Thursday, November 8, 2007

art for art's sake 2

Last year I was asked if I'd be willing to make a scarf for a long-time 'angel friend'. Now I really don't get the whole concept of that kind of friend since as I recall it was some weird market ploy developed by a company to sell base metal pins - but what do I know? My concept of angels isn't one that allows them to be anything other than enormous, magnificent beings totally beyond imagination.. frightening, in fact. Who in their right mind would want to meet the archangel Gabriel? But the lady who asked is a sweet woman who explained her friend was going through a very bad year and that she would dearly love to give her something special.

I must explain that I've never felt good about commissioned work - passed up an offer by Hallmark cards once because I knew I'd never be able to draw to order. I've never offered my services as an illustrator for the same reason but the lady talked me into it and so, in a fit of enthusiasm, I agreed. Right from the start I knew it had been a bad decision but I was stuck with having made the promise. The first scarf was so awful I threw it away after two weeks of salvage work. These are the two 'angels' that eventually looked okay enough and I handed the piece over with the promise to self never to make anything to order again. I've wondered if I'll see a stranger on the street and recognize her simply by the eight foot long silk scarf she's decided to show the world that day. It would be interesting.

Meanwhile it's much easier to work at a full-time job and save the creative side for when the time and inclination arrive.


  1. My theory is, "If you can make money creating art, then you should grab on with both hands, and worry about your soul later."

    In other words, I'm willing to sell out.

    I think I'd be a wonderful Hallmark card writer.

    Don't you?

  2. Hey Fairlane,
    I agree with you completely and the operative word for me given the situation is 'can't'.

    If memory serves it seems R. Crumb himself really did work for Hallmark early on but he got fired.

    You, on the other hand, would be very successful.

    I'm sure..

  3. I'm sure the recipient of this scarf feels like some kind of angel ... or a damn lucky woman at least.

    Looks lovely to me, although I think I understand your feeling. I do some writing, which I sometime flog for anything I can get. That must be the Fairlane in me!

    And yes Fairlane, Hallmark could use you, but it would be better if there is a sort of punk, angry and cursey kind of card company out there. They'd pay big to channel you.

  4. These are actually kind of lucky. I like the marbled effect you have within the angels' aurae. 'Course I have a friend who's made much the same point about angels. Cherubim were apparently seen as these huge lion-headed things. The image of the chubby babies with wings is a Renaissance innovation, probably derived from Eros.

  5. Wonderful Art work...I agree with your thoughts...Nice one!

  6. Susan, great site you have here. Lots of cool stuff. However, I think you've gotten in with a very risque crowd (Fairlane and Gary are especially troublesome). BE CAREFUL!

  7. I know exactly what you mean. I have felt like I was prostituting on several occasions...but when it comes to feeding my child my theory is; you got to do what you've got to do.

  8. Gary - You write well and always on target. No harm in making money from that so long as you're not proselytizing something despicable.

    Ben - Yeah, a real one could provide a devastating spectacle and nowhere does it say they have to be people size.

    Kalyan - High praise from a master.

    Scarlet - One you learn how to swim deep water is the only place to be - even the chance of sharks just adds to the fun.

    Kathie - But what if you're a prostitute and nobody ever stops by your corner?

  9. I sell whenever I can but it is always so torturous. I totally understand what you are saying.

    PS- The WORLD definitely needs a line of cards by Fairlane. I'd buy 'em.

  10. The owner of the scarf is lucky indeed.