Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Imaginary Friends

 I never had an imaginary friend. But I always liked the idea of one.

I guess I never felt the need for one because I had my sister. Only 11 months apart, we were usually within 2 inches of each other at every moment until we were about 10 years old. According to Wikipedia, imaginary friends are thought to be beneficial to children because they "provide comfort in times of stress, companionship when they're lonely, someone to boss around when they feel powerless, and someone to blame for the broken lamp in the living room. Most important, an imaginary companion is a tool young children use to help them make sense of the adult world." Yep.. all things provided by my sister.

An interesting article on Seattlepi.com talks about how adults still manage to have psuedo-imaginary friends through journals and fictional writing. When we journal or write in a diary, we often write to an imagined audience, another dimension of ourselves. Fiction writers often create relationships with characters as they hash out conversations and plots.

I wonder too if we painters and doodlers and stitchers and mixed media mashers aren't having some serious conversations with our imaginary friends. I certainly talk to myself enough when I am creating.
And after several days of working on an image, it does take on a personality and I start to feel connected to it. Like those childhood imaginary friends, art does "provide comfort in times of stress." In many ways it also provides a sense of companionship when I am lonely. And it does help me make sense of the world.

I guess I cannot really blame a piece of artwork for breaking the lamp in the living room, but I sure have blamed it for failing to make dinner or finish the laundry. Maybe I do have imaginary friends after all.


  1. I love your charming imaginary friends. This is a lovely post. As an only child I had three imaginary friends who filled various roles in my development and indeed did help me make sense of a mostly adult world - my closest cousin was 10 years older. I remember them fondly and would love to have yours by my side as well. xox

  2. Interesting post Jenny. I had an imaginary playmate. It was batman, and since at the time I'd never heard the name Robin used as a female name, my imaginary name was Robinya. It's funny to think about because now I have no affinity for batman, but back then he was (apparently) my man!

    Love the artwork.
    xo Loulou

  3. I so like the little banner they are holding :) I had a little dwarf living in my hand when I was little, and my daughter had five imaginary sisters - naughty ones, responsible ones etc. Getting her to sit for supper was quite an ordeal, since each sister had to hop onto the chair - would take forever :)

  4. I never had an imaginary friend, either, and after reading the other comments I think I feel a little deprived. I did have brothers to blame things on, though ;)

  5. I do talk to myself...a lot...while making art. My husband just laughs when he looks out in the studio and I am chattering away. I often figure out problems with a piece by talking it out with...myself? My imaginary studio helpmate.

    lovely lovely piece