Happy Birthday, Tartufo!
I have officially been blogging for one year. And I’ve realized something. Actually, a couple of things. First it’s that the ability to publish keeps writers writing. At least it keeps this writer writing - that and the fact that without Tartufo I'm just someone who eats and drinks with a little too much excess. I've also discovered that writing allows me to express myself while still being protected - I don’t watch you read each post, wondering if you’ll laugh in the places intended to be funny, or notice the typo that slipped through the editing process. Writing is also clarifying my love affair with food - allowing me to explore and think about it from angles and at levels I wouldn’t otherwise. But what has been made even more crystal clear to me is that as with all of life's endeavors, blogging takes a village.
Now, I am no stranger to begging favors of the people that I love. I like to think of it as appreciating their talents, and using my resources wisely. My mom is nothing short of a saint when it comes to letting me use her kitchen anytime a blog post has a complimentary recipe. Inevitably, this involves taking over her kitchen, turning it completely upside down, and leaving it coated in a film of sugar and flour. And then there is my husband who finds his Saturday mornings taken over by shooting “glamor” shots of the finished product - after all, nothing beats food and morning light.
And then there is my dad. Above all else, this year has adjusted the lens through which I see him.. With Tartufo, as with all of my schemes, my dad graciously accepted his fate as my photographer, cartoonist, and videographer. We have worked together on countless projects before, but this time it all feels different. This time I am drawing upon his professional expertise to launch and pursue something on which I am pinning my own professional aspirations. Now, instead of just getting him to take a picture for me, I am learning how he composes a photo, what he takes into consideration with each shot. Our collaborations about design - whether it’s the background photo for this site or the cartoons that accompany each post - almost always involve some kind of friendly banter. Inevitably the root of the issue is that he thinks my idea is too obvious, and I think his version is just shy of mailing his ear to my mother. But we always find a middle ground, and with every project or debate, I see a new side of my dad - not just as “Dad”, but as a person and an artist. I have come to realize this year that it’s not so much that I have a talented dad, it’s that I know this incredible artist and generous spirit who supports the people in his life with neither restraint nor agenda. And if even an ounce of that spirit has been passed down to me, well then he’s given me so much more than a lifetime of free artwork.