choice, hope, Kittens, Living Life, Pandora's Box, Priorities, Reflection
~ A Templesmith inspired meander…
On the hive-brain that is Twitter I once asked Ben Templesmith this:
Out of curiousity… I love your style but squirm at the subject,
have you ever drawn, say, a kitten? (Without tentacles?)
And his response was:
Nope, I don’t draw nice things generally. It’s the bad stuff
that happens in life that defines us after all, not the banal/cutesy
While I really appreciate his taking time to respond, and the limited space of Twitter… I disagreed:
Really? Only the bad stuff that defines us?
I can understand not banal/cutesy, but ruling out good/beautiful/happy as defining?
And that’s where this post comes in, I’ll not get into the argument that kittens are not necessarily merely banal/cutesy, though they can be, but I will present another perspective.
Both kinds of life experiences define us.
Its too often that I’ve come across people who feel that they are shaped primarily by the bad stuff in their life. Yes, that has an effect on who you are and how you interact with the world, but so do events like winning awards, having children, getting happily married and living past your golden wedding anniversary together, and on a smaller level, even experiencing a beautiful sunset can set the tone for an evening, a night, or a whole week.
When we can be defined by both the joy and the sorrow in our hearts, why only settle for one half of the equation?
I’m a big fan of the banal and the cutesy. The banal stuff is what most of life is made up from, and if we can reflect it in art we can make it beautiful. And surely the goal of art is to reflect life back to us in a way that shows it to be beautiful.
Cute stuff is important because humans are inherently, fundamentally and universally cute. There’s an interesting theory I read once that humans have evolved to maintain for life features that are found in other primates only in infancy, and that this childishness is the root of our creativity, curiosity, etc. True or not, we’re a young specie, taking our first faltering steps in the uncharted terrain of the mind. I think humans are just about the cutest damn cause of a mass extinction event that the earth has ever known.
I agree, actually. Life is largely banal, mundane, everyday… though only a small shift in your brain is needed to see the magic in it all, a shift definitely fascilitated on occasion by art.
I’ve come across that theory before, something about it being because older primates fight too much, and we needed to live in bigger groups to survive, so the individuals with younger features fought with each other less and survived.