"Dedicated to ______"

Artists dedicate books & movies & paintings to people all the time. The "audience of one”  (Still Writing, @danishapiro) or "writing a present” philosophy (Bird by Bird @annelammot) lets us know that an artist’s work is born out of a soul desire to connect deeply to one another ---not hide in the isolation we often make our art in. 

Opening that first page of a book and seeing the little words "dedicated to" followed by a name, feels as though I'm reaching behind the cupped hands of a whispered secret between dear lovers. The act of  dedication proves the threads of our art are woven between us, not within ourselves.

The first time I read the words "I dedicated the past hour to you." was in a text stream from Justine Volkman, a member of our girl gang. I was a bit confused by what that totally meant, but as she explained further, she was giving me a piece of her day, her day being her art. She was reading lines of a book and thinking of the peace they might give my life, she was dancing to a song I'd love while making breakfast, she was painting a water color thinking of how I may push the brush across the page. This, was her dedication to a muse, and she'd dedicate many more hours of many more days to many more muses. She'd need people right there with her in the each step of her creative process. 

When I tilted my head J's way, I felt a few things:

  • In my creative process, I feel safe by knowing that when I dive in to find those surprising pearls of truth, I'll come back up to the surface seeing the faces of those I dove for. 
  • I've never truly been alone in my art as I'd like to think I've been. Dedications are as important as an editor, a co-author, or maybe even more. They're our reasons to push. There our clapping crowd in the quiet room. 
  • If the finished masterpiece of the art I'm making has my dedications engraved on the inside walls, then don't I need to loudly let my rough drafts have them too. Don't every step of my days need them? The days I'm drawing the lines of?

Dedicate your art, dedicate your days, dedicate anything inside the creative process with the energy that empowers you. The tension between ones individuality & sharing ones art will never go away, but a "dedication" may just be the empty space that needs you to write in a name and feel at peace. 

Ask, "Who was today's hour(s) of creativity for? Who were you writing too? Who were you meeting deep in the pits of your soul? Who saw your pain with you? While you dove seemingly alone down to the depths? Who cried with you while you carved out the sentences that made you feel a little more whole in this crazy world?"

This ain't dark baby. This is just the messy, messy process, made a little more bearable. All the artists before us, have said it. They've wrapped it in a bouquet of different ways, but they've said it loud. They've said we needed each other, even in our individual expression. Open the doors. Open the heart. We are all here. With you. Seeking your creative process like an intimate best friend. 

Written with love on a rainy day. Find the vibes here

 

 

 

Devyn Bisson on Breaking Rules & Haikus

Waves of grief

Standing in their wake

Wake my heart. 

I wrote a Haiku. Forgetting that traditional Japanese haiku's are 5/7/5 not 3/5/3. But I liked mine better. Did a Google search to find out that my version can sometimes be named a "lute" or an American Haiku. Great, so I can save some more rule breaking for later today. Break more rules. Make more art. 

S/O to my girl gang, keep your 👀eyes peeled in the 💌 mail for some rule breaking inspiration.

Here is Draft #1 & Draft #2 exposing the process for ya'.

Devyn Bisson on Falling Hard

Literally just kicked my shin into the middle of the very small Japanese table I'm sitting at. I had no idea how tall I'd be for this country. Then I put a hat on my head. As if I wasn't -- too tall -- enough. I'm bending through doorways & tripping & jamming my toes everywhere. 

Falling makes me feel: Clumsy. Awkward. Mis-sized. Commonly Bruised. Doubtful. Am I supposed to walk through this door even though I'm bending my head sideways just to get through it? haha, ok you get it. I just still can't get over how tall I feel here, or sometimes how tall I feel in my dreams.

...

I was in love with Japan long before I came here. I can prove it. I doodled this drawing on the plane. Before landing, I was declaring it. I carried the image of "The Great Wave Off Kanagawa"(Hokusai) in my phone all year as I visioned traveling here to screen The Wave I Ride. My interpretation of the great wave sketched in my mini-moleskin next to the words, "Lovers in Japan." I thought, "Me & Japan & The Sea." I pictured us all perfectly together. 

