I have never seen Donnie Darko. Ever. The things I know I've learned from Wikipedia and pop culture. Here's a list of what I know:
1. There’s a scary rabbit man.
2. The film has recently celebrated an anniversary (maybe 20 years?)
3. There's a vortex/tornado thing at the beginning and end
4. It’s a cult favorite
Artist Dena Yago knows a lot about it. And I've recently learned about her and some of her work, so by the transitive property, I know probably enough about Donnie Darko.
On May 31, 2018, I went to the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. I was on Ave-cation to get my mind right and enjoy myself both alone and in the company of people I like. On such trips, I always want to learn something. The Contemporary Art Center is a charming, free, space for one to digest the narratives of the era through the subjective lens of art. The center has interesting programming and frequently rotating exhibitions. Y'all should go to there.
The day I went there was an exhibit from Dena Yago entitled, The Shortest Shadow. The series explores angst, desire, the relationship of good and evil, and the role of rabbits in physical and metaphysical worlds by juxtaposing Donnie Darko’s Frank and Bambi’s Thumper. Two very different bunnies to say the least. Yago poses, “what would happen if Thumper were given the opportunity to scream through Frank’s mask?"
The meditation of this muchly much anticipated blog post is about ten words.
I can do anything I want, and so can you.
One of the reasons I haven’t written anything or posted much in the past few months is I didn’t want to. I wish the answer was more elegant but nope. That's it. I didn’t have anything worth saying. When I started blogging, I committed to not putting out trash. That’s my mantra as I sit and type these 1200-1800 words, cut it down to 1000 (sometimes 1017 to keep it trill), add graphics, and post.
Do not put out trash.
I refuse to produce SEO hogwash so strangers can find me on the internet. I know I should care more about search engine optimization. For my clients, it's a top 4 concern because it's the way of the digital world (even if some experts say it's on the way out). For myself, not so much. Support starts in your circle and expands. More on that later (and in another post.)
I didn’t want to produce. I didn’t want to teach. I didn’t want to discuss or unpack. It wasn’t from lack of trying. As I've stated, my inspiration points are infinite. My references, sub-references, and meta-references bank is like the grains of sand on a beach; one could probably count them but why. Just enjoy your time on the beach.
I’m open to exploring. I just really struggled these past few months. I’ve been in a funky head space, life space, all the spaces really. I’m in a period of change. It’s not all bad or good. Most is good, thankfully. All is the normal ebb and flow of life along the mortal coil. I just wasn’t inspired. I thought maybe my life had dulled.
When I get this way, I’ve started doing a really healthy thing where I do something about it. This time I joined a book/social club. It's a gathering of my peers who I’ve really come to enjoy and appreciate their company. We meet once a month for discourse. We eat, we drink, we’re merry. Hosts rotate because we share and share alike, we’re modern. Think Living Single.
My number was called to host in April (and we actually did it in May because lol why not). I wanted to do something creative because I was trying to spark something within me. I was definitely in a slump and felt my creativity was suffering.
“Let’s talk about expression and creativity,” I enthusiastically texted the group chat.
I had a vision of everyone sharing a creative expression of their individual journeys. They could sing, dance, recite poetry, present a painting, whatever. The day came for the function. I made BBQ meatballs and spinach & artichoke dip, and brownies. There were also smoked chicken wings. We had lots of wine. I thought it would be a cute scene and it was. Then it got deep. Things got personal. People were into it. We talked about our struggles, the transformative power of love, all sorts of things. There were tears. It was amazing.
In the mist (I said what I said) of this, one of the guests shared “there are a lot of art scams out here so be careful.” Art scams.
OK SIS READ ME. COME FOR MY LIFE.
I was art scamming these people. I was hoping to once again ignite my own fire by absorbing their content. And it was working.
“Finally something to write about!,” I excitedly thought as I sipped from my fruity gin punch another guest brought and made myself another plate of meatballs and dip. After everyone went home and the leftovers had been consumed, that art scam line made me rethink my plan to escape the slump. I ultimately decided to keep it off the blog.
