I began 2012 wanting to collaborate more with other artists. The thing I've learned so far is how difficult it can be to make this happen because of conflicting schedules and also the hesitation to actually begin working with someone else. It's hard enough to start most projects when I'm left to my own devices, so add the dynamic of another person, and... you get the idea.
With that said, I decided to start small...
I have a shop on Etsy, where each week, they feature different shop owners who write about their products and show photos. Many times, the shops are run by a husband and wife duo (like these jerks
). I find it inspiring as well as annoying because a) I don't have a husband and b) even if I did, who's to say he would be someone with whom I could collaborate.
In my dreams, I'm married to some wonderfully talented, good-looking man who would also be great at all things technological and financial. He'd also be able to take incredible pictures.
Each morning, we'd switch off making each other breakfast and then we'd go our separate ways. In the afternoon, we'd come back together and share the things we'd learned and make things together. Something like that, more or less.
As much as I might pine away for my elusive collaborating husband to be, I do not have one. However, I do have something I come home to that breathes. That's right: Juices O'Hulihan, aka Hammerpants, aka Juicy, my cat.
I have had portfolios made out of chipboard from college days stored under my bed for the past couple of years. It just so happens that chipboard, which is very much like cardboard, is one of Juicy's most favorite things to claw. Although my artwork was protected, she destroyed the chipboard out of her own personal enjoyment.
So this is what I come home to: not a handsome art-collaborating husband, but a beautiful soft and rotund cat who loves tearing cardboard to shreds. So I proposed a project to do with her which would feature her favorite mark-making technique: claw marks. She accepted.
I love drawing people, and I love drawing people that I love. I decided to make portraits of males that have held a significance in my life. Whether I love(d) them romantically or as a friend is not important. Some are still friends, some not, some I haven't seen in years, all have pushed me to be a better version of myself, whether they intended to or not.
I drew them on 11 x 14" pieces of acid free chip board and placed them under my bed, one or two at a time for a week. There, Juicy could work her magic.
Although it was not a malicious act, I realized it could be construed as such. Instead of denying that aspect, I decided instead to yell to Juicy from time to time, "Claw their eyes out!" Honestly, this had nothing to do with each of the individuals personally, just something to make me laugh, which it did.
I never had to prompt her to claw them; She did it of her own volition, and because she derives great joy out of the process, I enjoyed being a part of that.
Something weird is that she never did claw their eyes, and the areas she did claw seemed pretty consistent. It's all very strange and makes me curious about what's going on in that little brain of hers.
So there you have it, the first Juicy-Beth Meadows Collaboration.