Saturday, November 21, 2009

Where does art come from? and other stupid questions

You want to know where art comes from? You want to know how artists get inspiration? I really don't know either, but i will give you my experiences and opinions so you can stop asking stupid questions and statements like: Where do you get your inspiration from? So, you are an artist? And especially, Would you do a picture of me? Oh, and the one I hate the most "Well, I can only draw stick figures and not very well"

Okay the second to last last one doesn't really relate but seriously, if I wanted to do a picture of you, I would have asked. And you don't really expect us to say yes, but you put us in the difficult position of saying no politely, when really we just think you are ignorant and annoying for asking us in the first place.

Where do you get you inspiration from? Living. Inspiration comes from putting two or more disparate thoughts together into a cohesive idea. Usually it is things I have been thinking about for a long time, things I like or have just learned about. These come from living my life. I cannot pick a specific date where I thought "I'm gonna do a piece about this." It just evolves out of my subconscious into my conscious and onto the paper and just grows from there.
Better questions to ask are: So what have you been interested in lately? What books are you reading? Who are you taking classes from? What other artists do you like? These are much more meaningful and would illuminate much more to your understanding than the initial question. As a plus, the artist will think you are intelligent and awesome.

So, you are an artist? [always followed by, What is it like?] I hate this one and, other similar ones. I think all professions hate those, cause they love their jobs and think they are important, so how can you sum up what you do so it will be interesting and express why you love it; even though the person that asked really doesn't care what you say.

"What is being an artist like?"
"well, I wake up at 6 pm, kill some kittens, eat them and then from 8pm-4am use their blood to make paintings."
"That is cool." . . . you did not listen to what i just said, did you?

I don't kill kittens by the way. I like kittens. But this kind of not paying attention thing happens a lot.
Being an artist is like being anything else. You get an idea, think and plan it out and then execute it. Only artists use cool things like paint, foam, clay, wood and pretty much anything and everything else. The planning takes about 10-30% of the time and making the art takes 100% of the time. Okay, the actual drawing/painting/whatever is the rest.
But do not think that these are consecutive, sometimes you get an idea and you don't know what to do with it, so you start drawing it and the idea evolves, so you draw some more, and it becomes more complicated, you run into problems, you draw some more and it may or may not get resolved and you may or may not get something visually worthwhile. Then you get another idea and you work on something else.
Being an artist involves a lot of thinking in addition to drawing or whatever.

Which brings me to the most hated question/statement of all: "I can only draw stick figures." Seriously, the next person that says that is going to get this rant, I don't care if it is my own mother or sister-whoever says that after hearing that I am an artist has it coming. You are warned.
Art is not about drawing-it is what we do, certainly-but it is not what art is about.
Art is thinking and executing. It is about teaching, learning, experiencing, showing others what we what them to see and experience for themselves. It is not about the medium; it is not about telling everyone that we are cooler than you cause we know how to do things you do not. You know things that we do not and we do not hold that against you.
I became an artist because I wanted to learn-(You are like- well, you could do anything and learn. sush, i'm not done)-I wanted to learn about people, about nature, about the world and society and technology and language and history and myself and you. I want to know it all; to understand and become one with the world i live in and teach others what I have learned so they can become one with me. This is in the metaphysical sense: me=sum of my experiences you+my experiences=you+me=>something greater. Technically, this is all communication, not just art, but artists are the only ones that I have seen who think about this daily and work towards it. Artists are modern-day philosophers. "There are many teachers of philosophy but few philosophers [because all the philosophers have moved to being artists]." Thoreau.

So when you equate art with drawing well-it is insulting. (also when someone comes over and sees me working and says: Aren't you an artist. yes, yes, I am. duh. go away so i can make my art.) Art is the combination of ideas and craftsmanship. You do not get art at all if you say it is just craftsmanship. Anyone can learn to draw but few use their skills for the greater good.
Also, that statement has the assumption that I was born with a paintbrush and pencil in my hands, scribbling masterpieces into the walls of my childhood home. While it would be kind of cool to own up to, it is completely false. I worked and am still working very very hard to draw and paint and use all other media well. These are skills that you have to learn. You could draw well too if you cared enough to work hard for years to learn how to do it. I certainly did, and I am doing and living every every day fulfilling my dreams. So do not insult me by saying that i do not work for what i believe in.

So stop saying stupid things when i say that I am an artist. Really, stop.

Art Project

I started an art project that is a metaphorical view that a person with depression might have. I am very excited about it, as it is the first full-scale project that is gallery-worthy that I have done. I am hesitant about whether the singular pieces might be, but i am going to develop them more; but the concept and the cumulative effect is definitely worthy.
The concept is that depress changes a person's point of view so that the world becomes a frightening place full of monsters. Or rather, monsters were used in medieval times to represent various aspects of the human condition; death, trials, temptations and the like-so i am going to use them to represent depression, also in the medieval woodcut style. Also, an FYI, not that i will talk about this in the project, but in my experience, people with depression come to love the idea of monsters, because they feel themselves to be subhuman, and monsters are outwardly subhuman. But this confuses the issue somewhat, so the only place you will hear about that is here and if you ask me in person.
The important thing is that depression changes the way you think and view the world.
The style is, as I said, medieval woodcut. I think it would be better if they were prints, (not woodcuts, though, i do have a life now) but i do not know how, so for now, they are just pen on paper.
And if some people think that i shouldn't talk about projects in progress. why not? it is not the concept that is hard-but the execution. so if someone else is inspired by what i am doing, feel free to make something similar. I think ideas should be free-but the work involved in making them real is not.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I made a day planner page yesterday. One just a listing of hours and one that set up my day so I could plan things in accord with my mental state in the day. The font is alba matter.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I have always wondered what it was like to have no hair. It is one of those experiences that you can't really know until you have done it. And for me, it goes beyond mere curiosity, it is a half-fulfilled wish, a might have been, because I could shave my hair off if i really wanted and find out. So every time the subject pops up in my head, there is always that half-fulfilled feeling, a train of thought I can never finish until I have that experience. There is a sort of beauty on making a decision and sticking with it. An austere grace. And the older i get, the less chances I will have to have these experiences, because people will expect less out of me in that fashion. Hopefully not though, i want to keep breaking expectations forever, but to do that, I need to have started years ago, but I can always start now.

