal or obvious to you.

If it is indeed the truth as you know it, spoken from the center of the self and it hasn’t been checked over to see if it will appeal to the ‘right’ people, then you will not lack for people willing to be shocked by it.

Any sound that deviates from the constant drone of expectations will seem like a blast of noise, even if it is no more than a whisper.

Start with what comes to you in dreams, the things you see that no one else really can, in the same way, see.

Any work of art that truly comes from the center of your true self will inevitably bear fingerprints that can only be traced to you.

It is the way of it.

Glove your hands in a layer of pretense if you wish to avoid this.

(Perhaps this is why we have such art in the first place? To avoid being linked to the scene of the crime?)

When they knock on your door and ask you “Is this yours?” you should never feel the need to ever deny that it is.

If you do, ask yourself why that is so.

There should be no shame in speaking the truth that comes from the heart.

(Unfortunately, most speak the truth of the ego instead of the heart and that, perhaps, is something to be ashamed of.)

To create is to be human.

Anybody can. Perhaps not everybody does, but anybody can.

I wish more people would.

The more you create, the less you need.

Somewhere in the middle of writing these words, the electricity went out in my home.

I didn’t even really notice for a while.

The power is still out as I’m writing this sentence.

As long as I have sunlight to see by and working pens to write with, I’m fine with this.

Here, then, is Exhibit A for my case–that art needs only the drive to create it and all else falls into place.

And, yes, the power did go out while I was working and I didn’t figure it out until I got up to refill my water glass or something and noticed all the digital clocks were blank.

I neglected to take a picture of it in its frame, but I did snap a quick picture of it out of the frame so I’d have a record to do the transcript from.  It came out a touch hazy, but was legible enough for me to work with.

For Mr. Imagination

I completed the piece before Guide Dog, but Neil Gaiman got his first since he was only in the area for a single day and my chance to present it was brief.  Mr. Imagination received his piece a few days later and was bowled over by it.  I read him the words and he hugged me and thanked me.  I still have yet to collect my payment but I know where Mr I. lives now, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble.  When I do, I may amend this post to display what was exchanged.

Prints of this work are not available.

The original has been given to Mr. Imagination (aka Gregory Warmack)

1 comment to Word Art: For Mr. Imagination

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.