art doesn't happen like that. House

I bought an 8x6 block of lino about ten years ago. Back when I was still in college, buying books for the next semester, browsing through the half of the store devoted to art supplies, and wondering again if I should’ve gone to Emily Carr instead.

I love art supplies the same way I love stationery. It’s the potential of the thing. I didn’t even own lino cutters, but I imagined some future where just having this piece of lino on hand would turn me into a printmaker. Of course, art doesn't happen like that.

It happens like this.

I have an unexpected Wednesday off. I have all the tools I need now. Over the years, I've collected cutters, and scissors, and tape, and rulers, and paint, and brushes, and pastels, and ink. I have everything I could ever want to make art except the confidence that anything I make will be worth the supplies.

8x6 is bigger than you think, and I'm a doodler. I still think I can't draw. When I do, it's little things, usually in my lined paper, spiral-bound notebook. I draw things, not scenes. How the hell am I going to fill 8x6?

I'm not. I've written a novel, and I know the trick for tackling projects too big for your brain to process.

You break it up into smaller parts. I couldn't find my exacto knife, but when I tried cutting the lino with an old pair of scissors, it worked. A 2x2 block is doable. A 2x2 block feels easy. A 2x2 block could be a single letter or an icon, or this simple house I drew with a pencil and carved on my coffee table.

It's that easy sometimes. I wish it was that easy all the time. It's a lesson I teach myself almost every day. Don't think about making something; pick up a pencil, a cutter, a pair of scissors, and make it. I know it's hard.

So make it small.

⇓ 15.07.12 printmaking.pdf