I am absolutely terrified!
A couple of weeks ago my world, this country I am ashamed to live in subtly turned on its axis. The voting population of the united kingdom chose a majority conservative government. It was a slim majority but enough to let the most savage swines loose on this country, free to tear and rip and claw their poxy way through what little is left that is good in this nation. I can feel them, those tory voters, signing away our health service, rubber stamping the persecution of the poor and the vulnerable. I can feel those people out there and in some subtle way, they hate me. They hate me and I am scared. For years now I have been struggling, struggling to be sane, struggling to stay sane. All the while progressive governments have been snapping at my heels, first with well meaning initiatives, then with vindictive schemes. I feel like I’ve been playing a game of chess since 1998 and now every time I look five moves ahead I see checkmate…
I really long for the set up that Yayoi Kusama has or that Van Gogh had at the end. A psychiatric hospital from which they could paint. This world is not made for the likes of me, it is too harsh, too loud, its edges are too sharp. It favours the greedy, it favours the ignorant, it favours the callous, the privileged and the parasitical. I don’t like it and i don’t want to part of it anymore. All I can do is keep my head down and try and plough my way through and on to the other side.
The title of this post refers to a song by Nirvana from the album In Utero, the album that was supposed to be called but for the record company “I hate myself and want to die,” and refers to songs that record companies love that are bland enough to get on the radio, but catchy enough to sell many copies. Since becoming self employed and particularly since this awful government got voted in I have felt the need to produce, in my case, shop/gallery friendly unit shifter. What I am finding though is that I seem totally incapable of doing it. Wether it is the colouring books, the cards or the badges, whatever I do is too expensive, too labour intensive, too time consuming for me to cope with and keep my head above water.
The most recent piece of stupidity has been the cloud frames for my new print run. Every time I do anything I make mistakes. Here are a few of the latest… The prints before last I did never saw the light of day, the colours weren’t right, the flesh tones were edging towards oompa lumpa and the lines were blurred. This time, I actually peeled the paint off the palettes, stuck it to a reference print and physically marched the 6mb file up to the printers on foot. This still didn’t solve the problem of blurry lines, one test print and some head scratching later it turned up that I need to click some box somewhere that says base line rather than progressive scans. and off the machine rolled the first three prints and I toddled home with them under my arm.
I initially painted one cloud frame for photos and it sold the second the photos went up online. Yay! I thought, I’m onto a winner here. Then I had three more orders, all with the cloud frame… Problem number one; I needed more prints. Problem number two; I needed more frames. Problem number three; I needed more paint to paint the frames with. So there goes the profit for framed print one and half of frame print two. So then I pick up my next run of prints, after checking the colours throughly, and discovered that they were one centimetre too short for the frames. Now I could have taken them back to the printers and got them replaced but the thought of something of mine getting shredded, pulped, binned, whatever, deeply troubled me so I thought “why not just mount the prints?” Thing is, that would involve far more skill with a knife that I ever had. That said, I tried and the results were typically wobbly. Eventually, I thought “what if I masked the wonkyness by painting the mount with cloudS to match the frame?” which I did and it looked good. The thing is, now I am painting two coats of blue on the frame and the mounts, then painting clouds, then overpainting clouds and then putting them all together. Now I’ve costed this all out. As I have the hand-making of my badge packaging and all the other mad crap I do. I doubt if there is a teenager working in a fast food or coffee chain getting paid as little as I do. Plus I’m sure they don’t spend their lives tip toeing through stacked up, drying, frames or stapling and stuffing in front of the telly for hours every night. So here I am, a hair’s breadth off forty five, psyching myself up for another hunt for a new stockist, praying that someone will get what I do enough to give me a break from the endless stream of non art making crap that I seem to be doing and all I am thinking is “Kurt, they stiffed you on the perfect name for an album there”. But until then, where did I put my drawing pen? Oh! and you can but the prints here. https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/234366706/all-flowers-in-time-face-towards-the-sun