Dum-Dums are my Marlboros. 

I am the kind of artist that doesn’t smoke. I know that might sound strange but for some reason, my mental image of an artist always has a cigarette in the frame. Just a plain nicotine cigarette, probably bought at the closest gas station or drug store, hanging on the lips or fingers of the writer, or painter, or sculpture, or photographer. I suppose for me, writing being my main artistic output, I think of Allan Ginsburg, bent over a typewriter, ashtray at the elbow, not stopping for food or drink, besides alcohol if he can get it, needing only the sustenance that dried leaves in rolled paper can give him with each inhale. And me, I am a pale initiation. Sitting under my lofted bed, head bent to a computer screen, music blasting if only in my own ears, typing words but not with ink. Sometimes, just to complete the picture, a similarly rolled piece of paper might slip between my lips, but it is not hollow and a sphere of hardened sugar rests on the end of it. Dum-dums are my Marlboros. 

^Allan Ginsburg

I am the kind of artist that was raised on five-paragraph essays and scientific diagrams but held steady until they turned into creative writing and abstract impressionists.

I am the kind of artist that doesn’t really think of myself as an artist, but other people catch whiffs of the paint on me, the graphite and ink stains on my fingers all too visible and tend to find me out.

I am the kind of artist, person, who gets bored easily but does not succumb to the state of boredom, inventing imagined anythings and everything to stay mildly intrigued, and usually getting in trouble after the fact.

I am the kind of artist who does not always know how to show their work. I second guess myself, worry about failure, and can only be truly impulsive when there is no danger. And in my mind, there is always danger. 

I want to be the kind of artist who cares less about the reception of the masses, and more about the journey of the work. The kind of artist that, when painting landscapes, can fold in kindness, stories, gentleness, spontaneity, and the best kinds of philosophy. 

^Bob Ross

But for all these intangible things, I give you a simple one. I want to be the kind of artist who is creative. And one of the specific ways I want to grow in this throughout the semester is titles. Titles have long been the thorn in my side, and despite the sometimes interesting ramble of nonsense within my work, giving it one phrase, one word, to describe it has always been difficult. From critical essays to powerpoints to short stories and poetry, having to think of a title freezes my brain like naught else. So how to overcome this inability? Practice! I want to practice coming up with good, interesting, creative titles for my blog posts. I want to be the strange on the ds106 page. Please expect and forgive while I surf the learning curve.

Hang ten, dudes,

5 replies on “Dum-Dums are my Marlboros. ”

This is a very well written post! There were two main things you said that stuck out to me, though. Your statement, “I want to be the kind of artist who cares less about the reception of the masses, and more about the journey of the work,” really resonated with me, as this is something I hope to do myself and that this course seems to push us towards. Additionally, I think you successfully wrote a very interesting and creative title, as you wrote about in the last paragraph.

I dont like dum dums or Malboros, but your title was so intriguing that I could not help myself. Thats how you know you have a good title. I like how you spoke of your perception of an artist before explaining what type of artist you are. Your description of what type of artist you are resonated with me when yu states, “I am the kind of artist who does not always know how to show their work.” Out of about 50 poems I have written I have only shared 5. I guess as artists we are overprotective about our work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *