His Heart Howled: and a little permission to be as cliche as you want to be

A new drawing!

“His Heart Howled,” 5 x 7 inches, pen and ink, prints available in my shop

I seem to make a lot of art with the word “heart” in it. This realization has reminded me of a funny memory—back in the fall of 2006, {a year before I started this blog} I was enrolled in an MFA program for poetry writing. I only lasted one short month—it wasn’t the right time or place for me {as really became evident when I started making art again}. But I remember one particular day in a poetry workshop—I had just shared one of my poems with my workshop group, and the other students were giving me feedback. I used the word “miracle” in the poem. I hadn’t thought much about it, but as soon as I shared it, that was the main thing everyone began talking about.

It seems “miracle” is one of those words that you try to avoid if you’re a serious poet—it’s too cliche. Some students found it refreshing (the audacity—using such a touchy feely word in my poem), other people thought I should definitely take it out. I just sat there incredibly surprised that this one word was such a big issue. Perhaps this means I was not a serious poet—I should have thought more about the word. But did I really want to be a serious poet—whatever serious means?

I don’t really consider myself a poet of any sort these days—I’m an artist who loves words, and I use words in my art. But, even in art, people are always worried about not being cliche, about creating something fresh and new and edgy. I’m here to say, that I’m not trying to be edgy. Also, I will now assert my right to be as cliche as I want to be. I will use the words: heart, miracle, and love, regularly. I may write about and draw often flowers and fairy wings and puppies.

At a show last weekend, someone came up to my booth and said, “you are an optimist—that’s refreshing!” I appreciated that comment. I like making happy drawings that talk about life and might lift you up a little. If that means I’m a walking cliche, so be it.

I now grant you the right as well to make any art that excites you, to use your heart heavily, both literally and energetically. To not let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Go ahead and play—that means, make whatever you want—you don’t have to be original, or fresh, or edgy. You just have to be you. From one word-loving, optimistic, heart-loving cliche, to any others of you out there that may be reading this—I know I’m gonna love your work! Go forth and make!

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5 Responses to “His Heart Howled: and a little permission to be as cliche as you want to be”


  1. 1 Kerri October 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Oh I’d love to be edgy, but it’s just not me! How the word miracle can be a cliche I do not know, that’s the trouble with serious art programs! Too much thinking and not feeling. I’m loving this drawing too by the way!

  2. 2 Kerri October 17, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Oops me again, I meant to say congratulations the other day for your art sales going up! Yay! So happy to hear that x

  3. 3 antiphonsgarden October 18, 2010 at 2:59 am

    I must say, I have as European often an hard time with the tendency over the pond to shout out permanently “awesome,terrific,”nice”(nescius/ignorant)!”and so on of sugar glaze flat rhetoric.

    But at the same time, I have a great respect for the courage of those still using the real simple common words each human share inside, like heart or miracle or sky or “I love kittens”.
    The pseudo intellectualism of such literature bread factory’s(in reality job providing for self declared authorities)leads to emotional flat wanna sound cool boring mostly macho detached narcissism.The missing of true introspection and self irony of those poseurs is lousy compared to the human potential to make sense in common,sharing “simple” words.Moliere was already mocking the mannerism of the encyclopedist circles in his plays.Not truly a new situation.
    I respect the inner authenticity expressing herself humanly far more than an “art market” assuming that speculative attitudes are of greater worth as let say aunty s chocolate box art faible.Open hearts sharing humble life are more needed in this world than over evaluated scab picking exhibitionism, unmade beds or pickled half sharks.

    Follow your heart!

  4. 4 Veronica October 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    THANK YOU! I needed to hear that. Ive been doubting and wondering and thinking… should I make art that is more serious, less pretty, more about some obscure lofty concepts? but no , NO I shall not. Its just not me.


  1. 1 So Many Miracles « blue bicicletta Trackback on October 20, 2010 at 9:49 am

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."
~Rumi

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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