Do Whatever Works // my motherly mantra

In our old house in Portland, my mom's art studio was in our unfinished attic. As a kid, I saw the space as this glittering gem in the sky, crammed with memories, art, turpentine, paint, photos, and a HUGE wooden work table that mom built with her own two hands. Above the window at the head of the room, the first thing you saw when you entered, was a 2 foot tall phrase proclaiming, "DO WHATEVER WORKS", scrawled in white paint right on the wooden wall. As I've gotten older and begun my own adventures in the art world, the truth and value of her decree has really begun to sink comfortably into my head and heart. It now serves as a reminder in my life that yes, things don't always work out *exactly* as you thought they would, but to keep an open mind to something that might. If that means ripping your painting in half and just using part if it to begin the next version, so be it. If that means building a box instead of drawing one for your drawing assignment, then do it. If that means re-imagining your old dress by turning it into a pair of pants just because you feel like it, then hell to the yes. It also encouraged me to move through the world in a positive way, as a positive force, side-stepping convention and preconceived notions when necessary, just like my mom. (all seventies come-hither below)

So as I acknowledge that I've fallen off the blog train a bit, know that it's because I've been crazier than a coconut this spring. With mom's mantra echoing in my head, I've been blazing a trail of incredibly fun projects, including eight websites, three weddings, two books, a poster, a steep street redesign, daydreams of a new company offshoot, and (yes, you'd approve, mom) taking my precious time to flip all the way through a magazine every day in the sun during my enforced lunch break.

So that's what's working for me lately.


stephanie claire said...

thank you for sharing this. without knowing it, that has sort of become my theme of april too.

you and your mom are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

She is an amazing woman, and so are you. xo Shango

~ Hannah ~ said...

You put the truth so very eloquently, Kel. What memories in that studio! xoxo

Jani said...

It just goes to show...you better be true to yourself and watch your footwork: you never know who's watching. Love you, Kel. xxoo Mom