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23 April 2003 @ 11:12 pm
Oblivious to the Obvious  

Thanks to silvermask, Tropical Nights (a screenshot site currently featuring Rurouni Kenshin's Kyoto Arc and KareKano) is up and running. We will continue to add images whenever the hell we feel like it.

Oh yeah, so you wanna know what happened to my Decaturian paycheck? The one I was promised back in September, and the one I was hoping to set aside for my summer plans?

It went into my work study. I think. Apparently the check requests went through the business office, which I am told added the amount to the paycheck you received if you worked for another campus organization (which I do). I guess it's a good thing that it went into work study, but I am still somehow disappointed that I never got to see that mysterious $140. XP

Yesterday, I decided that the day was too beautiful a day to feel ugly. Since that moment of inspiration, I have since been forced to conclude that the mild temperatures cannot prevent me from feeling useless, unskilled, blind, inept. We got the grade back for our second portfolio in figure drawing, and (as always?) I was disappointed with the results.

I was feeling pretty happy about this portfolio. I wasn't as consumed with it as I have been with ones prior, but I thought I still had some pretty good work to turn in (one example is the piece that gave me my current "happy" doodleicon). 26.5 to 22.5 is the range for a B, and I got a 23.5. He didn't even get my name right on the slip of paper.

He wrote, "Composition seems to lack committment to 'whole.' Writing with drawing could be explored more fully. Seems to be a lack of inspiration in your work ... need to find your strengths ..."

I have come to the conclusion that despite all evidences to the contrary, the concept itself is more valued than the representation thereof. If you can talk about it, if you can honestly make your work seem to have meaning - then it will, and the piece itself will mysteriously become better for it (and probably would have been ignored or derided without it). People are happier with things they think they "get." In the end, it's the concept which adds a monetary value to the physical work - the original idea behind it, others interpretations/opinions of that concept, the concept that it's something from "somebody famous," or someone who could express what ordinary people cannot.

I find myself disconcerted when I look at the work of many of the "abstractionists" in our school. I realize that there's bound to be some similarity in technique and style given that we are all under the same instructors, are in each other's presences constantly ... and yet there is an underlying similarity to them all that I sometimes feel like only I can see. Which is the clone of the other? In the end, they are all the same, the same, the same ... maybe that's because it has lost a believable "concept" for me? I tire of the "meaningful" phrases in all the neatly typed and framed "artist statements," am annoyed by the rituals regarding student shows (print up color postcards, write a statement, have some punch and cookies) that they see and wish weren't there, and yet they still accept these banal additions without question ... am appalled by prices I see stuck to these things which had no price when created in class or discussed in critique, and wonder what vital intangible tangible these people have that I am missing.

Maybe I don't want a committment to the whole. Maybe drawing a snoozing model inside a room full of junk for a couple hours each day isn't the "whole." Maybe pretending like a drawing done in such an environment can represent the whole is silly, is pretense. Maybe making the image itself be whole when the context is not is a visual lie. Maybe I'm just tired of feeling like such an artistic loser.

I think my disgust with prices probably reflects my own intense dislike of ascribing "value" to my work. I also avoid titles, though apparently I should take the words out of my drawings and put them on a strip of paper to be posted next to them instead. Work on writing with drawing ...? You only say that because it seems to you like there's no other way - I think you would have preferred it if I had gone in any other direction, but here I am and you're stuck with it.

Have to find my strengths ...? All the art faculty present at my sophomore review told me point blank where that mystery lies - in writing. You tell me in less than words that studio art is merely a hobby for me, you have told me plainly that I will never succeed. If defying these words means "inspiration" and "strength" to you, I just want to let you know - beating my head up against a brick wall is neither of these things. I have better things to do than fight an uphill battle.

I begin to wonder if its impossible to find your "strengths" or your "inspiration" when you have always felt that you aren't worth the time or the words that people praise you with. It doesn't seem to be much easier when you find that you've reached the conclusion that no matter what you do - effort or no effort, lazy effort or happy effort - you will not succeed. You will not obtain what you wish.

I think you've shown me facets of the "real world" (I detest that phrase) that you never intended to. I think your attempts to beat me down until I rise back up a la the unflagging artist are pointless, annoying. This isn't where that should be occurring. If you recognize the school as a haven, treat it as such.

I admit that I get inspiration to keep on going when I get the As that I seek - it is my "job" to return home with the best grades that I possibly can, part of my pride, part of the system I've been brought up in and will remain part of for years to come. So seeking the approval of others makes me less of an artist?

Well, damn you. No matter what conclusions you reach, in the end, I will have the cynical last laugh. I will become an art historian, and my writings will create your time, create records of artistic past. People will only know of you because people like me are honest enough to tell the story properly.
Current Mood: coldcold
Current Music: Nightwish - 10th Man Down
livinghole on April 24th, 2003 12:48 am (UTC)
Yay for your final conclusion! The thing about abstract, or anything that "strays from the norm," is that they are uniting is some sort of fashion. Punk kids are against anything unoriginal or a copy of other stuff if you will, but they go out and all dress somewhat the same. Each one has his or her little armbands or cut off socks, spiked hair, and out of style clothes that don't match and such. Abstract is the same way. You can only do so much to be an original. More often than not you'll find out that someone's already done it before. I know it's of little to no consolation, but your art has always impressed me. Maybe your teachers have become too superficial to see beyond the walls they have thrown up and miss the emotions and meanings you place in your work. I don't know. I'm not an art major. And yes, some of the prices are really screwy. What was it - $250 for a 6" x 8" of a ketchup bottle? In the end, you have to do what makes you happy - even if you're not getting the grades you deserve.