"Keep on Truckin", do you remember that phrase? By admitting I do, I have instantly dated myself ;) If you do also then, hi there Babyboomer :) Recently one of my FB friends put those words as a comment on my art page. I instantly smiled, for it brought back memories and also reminded me of my journey. Art is a journey, it's a road that we creative souls have dared to travel. At times it's bumpy, some times it seems impossible to pass, but we "Keep on Truckin". It also is a message that tells us it's not over, it's never over. We are constantly truckin, on the go, moving forward, hauling our "stuff". Unloading, loading, delivering and picking up. All of it applies to our artistic journey. Really, it's the perfect phrase of encouragement and validation. "Keep on Truckin".
The illustration was created by Robert Crumb. It was published in 1968 in Zap Comix and has been adapted by so many since then, becoming an icon of the hippie movement. Crumb himself was uncomfortable with the popularity of his cartoon, he said of it "I became acutely self-conscious about what I was doing. Keep on Truckin'... is the curse of my life. This stupid little cartoon caught on hugely. There was a D.J. on the radio in the seventies who would yell out every ten minutes: "And don't forget to KEEP ON TR-R-RUCKIN'!" Boy, was that obnoxious! Big feet equals collective optimism. You're a walkin' boy! You're movin' on down the line!
Why did it catch on? Because it speaks to us, all of us. We want to keep on truckin, we simply want to move forward. To stop truckin is to be stuck. How does that relate to Art?... I'm getting to it ;) Sometimes in our artistic journey we feel like we are stuck, like the truck ran out of gas. In those moments take a look behind you, look down that road and see how many miles you actually have traveled. I bet you've covered far more ground than you realize. I did just this the other day.
Ten years ago I painted the sunflower on the left. It had been a bit since I had a paint brush in my hand and I tried very, very hard to paint that sunflower. It's a nice rendering, a copy of a photo. I remember being quite pleased with myself, I even sold it. Selling it gave me the confidence to continue painting. I had climbed into the truck and started to drive. There have been many miles, bumpy roads, potholes, ice and a traffic jam or two...fast forward to now. My truck is scratched, it's rusted and it's well worn, but it's all paid for and I am free. During the miles of truckin I learned things. I learned about me and I found me.
There are still miles to travel and for that I am blessed. The road ahead looks exciting. I'm hoping for some hills and some curves, perhaps some really nice scenery along the way. So I say to you my friends, get in the drivers seat, enjoy the journey, explore the roads and when you run out of gas, fill up that tank and "Keep on Truckin".