They are our offspring. Every last one of them. Some you care about more than others – but every time you put pencil to paper or brush to canvas, they become your children. At first my children just lived with me and very few people knew they existed. Later I got to the courage to show a few friends – they thought the kids were cool because they couldn’t make anything remotely close. Sketches don’t count much – although some sketches you get attached to and you stare at them like you watching a million year old star burn out. I don’t have a uterus and I’ve never felt anything close to labor pains (except that one time when I hurt my back and it felt like a thousand hot knives stabbing for no damn good reason). Even if I can’t house life in my womb, I give birth repeatedly every week in my studio. I paint – I give life – they are my CHILDREN.
As I grew as an artist I also became familiar with the business side of art. I’m always honored when my art goes home with a wonderful couple. I know that they will take good care of my child. I LOVE when my art goes to a loving home and will receive the proper amount of attention – reciprocating joy daily. These are the best feelings about creating something from nothing. They are original and nothing else exist like it in the world.
So know that you understand how I feel about my babies, let me try to articulate the feeling of reproducing them. It’s hard for me to make prints or put images on coffee mugs. It’s all great to share my art in many forms and I love and appreciate when someone would even consider purchasing ANYHTING with an image of mine of it. It could be a damn oven mitt with a color pattern from my paintings – trust me, I’m humbled by the mere desire for it ………. It just feels weird as a father. It would be like someone telling me that my daughter Erin is a great person and asking me if I could make another one of her – or perhaps just a smaller version of her – just a little something for people to carry around or glance up at in workspace cubicles. I don’t know why I struggle so much with this idea of turning my art into bastards – tiny bastards to cover shirts, calendars, mugs, socks, etc …… Let people get their fix in smaller portions. I’m not saying I would never do this or have never duplicated my work … I’m just trying to figure out this FEELING and how to deal with it.
A child is a gift. It’s a precious being. I am absolutely in love every night when my brush glides across the surface of the canvas …….. I feel like a cheap Madison hooker when I make copies of my baby behind her back. Hoping that she will never find out.