Year One with my muses.

In February, Lefty Smudges will be one year old.

It was just one year ago that I thought up that name, and under it, commissioned my first card. A lot has happened to me because of Lefty Smudges this year. A lot has changed for me too.

This past year I developed friendships with three painters (beautiful and talented each). I must tell you about them because I cannot keep writing without writing of them.

How has their friendship changed me? I think differently. Do you know what I mean. I think differently. I have met these men at such a malleable point in my life, the moulding of my mind now contains the possibility of them, and all that they stand for. Art, ideas, integrity, mischief; I met them, they inspired a shift in thought, Lefty Smudges was born. Simple as that. Lefty Smudges is my natural reaction to this world of art, ideas, integrity, and mischief. I’m in it now. There is no going back.

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These men, these artists, are my friends now. We cross paths walking down the street, at gallery openings, our studios, libraries, and in the cafes around town. The conversations are always lively. They are full. They are cathartic. They are encouragement. I feed off them, and they help sustain me. This must be the case for many young artists. Encouragement is key. Mentors are key. There is no other way to thrive.

Lefty Smudges started with one postcard, and one Valentine. This past year I have participated in : 2 festivals, and 2 art events; I have hosted 2 letter-writing workshops; I created, designed, and mailed out 8 card projects; I produced 1 commissioned mail-out.

All together, creating, writing, and mailing out over 200 cards.

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Every one of those cards, every project, every time I have touched pen to paper this year, has been influenced by what I learned from my painter friends:

You can create something beautiful in this world. You can connect people, question them, make them think, make them feel. You can think differently. You can go with your gut. You can follow that strange pull – if you have courage, it will lead you.

To my friends who sustain and inspire me, and believe in Lefty Smudges as much as I do – this past year wouldn’t have happened without you.

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