Monday, March 03, 2008

Quick address. Ok, not so quick.

This month I'm donating 10% of sales of Shamrock and Alien mask Poppets to support Norml, one of the organizations I donate to regularly, which also includes the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, National Coalition Against Censorship and Desert Aids Project.

I've received only one complaint so far, and that one was polite and honest and I appreciate it. It also tells me it might not be a terrible idea to address it here. After all, I generally write pretty frankly about things on this blog, and I invite you to do the same.
I can and do donate privately to a number of organizations, but I chose these particular ones for the auctions because they represent issues that are cloudy to most people and by supporting them here, I invite people to do what Poppets do, which is to 'take a closer look.'

I don't read a lot of comics. It's not that I don't appreciate them, but you can't do everything, and I never got into comics. I did other things. Still, I support the rights of comic creators to have freedom to create. I don't like everything I see in the media, but I think the responsibility for content is on the creators and viewing the responsibility of adult viewers. I'm not gay but I believe people should be free to chose partners as they wish. I don't advocate drug use (including alcohol) but believe that adults should have the power to make their choices. (If you think marijuana prohibition is about marijuana, please do some research.)

This is an ongoing quandry for me, whether to separate my art from the source of my art (my beliefs). It's one of the issues that keeps me up at night. It begs me to define who I am, what my goals are, what my art is, and what my audience wants. These are not easy questions.

As with other 'either/or' issues, I'm thinking the right answer lives somewhere in the middle. It's a matter of balance. Until I find it, Poppets will keep being both adorable and creepy, funny and sad. My demons will play with paddle balls and dead things will talk. And Poppets will keep looking at the world around them and asking questions, questions, questions.

Because that's what I do. I ask questions, questions and more questions. And I encourage others to ask too. Because understanding begins there.

"Stumbling toward the light" still fits me, after all these years. And light is complex, made of many colors, and is perfect. I may never find it fully, but the journey, for me is noble and exciting and gives my life meaning. Therefore, protecting my right (and yours) to explore is a responsibility I take very seriously.

Those are my thoughts. Please tell me yours. I truly want to know.


Now, the Poppet Planet crew (and Orion) are headed out for Chinese food. When we return, fun with bees. Neil's bees. I'm going to make a little weird thing for him (yes, I'll show you) and something for, you guessed it, CBLDF.

have a great Monday.

12 comments:

Holly said...

This is an ongoing quandry for me, whether to separate my art from the source of my art (my beliefs).

I'd say that depends on what you aim to achieve by separating them. Do you think that by not stating which organizations you're donating to and what your feelings on the issues are that your art will appeal to a broader audience? Or that by stating them you are alienating or offending prospective poppet purchasers? (sorry, I love alliteration =oD)

In my brief forays into the forums, I've seen that the people who currently appreciate your work are a fairly open-minded bunch who respect and forward your "open eyed" stance. More information is rarely a bad thing. I may not become a champion of the causes you inform me of, but I certainly appreciate that you support them (heck, with the amount of money I've spent on poppets in the past year, I've "contributed" more money to your causes than to my own!) and would would be very sad indeed if poppets turned into a soulless tchochke to appeal to a broader audience.

Until I find it, Poppets will keep being both adorable and creepy, funny and sad. My demons will play with paddle balls and dead things will talk. And Poppets will keep looking at the world around them and asking questions, questions, questions.

I have no problem with that!

Carl V. said...

"This is an ongoing quandry for me, whether to separate my art from the source of my art (my beliefs)."

Is something like that even possible? That would make for one interesting Poppet Planet discussion (if it hasn't already been one)

"It's one of the issues that keeps me up at night. It begs me to define who I am, what my goals are, what my art is, and what my audience wants. These are not easy questions."

No, they certainly are not. I think it can be really easy to over analyze the causes we support. While I believe everyone should be responsible and research the companies, organizations, etc. that they support there comes a time when one just has to make some choices and support stuff.

