Truth to tell I started when I was just a kid mucking around – never able to settle on one thing, trying everything. I could swing a hammer, use a drill and saw, and I sewed clothes for myself without a pattern from the age of about 10, my first commissioned drawing was from a boy in my class when I was 11 – it was a girl in an itsy bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot bikini so I think it was my artistic skills that were the attraction! And the subject matter of the drawing will tell you I’m in my 60s.
After reading Diana Trout’s March 14th, I thought I needed to say a little more about why Late Start Studio.
As I approach retirement and experience unemployment, temporary I trust, I have the opportunity to start again, to learn how to play again. So here I am, living just a few houses from a beach, able to put some serious effort into learning how to play again – how to just muck around for the sheer creative joy of it and learn about life in the process. Isn’t that what play is all about? There must be millions of unremarkable remarkable women and men in the same position as me – I’m unique yes, but my situation isn’t.
Serious effort into play, serious play or playing seriously? Either way it’s a challenge after a lifetime of working, making the most of creative opportunities as they arose however they were for practical purposes for the most part – to add to my single income and two kids to support, lifestyle.
Christmas presents were bought using the proceeds of little vinyl sheriff jackets, variations of the Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls, painted terracotta pots, or beaded, macrame dog leads, the occasional dressmaking commission. You get the picture – it had to pay for itself and I had to fit it in around teaching and parenting. I had to be pragmatic.
In the meantime I’ve found my inner critic has been quietly gaining strength and needs constant redirecting or gagging. My critic started off by thinking it was keeping me safe and then becoming to big for its britches and trying to take over! What? Just do it for you own pleasure? Who do you think you are? No-one will give a damn! I will win – it’s a no-contest – there’s no question about that.
Now I have the opportunity to make, play, to just muck around again, so I carve pumice stone, make driftwood stamps, the occasional journal page, sew dress-ups and dresses for my grand-daughters, quilt, doodle, make MUKKA creatures, grow vegetables, walk the beach, and generally find there are not enough hours in the day. Mucking around is to be recommended as an antidote for just about any emotional ailment. Heartsick, lonely depressed, anxious? Muck around – preferably with others!
Quite how I will manage when I get a full-time job I have no idea! Perhaps I could find an anonymous benefactor to sumptuously support my lifestyle?