So today, over the course of a leisurely forty-five minutes, I did this small and silly piece:
I scanned it, uploaded it, and sat back for my usual episode of art angst–I painted something noxiously cute and relatively simple, without a background, that did not particularly stretch me in any way, merely because I thought it was funny and wanted to do a stripey design with my PITT pens, the shame, the shame.
I had a buyer within–I double checked the time stamps–six minutes.
I thought “Man, the thrill of selling it really goes a long way to negating the guilt of having done it in the first place.”
Then I thought, “Whoa, I’m letting commercial success overcome my art guilt! I have SOLD OUT! ARRGH! Get thee to art confession! Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned–I have painted simple and cute and sold it and felt less guilty for having sold it!”
Then I thought, “Is it actually possible for a commercial artist to sell out? I mean, without, y’know, hardcore porn or working for Disney or something?”
Then I thought, “No, that makes me feel less guilty, so it can’t be right.”
Then I thought, “Bunnychicken!” for no apparent reason. (That happens a lot.)
Then I thought, “If the measure of not selling out is forcing yourself to do things that nobody would put money down for, it’s dumb and in it’s own way just as reactionary as do things people do want, because you’re selling out to the mystique of not selling out, damnit, which is a total sell-out.”
Then I thought, “Yeah, but once you’ve thought of that, no matter what you do is selling out because everything could be percieved as selling out somehow, and the only way to avoid selling out is to do your own thing without even thinking about selling out, damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead, and stop worrying about it.”
Then I stopped and ran that last bit through my head a few times to see if I could understand it the second time through, which I could, but only barely, and I really wasn’t sure whether that meant it was okay to paint mice in ponchoes or not.
Then I thought “Fireworks! The crow has FIREWORKS, not toilet paper!” which was important to something unrelated.
Then I thought, “Screw it, it’s a mouse wearing a poncho and a chicken. If that’s selling out, there is no hope for any of us.”
Then I thought, “Man, I could really use a nap.” And in this, at least, I was unanimous.
And that constituted my art angst moment for the day. Tune in next week for another exciting episode of “Ursula Wrestles With The Demons Of Art,” which, we predict, will end in another exciting nap.