In the shadows of WWI, a small group of weirdos gathered together in a little, dingy bar in Zurich, and they made an UNGODLY racket in protest of EVERYTHING. The war was senselessly killing an entire generation, the societies of “enlightened” Europe had fallen prey to the GOO-GOO MUCK of modern nonsense, and faith in human progress had been replaced with a feeling that the world was entering a new dark age. The WAR TO END ALL WARS would give way, just a few decades later, to ANOTHER WAR—and this one brought us NUCLEAR DEATH… (I see some parallels with our modern Utopia, for some reason…)
But the artists and poets were right there—pointing out the senseless, and then picking up the broken pieces and making NEW things that spoke directly to their situations and sensations…
Elegant blasts of hectic participation…
So what have YOU been up to in this topsy-turvy time? I’ve been at home, mostly, except when I HAVE to go out… (Icky.)
But I’ve kept busy. I’ve been listening to music—LOTS of music: Jon Batiste, Alan Vega, The Soft Boys, Arcadia, Blondie, The Cure, Dead Milkmen, Subway Sect… Kenny Rogers… Lots of music. It’s one of my primary refuges against negativity and depression. (Put the Adam and The Ants Prince Charming album on the record player and just TRY to be depressed. It’s impossible!)
Do you know what ELSE is impossible? Trying to TYPE when you’ve got an orange, furry shithead biting your foot! I’m trying to barricade myself with pillows, and he’s just EATING the pillows…
I’ve also been doing a LOT of drawing, lately. Some of it has proven useful.
My older daughter asked me to upload a design to a site called “SPOONFLOWER.” She’s been making face-masks for people, and she wanted to make some masks with one of my designs, so I did THIS…
I don’t know if you’re allowed to just BUY the pattern on fabric or not. I haven’t purchased a “proof pattern,” yet, so it might not be for sale. (If you wanted to make a prom dress or a tux for a wedding out of the design, but CAN’T because I haven’t “finished the process” or whatever, send me I note, and I’ll see if I can finish the thing.)
I also like to make LITTLE drawings, like 2 inch by 2 inch, big. I frequently cut up cereal boxes and other food containers to use as my INITIAL drawing media, which I will then photograph, blow up a bit, color, tweak, and manipulate—often adding digital drawing over the photos. It’s fun, and I like the visual “noise” that you get from blowing a small image up to really large size. You see the inconsistencies in the ink distribution, the bits of debris and texture of the cardboard, and other unforeseen anomalies, which I think make the finished pieces more interesting.
Here are a few bits that I’ve recently cut up for art making…
I’m sure I’ll share the artwork, once I’m done making it!
Speaking of art, I’ve ALSO recently uploaded a new piece to my REDBUBBLE site:
They’ve started making BUTTONS, which people can buy along with the t-shirts and postcards and coffee cups and other goodies, so I thought I’d make a mostly circular piece—but I kind of did it wrong! (Ha!!)
Check it out on a bunch of “PRODUCTS” here:
I THINK (although I’m not certain) that I was inspired by the Weird Al song, “Tacky,” and maybe a bit by the Mr. Yuck sticker… Who knows…
Another thing that my wife and I have been doing to keep our spirits up is our radio program. We’ve recorded two episodes, so far, and we’re enjoying the process. Here are links to the two episodes (which I’ve made as video slide-shows and which are hosted on 3Speak!)
The slide-shows that accompany the audio are comprised of photos and art (by me, so that I don’t have any copyright issues), and they’re usually just about having fun. Here are a few from the newest show:
After listening to our shows (thanks for doing that, by the way), feel free to send us a couple of questions or topics that you’d like us to consider. Our second episode was about 50 percent based on questions sent to me by my friend and frequent collaborator, Richard O’Brien. (Not the guy who wrote, The Rocky Horror Picture Show—the OTHER Richard O’!)
And, last, here are a few random art bits that I’ve created lately. I’m having some serious fun being trapped at home with my wife! We’re keeping busy and trying to MAKE some stuff! Hopefully, you are too! Here are just a couple of the art pieces (drawings, photos, digital works, etc.,) I’ve finished in the last few days…
“Multi-Dimensional Space Worm” (5 Apr. 2020)
“Another Victim” (2 Apr. 2020)
“A Place in the Sun” (4 Apr. 2020)
“Friendly Spectre” (30 Mar. 2020)
[This is one of the pieces that the baby helped me with. Notice the strategic folds, smashes, and drool stains. She’s a genius, I tells ya!]
And this one seems to me to be the starter for some strange short story:
While we were sitting in line (for a LOOOOOONG time) at the bank a few days ago, I spotted that sign, and I thought it had some great character names:
Queen Memory – a mysterious cyber-hacker
Foam Matt – an addict with a heart of gold. Will he redeem himself before the tragedy unfolds completely?
DJ Base – the rave DJ who is ALSO a government spy! With Foam Matt’s help, can DJ Base foil Queen Memory’s nefarious plans before the counter, set at 999 minutes, reaches ZERO—when it will be TOO LATE!
Maybe I’ll write that story—or one something like it—in the next few days. Maybe I won’t. I’m pretty flaky! However, if you WANT to see how that story turns out, let me know. Perhaps a bit of encouragement will spark my pen into action!!!
Okay, folks! How have you been holding up? Are you doing anything interesting with all the extra time you’ve been saddled with? Watched any good movies? Read a good book or comic? Listened to an awesome record or CD (or digital album)? Let me know! Always looking for something new to sink my teeth into!!!
—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FOLKS WHO ARE JUST MAKING STUFF BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT!!!