"Ivan, Stilted" - mixed media on gallery-wrapped canvas, 16" x 40" x 1.5". Ready to hang.
Sometimes my characters have their own personality. And no matter how many time I try to modify them, they just re-assert themselves. Ivan is one of those characters. No fluffy snuggle bunny here. This guy is all determination, tenacity, grit and seriousness. And no matter how hard he tries, no matter what outfit he wears, he still manages to look, well, awkward. But it doesn't deter him. Ivan wants to be a stilt-walker, and no one is going to get in his way. I want to be more like Ivan.
Have you ever held back from doing or trying something you were really interested in because you were afraid of looking (or feeling) awkward? I consider myself a fairly brave soul, with a willingness to fall on my face now and again. But there are days here and there where I avoid something potentially great just because I fear awkwardness.
This is truly comical coming from me. I am the epitome of clumsy, and manage to make navigating a sidewalk look awkward. Years ago, when I first took up running, I would come home from my runs with scraped up hands and bloody knees. Why? Because sidewalks are perilous! Well, if you're me they are. And don't get my family started talking abut the time I took out an entire Home Depot checkout lane with a box of door blinds.
Most days I am just fine embracing my inner Ivan, tackling the world with my trusty box of bandaids in my purse. But it would be lovely to ooze grace and elegance for an entire day (or even an hour). In the meantime, I will follow the lead of this scrappy character and embrace who I am with a flourish and a bit of a stumbling curtsy. For safety's sake, however, I might avoid anything involving stilts.
Jen Walls and her imaJENation