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How to Scratch an Itch

How to Scratch an Itch or The Composting of Ideas
When I'm working on a visual design project, one of my favorite parts of the process is the "not doing" phase.

When I'm designing a book, business card, or illustrating an idea I first get clear on the intention of the project. What is the hope or aspiration? What meaning and feeling will it convey? What is the design intention? I then spend hours looking at other types of design (the joke in graphic design is that there are no original ideas, just borrowed ones) seeing what styles have resonance, even if I'm not sure exactly why. Once I'm visually satiated, it is then time for the "not doing." That means forget all about the project, go for a walk or the gym, and completely surrender the idea to my unconscious. It's like heading out while a big pot simmers on the back of the stove: I know when I return that something delicious will be waiting. All those ideas and other images will have been digested, transmuted into something new and exactly what I need for the project. It's a kind of composting. It requires a trust in my capacities of creative digestion. And it's deeply pleasurable.

Sometimes the composting, this "not doing" can happen in the present moment. For example, I have a concept like "itch" that I want to illustrate. I'm curious about the sensory experience of itch and perhaps I read a bit about it, discerning the differences between itch and scratch and pain, discovering the role of natriuretic polypeptide b (Nppb) and the pathways between skin and brain, etc.. And then I just let my pencil wander across the page, letting images emerge that are not a conscious depiction of "itch" but more an embodied sourcing of what my eyes and drawing hands 'hear' from the intelligence of my body that knows "itch." The result is not something my mind would ever have designed, but the image has resonance for all the rest of me.

How about you? How do you compost ideas? What are your tools of alchemy?

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Pleasure Lab Podcast – Episode 11

PleasureLabEpisode11Show Notes:

Length: 1:01:49

Amy and Zed talk about about spirituality (0:40)
Interview with Kari Points re trauma and deep sea creatures (39:46)
TT@H: password experiments (37:35)

Got something you want us to discuss? Email us at pleasurelab@bodytrustcircle.com.

Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro) and New Ages I (try this at home section). Also to Orquesta Arrecife for their snippet LA MORDAZA (whimsey section).

Pleasure Lab Podcast – Episode 10

PleasureLabEpisode10Show Notes:

Length: 49:35

Amy and Zed talk about astronomy and flower essences (0:40)
Amy interviews Mel Reiff Hill about The Gender Book (27:03)
TT@H: a two-fer with M'kali Hashiki (25:45)

Find out more about Mel and his book at The Gender Book

Amy and Zed mention Rudy Ballentine's book Radical Healing

Got something you want us to discuss? Email us at pleasurelab@bodytrustcircle.com.

Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro) and New Ages I (try this at home section). Also to Orquesta Arrecife for their snippet LA MORDAZA (whimsey section).

Pleasure Lab Podcast – Episode 09

PleasureLabEpisode09Show Notes:

Length: 36:56

Amy and Zed talk about age and eroticism (0:40)
Amy shares an excerpt from "Stilettos" (28:03)
TT@H: plug a hole and do some housework (23:44)

Amy's story is available in the anthology Sex Still Spoken Here which you can order from your local bookstore, or on Amazon.com as paperback or ebook.

Zed and Amy do mention age*eroticism*taboo photo project.

Got something you want us to discuss? Email us at pleasurelab@bodytrustcircle.com.

Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro) and New Ages I (try this at home section). Also to Orquesta Arrecife for their snippet LA MORDAZA (whimsey section).

Pleasure Lab Podcast – Episode 08

PleasureLabEpisode08Show Notes:

Length: 38:21

Amy and Zed talk about how to sustain the bliss of erotic connection (0:40)
Zed shares their poem "For the Record" (32:42)
TT@H: erotic superhero names (29:23)

Superhero names

You can find more of Zed Sinclair's spoken word at records.mrsexsmith.com
Thanks to Dan Fogelberg for a clip of "Make love stay" from the album The Very Best of Dan Fogelberg, 2001, Sony.
(which was downloaded--and paid for--from iTunes).
We mention the amazing Betty Martin. You can find out more about her work at bettymartin.org

Got something you want us to discuss? Email us at pleasurelab@bodytrustcircle.com.

Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro) and New Ages I (try this at home section). Also to Orquesta Arrecife for their snippet LA MORDAZA (whimsey section).

Pleasure Lab Podcast – Episode 07

PleasureLabEpisode07Show Notes:

Length: 66:21

Amy and Zed discuss workshop aftercare and being bright and shiny (0:40)
Amy interviews Dawn about trans* sexuality and binary sacred spaces (23:39)
TT@H: orgasmic prayer (17:44)

Got something you want us to discuss? Email us at pleasurelab@bodytrustcircle.com.

Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro) and New Ages I (try this at home section). Also to Orquesta Arrecife for their snippet LA MORDAZA (whimsey section).

Pleasure Lab Podcast – Episode 06

Show Notes:

Length: 35:18

Amy and Zed get loopy talking about what to wear to workshops (0:40)
The whole Body Trust team talks portals, pleasure, and sex toys (21:46)
TT@H: celebrate International Masturbation Month (18:37)

Sexy word contest winners are Carol B. and Alison. Check your emails for your prizes!

Got something you want us to discuss? Email us at pleasurelab@bodytrustcircle.com.

Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro) and New Ages I (try this at home section). Also to Orquesta Arrecife for their snippet LA MORDAZA (whimsey section).

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