Week #4: Word Soup (I)

Things can be lonely here in Internet-Art-World; as human beings, we crave touch and companionship, both in the flesh. It’s a need as basic as that to breathe or drink water – we crave it and cannot survive without it.

My mother’s an artist, but she doesn’t believe in her own talents. She’d spend so much time perfecting her sketches, my father would get angry, angry she wasn’t paying more attention to HIM, as when she was working, she’d block the rest of the world out. Unfortunately, he won, because besides a few creative endeavors a year, my mother doesn’t do art. Lately, it’s been leaking through into her cooking; she’s learning, experimenting, and enjoying the dishes she’s creating. But she isn’t the type of artful companionship I crave – we can talk watercolors or sketches, but that’s the limit. No journals or paintings or objective critiques.

We need to giggle, share, see, speak, hear each other. We need notes to reassure us we are real. This is real. Or suffer the consequences of letting the outside world taint your artful soul and keep you from creating, as it has my mother. It reminds me of something I read that said that there are all these wonderful ideas out there, and that the Great Creator gives one to you, and if you don’t do it, it will never be done. You’re given ideas and talent and will for a reason – don’t squander it. I wish every day that my mother would pick up the pencil again, and every day am saddened because I know how much joy she’d get out of it.

I feel unfocused. My mind and artwork is all over the place, and I’m frightened by new ideas that thrill me. You know how that is – the new, the change, the unknown, they all scare us. Scare me. With what I’m becoming, what I’m unearthing. My books seem to be the self-discovery type, with me digging deep under my skin for my own Truth. I’ve this image in my head I want to draw that’s nowhere NEAR the sweet fairy-tale illustrations I’ve been painting (and, again, I should take pictures!).

How can both people exist inside just one body?

I remember reading an article in Bitch magazine about an artist who truly is two people in one body. I don’t feel as strongly split as that, but I can’t find myself since there are two of myself and they aren’t really getting along. Or like different things. One sure of herself, the other doubting herself, wanting to hide away in a hole, to hide from the world, to throw her journals into the fire and be gone.

Life’s a constant battle between the two.

So I decided to play some word soup. Here’s how you play:

1. Put on some soothing music. Open a word processor. Write stream of consciousness for five minutes. Anything that comes to mind – let it flow. (setting it to 1.5 spacing makes later steps easier)
2. Print out the writing.
3. Cut each line into strips. Let them get jumbled on your workspace.
4. Put on some different music. Start laying out the writing on a journal page. You can play around with where words are placed, where there’s line breaks.

You’ll notice that some things get let out. That you want more emphasis in other places. That words = colors. By using two steps and switching the music, you’re allowing two sides of yourself to come out to play and voice their opinions on the same matters.


Here’s my word soup, just after step four. I suggest you let it simmer for a bit, a few days at least, and then come back here for the next step.

Happy cooking!