Should Robins Tweet?

©️Robin King

When Twitter first began, it was a quirky little mystery, a frenzied flapping of wings and cheery chirps from around the world. I joined early (late 2006?). Somewhere in a file I have my “welcome” email from Biz Stone. There was a public feed (see link to 2006, below). Users were encouraged to share their status updates. I’d been asked to join by a friend from a blogging site called “Vox” (not today’s “Vox” but the original one owned by SixApart). So, I joined Twitter and jumped into the stream of people who were telling the world what they were doing and, sometimes, where. 

It was pure excitement! No links – no ads – no images – no gifs – no memes – no polls – no blocked users – no bots – no follows – no promoted tweets! It was, simply and beautifully, people saying a little about themselves to strangers.

But the one big public feed morphed into other things and the rationale behind Twitter changed. EVERYTHING about it changed. I miss the giddiness of old Twitter but today’s version is useful.

I’ve had many accounts there in the intervening years, all for different reasons. 

For people who want to sell their work, Twitter can be a handy tool. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to use it without spending all of my time there. 

In the next couple of weeks I’m going to start using my Twitter account (username: robinkingfaces) again.

Why? Because Robins should tweet.

…..

Link: So funny! A page of “public timeline” tweets from 2006 – courtesy of the Wayback Machine:

http://web.archive.org/web/20061109101219/http://twitter.com/public_timeline

 

But it’s ME.

“Who Do You Think You Are?” ©️Robin King

A few minutes ago, a TV commentator who’s been working from home and “the road” began his interview by apologizing for how nondescript his background was: 

I’m in a hotel room. Everything’s corporate gray. It’s not me.

How sad that he felt the need to apologize for the grayness of the room he’s in! No, it’s not his chosen color-level but so what? Why did he do that? Because everyone has a color-opinion and some people rigidly – and sometimes nastily – demand that all people agree with them. Not enough color. Too much color. Wrong color. Blabbity-blah. 

The blast of colors on the face up there are me. I’m not going to apologize, back off, mute, or otherwise dilute that me-ness. Maybe that’s the art of the thing? Maybe it’s simply the you and the me in what we do? Dunno. What I do know is that when I posted that face on a social media account last year, a person whose art opinion I respect told me that it was “…too colorful.” 

How is that possible? 

We discussed it briefly, then suddenly stopped. He said I was making a fool of myself, that it was TOO MUCH. He has color limits. I don’t. We remain mutually-respectful online buddies but I suspect that we will never agree on colors. I can live with that. 

Now, with all of that out of the way, here’s what I planned for this post to be about: That face is a mix of my photography, acrylic painting, and digital painting. It doesn’t exist in our world unless it’s printed. I want to be able to paint that face so it will exist. Right now that’s a crazy dream. My painting skills are nearly as nonexistent as that face. The last time I painted I struggled to make any sense of the strokes. I couldn’t create what I wanted to create. Today I could not paint that face. Maybe I’ll never have the patience to learn how to paint that face. And maybe I don’t have to, given that I already made that face. Maybe digital compilations of my own work are my limit.

That’s what this post was supposed to be about. But it’s a whiny rehash of the past and an amorphous daydream of the future. Pointless. 

Maybe what it ought to be about is how very personal “art” is, how it is – at its center – us. Maybe the me-ness of my art, whether it’s painted or poured or cut or sculpted or photographed or drawn or compiled, is the art. Maybe that’s why everyone has an opinion. And maybe that’s why those opinions can hurt and buoy and inflate and decimate: because they’re not about what we do but about who we are. They’re about us.

I can live with that, too. But I can’t live without bright colors. They’re – well – me.