Monday, August 8, 2016

Post-It Monsters and the Creative Life

"I was born in Denmark in 1978. I write and direct television shows for kids, I have a set of twins and not much time for anything. But when I do have time, I draw monsters on Post-It notes. It is a little window into a different world, made on office supplies."

This is how John Kenn Mortensen introduces his first book of Post-It note drawings of monsters. Sticky Monsters has pride of place beside my writing desk, for two reasons. First, the pictures seem so pregnant with stories to me. How can you lack for inspiration when you look at a picture like this?

Or this?

Or this?

Second, I think the whole concept of Post-It Note artwork is an apt encapsulation of what creative work is like for most people--that is, people with jobs and families. We write and paint and act and dance on the margins of our day. From eight to five we make copies and phone calls, we grade papers, wait tables, change diapers, and sweep parking lots, and somewhere, in some blessed fifteen minutes, we do what we were born to do. We make art. We may not have time to do all the creative work we would like, but damn it, we can fill a Post-It note-- and a Post-It note is all you need to make a new world.

How wonderful that these monsters, with all their charm and terror, were created the way so much art is created: on the fringes of a hectic life.

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