still exactly the same

now playing: afraid of us by jonwayne

religious readers of this unholy hellhole of a website will have noticed the repeated dropping of the a-bomb.
and for that, i make no apology.

in fact, fuck you, assholes.

sometimes, on pseudoliterary, i use the word art.

i use it all the damn time.

art this
art that
art bla bla bla

but what is art?

art is a big small word
a three-letter word
a word beginning with a
an anagram of rat, and tar
a word that rhymes with start, part, dart, heart
bar chart, tarte tatin, carte blanche

do you get me?

art is the thing an artist does.

and what is an artist?

an artist is a person (or perhaps not a person) who makes mistakes.

an artist is someone who has learnt how to fail, repeatedly, creatively.

nowadays, failing is easier than ever before. there is a veritable shedload of high and low tech tools available to the would-be mistake maker.

and one of the simplest, and best, is the sketchbook.

Sketchbooks are integral to his work: he uses them to store odd items which he collects day-to-day and then integrates into his drawings, creating interesting juxtapositions.

‘Chalk and cheese is my drawing style. Messy old backgrounds with clean lines… I sketch until i hate five things I’ve drawn but love one.’

His books are packed with ephemera: wallpaper, photos, shopping lists, old adverts and newspapers. If he finds something stained, torn and faded, it goes in the sketchbook.

45rpm – street sketchbook

hate hate hate hate hate love

i came across this quote years ago in a book about the sketchbooks of street artists, and it has stuck with me. it’s such a profoundly simple and powerful philosophy.

the sketchbook is the artist’s conscious and unconscious mind, externalised. sketchbooks are an important part of my work too. but if i hated five out of every six things that came out of my externalised mind, i’d probably kill myself.

my sketchbooks are nothing like 45rpm’s.

his are glorious post-apocalyptic allotment chaos. cabbages, chards, courgettes, swedes, weeds. slugs and snails. rotting-away railway sleeper raised beds, a partially-dismantled translucent polytunnel, a half-buried bright yellow hosepipe.

mine are relentless, remorseless monocultures. pesticided cash crops in ruler-straight rows, as far as the eye can see. the same, the same, the same again.


i should sketch more.

i don’t do enough doodling.

i should draw more things i hate.
i should hate more things i draw.

i don’t make enough mistakes, which, ironically, is a mistake.

note to self:

make mistakes.

allow, and accept mistakes.
appreciate them.

making mistakes is what an artist does.

the freedom to fail
to fail and fail and fail and fail and fail
is the exact same freedom necessary to make anything new and interesting

in other words
to make art

this post feels like a mistake.

this post feels like a failed attempt at something.

in that, it succeeds.

art is the art of discarding.

art is coming up with lots of bad ideas and a small number of good ones.

art is a page of text about art.
a page of text about text.
a page.

art is shit, eating.
art is sex, fucking.
art is life, dying.

art is work, not working.

sometimes it’s this:

and sometimes it’s this:

and other times, it’s this:

whatever it is

i don’t hate it.