The gift of weird art

Courtney Martin’s drawing of the setting of her first job, the indie movie theater in Colorado Springs. (via Substack)

So much of the internet today is a mere shadow of the open-source, playful place it once was, but I’ve been heartened lately by fellow moms sharing their “weird art” without disclaimers or apologies.

Courtney Martin, (whose Substack newsletter is an excellent source of reflective essays on intentional living, community organizing, and parenthood) just came back from a two-month sabbatical where she embraced “divergent thinking”:

One of the real gifts of my sabbatical was getting off social media, moving my body a lot (swimming and hiking mostly), moving slowly through museums alone, and making a lot of weird art. I find such tremendous pleasure in being able to let my mind wander—cell phone and children somewhere else. I love my children. And I even love my cell phone; it keeps me connected to so many wonderful people and ideas. But my wholeness is dependent on hearing myself think, even and especially when that thinking is non-linear, surprising, and delighted.

I recognized that same delighted silliness in the zines shared by all-around creative person Helen Jane Hearn. She posted 30 zines she created during a 100-day project — all of which are worth checking out, but for those of us approaching (or already of) a certain age, her colonscopy zine is exceptional. I love how she wrote in the caption of her first zine, “Duh HJ, you can totally do [a project] in private and only share the things you want.”

As comedian Maria Bamford says, “It takes tenacity and courage to use a glue gun, and it’s about the easiest thing in the world to criticize stuff. If you sing out your Batman poetry into a largely hostile Barnes and Noble crowd … or if you think of doing a nude clown opera, you write it, you cast it, and you actually fucking do it, that doesn’t show you’re insane as much as it shows the symptoms of being hard-working and a huge success.”

For more on the embrace of a regular creative practice, Wendy MacNaughton’s DrawTogether is revolutionizing art education and community (and is kid- and adult-friendly)!