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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Artists among us

Some more of the "who's an artist?" and what does that mean philosophizing:

The other day, I came up to one door, and the lady says, "I already have two graphic designers in the family." That's awesome. At this point, these folks in the family actually recognize they are not "artists," but instead "designers," yet the grandmother does not understand the distinction! She is confused and thinks that I am a "graphic designer." No...I am an artist. I create not only my own designs, but, I create content. In my mind, "design" is a dead, non-expressive form of communication, which is defined by creating imagery, in almost all cases for someone else's ideas.

Along the same lines, one fellow told me that he wasn't "comfortable" supporting an artist he "didn't have a relationship with." Well, ok, but, from my perspective, this creates a great deal of classicism in art. Why? Because "having a relationship" demands being in the same social circles as said patron, and that is dependent on a host of economic and social forces. How can I "have a relationship" with, for example, a nuclear scientist that spends most of his days working on higher math? Or with a plumber who lives in Sacramento? Or with folks that make 100 times my income working for IBM? Will they invite me to their parties? Probably not. No, I think that art demands support irregardless of the "social dynamic."

More toons soon!

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Cartoon fan explains the 20 + C + M + B + 08 inscription over the doorway

Well, one mystery is solved. A friend of mine, and a cartoon fan, found this explination on the internet: (I'd like to add that I am not advocating this I am simply communicating it's meaning).


"Epiphany Inscription Over the Doorway of the Home
20 + C + M + B + 10

The letters have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat. May Christ bless the house.” The letters recall the day on which the inscription is made, as well as the purpose of blessing.

The crosses represent the protection of the Precious Blood of Christ, Whose Sacred Name we invoke, and also the holiness of the Three Magi sanctified by their adoration of the Infant Christ.

The inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God's blessing. The month of January still bears the name of the Roman god Janus, the doorkeeper of heaven and protector of the beginning and end of things. This blessing "christens" the ancient Roman observance of the first month. The inscription is made of chalk, a product of clay, which recalls the human nature taken by the Adorable and Eternal Word of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

To bless your home this Epiphany, first read the Prologue of Saint John's Gospel, followed by the Our Father, and the Collect of the Epiphany; then write the inscription for this year above your front door with blessed chalk.

Blessing of Chalk

V. Our help is the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

Bless, O Lord God, this creature chalk
to render it helpful to your people.
Grant that they who use it in faith
and with it inscribe upon the doors of their homes
the names of your saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar,
may through their merits and intercession
enjoy health of body and protection of soul.
Through Christ our Lord.

And the chalk is sprinkled with Holy Water. "

Which leads me to wonder, what do they do with the old chalk chips?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

some more awesome blowoffs

Every once in a while I list the best rejections I've had in the last few weeks:

1.No one here wants that.
2.I'm probably not interested.
3.(I'm asking about the letters 20+c+m+b+08, which is written above many doorways in Alameda) "That's something you don't have to worry about."
4.Oh no, we have an uncle that's a cartoonist (yeah, tell your uncle that a cartoonist stopped by, you didn't look at his work and you didn't support him in any way, I'm sure THAT will go over real well at the dinner party.)
5.I'm not going to support you, but I support your project, have you checked the houses across the street? (Can you believe this, they tell me that I should tap their neighbor, but THEY won't help!)

The folks I feel the sorriest for are the poor folks that figure out, an hour or so later, that they SHOULD have bought one measly cartoon from me. Poor people. Pablo Picasso shows up at their door, and they are mostly "eating dinner" and can't be bothered, or are "busy" watching TV!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fear in different districts

Something that I think is sort of amusing is the attitude folks have about "criminals" in the different neighborhoods.

For example, when I knock on doors in the "ghetto," or "lower income, dangerous youth" areas, a lot of the doors are not only gated, but there is a second outside front step gate, with an inside lock. You have to pass through three doors to get into the house. Often the response from behind the door is an acerbic "Who is it?" like it's the tax man coming to an old Still in the south. It's a very "you git off my land" kind of tone. I begin to tell them about my art and they mostly say, from inside, "not interested," and it's over.

Meanwhile, in the upper middle class districts, the situation is so much more "amusing." I come up to doors, and little old ladies blithely open the door, scowl at me and say, "I don't open the door for strangers at this time of night." Then they look at me imperiously, as if I'm a criminal, and they have "seen" through me, and then they shut the door without another word and lock the door. This sort of behavior just shows, at least in my mind, the delusional need of the upper class, in some cases at least, to believe that they are "living dangerously," when, in fact, they don't even understand fear, as those in fear DON'T OPEN THEIR DOORS TO STRANGERS.

What these upper middle classers are living in is ANGER at being disturbed, and, rather then just saying, "no, I don't like cartoons," instead they turn it into some sort of "dangerous" situation, despite the fact that their door is wide open, a large stranger is standing there smiling, and they are being dehumanizing and insulting to them and nothing is occurring.