This is part two of a two-part series on my Art Walk project.
Fretting Over a Pink Heart
My joy over my avatar Bliss Girl soon dissolved into worry. “But what about that little heart?” I fretted. “How will people react?” I could envision hordes of critics from both the right and the left end of the political spectrum.
Right: “That’s pornography! How dare you glorify sexuality in this crude drawing. And a cartoon, no less. Are you trying to corrupt children?”
Left: “This is nothing but objectification of the female body. What’s up with a heart for a vagina? Are you saying we’re like little children? Or that there’s something wrong with an actual vagina?”
Then I remembered, there are no hordes of critics, or even people for that matter, who have even seen the Bliss Girl. It was questionable how or where I might ever encounter these critics, so why not make a few more?
New Looks and a New Opportunity
When I drew the next one, a funny thing happened. My avatar wanted to be unique, I felt, so I had to give the next Bliss Girl a different look. Narrower, slantier eyes, nappy hair, and shorter body distinguished her from the first. She looked like her own, unique person.
Bliss Girl #2 gave me another idea. Women come in all shapes and sizes. Why not make one who isn’t so youthful? Bliss girl #3 got silver hair and saggier breasts. Still, she looked happy and serene, the essence of Bliss.
Next came Bliss Girl #4, a chubby, pouty-lipped redhead.
At this point, I started showing my Bliss Girls to friends. “I love her! She’s so cool! I want one!” they exclaimed. Not one said a word about the little pink heart.
My friend Katherine Bell suggested I take them over to Chamblin’s Uptown, a downtown bookstore and coffee shop, and show them to Jeni O’Donnell. “What for?” I asked.
“Art Walk. These are really small, so even if they already have one artist committed for the upcoming Art Walk, they would probably have room for you to display them somewhere,” she explained.
“Me? Art Walk?”
“Just go talk to Jeni.”
So I went down to Chamblin’s and found Jeni O’Donnell. Not only did Jeni love the Bliss Girls, she offered to let me set up a table outside Chamblin’s Uptown, which is a really popular stop on the Art Walk circuit.
Jeni also helped me solve the problem of stabilizing my drawings. Sharpie on tile is like writing on glass. The ink does not adhere well and is subject to being scratched or easily smudged. I had tried acrylic finishing sprays and only got a psychedelic mess of runny ink for my efforts. She suggested a spray product called Workable Fixatif. It lived up to its name.
This was all the motivation I needed to create more Bliss Girls.
At first, I thought they would get repetitive. After all, there are only so many hair colors, eye colors, and basic body types. But as I continue to create them, I find, like real women, there’s an endless variety of Bliss Girls. Young, old, short, tall, slim, round. Hair and eye color are important, but so are hair styles, and the shape of the eyes and lips.
The Bottom Line
At the Art Walk on Wednesday night, I’ll have about 50 original pieces priced to sell:
2.5″ x 3″ Fridge magnets, most are Bliss Girls like the ones above, plus a few Cheeky Quotes, $5
1″ x 6″ Fridge magnets, Cheeky Quotes, $5
3″ x 6″ Wall hangers, most are Bliss Girls, $10
5″ x 4″ Hexagonal wall hangers, Bliss Girls, $10
And maybe a few more. For a couple more dollars, I can also take custom orders for Bliss Girls or Cheeky Quotes of your choice. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Don’t you want one for your Valentine?
Ready or not, it looks like more than a few people will be seeing my Bliss Girls soon. Bring on the critics!
- Art Walk, Cheeky Quotes, and Bliss Girls Part I
- Clean Up After Your Dog!