Sunday, September 27, 2009

Art and Education.

The topic of today’s discussion: Art and Education. What makes an artist? And is something as subjective as art something that can be taught?

From an educational standpoint, in order to be (become) an artist you need to know the history of it, and not just your particular medium, but also a broad range, if not all of them. You also need to know what tools are available to you and you need to learn how to use all of them. You also need to know about other artists. Past and present. You need to know how to do what they did and/or what they’re doing. Then it’s time for you to learn the rules: composition, complementary colours, proportion, angles, form, function, and aesthetics. After learning all of this, it’s time to put theory into practice. While in practice you learn old outdated methods that are no longer in use but are a “good base” for you to start with. Then you move on to more modern advanced concepts and eventually start creating your own work.

Ok so let’s run over all this. In order to be an artist you need to realize that you’re not the first to do anything by impregnating your mind with knowledge of what all those before you have done and what those around you are doing. Then you need to find(not create) a style that works for you and your particular market and establish yourself. Then in order to stay in the market you must then keep up with the current trends in order to maintain your status.

So with all this you’ve learned how to dissect something and put it back together. You’re a critic with some background knowledge and some tools. Lovely.

Last time I checked, most artists had no formal training. For the most part, they were self-taught. Now of course some things do have to be taught to us. We’re not chemists, scientists, mathematicians, or engineers. We may be a combination of these but it’s unlikely. Those skills aren’t what make you an artist. They can help but we’re long past the pioneering days of anything. What matters is how you understand these and how they relate to each other and what you’re creating. And of course how you happened upon your revelation. :)

Now I ask you, without your formal education, would you still be able to produce what you’re producing? Would your work be original or would it be a subconscious regurgitation of something that you read or heard previously?

Would you be able to pick up your particular tool and figure out how it works? Would you be able to look at your results and decipher the good from the bad without any outside influence? Would you then be able to take what you had decided on to the public and receive praise from someone other than your mum? Would what you created be strong enough to leave an impression upon those who viewed it and also be an inspiration to total strangers? And with all of this, could you also take the criticism from those trained to dissect your work with their formal educations?

In short, could you do it without ‘knowing’ how to do it, and would you do it for the sake of doing it because it’s what you do?

Keep in mind, just because you know the rules, doesn’t mean you can play the game. You are more than welcome to be a referee on the field though.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

can i have a balloon?

So yesterday as I was walking home something caught my eye. A sign that said “spaghetti special: $5.00”. I was on foot and cashless so a trip back was definitely in order. As soon as I got home I hopped in my Honda and cruised down the block. Traffic sucked so I decided against flipping a U and parking in the front. I made a few turns and dipped down the surprisingly clean alley and parked in the rear of the pizzeria.

As soon as I got out of my ride I was greeted by the smell of marinara and meat sauce pouring out of the building. As I walked in I felt someone staring at me. First thing I thought was ‘damn. Do I look that hungry?’ I found the individual who had locked on to me. A young woman, maybe early 20’s. She sat with what appeared to be two younger siblings. Something was a bit off though. As I placed my order at the counter she got up and headed to the arcade games. She was less than 5 steps away when one of the boys she was with shouted at her. His outburst was somewhat rude and shocking to those of us around. She made a noise and motioned towards the bright flashing screens. He said something and allowed her to head over there, but from his tone you could tell that he was very annoyed. Now it was very clear. She was the same but different. She was disabled. And to her brother, a burden.

I paid for my meal and stepped outside to take in the night air and check my voice mail. I had been neglecting my phone for a better part of the day. As I was listening to my messages she stepped outside. Clearly unsupervised and cognizant that she wasn’t supposed to be outside without permission, she looked around and paced the sidewalk while looking at the same sign that had caught my eye earlier. She wasn’t interested in the spaghetti though. She had already had a plate and maybe a slice or 2 of pizza. The balloons attached to the sign captivated her. She inched closer to it and reached out for one of the red ribbons attached to one of the balloons that was gently swaying in the breeze. Realizing that they were attached and not going to come so easily. She looked them up and down and assessed the situation and made a noise signifying her frustration. I took a glance at the balloons and immediately understood her frustration. The base was just a massive jumble of knots. She looked to me as if I might have an answer for her. I just looked at the knotty jumble and shrugged. I suggested to her to go up to the counter and ask one of the workers for a balloon. I was sure they would give her one. I didn’t really see a reason why they would say no. She walked up to the counter and asked for what she wanted in the best way that she could and before she could finish was rudely interrupted by her brother again telling her not to bother them and to come sit down. She made a protesting noise and I totally understood. Why sit at a table only to be neglected by the people you came with? Begrudgingly she walked over to the table and took her seat.