I am certain there are many comics, pieces of art, etc. that I would despise because of their subject matter, etc. but I certainly support the right of creators to create and thus feel an organization like CBLDF is needed. Even if money I donated went to support someone whose work isn't what I am in support of. I generally feel that if one person's freedoms are hampered that mine will be next.

David Niall Wilson said...

"This is an ongoing quandary for me, whether to separate my art from the source of my art (my beliefs)."

A better question would be HOW can one do that, even if was a desirable thing, and would it still be art if you did? Your art defines you - and you the art, corny as that sounds. It's the same with words - I know. I have written things that I believed were just for entertainment and had things I wrote into them pointed out to me gleefully by those more astute than myself.

When art really works, and the muses speak, they will not be denied truth. That much is certain. They may obscure it...if they didn't, what would the poppets have to wonder about -- and if the poppets ceased to wonder, well, that's not a world *I* would want to inhabit.

On the other thing - who and what you choose to support, and whether or not you choose to tell people you are supporting it, is all very much your business...I'm happy when people share things like that, because I'm a people watcher. I like to try and guess what makes the little wheels and gears spin...but I would never deny myself a poppet because of the charity the proceeds might benefit. That way lies madness ...

-D
Macabre Ink

lisa said...

Holly: Thanks for your input. Yes, I've always felt somewhat compelled to speak up about things and try to do that without alienating anyone. Because, if I alienate someone, I've lost the opportunity to reach them.
You're right about the forums. Maybe this is a good discussion for that venue.

lisa said...

Carl: right. It does sound as though we need some time on the forums for this one.

and yes! The fear of losing our individual freedoms is definitely fueling the engines here. These last (ahem, eight) years have been damned scary.

lisa said...

David: excellent point. How indeed would I separate the art from the belief? I don't think that's possible. Still, I could choose to let the art speak for me, and keep my own mouth (blog) shut

lisa said...

Holly: Thanks for your input. Yes, I've always felt somewhat compelled to speak up about things and try to do that without alienating anyone. Because, if I alienate someone, I've lost the opportunity to reach them.
You're right about the forums. Maybe this is a good discussion for that venue.

Jonathan said...

Actually, the donation to NORML did cause me to pause and think about what would usually be an instant purchase of poppets.

I had to think about how easy it was to make purchases that supported the causes I believed in, and how strange it was to be faced with the opposite situation. Which was actually a more thought-provoking exercise than I would have expected.

In the end, I rationalized it by appreciating the variety of causes that poppets support, and by buying some that support causes I am more comfortable with along with the ones I am less comfortable with.

lisa said...

Jonathan: Pausing and thinking is an excellent plan, for yourself, for Norml and for all of us who read this blog. Thank you for taking a broader look. In my mind, the causes I support via Poppets are all part of the same package---freedom to think for ourselves, choose for ourselves. I wonder, if suddenly the prohibition on marijuana were switched back to alcohol,or applied to tobacco or caffiene products, where would people stand? This mental exercise, fully imagined, sheds a better light on the heart of prohibition. How would we adjust to be denied coffee and Neil Gaiman books? After all, caffiene is indeed a drug and Mr. Gaiman uses 'language.'

Carl V. said...

No Neil Gaiman books? Now we are just talking crazy!?!?

It is a really good point. I would hate to think of the wonderful and inspiring works of art, literature, etc. that I would be denied experiencing if someone was choosing for me what I could see and read and hear and was choosing what was allowed to be created.

Dan Guy said...

I think intent is 9/10ths the thing, both your intent as the artist and my intent as the patron.

For my part, it is morally acceptable for me to support an artist who supports a cause or two that I find un-acceptable if that support is not based on that un-acceptable cause. (Which doesn't actually apply to me buying poppets from you; I'm just speaking generally.)

Venecia said...

I know this is an older post, but I just discovered your blog and much of the fun is going back and reading through time.

Carving off parts of yourself to put into little boxes (like artist or activist) is unhelpful, to say the least. All the things we do change who we are, which in turn changes the things we do.

I appreciate that you take the risk of opening up to your audience about the things that are important to you.