What a crazy last four days. I knew I was in for a challenge, when I had to finish "x" amount of paintings in "y" amount of days. But, holy smokes... It got it done. If it's possible for an entire 3 bedroom house to be packed and moved in 16 hours (true story this past fall), then I could get this done. And I did! A big sleep deprived, and a few screaming incidents at 3am ("God, I just, just don't want to paint anymore! Please! Stop the insanity!"). I thought the above badge security picture showed the level of frustration and fatigue I was experiencing before handing in the book.
After packing up the latest book, Brand New Baby Blues (Kathi Apelt), I squeezed in about a two hour nap before getting up at 5am to catch my NY bound train. Miraculously, I was the last car into the garage. I JUST made it onto the train. Good thing I didn't grab that DuDos cruller beforehand. After hearing about the miracles of the womanly change behind me, the giant lead slug-mobile train (sooo slow) eventually made it into Penn Station. I figured it was faster to take a taxi up to 55th Street, and boy was I wrong. When in NYC, WALK. It will get you there faster, and you can do a mean workout on the glutes while your at it.
The jury's still out on New York for me. There are parts of it that really get me excited, but all in all, it's a pretty loud place. Surprisingly, it's more and more navigable so I don't have that panic of finding places or addresses like I had before. The architecture on some buildings is astounding, but then you come down to the street level, with gross store signs and scaffolding. It's this weird dichotomy, which leads me running into lots of poles and people, since I am constantly looking up. I think I just need to loosen up, and not get swept up into the fast sidewalk pace to enjoy the city. But I got to work those glutes!
BUT, the best part of the trip, other than handing in the artwork for the book, is going to the MoMA. HOLY CRAP. I'd never been there, and figured that it's just a building filled with weird creepy sculptures and ridiculously huge paintings of genitalia. BOY, was I wrong. I'd never really had time when I was in the city previously to hit museums, but since it was so close to the HarperCollins offices, my editor walked me over to the place. I almost went INSANE when she told me what was the special exhibit there. SEURAT DRAWINGS. I have been madly in love with these drawings since the word go, and the thought of me getting to see one of them in person literally gave me goose bumps. People must have thought I was a crazy person, just smiling in front of them, sometimes jumping up and down. They are so incredibly amazing in person, shatters any sort of reproduction. After seeing them, I understood why he was trying out the pointillism technique. The tooth of the laid paper when drawn over with conté crayon must have pushed him into that direction. If you have any chance to see the exhibit, GO. GO NOW. In addition to seeing my man Seurat, I got to see freakafricking JOSEPH CORNELL ORIGINALS! I almost fainted. Wow, want a closedminded idiot I was for never going to this museum before. It's odd. I almost sort of felt that because I was an illustrator, I shouldn't like what i considered overly-thought and selfish. But, just because it's "modern" art doesn't mean that we both don't think of the same concepts and explore the same ideas. Why would I cheapen my profession, which I have an extremely high respect for, like that. Poor, Kelly... poor.
ANYWAY... after treating myself to some Guinness and a plate of fries at an Irish pub, I headed back to the train station, and CRASHED. All in all, a quick uneventful trip, but I was incredibly lucky to catch come artistic inspiration. Enough to fill my tank up. And I have NO MORE BOOK DEADLINE! Something I haven't had in seven years. I am beside myself. I think it shows, with the length of this post. Time for my OWN projects!
This song was also stuck in my head the whole day. Kind of fitting in a way. Easy to freak out in a big city, but we all should just relax and take it easy!