Suburban Splendor Number 3 “Say, what’s in this drink?”

The many faces of the room (sculptures, photographs, paintings, dolls) stared him daring him to create. Clutter, some called it. But as an artist he needed stuff. Some stuff represented people he knew and had known. Some stuff represented ideas. Regardless of where it came from it all gave him inspiration and reminded him of memories from his past.

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Jamison Lee sat holding his tablet in the middle of the Bull Room thinking about what he would draw next. He was currently fascinated by contemporary mythological archetypes. His mind processed them as a type of folk hero.   Perhaps he would be able to raise them up to kitchen deity status – pictures you would hang on the wall to meditate on he thought. When he created his flight attendant he considered maybe he was creating a patron saint of air travel. He enjoyed creating these solo figures and making up stories about them.

He also enjoyed this new digital medium. The iPad pro and stylus had created space he didn’t think he would have time for until he retired.   The only down side was he hated telling people that he created his work digitally. He imagined them thinking he just pushed a button to generate it. In reality each drawing was hand rendered – sometimes taking 10 to 15 hours. What he loved about a digital drawing was: no brushes to clean, no pencils to sharpen, no colors to run out of or remix. The 10 to 15 hours of working on a piece was pure composition and creation.

“So you don’t have any originals?” someone often asked him curios about collect some original work.

“No”, he would reply. “You could consider my work as you would a digital photograph. It’s a copy immediately after you take it as it saves to a drive. There is not even a negative to archive. It becomes a copy of a copy of a copy every time it’s saved – like a memory. The work is only original once.”

He wondered, as he chose the next subject for his drawing, if in a thousand years (or even a hundred), if the work stored on a hard drive would look like an old Xerox copy. He swirled the whiskey surrounding his ice and took a sip. Tyco had made it for him. Jamison Lee noticed something extra in the whiskey, something sweet that brought out all the flavors.

He looked up to see Tyco with a basket in his hand returning from the chicken run. He had heard them crooning their laying song earlier from the bull room where he sat contemplating the next piece. It was the bull room because of the bull horns which presided above the opening to the dining room. Also, it was a place to receive guests and hear their stories. It was the bullshit room. It was the perfect place to create.

“Five eggs today”, Tyco said setting the basket on the counter.

It was a good haul. “Say, what’s in this drink?” responded Jamison Lee.

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