( From the forthcoming book "Be a smiler..." ) :
At the turn of the last century I was nurturing the creative force within me as a student at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. Even so, I was not entirely content with my life. I was prone to sitting on the “pity pot” and often considered life harsh and unfair. As if that were not enough, I felt guilty about not being sufficiently happy. I had everything: a house, a man in my life, children, a car, a dog. I was living the romantic dream… my own dream since childhood… except the love wasn’t thriving, and my heart was lonely.
At school I was given an assignment to design a utility object of some kind that had an unusual purpose – or even no specific purpose. That is when my “instrument of joy” idea was born. Why wait for happiness – for something good to happen so I could feel happy? Why didn’t I just take the initiative and smile at the gloom and doom?The outcome of my project was an object that somewhat resembled a dog bone. I wanted to pay homage to dogs for their amazing ability to feel joy over the smallest things and then to generously pass that joy on to others. The object was shaped like a crescent and could be placed between the corners of the mouth to push them outward and up, creating a smile. It was practically a given that anyone who saw the object used would not be able to resist smiling back.