Tuesday, December 4, 2018

drawing at duke - micheal

I'm not exactly involved with the art community at Duke. Whether that can be chalked up to a lack of desire or lack of motivation, I have no clue. Obviously, I've taken a class or two in art, I've tried some art history (which was both academically engaging and artistically inspiring--two birds with one stone I guess). But this isn't really the same, is it. I suppose part of it is that I'm a to-myself kind of artist, which sounds kind of pretentious on paper, but it's true. If I'm creating or conceptualizing some piece, I like to have space, physically and mentally, to myself, entirely. And I typically don't share my work with others--doing that in 205 and 101 felt kind of strange, although not unwelcome. I definitely need to do more work in seeing my own pieces from the eye of a spectator, yet when I sit down to create something I tend to just do whatever's stuck in my head at the moment. Often that is some combination of 1) stuff I've been doodling during class (and trust me, I do so compulsively every opportunity I get), 2) an interesting instagram post by an artist I admire, posted within the last week or even the same day, and 3) whatever kind of meandering that happens when I'm on a roll but become bored of whatever task I'm working on. The point being: I try to internalize advice, but I don't know if it actually affects the process during.

Before coming to university, the extent of the feedback I received on my work was in a kind of class class outside of school: my mentor would mostly leave me alone while I worked, and would sometimes walk by, point to a spot, and say "OK I like this. do more of that". This is basically why I have a very gestural, in-the-moment kind of drawing style: he seemed to like it as much as I enjoyed making it. So it's very weird coming to an environment where people are doing their best to give me specific, future-oriented advice that encourages and almost (but not quite) convinces me to plan further ahead.

Frankly, I think I'm more moved by inspirations anyhow, and I'm pretty sure I'm not uncommon in that regard: Seeing an artist do things I admire makes me wanna make stuff right now, while getting genuine feedback on previous, finished work slows me down significantly. As in: in some ways, it scares me out of starting something; in other ways, it compels me to perhaps think harder about what I do. Which, I suppose, isn't all that bad: but it sure feels worse somehow, even if only because I'm unaccustomed to it.

Interestingly, all of my ideas for how to improve sound a lot like sticking to what I'm used to, as in, giving myself more time to myself to generate art, or finding some new quiet corner at duke to work from. But I'm certainly not going to think that far ahead.

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