Artwork by C. Pembroke
MUSINGS Cindy's Blog
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© C Pembroke 2018
Culture Gone Bad
I'm feeling a bit disgruntled this morning, reflecting on the state of things. I have a long weekend ahead, and my first night of it was restless thoughts from work -- pending issues, things I would like to improve, etc. Just hours of mulling over with inaction.
February is my month to put traction on my marketing efforts. Realize steps toward reaching my future audience. Eighteen days into the month, and I have nothing yet to show. Protein folding comes to mind. Weird tangent, but here goes.
I've played with thoughts of adding color, starting with people that I have known in mind, imagining what they would like, customizing black and white designs into Zazzle product lines, starting with holidays, interests, and life events that consumers are searching for, adding complimentary designs for customizing the backs of t-shirts, etc.
I've thought about letting go of Saatchi Online, and focusing my efforts on the Zazzle workspace. Embracing pop culture and customized mass production.
So where am I going with this Culture Gone Bad? and protein folding?
Culture Gone Bad started out in June 2008 as Phagocytosis, and an email to a researcher: "I read about your recently co-authored work in Nature Nanotechnology. As an artist exploring new ways of meeting an audience, I developed a t-shirt in response to your story..." The email continued with lengthy text featured on the back of the shirt, "Lung cells engulf foreign particles up to 20 microns long. Beyond that, they become frustrated..."
So of course I never received anything back, and considered the effort inefficient. A lot of niche customization, and no response. Years later, in an effort to revisit and finalize pieces of the past, I decided to spend some more time with the tiny Macrophage. I expressed hope and frustration, empathy with this tiny worker in our lungs who strives to keep our air clean. And alas, a new image, with fervor and chaos (Macrophage Denied).
I think this is a pretty successful transition from less developed image and wordy language, to an interesting image, with niche information in the marketing text, but the artwork itself, kept clean and abstract.
And now we come to protein folding. Per Kurzweil and Grossman's "Fantastic Voyage," protein is "the very foundation of life." In a "remarkable process,... amino acid strings fold themselves into intricate three-dimensional structures." The idea of folding in upon oneself, creating complexity, and then simplifying, feels to me like kneading bread. Bubbles are created and imploded, material is worked again and again until it is uniform, stable, whole.
My approach does not yet feel whole. Why my need to place anchors (niche content) so distant from my core? Other artists, those in touch with their instincts, just use "would I wear it" as their guide. Why have I spent years in academia, manufacturing, the military, when all I want is to be an artist? Why collect so much experience? Must it be used? Reworked? Folded in unpon itself into a uniform style and design experience? Sounds good.
Connie asked that I develop an image catering to the Gemini, the astrological sign that we share. In reviewing the signs, I was called to the Gemini's role as one in a cast of other characters. I don't have to be serious, others have that covered. Scattered is okay, it's a strength if used mindfully. And a non-communicative introvert is really out of place. It is something I can grow out of being.
It's been a while since I circled back to my blog's mission statement -- beating cancer before it beats me. My habits lately are falling behind. My husband and I have gone to the gym a few times now, but I haven't yet raised a sweat. I cooked and froze tons of soups, which we're now eating our way thru. I've let spoil some of my green ideas in the fridg, which I now need to clean out. I'm a bit hungover this morning, relying on Alieve to keep me upbeat. I've read and read books on health, and need to fold in that fuel into myself, my habits, and my artwork. How about a series based on the vitamins - A, C, E, etc. What are they good for, and why should we care about them. I still can't keep them straight, so that would be helpful.
So,... what have I mulled thru. I can give up Saatchi for now, add prints and posters using the Zazzle space, work on enhancing that space so that I like it (currently it just doesn't look good) and play it conservative on the issue of color (just black and white). I'll try out a series of expanded Zazzle products based on the Circle of Life series. Aim toward an attractive email/Facebook/Twitter product launch featuring the series. Put the creative workspace materials and ideas into the loft for storage. And draft out new series concepts featuring health and nutrition.
Sounds like I have my weekend planned. On to the fridg. The consolation in throwing out good food gone bad is that we purchased much of it on the cheap, we got our money's worth in the frozen ready-made meals, and we have a mulching machine to make new soil for spring. Take care everyone!
May we find our vision, learn our way, define our path, and meet our purpose.