I felt it would cheapen what we did for and with one another in that living room. It was more than something to just collect digital collateral points. It was raw and real and special. I feel a new closeness and appreciation to everyone there. A blog post wouldn’t do it justice. Being an internet professional has pushed me to be more analog in my personal life. I’ve been feeling retro. Lately, unplug and tune in is starting to be my modus operandi. I want to approach things in a more historic, traditional way because this modernity, while it’s great, is trash. It can become so vapid and empty.
“Avery, you literally just wrote 449 words about it. Girl, your high horse looks tired. Give it a rest.” you say, already over my shenanigans, wondering why you ever asked me when my next post was coming, and why you were so eager to click the link I shared.
You’re absolutely right. I am blogging about it but i didn’t go into detail. I hit the highlights: the menu and the outcome. I am nothing if not self aware and transparent.
Wow it's been so long since I've digressed in a post. This feels great.
I can do anything I want, and so can you.
My trip to the center and art scam book club ignited an epiphany. I needed another content shift both in life and in my blog.
I no longer feel beholden to teach something. There's been a lesson in all my previous posts. A neatly wrapped concise gift tied with a bow and a happy ending.
Sometimes there are questions at the end and I have decided to find the beauty in the questions, unresolved points, and living edge of the story. I think it’s because there’s a good bit unresolved in my life.
What's that? Pseudo-science barrelling at you? Yep!
I’m the sure-footed, solid earth sign of the zodiac -- Capricorn to the core. I need to be grounded. I need roots. To deal with the inconsistency that’s causing me the stresses and blockages, I’m making a personal return to what I like doing. This blog is lowkey an art scam.
I want it to be emotional and flowery. Here’s a new piece of my pseudo-scientific identity: my rising sign is Cancer. I’m basically flan inside. Essentially, I am a chocolate lava cake but the cake is rocks.
I want the missives from my desk to be more intuitive and connective. I want this to be a space where people come to find stories that make them feel represented. I don't necessarily want to be an authority on the topics I discuss. I want responses and sharing and elevating. It might not happen but I’m trying.
I think there’s more to art, to life, than people just seeing it. There’s enough glory and specialness in just doing it every day. When you have 2 or 3 gathered together, come on! It’s in the mist! I have a few dedicated readers that I genuinely love. My readers, the ones who comment and text me about my work, I feel I owe you all content. This was a contributing factor to my slump. It’s not your fault and actually my appreciation for you helped me pull out of the glumness. There are people who have given me such AMAZING feedback and encouragement. It's perfect. I’m just really glad because that’s what I wanted to happen.
I don’t need to be known for my blogging throughout history. In middle and high school, I was voted most likely to be famous. I never really knew why people felt that way; let alone what I'd do to become famous. Maybe this is it. I’m just so full and grateful for the people who have put eyeballs to my work, the ones who share it, contact me about it, give me notes. I LOVE that.
I can do anything I want, and so can you.
I talked a big game about not having lessons in all my posts but this one does have a lesson (lol the next 3 do too actually haha #artscam). That’s the joy of doing what I want: sometimes it’s feelings, sometimes it’s research methods or digital branding. All this here is mine, ok?!
This is what I’m doing now. I’m not hiding or shrinking myself. I’m still going to be professional and keep it cute on the internet. I have a legacy to build and protect, after all. I feel so free sharing this. I can feel my energy channels opening.
I have been searching for my niche. I’ve been in business for a year now and it’s been a worldwind and most likely the best thing I’ve ever done. When I publish my post about it, you can read it [here].
Everything is different and changing all the time. I’m not going to be afraid of it. Life isn’t formulaic. It twists and turns and flips and somehow it gets to a point. Even then it’s no one singular point. This is where I wanted to take this particular blog post. It took me awhile but we made it to this very important point. This is Avery art scamming. This is Avery doing anything she wants. So can you.