“So much is wrong with the world and here you are doing artwork of cute dogs and the occasional cats. Aren’t you denying reality, denying the power of protest art?”
No, I am on purpose living well as a direct action against the bullies, abusive people and authoritarians. If I were to get upset and stay angry and fearful each time I read a news article, for example, I would be handing my personal happiness to the very mean people I’m upset about.
So I persist at finding small joys every day, doing small kindnesses, creating laughter and yes, cute whimsical dogs. It’s my protest, my declaration of sovereignty, my present to the better angels of my own and other people’s natures. It’s my way to feed the good wolves.
My persistence at happiness doesn’t mean I don’t read and make myself aware of what’s going on in the world. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t donate money or in other ways help any cause I think is also opposing bullies and authoritarian fundamentalists. I do!
It’s just that I refrain as best I can from giving the mean people my inner self, letting my upset at them/ their actions dominate my entire mind and life. I’m not waiting until there are no more mean people in any positions of power (etc.) before I’m able to enjoy something! I’m going to enjoy something today, right now. I’m also going to learn something, I’m going to play, experiment, and laugh. I’m going to try something new. I’m going to smile and talk to people. I’m going to do my best to be kind and loving. I’m going to live well!
By doing this I deny those mean people what they want most; my cerebral compliance. When I enjoy something they, the bullies, have not set the tone of my mind or my day – I have! The bully may have authority over my body (i.e. be an abusive parent, a president, or a state that denies my human rights) but they do not have control over my mind!
One of the many good-mental-health techniques that I’ve practiced is to keep a list of things I enjoy thinking about or doing – so that whenever I do get down-in-the-dumps or despondent about how some bully seems to be winning I can deliberately turn my mind towards something I enjoy. In this way I’m taking direct and immediate action.
By creating artwork that is whimsical, beautiful or even cute I am giving people an art exhibit, a book, a blog post or an item of art apparel that I hope can, if only for a moment, lift their spirits and enable them to take direct action too – by enjoying something.
As I learned from Dr. Bob Hoke (and which is further discussed in the book “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit”) the best response to adversity of any kind is to go on and live well. https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit
Here are a few of my dogs currently on exhibit at Caplan Art Designs www.caplanartdesigns.com – and also in my book “Dogs by Sue Clancy” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Dogs-By-Sue-Clancy