Ten Signs You Might Be on the Artism Spectrum

No, I didn’t spell “autism” wrong. I’m talking about artism. If you relate to any of this list, you are most likely on the artistic spectrum.

Ten Signs You Might Be Artistic:

  1. You make art. Or you write, or you do music, or you act, or you see your life is some sort of strange performance art.
  2. You don’t understand people who want to learn the thing you do. (Because it’s not something you want to do, it’s just something you do do. If you are going to do the thing, if you were meant to do the thing, you do do the thing. It’s a compulsion.)
  3. You’re a mess. Literally. Artistic people are often messy.
  4. You wondered (and still kind of wonder) if Donald Trump ran for president as some sort of long form performance art, and he’s just as surprised as you are that he is now president. (Because you always assume that, in any situation, someone is doing some sort of long form performance art.)
  5. Incompetent artists really bother you, especially the ones who do the same thing you do. And most especially when they are successful with the masses! That’s just a knife in the heart.
  6. When people say, “you’re so creative!” it’s really annoying, isn’t it? What do you do with a comment like that? How could anyone be alive without being creative in some way?
  7. You feel badly if you don’t make art or do that creative thing you do. You start to go crazy without it. 
  8. Your art is not something you need people to compliment you over. It is gratifying unto itself. 
  9. When people give you really simple, clear instructions, you don’t believe that anything can be simple and clear, and you read elaborate (and untrue) messages into the clear, normal instructions. And it makes life so hard. So very, very hard.
  10. You see beauty everywhere. 
Did you relate to this list? You may be on the artism spectrum. Also, if you are even looking at this web site, you are most definitely on the artism spectrum. Thank you for reading. Click on this picture to get this cat on a mug or a print. Because we need cat food. Baby lambs need milk replacer, sometimes. And all that sort of thing. Also, you might think it’s nice. Thanks again. 

 

Mythical Suspence


I read and reread the past four Tufa books very carefully, looking for things that would create beautiful scenes in a coloring book. (I drew The Tufa Coloring Book.) So, I was relieved recently to crack open Alex Bledsoe’s latest book, Gather Her Round, and just, you know. Read it. 

Having read the previous four so closely further enriched my reading experience of the fifth. I knew what to expect, and when I found it, it was comfortable and cozy. And then when the unexpected happened, that made it all the more exciting. 

Gather Her Round has all of the elements which made me love the other Tufa novels:

– The magical forest as a setting.

– The strong female characters.

– The songs.

– The tribal rituals elevated to a higher level of intelligence.

– The outsider discovering the Tufa for the first time.

– Rednecks as real, relatable people.

– The clash between the two Tufa groups.

– Riding the night winds! 

All that, and more, of course. Gather Her Round most notably also has a mythical beast, really more of a horror story type beast, but written without excessive gore. We don’t know if the wild boar is a normal pig escaped from a farm, or something conjured by a haint, or if it’s, as the fortune teller says, “mostly real,” but not entirely. Perhaps the Night Winds conjured it? The mystery of the whole thing kept me reading. And then there was also the guilt of not really killing someone, and not really not killing someone. It made for a good story, well told. 

Oh, and it’s a story within a story, one of my favorite things! (cue Julie Andrews) The whole tale is told by a Tufa keeping everyone on the edge of their seats at a storytelling event. 

The Music of Childhood

Zanimal and I always listen to The Decemberist’s album The King is Dead in the car, when I’m chauffeuring her around, as parents do these days.

We hypothesize that Avery is a cat.

I think someday, she will hear the Decemberists and be brought magically back to her childhood drives with me.

This is the song that brings me back to my childhood:

Not because we played it in the car when my parents drove me around (I’m too old for that, nobody drove their kids around in the seventies and eighties) but because my dad practiced playing it himself over and over again, on the pedal steel. And then played it at gigs where I tagged along. This version actually sounds wrong to me, because it’s not my dad playing. I can’t find a recording of my dad playing that particular song, but here’s a nice one:

Zanimal just came home and would rather watch a Bad Lip Reading of the Empire Strikes Back, which I have to admit is just amazing:

Kids!

Inspired by Oleanna Cunneen, I created a border

In researching the history of Mount Horeb for the troll coloring book, I learned about this woman Oleanna Cunneen. She was of Norwegian descent, and she did a lot of art in a very traditional, Norwegian style. She was the first troll creator in Mount Horeb. Her trolls were about a foot high, usually, and were displayed in store fronts around town. (aside: She even sent one to then President Ronald Reagan!) When she painted on wooden boards, she often used a rosemaling border.

Troll painting by Oleanna Cunneen, with Rosemaling border.

I wanted to incorporate that into my coloring book, The Trolls of Mount Horeb, some sort of Oleanna Cunneen-inspired border, so I ended up doing this around the poetry. I then realized (a bit too late) that if I surround the poetry with something to color, then I have back-to-back coloring, which it appears colorists don’t care for much. The whole point of the poems is so that every other page will not have coloring. Also, I like writing poetry. But, anyway, it seems too late to change it. Sorry not sorry? Maybe the borders will only bleed through to around the outer edges of the trolls, and then the trolls will have a border, too. Though, probably not. Probably, this is just a big goof.

The border I’m putting around my poems in the new Trolls of Mount Horeb Coloring Book.

Maybe it’s a huge mistake. Maybe, it’s the best thing ever! Probably something in between.

Either way, doesn’t look like Rosemaling until you color it.

Improvements

I have some ideas I’d like to run by you, about improving War and Peace

  1. The Prince should be a vampire.
  2. We should add Jonathan Strange, this book needs a magician! 
  3. All of the men should be women. 
  4. All of the women should still be women. 
  5. All of the swords should be cats. 

This way, War and Peace will be the best book ever. 

That is all. 

I resemble that person-

I went to have lunch with my daughter at school, and as I was signing in, the secretary said,

“Oh, great article on you!”

“What?”

“In the newspaper.”

So, I dropped by the gas station and picked up a copy, and FRONT PAGE! THAT’S ME!

The sheep is Candy Darling.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, The Town of Primrose is holding its annual meeting???!!! How did I not know about this sooner?

Matt Geiger came and interviewed me about a month ago, and he did mention he wanted to put me on the front page, but I didn’t quite believe it until I saw it.

First, Mount Horeb, then the world!

Maybe…