{making for the sake of making, in and out of digital}

This afternoon, I was thinking, "I haven't done any art lately, have I?"

The reasoning for this goes: The last time I sat in the studio working with paints and such was last Thursday, after a day out with iced chai. This week's live vlog was interrupted by circumstance and appointments. The weekend was spent out with friends all over the city.

So I felt guilty. This is because, as Linda Woods said on Twitter today, "Sometimes it's hard when your job is what everyone else does for a hobby." When you don't go and work in your journal, it's because life's busy. When I don't go in and work on a painting or in my journal or make a video, I worry because projects and such are what I depend on for a living. Sending out emails and writing articles and teaching classes. I'm still in this valley between finishing one project and starting another, but haven't been very pro-active, and I need to be.

My thought, thus, made me feel guilty. And like a slacker. But then I realized something -- what I was doing for fun was just as much art as anything I create.

And here's where we enter silly fangirl territory. Because in order to finish this post, I'm going to have to show you what I was working on over the weekend.

Ahem. Yes, they're wallpapers. Now that I have the desktop computer, I can work in Photoshop much easier, which means I've been making stock images, collecting textures, and re-building my brush collection.

Funny thing is, I haven't made digital art for fun with no hope for future use in years. And a lot of what I've learned making my own graphics and laying out PDFs and books and teaching in classes has really influenced where I am now. So I sat back, after I felt a little guilty, and realized this is art, too. Sure, they're wallpapers for a movie I may be a little enamored with, but I'm happy with them.

There is so much I used to know how to do that I've simply forgotten. I had to sit back and try to remember how to apply a texture. How each layer style worked. Opacity. Effects. Even color combination. Sitting and doing art different than I have been for the last five years was fun. I thought differently.

And all this has me thinking more and more about digital art. I've been hugely impressed with Roben-Marie's work, every little thing she makes amazing me (and I was able to preview sets made with my artwork today, and am just....floored by her talent). I've done hybrid journal pages, starting with paint and ending on the computer. So now I'm thinking of going deeper. Exporting more. And what if took the digital and brought it back out of the computer and into the physical world and applied it. How would that work? And I'm excited to try and answer that question.

Anyway, I guess all this means that we don't need to strive to make high art, or "right" art, or what's good right now or popular. We can sit down in front of our computers and play with screenshots from a movie just because and maybe, just maybe, can bring it all together and create ourselves along the way.

(The wallpapers are available on my LiveJournal, btw. I'm going to go hide, now.)

(I am working on all the emails from the garage sale; you should have a response tomorrow.)