Thursday, February 09, 2006

Long Way Around

What have I done?

Jane caught me at City Hall Wednesday and made me a Renewal Ball offer I thought I couldn't refuse. "Adriane, if you want to do the poster this year by yourself, we just won't put out a sign-up sheet at the kickoff tomorrow night. What do you think?" She leaned forward in her chair and all but tugged at my sleeve. I could feel Jim's eyeballs burning holes into my back from his office across the hall.

A brief history of my involvement with the Renewal Ball: I've done the poster twice now, not including last year's aborted attempt (April and May were not conducive to time-consuming volunteer work). Upon each occasion, I was lured in with the promise (from Jane, who, as Urban Renewal Secretary, cannot chair the Ball) that I could create an original oil painting of my own concept, but each time the Ball Chair had her own ideas. Luckily they were good ideas, and I wound up creating stellar pieces with digital graphics, anyhow. One mixed-media original sold for $3,980.00, a Ball poster record. But I swore I'd never get involved in the poster again because the point (for me) was to have creative freedom, and it seemed that would never happen. (I know that sounds vain and snooty, but I'm an artist, and we're arrogant, moody misanthropes. Sue me. And next year, remind me that I make a really bad volunteer.)

It's official: I'm a sucker. Jane dangled the bait, and I went for it. When he heard me give in, Jim shouted from his office, "Wear the fox hat!"

Alas, I attended the 24th Annual Renewal Ball Kickoff tonight, only to find myself announced Poster Committee Chairperson. There was a sign-up sheet, which six people inked. If you've ever volunteered for anything, you know that in general, 50% of people who volunteer don't follow through, so I figure I'll have three people to deal with when all's said and done.

And after four glasses of wine, I decided it won't be so bad. I'll wind up doing the artwork anyway, and I expect I can convince the committee to come up with a concept and just let me paint it. Easier on all of us. But I'm a little upset with Jane and her annual deception, and myself for getting sucked in again,especially when there's so much danger of becoming overwhelmed. The Ball is always the first weekend in June, and my Level II test is the first week in May. Fretting about the propaganda for a charity event and reading four chapters on amoebic dysentary are two things I shouldn't have to do in one evening.

This all makes no sense, I'm suddenly very tired, and Blogger is threatening a maintenance outtage. I can take a hint.


Blogger Shepcat said...

Remember: Vermeer had to whore himself out on portraits of the wives of rich patrons so he could eventually have the freedom to paint the girl with the pearl earring. And Michelangelo was working on commission when he completed a little gig called the Sistine Chapel. So a little selling out doesn't always preclude the creation of something sublime.

With that in mind, I'd beat the Ball Chair to the punch with at least three great ideas of my own. Maybe he or she will be happy enough to choose something you wanted to do in the first place and take credit for the idea.

Or you could pull a Walken-in-America's Sweethearts maneuver: don't tell anyone what you're doing and they'll be stuck having to use whatever you turn in at the last minute, no matter how batshit crazy it is.

February 10, 2006 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger A said...

I think both those ideas will contribute to my ultimate monopoly of the creative process. Also, I'll arrange to have the committee meetings at Kate's, where people's attention spans are cut down to roughly 1/10 of normal.

February 10, 2006 at 1:19 PM  

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