Friday, September 26, 2008


Finally got around to getting some art-making done last night. Using recycled display boards, collaging with spray adhesive. When I'm done getting the first layer down, I'll doodle all over it with sharpie markers, shade it with colored pencils, and add a layer of acrylic gel to the results for further alteration with more layers of paint and paper, glitter, oil pastel. I wish I could paint as good as the old masters, but I don't have the training or ability so modern art is a cop-out and an outlet for me. I'm an amateur and okay with it.

I'm glad I never stayed an art major. I always knew I wasn't as good as the other people in my classes, that it was more of a recreational thing than a vocational thing. I was intimidated by arrogant professors and brutal critiques and equally frustrated when those who were encouraging mistook hardworking mediocrity for "raw talent" because I know that there's no Vincent Van Gogh waiting to burst out of me somewhere.

A friend of mine once told me that most art students rarely do anything creative once they get out of school, and I wonder if the reason I still have enthusiasm for it was because I changed majors and never burned myself out.

U2's "Achtung Baby" has always been a soundtrack for me since my lonely freshman year of college when I thought I'd be an artist, where I'd spend my weekends painting all night down in the art building until they kicked me out, but that second Digable Planets album is getting up there too as far as ultimate, don't have to hit skip art-making music.

I never feel like most of my projects are ever done. They could always be better than they are and when I give a piece away, I'll see it on someone's wall and almost want to take it back and add something, improve upon it.

I have never sold any of my artwork, and at this point I have no desire to. Part of this is that I know that I am not the greatest artist ever but also because I feel like it cheapens it and I just can't bring myself to part with the pieces to just anybody. Usually they end up being Christmas gifts, birthday presents, or stashed in a portfolio in my attic. A couple of my pieces are hanging up at my old church down in Kent, but otherwise most people haven't seen what I do.

I have nothing planned tonight except this: a stack of CDs, some crates of vinyl, and all of my creative junk at my disposal. I've been stressed about things lately that are beyond my control and are more or less unfounded and I know that this will be good for me.


Randal Graves said...

I don't think anyone who dabbles in the creative, whether they're a Van Gogh or not, is ever happy with the finished product.

Too bad that we can't boil the goal down to simply 'being creative.' Would make things much easier.

Agi said...

I like to get lost in Photoshop. That's my canvass. Oh, and playing the guitar. Creativity is a gas.