Saturday, September 19, 2009

fragments

fragments-of-seattle

long ago i kept my journal entries in swirling black and white fragments of phrases. i drew this piece in 2000, not long after i finished my MBA with a minor in doodling (just kidding), and took a job in management consulting. i was living in minneapolis and commuting to work in seattle every week. with a nearly four hour flight each way, i had plenty of time on my hands to doodle, and doodle i did. i hadn't looked at this page for years, and wow was it fun to pick through it to see what i remembered. there are bits of songs and films i loved, snippets of languages i was learning, and names of places that were important to me, including 'simon delivers', the name of the local grocery delivery service i used because i was too damn lazy to go to the store on my own.

but what i see more than anything here is restlessness. there's a lot about upheaval, change, fear of darkness and the search for light in this piece. my life was good. i had a great job, great pay, great benefits. but as the story so often goes, it was someone else's life. i wanted out, wanted to follow my heart as an artist but had no idea how or in what way. i can still feel how desperate i was at that time to break free but was too afraid to do it.

while creating this i visited one of my best friends in rome who was doing her dissertation research at camp vatican, as she called it. she showed me a beautiful carving on a chapel wall with one of my favorite phrases to this day, 'post tenebras spero lucem', (latin for 'after darkness i hope for light') which i am sure is tied to a biblical story but to me was simply a beautiful metaphor. that is in here, as well as another favorite, 'notice the lighted display for the next destination' which came from the automated voice on the tram at sea-tac. i heard it enough that i started believing i'd see the light one day. i had a lot of time for navel gazing and dwelling on metaphors back then.

looking back on this piece makes me feel like i've done the right thing following my path as an artist. back then i felt like i was spinning my creative wheels and going nowhere with my art, at times in a very eyerolling twentysomething angst kind of way, but it really was devastating to me at the time. who knew that nearly ten years later i'd feel younger and happier than ever, and that i would look back on that career choice with gratitude. if i had started making art full time back then, i'm not sure it would have been as fulfilling to me as it is now. by taking another path i learned things i never would have learned, met people i never would have otherwise, and it afforded me the opportunity to travel.

i wish i could go back in time and tell myself that everything was going to be OK. i was working toward something even though i didn't know it. right now i'm working toward something even though i have no clue what it is. but i do know now that every fragment of life leads to something else.

see more interpretations of the word fragment chez nathalie.

43 comments:

Ces said...

I like it and I enjoyed reading about your experience. Oh my that was a hectic lifestyle.

Caity said...

WOW! Yep, yep, yep - and I love that latin phrase. That's what my art making is about, and its something that I too couldn't have done earlier in my life.

Powerful post, thank you for sharing that story with us.

Le blÖg d'Ötli said...

I think you made the right choice...

Once again, I write I like your pictures ! Even your black and white is color ;)

Christine said...

Woah -- coool b&w! I love this.
I very much love your story of coming into yourself as an artist too. I'm glad you did :)

Sarah said...

Hi Aimee,
That is lovely to be able to look back at a younger you and see the links to now and the questions and fears you had then. Fascinating! I love that announcement that you heard all the time as well-I love metaphors!
Thanks for visiting the other day-I am really enjoying doing the journal. I thought having a theme would be hard but actually it is such fun!

cindy said...

the words that stand out right away to me in the doodle are - dream, reinvent, whatever - in that order. i worked in management consulting and although that business experience is invaluable, i'm glad you took your own advice from those words. your art is smart and fun and so are you. enjoy your weekend!

Aris said...

wonderful post. You are a excellent writer. I enjoyed traveling back in time with you and can so relate, although I never took the business route. Starting out is such a fearful time. I remember feeling that one wrong decision and I'd be trapped in a life I didn't want. It felt like jumping into the swinging jump ropes in doubledutch not knowing whether you'd be dancing around or get hit in the face.
Doodles are so visual thinking, rarely mindless and I love this one and all that it holds.

Aris said...

also thank you so much for your very sweet comment on my blog(:

peggyfussell said...

Thank you. You remind me to look back and appreciate the various forks in my road, and to not be overly anxious about the ones ahead!

Be sure to save this post for your daughters. They will love to read that doodle when they are in their twenties. Its beautiful!

AmandaMay said...

Thank you for this! As an angsty 20-something myself, feeling fairly stifled in a great life, I really appreciate your perspective here!!

I love your doodles also!!

Bella Sinclair said...

I don't know what I love more, this madcap doodling or your analytical retrospection. I, too, am so glad you decided to turn on the light and see yourself as the talented artist that you are.

I would also love to see zebras one day wearing your words instead of those boring stripes.

Carmen said...

Great doodle and what a powerful message in your story. Thanks for sharing this Aimee.

Veja cecilia said...

wow, how great to hear this story Aimee. And I think you made the right choise to go with your wonderful art! I do like this black and white piece from you, cause it´s very intense and more pattern like. I would love to see something updated in black/white some of these days:)

Fruenswerk said...

I love the doodle and what you told about your life back then ;)....

●• Thereza said...

yes, it is cool to look back and at where we are now and tell ourselves - no worries, it's going to be just fine! kudos for the post :)

have a lovely weekend!

Anairam said...

