After hustling this week to get everything ready for NCCAT next week, I was able to have a relaxing day working in the journal, and I was able to begin a response to this week's topic: "similar".
This page was started with some watercolor pencil, and I then did some stream of consciousness writing about how many people want to be the same or similar to others. I mentioned how many identify with a group collective like a university, a place of work, or a sports team. For many people being a part of this collective is key to their own personal identity. I have always had trouble identifying with the group and have always preferred to identify with the individual.
For example, I am a devoted Pittsburgh Steelers fan with growing up in the Pittsburgh area during their first 4 Super Bowl wins. But I own one t-shirt, one novelty sign, and one button, and I don't say, "We won" or "We lost". I'm not on the team. I don't receive a check from the Steelers.
But many people do identify strongly with these groups. And advertisers and big business try all they can to get people to buy and consume the same things. Think about the iPods dominance on the digital music device market.
Conform and Consume became words that I was attracted to and I stenciled them in. I then built up several layers of watercolor and watercolor pencil, as well as ink and collage. The packaging tape transfer of the Dalai Lama came next, and it created a strange juxtaposition next to the words "conform" and "consume". But then I turned each into a phrase - "Consume experiences" and "Conform to your own principles". The blue ink lines were really the last big things I added. They remind me of rivers or blood vessels or even roads. But they represent the connections that we have with others.
We need to celebrate our differences and our uniquenesses while understanding that our similarities are much more general and basic - our humanity, our compassion, our desire to be happy, our resilience, and our ability to overcome our differences. We cannot break into factions and groups with an us versus them mentality.
This page is unfinished, but I wanted to post it before I left for the weekend. I'm sure it will evolve.