Diary of a Bum Artist: Part 2: 00:08 25.12.11
After a long year in which a lot has happened and I’ve tested the boundaries of everyone’s patience waiting for me to sort my life out, it’s Christmas that’s given me a little perspective. For the last six weeks I’ve worked in the basement of Selfridge’s as one of a staff employed in one of the foremost Santa’s grottos in the world and it has reminded me of everything I wanted to achieve when I’d lie on my front in the living room, drawing on computer paper with a biro.
In the last six weeks I’ve spoken to a lot of kids. Some too small to talk, some too old to believe any more. But in the moment where you catch their eye and watch their imagination illuminate, even for a moment, it’s like fireworks for any soul watching. In a single moment, a child’s capacity to not question and enjoy and embrace is the cleverest thing any single person can do in their entire lifetime. As we get older we talk ourselves out of it and I finally see the madness in it.
At some point – as happens to so many as they grow older – they lose the thing that made them want to be the thing they strive to be as an adult, while always searching for the same feeling they had when they were a child. In many ways, I’ve been railing against the thing that would offer me a chance at succeeding as an artist. I forgot to enjoy it.
So here, as Christmas Eve turns into Christmas Day, I realise how they do it. The Alan Moores, the Mike Mignolas, the Speilbergs and the Jim Hensons. At the heart of every commercial choice is the child they once were. Nothing sells better than dreams because they’re more valuable than anything real, whether they come true or not and they should never be let go of. But it has to be sincere and heartfelt. If you ever need a more perfect example it’s here – in one of my favourite movies of all time, and one me and my girlfriend watch to know it’s Christmas. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think I’ll let the Frog take it from here…