When I’m not making art I cook and read and crochet. All that and art making accounts for nearly 100% of my awake time.
What do I do when I’m not making art?
If you follow me on social media it might look like all I ever do is make art. And the reality is, I do spend rather a lot of time either making or thinking about making art or writing about the making and the thinking. But I also do other things that hardly ever make it to social media. This is what I’m up to when I’m not elbow deep in paint and paper and glue.
I grew up with homestyle-Southern food, so in my family we’ve always said I love you with a plate of biscuits and sausage gravy. I learned to love to cook in my 20s and over the years learned how to make a variety of dishes. My family loves Asian and Southeast Asian food so I’ve picked up some basics of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and Indian cooking.
I love learning how flavors make a dish come alive and I love learning how different cultures approach food. I love that most cultures have a fried/steamed dough meat pocket of some sort and dang, they are all delicious. When I travel, my favorite thing to do is eat what the locals eat. I want a full immersion experience with the culture through food. And I love meeting the cooks. People just like me who want to share life through food.
My partner and I made a pact when we got together that we would always open our home to people and share our everyday lives with them. Food is such a huge part of that. I love feeding people and having people over to share a meal. The pandemic put that on hold for so long and we are only just now getting back to it. I guess I still say I love you with food. And you know, there are worse things.
I can’t imagine living life without books. I’ve been a reader since I was 4 years old. I said in a post a week or so ago that our house is overrun with books. And it’s true. If we have a decorating style, it’s unshelved home library chic. The only thing that’s saved us from being trapped under a pile of books for eternity is our e-readers. Those and the public library are the front line of defense in keeping us from having to have a second home to sleep in on account of books.
Everybody at this address reads a lot. And in an annoying turn of events, we read with very little overlap. My partner is co-editor of the online sci-fi/fantasy flash fiction and poetry magazine Small Wonders and is a science fiction writer. So there’s always something new to read around here. I live for getting to read a first draft. It is amazing to get to read people’s new work.
During the pandemic I started a personal push to read more non-fiction as a way to continue my education and learn new things. So I always have a non-fiction book going now. I tend to read women theologians, women’s art history/crit, or feminism and intersectional feminism theory. I spent the first half of my life reading the old white man catalog, so I’m determined to balance that out by reading women and purposefully seeking out the works of Black women and women of color.
But also I read romance. Like a lot. Like 3-6 books a week sometimes. I love a happily ever after.
This one is probably more visible to folks because I post about crochet more regularly. I only started crocheting in 2010 when my friends Renée and Jessica taught me how. They sat on either side of me at my kitchen table during craft night and took turns helping me until I got it. I started because I wanted to make amigurumi animals for my kids. And once I could read a pattern, I never looked back.
For a very long time crochet was the thing I turned to when I wasn’t making art but more recently my crochet has taken a more prominent place in my art making. I’m still figuring out how to combine my loves and it’s surprisingly harder than I thought it would be. But it’s happening, at an uneven pace but it’s happening.
Crochet is satisfying to me in a way that’s hard to explain. It still feels like magic to me sometimes. You take a string and then there’s a thing made out of that string: clothes, toys, hats, shawls. Making a piece of fabric out of string will never stop making me pause in wonder.
All that and some art
So that’s it. That’s just about 100% of my time when I’m not sleeping or driving the mom taxi. What about you? What’s your non-art hobby or secret love? What do you collect or stash? I wanna know how you are spending your non-work hours. Send me an email or catch me on socials. Remember life is too short to yuck someone else’s yum. Enjoy all the weird little things you enjoy to the fullest and let others do the same.
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And in your spare time from all of that….you are helping your Mom by driving her to a doctors appt, starting a crochet project for her, talking her out of a funk, or the latest helping her find a puppy she wants. Thanks my beautiful daughter.
Happy to do it! <3
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