I was at the Warranwood Artshow recently
having a chat with a couple of lovely women.
I’d just done an artist floortalk(which is the posh name
for ‘have a chat about your art’).
So we were sitting on comfy chairs
surrounded by all these incredible works by hundreds of artists –
works that each started off as a blank piece of paper or canvas,
along with a vision.
And we were ruminating on what it is to be creative
and what it is to be an artist –
and on how important it is to make a space for self-expression.
Even when that means swiping everything off the dining table
for a few precious hours before dinner,
in order to be immersed in paint spattersand colour.
Our conversation turned to the picture book I’ve just crowdfunded.
(I love how NOW I can casually say that -‘the book I’ve just crowdfunded!’
as though the month it took was not painstakingly
and teeth-grittingly filled with moments of angst
in among the gratitude and humility!!)
So we were chatting about picture book Mac the Dog Man
and flicking through the mock-up copy on display
which, incidentally, is worth its weight in gold.
It’s a hard cover that cost almost as much as the down-payment on a house
and as is the way with drafts, it has hand-written scribbles, pictures,
words and pen markings on every page.
Both of my companions were kindergarten teachers
and as we were flicking through, Carmel exclaimed
“Now THAT’s just perfect!”
Curious, I followed her pointing finger
to the printed section where I’d scribbled out words
and hand-written different ones in.
“That! It’s perfect. You’re going to leave it like that?”
And as I looked inquiringly into her sparkling eyes
she clasped the book to her bosom, and said
Even very small children today
are worried about making mistakes.
How fantastic for them to see
that the process of creating a book
is one of ‘making mistakes’ and of changing them -
that ‘finished books’ come about through a process of mind changing.
And mistake making
And scribbling out
And I had to agree.
How fabulous it is that nobody’s perfect
and how wonderful to be allowed to muck stuff up.
I don’t know that I’m quite ready to leave my scrawling additions
On the pages of this first print run -
How wonderfully liberating it is.
I urge you to do something creative, and to muck stuff up.