01 July, 2010

40 by 40: the project begins

I had a real problem with turning 35. Spring 2006 was a pretty tumultuous time in itself, personally speaking, but still the action of being mid-30s was itself a mental hurdle. It's not that 35 is middle-aged. Hell, Middle-Aged isn't Middle-Aged anymore. But there's definitely a feeling of being on the cusp between one thing and another. Still, I muddled through just fine.

Now things are changing. I turn 40 ten months from today. FORTY. I don't look it, and aside from needing to wear arch supports in my Chuck Taylors, I certainly don't feel it, but as Sally Albright once said about that magic age, it's just sitting there. And it's not just that I'm turning (I hate this phrase and will never use it after this) the big 4-0. All of my friends are, too, for the most part either a year ahead or behind me. When did we become the grown-ups? Our life after four decades doesn't look like our parents' did, at least not mine. I'm not married, I don't have a house or a secure job, I'm not in a bowling league (not that that wouldn't be awesome), I still see most bands I like in bars and nightclubs versus arenas, or rather, I still see bands at all. My kid will be 13 when I turn 40. I was 18 when my mom did. My 2011 birthday feels less of a calendar turn than an opportunity to make a monumental shift in what I'm doing with my life. But rather than begin anew then, I want to spend the time leading up to it making those changes a bit at a time.

Several friends have a "101 in 1001" list. I absolutely admire their determination; it's more than I have. I'm lucky to accomplish one or two of my New Year's Resolutions, and am still working on those for 2008. Still, it's a good idea. Things like a master goal list, and projects such as Brock Davis' "Make Something Cool Every Day" project (which I saw, and which was freaking amazing) are inspiring. I may not be able to get myself to do the dishes nightly, or give up caffeine for more than twelve hours, but perhaps I can make colorful stuff that didn't exist before.

So here's where I actually get to the point of this blog. In the next ten months, I would like to create 40 new works. Be it with paint, fabric, photography, sand, food, whatever. I don't want to count items in my Etsy shop, because whether I decide to sell anything I create that will be secondary, and quite frankly I don't know if I'll want to sell them. This is more of a challenge to myself, that I can expand my artistic horizons further than my comfort zone normally allows.

Even though I could average forty works into four a month, I won't. I know myself too well to know I won't stick to that. I also hate the idea of forcing things. If they happen they happen. As long as they all happen before May 1, 2011.

Saying that, however, I'm still going to start tonight. Right foot, as it were. Anything I make, I will post on here. 304 days could go by fast.