Friday, December 15, 2006
Happy Xmas/Merry New Year
As per usual, I'm going to take a break from the blog until the first week of 2007 to enjoy the end-of-the-year celebrations with my family. All the book orders have been fulfilled and the packages are on their way to their destinations. Thank you, all for your patronage and support and have yourselves a prosperous and healthy new year.
Maximusdoom wrote: Curious, do you start with a certain body part like eyes or something?
That's a very good question; despite of what you may have heard, (or what I might have told you before, myself) I'm a very ritualistic and superstitious person, before I even start sketching I get fully naked in front of the drawing board and pray for 5 minutes to the gods of drawing. Back in the old days I used to smear Guatemalan ostrich oil all over my nipples while praying -for purification purposes- (this practice, I've been told, pleases the gods of creativity) but ostrich oil is real hard to find these days and very, very expensive, there's a place in Jackson Heights, on 111th. . . Naw, forget it! you don't want to go there at ungodly hours , just wait a couple of years, that area hasn't been gentrified just yet. So, anyways, I use a blend of turpentine and lind seed oil instead, same density and consistency, the gods couldn't possibly tell the difference, trust me.
Note: if you attempt this ritual at home, make sure you have a 'First-Aid' kit and a plastic cover for your chair at the ready, the resulting smell and the stain from the mixture of oil and human sweat are very difficult to remove from any fabric, unless the material is made by Dupont® or previously treated with Scotchguard™ (see the back of the label for cleaning instructions).
I then light 4 red and gold Mayan candles: one dedicated to Yum Cimil, one to Ixtab and 2 (bigger ones) to Ixchel (according to the "Ofrenda" book, only one is sufficient but she's my personal favorite), next, I burn 2 sandalwood incense sticks upside down, then I pour one pint of female goat's blood on the floor, carefully forming a circle around my chair and drawing the letter "A" for anarchy. Lastly, I take a freshly decapitated chicken and sprinkle some of its blood over my shoulder, this is done to scare away Ixbum, the Mayan god of 'writer's block' and procrastination.
Now I'm ready to begin sharpening my pencil!
Which I proceed to do with a special ultra sharp blade made of Cartesian jade (something I picked up in the island of Mahauia-Lau-Misisauiuah from a Shingahlian medicine man) I shave the pencil with long deliberate strokes in a counter-clock wise motion, precisely 12 centimeters from the tip of the lead.
At this point I take a break and serve myself a cold Corona with lime and salt (this is not part of the original ritual, I just like Coronas)
After finishing my drink I'm finally in the proper frame of mind to create. I start every drawing by rubbing my genitals all over the blank page (for fun) I know what you're thinking; "Alberto is obsessed with his own genitals" puuhleeez! tell me something I don't know, as I was saying, now, closing my eyes, I lift my extremely sharp pencil way up in the air and slam it violently against the drawing pad, Voilá!
I'd start the drawing wherever the point of my pencil lands and makes a mark. Sometimes I end up stabbing my inner thighs or my reproductive organs (this is where the 'First-Aid' kit comes in handy) but what's a little blood when our aim is of a much higher and sublime nature?, goats and chickens fare worst fates and they're not complaining, right? Besides, pain and suffering are both integral parts of the creative process; Grandma Ruiz, who was a great artist in her own right, poked her own left eyeball right out of the socket one day, while performing this very same ritual, she used to say: "No pain no gain, the rain in Spain, falls mainly on the plane". Poor Grandma, she lost it completely towards the end but I knew what she meant .....I think.
If the pencil lands on the top right, I start by drawing her left eye, if it lands on the bottom left I start by drawing her right foot and so on and so forth, if the pencil happens to fall dead center, I get confused and I repeat the entire ritual all over again.
Well, I do hope that explanation sheds some light upon my daily routine.
Ixchel, I love you.