Huddled and slinking through the snow, this fur grants little defense against the winter wind.
Each timidly placed step sinks deep.
There is nothing beyond this screen of blinding white. Nothing but this burden carried.
Where does art come from? Does it spontaneously generate in the mind of the artist, independent of the outside world? Is it programmed into the artist’s brain in art school? Do alien’s or angels beam it down into our neurons, where it is translated into images of beauty or desperation?
For my money, Art Making comes from the marriage of inspiration, experience, and technique. Its a throuple.
Technique is nothing more than study, research and lots of practice. It’s not sexy. It can be fun. It’s learning the medium and the tools, from the basics of drawing up to the very specifics of how the medium is made and how it reacts to substrates and other media. In my case, learning about the different papers and glues is the biggest part. Especially how the paper absorbs the adhesive. Knives, thankfully, are pretty straightforward.
Experience isn’t just about art, although that’s a big part. Sure, education is important. Exposure to contemporary art all the way back to ancient cave paintings can and do inform the work. But personal experience is as, or more, important. Getting out of the studio, seeing and talking to wonderful and strange people (this world is full of both types…), learning about different cultures. Reading, music, conversation.
Which leads us to that most nebulous of concepts, Inspiration. There’s a lot of crossover and cross-pollination with experience here. Everything that enters your mind, everything that fires your imagination or makes you stop and think for a moment can serve as inspiration. How is this different from experience? Experience is the absorption of stimuli. Inspiration is the process that happens in your mind, heart, and soul to turn that stimuli into something new.
The inspiration for The Filthy Sadness of the Fox seems to be a direct line from 中原中也 (Nakahara Chūya)’s poem 汚れつちまつた悲しみに… UPON THE SADNESS ALL SMEARED UP..
As always, inspiration is an amalgamation of this + my own feelings about things happening in my life + Tokyo (where I was living at the time) + my fascination with parasites/symbiotes + tunes.
What tunes? I’m glad you asked.
Nice Fox by The Rosebuds
Sea Wolf’s You’re a Wolf and Winter Windows
and finally, The Fox in the Snow by Belle and Sebastian was introduced to me because of this piece
There’s probably a bunch more, but the line of descendants can be most easily traced through these.
The Filthy Sadness of the Fox slinks into the shop for the first time today. It is the 24th print, and will be the last for a good, long while.