Sunday, November 20, 2011

A first peek at what's behind the curtain


Copyright M. Kelly, designs for Rubbermoon.

One of six, 4x5" sheets of unmounted rubber stamps, part of Rubbermoon's newest collections, a regular design bonanza. If the notion of "unmounted rubber stamps" is new to you, leave me any questions in the comments section or email me.

As soon as the sheets are available for sale on their website, I will let you know. You can also check the site from time to time for the newest supplement. While there, you may enjoy cruising through the images "by artist" to discover new-to-you art from this quietly whimsical, enduring company.

As the infomercial concludes, we move on to other matters.

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Our flights to the moon occurred incrementally. System by system, stage by stage, unmanned craft, orbit, landing, return. Earthbound dreams are no different. Hollywood's fabled stories of overnight success involved a lot of invisible footwork. Even if all the actor needed to do was get here from some futureless there, somebody had to pack a suitcase, purchase a bus ticket, watch America roll past from the Trailways' window and find the right lunch counter at which to loiter.

The wish to create something that finds a home in the consciousness, preferably the hearts, of strangers is a pretty cheeky dream. What a blessing then that success comes in all sizes. There is the Steve Jobs/Apple success and there is the success of chatting in a Palm Springs hot tub with a woman who just happens to have read your book (a friend's, not mine) and it happens to have changed the lives of her entire family. There is the success of being remembered and revered for a concert your long-parted band played nearly 40 years ago (and you thought no one was paying attention). There is the success of someone saying, "I love your work."

Success by any definition or measure is an against-the-odds proposition. How many manuscripts, portfolios, demo CDs, reels and prototypes are created every day, every moment? Meeting the exact someone who wants to publish, produce or manufacture what you've created is beyond luck. Some doors will never open, no matter how long we knock. That the finished product finds an appreciative audience of any size has to be categorized as miraculous.

America went to the moon, we got there first. I hold that as a model of what can happen when all the work and talent and desire and pieces come together to make what seemed a fantasy become real. I have been fortunate in seeing creative whims turned tangible.

For me, the dream itself is nearly as thrilling as its realization. Beginning a day with the thought of wonders rolling in my direction is enough to let me, in spurts and longer, more focused segments, continue to believe in the unlikely, the impossible. Without dreams, there is no carrot, no fire, no need big enough to make us give up sleep, bathing, eating and showing up where we are expected.

I am nearly in the shade of the awning that is 70, or well along the sidewalk that leads to it. My dreams only increase. In addition to doing whatever real life footwork is necessary for their manifestation, I think speaking of them, where they will be respected and supported, lends power to the process. New stamps - I could not be happier. Maybe someday, there could be stickers, too.

8 comments:

Angella Lister said...

when in doubt, sit and color.

that is excellent life advice. its art. its creation and meditation and the child self given room to breathe. it's everything we need.

thank you.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Angella - Thank you. You KNOW I take my own advice on this. xo

Erin in Morro Bay said...

Very, very delightful! And what better than a new stamp line to celebrate being under the awning of 70?! You go girl!
Erin

Jayne said...

Oh Marylinn, this made me smile. It brims with the sort of optimism and joy that can come only from someone who loves life and seizes its opportunities with gusto. How else can we know success without trying, as well as without tasting life's failures?

This is a great reminder of how easy it is to forget that most of those who've found success have worked hard at their craft, whatever it may be. Only against ever mounting odds may we triumph. And of course, we won't find odds so easily of we don't bother to seek them out.

At nearly 70, you seem to be very much standing in the sun. I don't see shade at all. (But keep the sunscreen on anyway!). ;)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Thank you. My perception of age is so different in seniorhood than I ever imagined. Curious, wondrous new beginnings. How grand. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - Thank you. And the success, whatever that means to each of us, seems more a by-product of the journey than the goal, the destination. I suppose it is about treasuring small triumphs, very personal ones, not necessarily visible to other eyes. It is a fine thing to be a seeker. xo

toomuchaugust said...

love this. needed this. am not surprised you wrote this. thank you!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Sherry - Thank you. Our definitions, don't you think, should give us room to grow, like the salesman pinching the toe of a child's new shoe. Are we not lovely and amazing and successful? xo