Secret Carrot & Sacred Stick / by Leslie Iwai


I am off to a bit of a new adventure while returning to some of my roots.  As my mother reminded  me recently, when I would talk about what I wanted to do when I grew up I would say, "I want to make art to bless people".  I am thankful that in many ways I have!  However, I have been realizing that along the way, the art I have been making has become more of a "stick" to me.  

You know...the Stick. The driving force keeping one moving forward, often to exhaustion causing the focus to become bent towards the ground.  Without the Carrot, the small sweet reward, the work begins to feel endless and loses some of its joy. For me, the balance has been tilted for a long time towards the Stick (more on that in a future post).  This year,  I am going to dub the "Year of the Carrot", while I take a bit of a sacred stick sabbath.  So, I am (check out the essay in my first journal post) exploring a "back-pocket" idea, one that germinated from making a little gift for my nephew (he was 2.... now he is 12!)  

What would it be to be able to give and receive something tangible that gives comfort and holds memory?  For me, I have found that creating these "secret carrots" has brought me a lot of joy and has let me express a whimsical side to my work that is re-energizing my practice.