----22 days later:
I still kind of want to do this, but right now, it would not be worth the trouble for mere curiosity and garnering attention. Perhaps some other time, then.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

getting an LED tan

So I spent the entire day on my laptop, not coloring in Photoshop, like I normally would be(i can kick butt in Photoshop, and am hoping to be able to work at the library, teaching people how to use computer programs), but working on my final class lab for 8 hours and then editing audio in Audacity. I am so excited to have learned how to use Audacity today. (Now just for Blender and MewaFilm and I will know a lot more than I do). But I also learned today that I still have quite a bit of self-confidence to gain.Because I am still acting my quiet self in the computer lab.In my heart, I really just want to be a nerd, but I can never be truly accepted, for I do not like videogames (excepting katamari and poke'mon), programming is only a limited fun and i am not actually all that bright. I like photoshop, mixed media artwork and audacity. . . and dreaming.(oh no, the tiny house got smashed since I have last been here, how very sad) And I have a terrible headache, bad me.(also my obsession with poke'mon is more than i will ever admit to anyone, even now I am still terribly disappointed that poke'mon do not actually exist, so i can never be a poke'mon trainer)

Monday, February 16, 2009


Lots of things happening, or rather not (at least today). A major problem I have encountered lately is trying to find both server space and a domain name. I have read p on it, but that hasn't helped the fact that I have no money. But I suppose it is not crucial, as I still do not know flash actionscript, though I hope by the end of the semester that will be remedied. When I finally do find some, i will have a freakishly awesome web site. But still, the money dilemma.. .

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In January:

Since the month of my last post, I have:
learned a great portion of HTML
learned middling CSS
learned Javascript (only a little bit, it is still difficult for me)
learned basics of how to use Linux systems
am a great deal better in figure drawing
learned a great deal about events and ideas in 1-2 kings, Job, Psalms
read at least a dozen books and even more short stories
learning about scared geometry, which is fascinating
started the idea/got materials for a series of cute little thread and paper images
resolved to start on an idea that has been rattling around in my brain for months, if I buckle down, I think I can get this done by next fall
met several very cute boys and have initiated conversations with them

learned the basics of pixel art and have done some little images
realized that I am basically going to college to become an odd sort of web artist and realized that that is exactly what i want to do with my life
Dressed as a pirate several times, just because i wanted to
received praise from my figure drawing teacher
went to at least six lectures about art, four on religion and one on global warming
became driven to learn things on my own
wanted to work on something great with my siblings, to make something to make us come together, because I know we can do something great as a family

I do not say these things to brag, but as a confirmation that for all the things I did not do last month, i still got a great deal accomplished and should be happy in that fact.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Start of class thoughts

For this semester of classes, I did not want a repeat of last semester, where I felt physically ill from the workload, which i lay plainly and gleefully at the feet of CS 142, an intro to programming course of 4 credits, but actually took over 20 hours of my week. But my hopes and wishes were dashed at the first class in which the professor announced that the workload would be the same as that despised class. But I get to develop my own web site, from idea to code to site. I am actually really excited. And by accidentally taking it in conjunction with a HTML/CSS class (I thought it was writing for the web, cause that is what the name was), i will have enough knowledge to strike out on my own and widen the unending horizons of the virtual frontier.
My drawing class, however seems just as difficult, if not more so, as i spent the 3 hours in class debating the meanings of words, truth and the meaning of art until I was about to collapse and beyond that. He is a strange man, picky, harsh but he is dedicated not only to making art but learning about the philosophy and meanings of and inside art. And all of this thinking, debating caused me to volunteer to sign my name in blood if that is what it took to learn the meaning of art, despite the responsibility of that knowledge. And strangely, it gives me comfort, because if the professor actually did ask for my signature one day, I would give it to him, and everything else he is asking us to sacrifice(such as ballpoint pens and twenty-five dollars for a compasses) seems meaningless. And it is meaningless beside the fact of becoming a person who has mastered art. I do not want to be a person who makes work that is nice or pretty, I want to make things that cause people to be filled with wonder, that cause them to think. I want to change the world with my art, and so resenting these small sacrifices is petty.And I would have never discovered this without going to such extremes.

You may think that signing is blood is weird and somewhat ominous or evil. Perhaps, but it was only a symbol of how far that we were going to go to learn. I believe he just wanted to weed out people who were not dedicated, as he spent the time not arguing with the students, telling us that he was a mean, crotchety, terrible old professor. (And the whole time I was wondering, does he still get paid if no one goes to his classes? Cause that would make sense)