“Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.”
― Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art
..And when things go wrong, what you should do is make good art. I love this concept. I KNOW this concept. I know this whole speech almost by heart. I basically preach this. It is always the making of the good art that saves you. Or at least it is always the making of good art that saves me.
And yet, sometimes I have to be reminded. And strangely, last August, when I was going through some personal hard times, I was continually hearing the chorus of “paint your feelings.” Which, I’ll be honest, is not usually my go to. I make art because I am inspired. And working on good art pieces that I’ve been inspired to create always takes me out of time and makes me feel better. So it’s always a good panacea for emotional pain. But rarely do I actually paint my literal feelings. But, I kept hearing it. So finally one day, slightly exasperated because “what does that even mean- paint your feelings!?” I sat down at my desk with a blank sheet of paper and my watercolors, and before I knew it, this anatomical heart emerged, along with the Pirates of the Caribbean line that I love so much.
I drew the veins in gold as a reference to the Japanese method of Kintsugi-
Translated to “golden joinery,” Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi, which means “golden repair”) is the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Beautiful seams of gold glint in the cracks of ceramic ware, giving a unique appearance to the piece.
This repair method celebrates each artifact’s unique history by emphasizing its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. Kintsugi often makes the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original, revitalizing it with new life.
For me , I think, this artistic representation, with a subtle nod to the beauty of the brokenness, turned out to be the perfect way to process my broken hearted feelings, and also to find the beauty again, literally through the artistic rendering process. (For many more extensive thoughts on love and choice and whether or not you should lock your heart away, read my February blog post here: Always Choose Love.)
For Kay, who loves anatomical hearts of all kinds, this painting became immediately tied to her character of Cupid from Tell City. It would seem that once again, and even more unintentionally this time, I had created relevant fan art. Even when I try to make art about my own personal stories, it ties back into archetypal stories somehow or another. Ha! I guess no one can escape their destiny.
So yet again, when we sat down to determine what we should use to create Tell City merchandise for fans to rep, we quickly and easily landed on this piece too. Kay wanted the anatomical Cupid heart. So we hunted down a relevant quote from Tell City, I digitized and edited the image to change the text, and for the back I pulled in the Tell City “skyline” from the book cover and decorated it with the same fill pattern as the heart.
Et voila! Grab this heart for your own- as a reminder not to lock your heart away, or as a reminder of everyone’s favorite diapered cherub, or as a reminder of whatever else you might bring to the piece. Check it out here! And, if you don’t have one yet, grab your copy of Tell City here!
This blog and my artwork runs entirely with the help of people like you. If you’ve enjoyed this behind the scenes look at my artwork, if you enjoy the artwork, enjoy Tell City, or if you just believe in supporting independent artists and authors, please consider sharing this post, buying a book or some swag, or for an even more in depth look behind the scenes, consider supporting Lusicovi Creative on Patreon. Learn more about that here.