Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Creating Life

How would you tell your life’s story if you could only use six words?
This is the question which was asked in the ds106 assignment "Six-Word memoir".

Yesterday I came back home right from a talk with a German official and they directly told me to rather give up hope to ever have a job in the creative professions. They want me to sell things or to work in a warehouse or maybe clean up other peoples dirt. I would die. I was just sad about this talk.
However, this was the right moment to create what is deeply true for my life.

This illustration is made just partly with a computer.  I took a good watercolour paper (140 lbs) and divided it up into 6 areas. Then I colored the areas. It may be good to plan which color is used in any area, by computer or on an extra piece of paper.
Then I wrote with any text editing tool the appropriate text and arranged the words. I copied this text to my painting via tracing paper. I took a picture of the illustration and in an editing software I added an edge to give it the touch of a sign.

I am fine with the result but finally I think the painting on its own or the words on their own are more beautiful. Maybe another approach is to separate them on the page, one area for the letters and another for the colors.


  1. From Kurt Vonnegut:
    "The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

  2. Hi! I've already seen your gravatar sometimes. So you don't make your living with art work? I like what you sent me about Vonnegut. It's lovely. I know in my heart it is true. Yet many people have a creative profession and a living from that. I want to belong to them and I know I am good enough for that. Anyway, thank you (:

  3. I've been extremely impressed with your following of ds106 and doing assignments along side our students.

    Your 6 word story/painting is beautiful on its own, but even more so with the framing of this situation. We are not accustomed to officials telling us our careers, and I am glad to read you are not either. I cannot offer any advice how to make a living as an artist; it's o secret that many creators do have to do those dirt jobs.

    I like the words and the visual together, I find my attention moving back and forth like they are on different but shifting planes.

  4. Alan, I am glad for your sensitive comment about both my life story and my artwork. As this is a public page I may not reveal too much of my situation. I still have a job but it runs out. I asked for help which is easily possible in Germany. This situation your officials may also tell you what you have to do. Yet you are right, I am not accustomed to this and may never be from my inside. I have been to the USA once and I can not imagine that people there could ever get accustomed to procedures like this, either. Germans are different. The advantage is you are material save..