When one way of working stops working it's good to switch modes a little. I have a couple little abstract things I do when the words stop connecting, one of them is making these little books, I call them Moticos, after Ray Johnson.
All the drawings are made quickly and without hesitation, on the touchscreen of a Gameboy DS using homebrew drawing software. I print them at home on my printer. Crayon on the covers. I found that putting the drawings in order, making that decision, was a stumbling block to completion. So for each copy I rearrange the pages. Here's a scan of one of them from a while back, please imagine that in other copies these drawings are paired up differently-- it's like a tv show set in a small town and sooner or later all the characters get to interact, but you only get to see one episode. Hopefully these pages will display on a desktop computer close to actual size (2 x 2.5").
I have a strict method of making these drawings-- a particular way that I make blobs, then a free way in which I add to the blobs or subtract to make an image of a character. I try not to think about it as I'm doing it, each one is just a weird little guy. This issue has a helicopter, a dracula, a few toughs, a few noise bonnets, a pissing dog, some lizards, some maidens, some party people. Sometimes writing is difficult, sometimes it's easy. These weird little guys are always easy and always right there behind my mind.
links / misc
- the word "moticos" is via Ray Johnson. For a short period I entertained the possibility that Ray was still alive and working at the Worcester Art Museum. Now I'm pretty sure that that was a different guy. [link]
- the software I use on the Gameboy is called Animanitee, it's a free animation program that I use as a tiny sketchbook. It runs on a Gameboy DS using a flashcart, which you can also use to run pirated games and emulators for other systems (NES, Genesis, SNES, Neo-GEO, etc.). I'm not going to look up links but if you want to get into having a Gameboy with a ton of weird shit on it the term you'd need to search is "gameboy ds flashcart", or maybe "flashcard", people use these interchangeably. I have a little drum machine on mine, it's great.
- my other big gameboy-based artwork was this playable edit I made of the NES classic "Faxanadu", that replaces everything the villagers say with fragments from the writing of Georges Bataille. It's called "Faxanadu Georges Bataille". No one will believe me but this was almost on Paris Review, to be accompanied by a new piece from someone who was my absolute favorite writer when I was in high school. I think maybe I got too close to dream logic on this one and it infected my reality???? Anyway they stopped responding to emails and I quietly put this online. You can download it or play it online here: [link]. I don't like to engage in bitterness but if anyone wants to gripe about a similar "I was thiiiiis close" scenario I'd honestly love to hear it.
- thank you to people that have been writing in via the contact page [link] and ringing the bell in the temple [link]!! If you enjoy this website please feel free to drop a line, even if it's just "oi from [your location]".