The novel tells the story of Tsukuru Tazaki, who, a long time ago, was cast out without explanation from a tight-knit group of five friends. The other four friends all had a color in their name (red, blue, white and black), while Tsukuru alone was colourless. As Tsukuru reflects upon his past and thinks of his role in this group he comes to consider himself as boring and empty, and he can't figure out what it was that he brought to the group's dynamics. Pondering Tsukuru's life past midnight unsurprisingly lead to hours of freakish analysis of both my own colourlessness of sorts and my social roles. I've never been one to make many friends or to enjoy groups, and there are zero friends from my primary school days I keep in touch with. The only times I've felt truly needed by a friend have been with people who just can't handle reality, and coincidentally, I can't handle people who can't handle reality or myself not handling things, so those friendships dissipated soon after the realization of the severity of the situation (...if only I were a better, more patient person, etc). Presently I'm surrounded by some truly wonderful people in my life, and they've even made me feel I have a purpose as a member of our own little scene. My girlfriends founded a (still) fictitious DJ collective and said I had to be a part of it or it wouldn't work. My role at the gigs would be to look so cool and authorative no one in the audience dares to question the absolute coolness of the somewhat dubious song choices my friends make behind the stand. So glad someone finally found use for my unwavering judgemental side! Maybe there really is a purpose for all sides of my personality, regardless of its/my faults.
The above photo is a snapshot of materials I used for one of the advent calendar collages, and that box stands out from the lot of 24 as a colourful one; it looks so, so blue among the taupes, sepias, blacks and whites. I often feel almost jealous of the bold colours other collage artist use; while I'm capable of creating pleasing compositions with any type of colour, it still seems it's somehow inherently ruled out for me. Just like drawing and painting! I always did all right in the art classes at school, but I've never felt comfortable working on anything that flat. I'm a maker and a builder (coincidentally Tsukuru, the main character's name in the novel, is a homophone for 'to make or build'), I know what I'm doing with tools and concrete materials whereas pencils scare me (oh, I love pencils as objects and as tools for writing, but creating an image with one - not gonna happen). At the moment I'm quite intrigued by encaustics. Maybe that would be building enough for me, at least if you compare it to the more conventional painting techniques? I'm still a bit wary of going ahead and purchasing all the necessary equipment and materials, though. More reading up on the subject needed before I dare to make such investments (okay, actually, I know I'd love encaustics, I'm just not in love with the cost yet - making art with mostly found/recycled materials can do that to you).
It's not often that it's possible for me to work in a place other than my home studio. Glueing in coffee shops is pretty impractical, and my design work usually requires a huge stash of potential materials scattered around me. On the occasions when I have a idea that needs a lot of sketching, or I can grab with me a lot of old photos, or a book to be cut up, bar Vakiopaine is my number one place I like to go (this also happens to be the venue of my upcoming exhibition). In the afternoon it's quiet there (unless there's opera or some other really random music playing), and later, when I'm not there to work anymore, it's loud and cozy. The old and battered school room chairs are bound to ruin your tights, though.
All these and many others are now listed in my Etsy shop.
The word may have leaked that I'm having a small exhibition of my mixed media pieces in February (more info closer to the date), and I thought I'd give you a heads up: I will most likely focus on my non-book things for a while, and I'm not sure I'll be listing more books before the holidays. So, if you're thinking of giving someone a special book, this is the moment you have most books to choose from. Also, new assemblages and other things I'm making for the exhibition won't be for sale until March (or February, if you stop by at the exhibition in person). Occasionally there may be new items for Etsy, too, if I suddenly find myself in need of making books for a change, and I'll make sure to keep you updated if that happens.
Relating to this change I've got a question to ask - what would interest you most while I create my exhibition? Do you want poorly lit photos of works in progress at 2am and ramblings of me thinking out loud about how to finish a particular piece or whether or not something is finished? Do you simply want photos of finished pieces (with or without ramblings)? Other suggestions are welcome, as always.