A piece I made last year:
It’s interesting and nerve wracking to put a piece of art online. I mention in the Fictitious FAQ that it took me a while to make the Octopus Crucifix, and part of that came out of a genuine uncertainty as to whether this thing was even worth making. For a long time the pewter casting sat unfinished in my shop, and I couldn’t seem to force myself to make the cross or add the nails in the hands and feet. It was finally the realization that I had this idea almost a year ago and still hadn’t made it happen that forced me to get off my ass and finish it.
I was pretty unsure about making something controversial. After all, I’m not an established artist. I don’t do this full time, though I wish I did, and I’m fully aware of how online reputation can affect real world things like job prospects. I’m a young guy, barely out of college, with a degree in Sculpture and not much other than a couple of academic awards under my belt. I don’t know much about professional art, other than everyone tells me its hard to do successfully.
I’m anxious about the future, but making blasphemous art and sharing it with the internet helps. I’m inspired by bloggers my age like Jen McCreight, and bloggers even younger than me like Rhys Morgan. At 17, he’s out there dealing with legal threats from quacks, and winning. It’s hard to get more inspiring than that. Originally I thought I was going to have two separate blogs, one about skepticism call Unapologetic Skeptic, and one about making things, ie this one, but I quickly decided that I couldn’t really separate the two. After all, PZ Myers blogs about atheism and hard science, why shouldn’t I blog about skepticism, art and making things?
I’m glad there’s been so much interest in this thing I made. I especially like that some people see it as a crucifix being engulfed by an octopus but other people see it as an octopus/Jesus hybrid. For the record, I’m open to both interpretations.
Special thanks to the American Humanist Association for sharing this thing with people, but thanks to everybody who commented. It means a lot to me.
In case you’re not familiar with the work of Brian Malki, you should immediately check out his webcomic Wondermark. He collects Victorian illustrations, remixes them, and adds speech bubbles to create one my all time favorite comics. What’s this have to do with making stuff, you might wonder. Well back in April he published the Tinkerers’ Handbook. If you haven’t seen this thing, go check it out. Its a perfect satire of MAKE Magazine and its like, done like all Malki’s work, in remixed Victorian illustrations.
Malki perfectly imitates both old and new DIY magazines with their claims of increased efficiency, savings or fun if only you can build a __________*. Of course, invariably, you need a tool you don’t have, get overwhelmed with work that you actually get paid for, or just run out of enthusiasm, and then your project sits in a corner, rusting, until finally years later you admit that it was a stupid idea in the first place.
Part of the reason I started this blog, in fact, was to try and keep myself honest and record my progress on various projects. Of course, this site is in itself, well…another project.
*Insert your own unfinished, probably useless, and expensive project here.
After giving my girlfriend a pep talk about how she should start her own blog, I realized I should get off my ass and do the same thing. This is the Unapologetic Maker blog. I’ll be writing about my own projects and experiments, as well as the projects of others. I hope to comment on DIY, and making in general, both new and old.
That said, I need to go help my girlfriend scape some paint.