Making Art

For the past seven months I’ve been gathering various bits of material for a  few art pieces I’m creating. Since starting on Testosterone I’ve taken a photo of my face and my vulva almost every day, and I’ve saved most of the supplies one would normally throw away in the process of taking these shots. A few days ago in solitary, nestled in the quiet countryside to housesit and birdsit for an artist friend, I emptied out my bags of items, updated my photo library, and started touching all the things…

I have a pretty good idea about where I’m going with this project, but the final image of it and the “how to” of my process are not yet fully realized. It’s an exciting place to be artistically: idea firmly in mind, supplies spread in front of me, yet still working out the designs. I fall asleep each night thinking about new ways to put all the pieces together, and dream up more detailed versions of what these pieces might be. At this point in the process I need to let myself be slow, stimulated by my senses primarily, let myself be unhappy with the first 20, 200, or 2000 ideas that pop into my mind, and I let dissatisfaction lead me on new hunts for better techniques which excite me, and can bring forth my vision more satisfactorily. There’s a lot of trial and error and staring at ingredients and looking at other people’s art, reading articles about current events, and distraction going on in the background.

I am in research-and-try stage (do I ever really leave that though?) — I am playing with my materials. I am sorting objects, folding items, considering if glue or stitching makes most sense, looking up patterns and learning more about various methods of assembly. It is good to be wild and imaginative and not to say no to the images or ideas which pop up for me as I go. They morph and build on one another. They fade away when they’re not necessary, and lead me into investigative compulsion when I feel more strongly. They are parts of the answer, and reveal to me things I do not want to do as well as things I might definitely try. My ideas are asking me questions about my true intent: what are the rules of this project; what do I mean to say or imply; if I adjust this detail a little will my meaning come more into focus or become obscured by something else; is that “something else” actually important for me to look at and define?

This observation is my premise: since I started taking T I’ve been more excited to embrace the parts of me which are femme. It’s fascinating and beautiful. I feel solid, as though I’m allowed to be me in each of the ways I’ve wanted to be in my life. I’m more comfortable enjoying my whims, without defining them as “not mine”, and this has opened doors for me inside. I am less afraid and less convinced I must put on someone else’s skin to say what I have to say. I feel sexier and more able to express my own boundaries. I am not as frightened (or insecure or wrapped in dread) around other people’s lust, desire, or turned on realities. I’m discovering my body interacting with others is fun, and I’m more confident saying, “no, let’s pause here”, or “I’m done now, thanks”.

This project is an installation I’ve been chewing over for a long while. I think the first representation of this idea I explored was in 2013 for a show about queerness. I brought my bedroom into a gallery for a night and had interactions with people in it, headlined with the question, “what do you want?”. Today’s version is different, more fantastical, less literal, and perhaps exploring “what I want”, and “what I have wanted”. I’m excited to be forming it, piece by piece under my fingers finally. It feels good.

If you would like to help me fund this project and keep making various other pieces of visual art, performance, and writing in 2018, please click the links below and learn how.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

Please support my work on Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

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