Fragments of phrases and words ... your Latin fragment is now in my Book Of Quotes! I love how a prosaic instruction on a tram can turn out to be poetry, a piece of wisdom, a pointer for the future ...

lori vliegen said...

i love this post.....and i hope you know how many hearts you touch by speaking from yours....i know you've touched mine, for sure! :))

Line said...

It's great to see your views and creativity on fragment, lovely blog too!!!

Christy said...

You're so eloquent. Isn't it interested how we each evolve? I adore the black and white lettered piece. It seems like it's just been something in you that has been itching to get out.

Lynn Fisher said...

Oh wow, those tight little doodles make my arm hurt just looking at it. GORGEous....so, was that a BS in doodiling??????
Thanks for the great post!!!!

Lori said...

What a beautiful post Aimee.

e.beck.artist said...

great doodle ... and interesting to visit the black and white you after knowing only the vibrant color you ... that's another metaphor, ya know ....

Annie Pazoo said...

Aimee - I'm going to have to follow up with you separately on this one -- touched a lot of chords here. (MBA here too - loved it but am looking at what the next phase of my life) You go, girl -- you really inspire me :-)

Lucy said...

Beautiful and revealing story, thank you for sharing!

Terri said...

Thank you for your gracious comment on my blog... I am thrilled to have discovered yours! *subscribe*

Terri Fischer

cactus petunia said...

Amazing! Glad you found your path...you're an inspiration to all of us. And it's a great reminder that when you turn your face toward the sun, the shadows will fall behind you.

soulbrush said...

i almost like this black and white more than some of the colour ones...no i don't. giggle...WOW and so glad you did choose the art!

daisy janie said...

what a nice, introspective post. it must be so comforting in a way to look back at where you've been as an artist and a person...i wish this for people all the time. take a moment to reflect, and you'll appreciate where you are now so much more. thanks for sharing.

painted fish studio said...

oh, what would i have told 25-year-old me, knowing what i know now, and where i am in my career and other aspects of this crazy life. i'd tell her, well, i don't know what i'd tell her. there are some things i'd want to warn her about, but then again, not knowing what's coming up is one of the best parts of getting up every day.

(i wish you still lived in minneapolis!)

Nicky Linzey said...

WOW I love this Aimee and agree I it would be great to see more patterns from you and interesting to see what words you would use now. Love your story too, it's amazing how much courage is needed to follow your bliss and yet I don't think I know anyone who has ever regretted it.

Esti said...

I like your story. And yes, fragments of life is all we need, really. Those that will build us, anyway.

joanne said...

aimee... this is an amazing piece and an even more lovely piece of writing... it always makes me so incredibly happy to hear when people take those leaps and follow their heart... there can be many periods of darkness and confusion, sometimes long stretches of them, actually... but there is always light that follows the darkness, the sun always shines in the morning after a night of insomnia :) ...

i feel like i've lived most of my adult life in the restlessness you describe... still there... and still lots of confusion and in my case so much self doubt...

thank you for being such an incredible light of inspiration for so many people (and for hanging in with me)... whether black and white or in vibrant color, you always always shine :)

xo

Pam said...

This is terrific and revealing. And...of course...inspiring. xo, pam

SweetbriarStudio (Christie) said...

For a second I thought I was reading a page from an old journal of mine :). I left my well-paying, enviable job 8 years ago and have never missed it, not one day! (now, that money thing, that's sorta different...). I'm still figuring out where and who the artist is in me. And, as for you, what a blessing to the rest of us (not to mention your family)that you are doodling "all the live long day".

jane said...

beautiful!

L'Atelier said...

amazing interpretation, aimee! simply just fabulous!

vanessa/NessieNoodle said...

thanks for this... no really.
fantastic words and reminders.

aimee said...

thank you all SO much for your supportive comments on this post. i ramble when i write posts at midnight because it's the only time i have to think, and in the morning i stagger downstairs, slap my hand to my forehead, and wonder what on earth i wrote. but in this case it was positive rambling and i'm thrilled and honored you all took the time to read and make such considerate comments about it!

charlotteannette said...

This inspiration gives me hope, in an eyerolling twentysomething angsty sort of way! Seriously though, will you be my role model?

wild child said...

A-MA-ZING!!!!!!!!!!! all of it. seriously.

I still want to be you when I grow up :)

Meg xoxo

la ninja said...

MAN! 4-hour commute? each way? flying? wtf? wtf? wtf? I get grumpy if work is more than 30 mins. away from home (but then again, I'm terribly spoiled on that department.)

love love love this black & white stuff (even if it represents precisely that, a much more black & white period)

somehow I missed this post back then (I'm such a scatter-brain sometimes) and I'm glad I found it this evening. now I'm off to bed knowing there's hope in this world, raaaaaaa!

no, seriously, raaaaaaa!

whenigrowupcoach said...

I know that I'm late the the party, but I do just love this post so much! You know I have a soft spot in my hearts for those that ditch the "real world" to follow their artistic pursuits, & hearing just a bit about that place you were in makes it attainable for the rest of us.

You are an inspiration!

Kellys Art Journaling/ Sharing The Journey said...

Wow... this is a doodle????? It is amazing. I couldn't do a commute like that.