I’ve gotten to the point in my art practice where I can identify some of my tendencies as well as things I need in order to produce something that’s worthwhile. For example, I tend to be too lazy or forget to change into crappy clothes before I paint. Therefore, I have splotches of gouache and acrylic on almost every article of clothing I own. A pair of black slacks that fit me really well (which is, as you laydays out there know, is a hard thing to find) and a blazer that I wear when it starts getting’ chillah have both been tainted by little teal spots of paint. As for necessities, I need deadlines to get anything done and most of the time, I need a really clear idea and a good understanding of my subject matter. Tonight I was working on a birthday present for a friend. I’ve started making like, four different things, but I haven’t been connecting with any of them. So now, weeks after her birthday, I have a stack of unfinished paintings and an idea for a completely unrelated project. Last night, feeling really discouraged about my drawing and painting abilities, I thought of what my drawing teacher Richard Deutsch* * said to me last week in class when he saw the third drawing I’d done that day, “You love your subject matter.” We’d been working in charcoal (BIP) and I hadn’t been interested in the angles I’d had during our model’s first couple poses (I couldn’t find another spot because we have a big, 18-person class), but the last one was really cool and I felt way more excited about drawing it, which showed, as the drawing was a bit better than the other two I’d done earlier. So, yeah, Richard was right. Subject matter makes a difference. You have to be interested in what you’re working from. Anyway, so last night, after spending four hours having another go at Aury’s birthday present*, I decided to draw something else to get some new juices flowing. I started drawing a Victorian house. It felt very storybook to me, so I started thinking about the person who lived there and the story that it might accompany. I then added some text and got an idea. Wouldn’t it be cool if family and friends gave me a sentence and I’d illustrate it? Simple, right? I know but I think it’d be neat. I need to build up my portfolio and I’m sure you have something in mind you’d like to see illustrated so do it. Send me a sentence or a character description or whatever and I'll make something and post a picture.
p.s. I made an edition of thirty exchangeables for my Artists’ Books class. They’re little mask kits. I’ll put up a picture in my next post. Yip.
*It’s always hard for me to make gifts and cards for people because I feel really pressured to make them something great. I think I get so scared about making something they’ll hate, that I just screw up again and again and end up getting it to them really late, or I just give up and buy them something, which is boring. It’s also hard when I have friends who are really, really good at what they do (which is all of them) because I feel like I have to prove, through my birthday presents that I’m good at what I do.
Damn. I need to chill out. This is not fun for you to read.
* * Richard Rules. He gave us all the produce that we used for a still life one day saying. “it’s organic!” He’s all about showing us alternative, more healthful ways of doing things so we don’t destroy our lungs and such by using harmful materials. The way he critiques is effective because he’s chilled out so you don’t freak out further if you hate your drawing and he’s so knowledgeable and passionate about drawing that he can almost always offer solutions to any pickle you may be in. He reminds me of a really nice, cool version of Dustin Hoffman. Like, if he and Dustin Hoffman were long lost twins, Richard would be the good one and Dustin would be the evil one.