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Working with your hands

It is said to be the most rewarding work. Yet for this album, it has been the most frustrating and infuriating process you can imagine.

Let me take you back a decade or two. In primary school, there was art, and then there was wood craft. And sports. And then there was home ed, and then there was sowing. And though no one ever said it out loud, you where supposed to be good at some of these things, not others. As a girl. I was this over achieving little thing, so I wanted to be good at it all. But of course, you can’t be. I just happened to be good at the fields “belonging” to the boys. Put me in an art class and I could hardly give you a recognizable piece (it might be an elefant, it might be the eiffel tower, or an apple pie). Put me in sowing class and I did some awesome stuff for sure, but it took me so much longer than the others. Not that I wasn’t interested. The pieces wouldn’t have turned out good if I wasn’t. I just wasn’t quite where the others were. I even remember a teacher being frustrated because I couldn’t quite grasp her terms. “You know what I mean by cross stitches, you’re not stupid!” Or something like that… I went home crying but I finished that pillow case (I think it was). Just weeks after the others. Put me in home ed and I “didn’t take enough initiative”. Wow, that chicken was really important to take charge of for a future vegetarian.

Then put me in wood crafts. And all of a sudden I was like: “Ya’ll not finished with that stupid towel hanger yet? Well, fine, I’ll just make a giraffe sculpture and a luxury house for my hamster, latches and all, waiting for y’all to finish…” And put me in sports? Not brilliant, but came in 3d at speed in my class. (1st was a girl and as it happens she is now playing in the Swedish soccer team, second boy, 3d me, so suck it, gender stereotypes!)

Even describing the girly girls in my lyrical palette stems from this time. “Horses” and “Ponies”. Because they were so perfect and loved riding horses and could of course draw a fricking horse well, not looking like a piece of pie… πŸ˜› Think of that next time you listen to my songs!

Fast forward a decade or two. And a girl trying to put together an album. The music part she’s got down. Then comes layout, ideas, taking physical form (even applying to digital form). And it’s called Scarletters. Of course there has to be things done by hand. How I’ve cried about it. “I can’t do this, I’ve never been this girl! I never do this sh*t!” referring to aspects of my layout. Luckily, I’ve had help from girls who DO have this sh*t down… πŸ˜‰ My boss put her old stuff (in line with the layout idea) in front of me and even on the cover I’ve had brilliant help. From another girl who’s always had drawing and cooking down. Oh, I’m not demeaning myself, I have cooking down now, but it took ’til I was about 24. At which point no one was hovering over me telling me what was wrong and right with cooking. I was able to form my own opinion. But natural talent? Naaah πŸ˜‰ I’m a mean vegetarian cook and an even better vegan one for some reason so look me up if you’re in Skara and hungry!

BUT, going through the initial insecurities, after that, something happened… A wee bit of magic. After sitting down with pencils, pens, fiber pens, water colours, tea dying and just general creating I find myself really inspired. Not having an art/writers bun on my finger this big since I composed 4 hrs a day in Hultsfred, I find myself drawing and writing just for the hell of it. Because I think it’s fun. And that’s really what we’re all after, creative people, ain’t it, finding the process just as fun as the finished results? And heck, the character Scarlett doesn’t give a flying fuck. She just draws and writes for the hell of it too. I’ve learned from her. I think that’s what every process is about, so no matter what, this has been a successful one, even if layout an’ all that jazz might be a target of critisism. No matter. She has pushed me, and I love the push.

sneak cover

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About lillabohmen

Swedish lovechild of Kate Bush, Tori Amos and PJ Harvey. 2 albums and 2 EP:s, all available at Spotify, Itunes, and physically. A blog about music, being a female musician in a male dominated business and the occasional feminist/veggie rant. Check out my homepage: www.mariabohm.com for news, bits and bobs and bio, and buy-o of my music. Never lose that creative spark!

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