An Artists Legacy

It was 11 o’clock at night when I started digging through my old sketchbooks/journals. For 2 and a half hours I relived bits and pieces of my college and post college years. What struck me during the process was that it will be many years before I am comfortable enough to let my daughter leaf through this legacy that I’ve bundled on the bookshelf. Is it the nudity? Not so much, they are tasteful figure studies. It’s the journal sections of me lusting after this girl or that, the romances, the heart breaks, the memories of snoging, and there is no way that I’m going to redact those bits. So what am I to do if I want to share my history and my art with my daughter?

I asked myself these questions as I read, all the while transported back to memories I had all but forgotten. The plan I came up with is relatively simple. I’m going to expand my scanning project (mentioned in Scanning the Grain) to include some of my favorite pieces in my sketchbooks, and I am going to start a new sketchbook or perhaps series of them, dedicated to drawings for my daughter.

I have already done a couple portrait sketches of her while she sleeps and a couple of her stuffed animals. I figure I can also write in the lyrics to the songs I make up for her as well as poems, journal entries about how she’s changing, and all the funny names we have for her. I may even dedicate a few pages to trying to write an illustrated childrens book or two for her. Only time will tell. And though my aspirations may seem a bit high, I think this is a worthwhile project to pursue.

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~ by David on May 2, 2008.

2 Responses to “An Artists Legacy”

  1. I have the same issue. I have a shelf full of journals from college to the present and while I don’t have kids… I often think about how I wouldn’t want people reading them if anything ever happened to me. So I don’t know what should be done about this? Leave instructions with my partner, family and close friends? Would they want to read them to remember me? (even the embarassing parts that were me expressing and working out my deepest insecurities and “demons”? Its an interesting problem facing those who compulsively chronicle ourselves.

    I hadn’t even thought of children (I’m not sure when/if I will have any, yet). I like your solution.

  2. Ditto, Dave…I now tote around, with each move, journals stretching back to seventh grade. And that’s one heavy tote. Is it baggage, I ask myself over and over…But I know every once a year or so, I flip through those pages for what?? reflection? of course.. torture? probably.. to remind myself of things long forgotten and to ask myself, how do i feel about those things now…definitely. i think too, maybe it’s not such a curse sometimes, because i see how i’ve grown and changed for the better and become a more complete, if you will, soul.
    So, I still wonder, is it worth carrying around these intimately detailed accounts of who and what is jess? Still TBD… but thank you for the shared experience+the memory of spending time at coffee shops journaling with you… 🙂

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