Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"When you hit a wall, kick through it."

I've been trying to avoid the internet the past few days.

To occupy my time away from the interwebs, I've been reading Patti Smith's " Just Kids."

Let me tell you, this book makes me want to sell everything I own, time travel, and move to New York.

I'm about half way through and I am enjoying this book so much.

The book is mostly about her, and her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, in New York, in the 60's and 70's. She moves to New York, from New Jersey, when she is only 20, and has no where to stay, and doesn't really know anyone to stay with. She's got some guts that I truly admire.

The most inspiring, and amazing, thing is how they managed to make it through such hard financial times on such a low income. She doesn't deny worrying about money, but it wasn't something they focused on. She mentions how happy she was that they were free, and that was all that really mattered.

They wrote, drew, made art, and met some incredibly talented, and famous, people. Yeah, there were a lot of drugs involved (although Patti does not do any) , and some extremely hard times, but reading about New York in that era is so exciting.

This book is making me seriously consider my work. Where it fits in, the direction I'm going, the direction I want to be going. It also makes me want to read more biographies on other artists and musicians. I'm finding that it is helpful to read what other creative people experience, how it effects their work, and how they deal with things motivation.

She talks about a time in her life where she thinks about her own art, where she wants to go, how unhappy she is with it, and how she hits a wall. Patti says, "When you hit a wall, kick through it." That quote resonated with me and I will remember it forever.


Heather Kirtland said...

I just love to read artist autobiographys! One if my favorites is "Day Book" by Ann Truitt. It makes me want to be better at keeping a journal.

Michele Maule said...

Thanks for sharing that, Heather! I need to keep better journals too. When I was in school I was able to do it. Then again, that was before I had the internet!

artslice said...

I loved this book... and was amazed at the gifted writing by Patti. (was afraid it would be about a drugged out, depressing existence - but was so wrong) Utterly facinating and touching!

Kim Radatz said...

Thanks, Michele, always love to get a lead on a good book. Ditto to you, Heather.

Michele Maule said...

I agree Alice!
I'm so glad that I read this book. I feel like it is going to have a great influence on me.

yvonne cavanagh said...

I can't believe this post... My friend Carda was just raving about this very book to me and that I have to read it...now. :-)Small, small world we live in. I took a two week break from the internet recently and couldn't believe the amount of time I had on my hands... incredible.

Cherry Runway said...

This book inspires me. :) Thanks so much for posting about it!

pollyanna cowgirl said...

This book blew my mind! It was amazing how much of their lives were consumed by art; they were no slackers! I was really touched by the simplicity of their friendship; sometimes you meet someone you know you'll be friends with forever. So cool.