Who I am inside of my creative process has a lot to do with my nerve to fall really hard & fast in love. I'll barely admit to it. I usually won't speak about something that's been living in my head for months. Yet, I see a spark of something and suddenly I'm writing it beginning to end in my dreams. I fall so hard in love, that it's immediately birthed into an obsession I'm working over and over again in my brain.

With vivid colors I see: How I'm going to feel while making it, how it'll feel when it's finished, the elation on the faces of people I'll share it with, what my hands are going to look like as I'm digging deeper, the faces of my muses & collaborators, the look of the world that's about to accept it. Every part of it, in all it's layers. I see it. 

So I get a bit attached. This is the terrifying part. In a sense I'm falling in love with something that hasn't lived a true one day. Suddenly it's imperative it gets done. I'm about to be crushed if it doesn't happen. It's now alive in my mind & needs to be in my world. If I don't go a little crazy & get a little reckless about the whole thing, I don't know if my creativity will ever feel imperative enough to be made. It needs to be alive in me before it's even close to starting, so that I'll kick and scream and cry with any sign of it escaping me. Falling in love has this possibly- devestating-damaging-to-my-ego-and-every-bit-of-me-that-dares-to-create-again entity to it. (enough dashes? I'm into them today & the way they look in sentences like Japanese symbols.)

A few things I can be positive all this mayhem brings: makes me ridiculously good at brushing myself off, cringing in the eye of mistake, and being Phoenix-like to find some inspiration again after failure. It helps me own broken-heartedness. It helps me remember pure abundance. It makes me agile as heck. It gives me a whole lot of grace.

And of course. When I succeed the addiction will guarantee, I'll fall again. Falling out, falling in, and stumbling around. 

 

 

OOTB: Shoes

QUESTION:

***Inspired by the sound of my black leather boots clapping on London’s cobblestone streets****

What’s the best pair of shoes you ever owned? Draw/Doodle them for us. What steps did you take in them?  (Think “steps” in terms of vulnerability, that moment on stage, that moment telling that boy you were worth more than he was giving you, that moment you walked into the room like a boss, etc.)

ANSWERS:

Gracie Says: 

These are my adventure shoes, my reminder to go outside and climb things. I've worn them to 5 music festivals, dancing on dirt and grass, getting my toes stepped on by other pit dancers. I hopped on stage with The Head and the Heart with them, I waited to be in the front row of Mumford and Sons for 3 hours with them. I've climbed rocks in Joshua Tree with them. For a long time they were white, then I only got around to painting one, then on a windy bus ride from Lake Tahoe to Outside Lands, I broke out sharpies and drew out the images dancing around my mind as I listened to The Oh Hellos. They're dirty and old but the soles are in tact and they remind me to step outside and go do big things.

Tory Says:

It’s a meditative act. I slide my hitops on every morning and notice the way they gently hug my feet. I lace them up, one by one, and they start to hold me a little tighter. I curl my toes and feel strength and power and goodness rise up my legs to my knees, to my hips, through my stomach and past my chest until it reaches my mind. I know who I am in these hitops. I know where I’m going in these hitops. I know how to dance on beat in these hitops. I know how to own the stage at karaoke in these hitops. I know how to navigate Chicago’s public transit in these hitops. I know how to dream in these hitops. I know my worth in these hitops. One bold step after the other. And when I feel myself hesitating, I close my eyes. I curl my toes. Strength and power and goodness pulse through me again, starting in my shoes. 1 step, 2 step. I know the way. 

toryhitops

Ellie Says: 

Devyn Says:

London Calling. London Clacking. London on the verge of Cracking.

Show us your shoes below or email ootb@huesofblue.com! 

TORY TODD on THE PROCESS

Sometimes we draw our lines too dark. In marker. Sometimes we paint the word wrong. Sometimes we try to fix our lines. Make it work. But it never feels quite right. But we hate to throw it all away, especially when it was looking so beautiful before that one wrong stroke. Only the brave start fresh, but holy hell does it hurt.

- “Good Girls don’t make his(tory)."