1. I made a little friend.

     
  2. Celestial

     
  3. New Work: Collaboration with specimen artist Sophia Watts — Limited edition prints available at Parachute Market Los Angeles, 3/22/14.

     

  4. In Defense of C-sections

    Having had a baby via c-section, I now have a thing or two to say about c-sections. First, c-sections should not be feared nor demonized. They are lifesaving and necessary and quite safe. Secondly, having a c-section does not make you less of a woman/mother, as some would cruelly say it does. Nor does it mean that you will fail to bond with your baby, or that your baby will be unhealthy, or that you won’t be able to breastfeed, should you choose to. Mostly, having a c-section means that mom and baby get to go home healthy and safe. Natural childbirth advocates might say that Arthur and I are “victims” of the dreaded Cascade of Interventions (pitocin induction » epidural » surgical birth). I would say that we are beneficiaries of a system that works, and that if it weren’t for a competent, prudent OB and surgical team, one or both of us might not be here. Nobody knew that I was carrying nearly ten pounds of baby — the ultrasound that morning didn’t show it. My blood sugar was decently controlled. The only giveaway was my massive belly, but even that could be explained away by my otherwise petite frame — the baby had nowhere to go but out in front, right? 

    It amazes me how c-sections have been demonized to the point where people talk about “teh ebil obstetricians” who, as my own doctor laughingly put it, “apparently just want to cut everyone open!” Nothing could be further from the truth. After 24 hours of labor, a swelling cervix, climbing blood pressure, and a terrified and delirious mom, the doctor on call made the right choice to get things moving — to get the baby out safely and to get mom into recovery. I think it’s too bad that so many women who have had c-sections feel so much guilt about it. You and your baby are alive and healthy, right? What is there to feel guilty about? I think it’s important to remember that despite the unique set of challenges that come with a surgical birth, it’s still a birth — it’s still beautiful, and it can still be an emotionally complete, fulfilling event. You didn’t fail. I for one am proud of my big baby and I’m in awe of the people who were able to get him out of my belly and into the world, safely, in under twenty minutes. 

     

  5. Where Children Sleep

     
  6. This is called the Burp Trance.

     

  7. "

    Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.

    You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.

    To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.

    "
    — Bill Watterson
     

  8. Unlearning Perfectionism

    Whenever people talk about writing, or write about writing, they always say that you’re supposed to write what you know. I think that what you know is kind of the same as what interests you, which is to say that it’s all very subjective. The kernel of truth here is that you thrive when you immerse yourself in the things that are real to you.  This applies to any form of creative expression. The problem is that what so many of us know intimately are the exact things that keep us paralyzed in our creative practice. The things we know are the things we think we’re supposed to somehow obliterate because we have this idea that they are what is keeping us from a fulfilling creative practice, or keeping us safe, or both. So what happens if what you “know” includes things like self-doubt, criticism, fear, and insecurity, but you try to work around those things and only create art that reflects the subjects and values which have been given the stamp of approval by your ego? The result, I think, is work that is shallow and flat. By avoiding taking risks and engaging fear we confine ourselves to a palette which may be totally incongruent with authentic self-expression.

    I am a learned perfectionist. Over the years, I have learned to censor my creative output, to create only specific kinds of work for specific purposes. The result is that my work has become narrower and narrower in its scope even while improving technically. As I’ve become more “educated” and more aware of various trends and schools of thought within the realm of animation, fine art, and academia (each of which is highly stylized and dogmatic in its own way), I have experienced the unfortunate consequence of watching much (but not all, thankfully) of my own work become more limited at its heart. This is not the fault of the art world or the animation industry or the schools I attended — it’s the interplay of those institutionalized approaches to creating with my own very personal fears and insecurities. In general, I have worked very hard to avoid creating work that I don’t like, and work that I’m afraid other people won’t like. In doing so I have effectively stopped myself from thriving creatively on a consistent basis, because that fear is a part of the whole picture and when you reject it, you limit yourself tremendously. In the context of successful creative expression fear is integrated and it informs the work, making it stronger. (Note: I use the term “fear” broadly, meaning to include any kind of unproductive self-critique or reflexive, limiting attitudes and behaviors.)

    My goal for 2014, therefore, is not to make something impressive, because that’s not a helpful goal for someone who is as hard on herself about her creative practice as I am. Instead, I am shifting my focus, and the goal is only to do less shying away from the shadow side of my creativity — to become more accepting of risk and to avoid viewing my artistic output in black and white terms — success vs. failure, good vs. bad. As working artists I think we need to remember to open our arms to what scares us because trying to avoid those things is a recipe for creative paralysis, which I’m pretty sure is far worse than the experience of making a bunch of subjectively “bad” drawings. I’ve always been a weird person with a lot of weird interests (I happen to love being weird), but gradually I learned to curtail the weirdness because I acquired the erroneous belief that weirdness is not accessible and that accessibility = success. Therefore, my promise to myself and my invitation to you, dear reader, is more weirdness and more risk and more of a mess. Usually I would apologize politely for my mess, but instead I’ll say, therapeutically, fuck you, here’s some weird shit.

    image

     
  9. I remember reading this when I was very small and I’m quite certain it was the direct cause of my inability to control myself when it comes to eating chocolate chip cookies. Total backfire. The message to me is not “Stop eating cookies,” — it’s actually, “Cookies are awesome; eat them all.”

    (via paradisengineering)

     
  10. vardaesque:

    polmos:

    Salvador Dali Taking His Anteater for a Walk, Paris 1969

    Salvador Dali Not Giving A Single Fuck, Paris 1969

    (via filet)