From time to time, I will get a bizarre look, question or an eyebrow raise when people see that my website/web presence says, or that I many times refer to myself as “PMS“. Sometimes people will give a condescending smirk, or even get downright angry!
So, why PMS?
The most simple answer of course is that it is my initials and that I sign my work with them in a quick and visually pleasing way. The truth is however, that it is much more than that. The best answer is that it is about embracing who you are.
I remember vividly sitting in class in 6th grade in Laramie, Wyoming listening to a ho hum lecture on sexual education. On this brisk day, the teacher was covering the topic of Premenstrual syndrome to our little confused minds. She was in the middle of pointing at the chalkboard when one of the kids suddenly yelled, “Hey, Preston’s initials are PMS!”. The class, including the teacher, fell dead silent for a moment as this information sunk in. Suddenly the room erupted in laughter, as all of the kids turned to find my shocked and beet red face frozen near the back of the class. I began to squirm in horror as I hoped the moment would pass quickly, but it seemed frozen in time somehow. I slid down in my chair as I attempted to become the invisible boy, or now the invisible PMS.
That night after my sheer embarrassment and the echoes of laughter faded and I was safe at home, I made the decision to never be embarrassed by this again. So I made a pact with myself to adopt PMS as mine. It would become part of my persona. I learned early on that if you made fun of yourself first, it was a lot harder for others to make fun of you. Plus, it was a wonderful lesson in simply not taking yourself too seriously in life. It started out as a survival technique, but quickly became something that I enjoyed and some of my friends in high school would even called me PMS affectionately. Over time, I had successfully reclaimed the power of the initials and made them my own. It was somehow liberating.
I like to think of it as embracing who I am. We all have to work with what we have and embrace who we are, and therefore I am proud to call myself PMS. I like that it now makes some people uncomfortable and not me. It is funny to watch others squirm sometimes as they try to understand why I would be labelled on all social media as PMS Artwork. Where as I Preston M. Smith can be labelled or shoved into any number of simple boxes, PMS on the other hand is gender-less, faceless, and genre-less. PMS is devoid of any political or religious party and social preference. PMS is allowed to just be and in fact symbolizes a boundlessness that I hope to achieve in my art and life. Therefore, I am happy to embrace this one label. And if it helps you to remember my art a little easier, I will take that too. 🙂
P.S. (no pun intended) – Here are some recent works and sales that I am proud to announce. Enjoy!
“Changes” – For Sale (click on image to purchase)
“Audrey: Larger Than Life” – SOLD!
“Gridlocked” – For Sale (click on image to purchase)
“Don’t F#?k With My City” – For Sale (Click on image to purchase)