Thursday, October 27, 2016

Take the crazy train...

Jetlagged, 2016, digital illustration on i-phone

For many people some times life can be overwhelming. For others, life can be overwhelming all the time. I am a commuter. I spend an average of 2.5 - 3 hours in the car every day. Though I may not physically be at work longer than our business hours, I am physically and mentally in "work mode" from the moment I wake up and get ready for the day, until I sit though traffic and get home. That amounts to a 12 hour work day if you factor in getting ready, sitting through traffic, working your shift, and sitting through another traffic jam before you make it home.
A few months ago, I decided I wanted to use my time more wisely. I wanted to be able to hold and read a book again. I wanted to use the tattered half-full sketchbook that I carry in my purse. I was yearning to feel inspired and up-to-date on current events. So I decided to take the train to work. Taking the train to work was a new option for me. It had only been running for one month from Downtown L.A. to Santa Monica. The Metro stop is not very close to my home. In fact, in order to take the train, I had to take a half-hour bus ride first, then transfer to the train and continue the long journey to work for another 40 minutes. Taking public transportation did not lessen the amount of time I was commuting, but it did help me in other ways. It allowed me to be creative. It freed my eyes from the road and my mind from having to worry about every minute that passed during my commute. I began to take photos of the city and I began to imagine what could be there, playfully interacting with people on their way to work, or with people at their jobs.
Everyday became a new adventure. I began to take photos every day and capture the spontaneity of city life. Every image I took had multiple stories to tell. Monsters, animals and absurd creatures began to appear in the photos, changing the narrative of the picture and the goal of my commute. I began with a goal of illustrating 2 images per day, using my finger and my phone to illustrate an idea. I became obsessed with drawing and with telling stories. My imagination began to take over my environment and every time I walked toward the train, or stepped out side to grab lunch I could not help but see the potential for creating an alternative world that I could share with others online.
The ability to create something quickly, without pressure, created a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. The funny images that came to mind, were similar to when a comedian tells a good joke and gets a genuine laugh from his audience. I wanted to keep telling jokes.
The best part of exercising an active imagination is the way that it has benefited my art work.
The application I was using Adobe Illustrator Draw, has allowed me to think differently about how I approach painting. Layer by layer, the transparencies and the marks that I made digitally, want to appear in my work. It has been a month now since I stopped taking the train, and I am eager to get back to the creative wild world that exists in my mind when I am not having to stare at brake lights and commuters on their cell phones.

Hang in There, 2016, digital illustration on i-phone

Tacos for Flaco, 2016, digital illustration on i-phone

Looking for Love in the Digital World?, 2016, digital illustration on i-phone

Big Lola, 2016, digital illustration on i-phone

Party Train, 2016, digital illustration on i-phone