Posts Tagged ‘arts’

melissacontreras-creaturem1I love graphic tees (in particular: Poketo, Threadless, Shirt.Woot, and Uneetee.)

Clothing has always been expression, and that’s the perfect reason to share great art via fabric. We all have our favorite graphic tees, whether they be from Urban Outfitters, bands, or any from the growing list of internet stores.

It is time for world-renowned artists to follow their cohorts in creating graphic tees. There are so many great artists with styles that are perfect for the cotton medium.

New artists already view tees as an awesome place to express their imaginations. I want to see some veterans in the field.

(Photo: tee titled “Creature Friends” from Poketo’s current collection by Melissa Contreras)

Update: I would love to see somebody make a t-shirt mural, meaning several t-shirts to create one artistic statement.

And I think it’s perfectly fine for people to use Zazzle, with permission, to create shirts with digital files of awesome paintings and graffiti. (Banksy wants you to add his graffiti to your shirt.)

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picture-11Today, I was walking around the main track at River Legacy. About halfway I realized the absurdity of the trail. It’s a park where hikers are free to explore the entire wooded area and open fields, but I was walking down a manmade cement trail on the rightside of a divider of yellow paint. I had chosen to ignore my freedoms and take the normal boring path.

Frustrated with my lack of individualism, I decided to trek across an open field. Most people bike, jog, and skate the cement trails, and only a rare bunch of people cross the open field. At first, I felt like an individual; I was going against the grain. Then it hit me…

Without purpose, there is no reason to explore.

I might have felt like an individual but I certainly had no reason to cross the giant field. I just got scared of being like everyone else.

I know others, including some friends of mine and myself, want to be pioneers in our fields. We want to explore new terroritories of our crafts and professions. We’re proud of being iconoclasts; we’re proud of our free-thinking. And it scares us to be total conformists.

But trailblazing is about purpose. In playwriting, we have rules. These rules are tested, and we can rely on them to craft a strong narrative with interesting character development. In playwriting, we have rule breakers. Famously, Samuel Beckett plopped the craft on its belly in the 60s. The avant-garde sector of theatre is constantly rethinking the rules.

In fact, my generation is trying to find its voice. At my level, all writers are exploring new territories by breaking the rules. We’re worried that our plays will turn out to be this generation’s Waiting for Godot, Arthur Miller play, or anything that resembles Albee. Most writers my age can’t write a play without being compared to Sam Shepard… And seriously…my generation is tired of hearing that the 60s were so great for theatre..

While we look for our voice, we can learn a lesson from the past (ugh, okay, even the 60s movement.)

That is purpose. Why did each of them break the rules of writing in each of their cases?

I don’t have a full answer, just a beginning of the search…

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2896039-lgAs the drama unfolds on the Hill (will republicans back the stimulus package without enough tax breaks), I think it’s important to talk about the arts. After all, the arts often suffer first in any economic turmoil. Broadway has seen the biggest wave of closures; funding is out of the question for many new artists. Times are bad for us in the creative field.

Habit is a curious thing. When an option is removed from the table, we usually look at our other options. I can’t drive that way because of construction? I’ll go another way. But when habit is threatened, we freeze up. We don’t ask what else?, we ask how do I fix it.

Producers might be trying to figure out how to fix Broadway so it returns to being a cash machine. They probably remember the days when shows could sell tickets with $200+ prices. Well, now that option’s off the table. The new option is that producers can focus on new kinds of projects; they can explore beyond the movie musical, or even the dreaded jukebox musical. And Broadway will see something new.

We can either build our arts to return to our old ways, or we can take this opportunity to choose a different option. We are the creative sector of this country, and yet we’re just as guilty of mediocrity. It takes opportunities like this to show off our ingenuity. After all, the writer’s strike, while ultimately disastrous for dramatic writing community, still saw new projects that would not exist in normal conditions.

We don’t have to stray far from what we know–after all, some rules exist to create the best products. But we can try to use this economic climate to forge ahead. Artists, take on new projects. You may not get paid as much, or you might not get paid at all. The point is that your creative energy doesn’t rely on the health of stock portfolios or a hemorrhaging economy. Your creative energy allows you freedom in the economic storm. You can still create whereas others are screwed for the time being. And once the storm passes, you still have a product to show your talent.

So, get out there! Do something–especially if you’re layed off from your “A” job. Create, create, create.

P.S. Things might pick up soon. If the stimulus package is passed, there will be 50 million dollars for the arts!

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