A few minutes later I was called up to the counter. My order was ready. Hell yes! I glanced over at the girl who now just had a vacant and distant look on her face. I asked the pizzeria girl if I could have a balloon with a ribbon or two tied to it. She looked at me and smiled. She knew what I was doing. I took the balloon over to the girl and told her to enjoy it. Then I gave her brother a look that let him know that I didn’t approve of him or his behavior towards his older sister. As I walked out with my spaghetti I overheard him say in a sickeningly sweet voice, ‘why didn’t you just tell me you wanted a balloon? I would’ve gotten one for you.’ I turned around and just looked at him. I’m sure he knew what I was thinking. She looked at me, smiled, and waved goodbye.

What I want to know is when did we lose our respect for each other? And when did our loved ones turn into so much of a burden that a simple and fun night out for pizza can become such an un-enjoyable hell for them due to their disability?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the little things...

It's funny. Sometimes all you have to do is come a bit too close and the little things in life decide to attack you. Not that these little things are a big deal, it’s that they don't hit you alone. They hit you all at once, or in rapid succession of each other. They stun you and make you wonder 'what the fuck?'. And then you see what it was that you got too close to. Now what?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

3 Minutes....

(don't read it or say it. sing it.)

i know the lord will make a way for me
i know that my god will from trouble, someday will set me free.
that's why i never, i never will give up the fight,
'cause i'll trust in him to do what ever is right.

oh the lord, he told me he will always make away
make a way, make a way dear lord for i'm trusting in your word
make a way god i pray lord i need you everyday.
and my weakness make me strong lord i never will go wrong..

if you lead me i'll be home someday lord make a way..

lord make whenever i'm in trouble
for i'm still trusting in your word.
make a way i pray lord i need you every day.

in my weakness make me so strong..
lord i never will go wrong
no, if you lead i'll be home someday..
lord make a way for me....

|feed me|

|click| buy|

Monday, September 14, 2009


Click | view | interpret | discus | buy ?

An Explanation. Original thought composed at 2:19am while walking around the dark streets of santa barbara.

Beneath the optimism lie notes of melancholy… Though a rebirth awaits, a death of solitude is inevitable.

First you need to know what you’re looking at. If you saw a phoenix, kudos to you. Go get yourself a cookie. Second, it helps to understand what exactly this flaming bird is and what it represents. Here’s the abridged version. Something free. Specifically the mind and spirit. It’s intangible, shapeless yet possessed by an ever-changing yet constant flickering form and must have a body and a world to act in. Much like fire, the spirit can do nothing without fuel. When left untempered, it can bring forth chaos and destruction. When limited to its' 'proper' place, it can create peace and life.

This mythical creature reproduces asexually. It does not create through union. It dies alone only to be reborn equally alone. This is truly the state of the spirit. Already complete, it cannot combine with anything else. The spirit can have no mate. "It is already a spark of perfection, shedding its' light on the imperfections surrounding it." This intrinsic personal rebirth into new mind and matter can only take place alone.

With this rebirth there is also the strong possibility that the old world will not be compatible with its new incarnation. For the longest time I was afraid of this because I feared that those close to me would be unable to relate to the new creation that stood before them. And due that fear, I stayed a semi dormant pile of ashes riddled with flickering embers. Whether this happens to be the situation or not I’ve decided to deal with whatever comes. It’s time to become what I’ve always been. Time to begin.. again.

Art recognizes the pain of being born and dying alone. Friends and love are only temporary pleasures.

Here’s to the pain of solitude and the joy of rebirth.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

9/11/08 4:44:38pm

So about a year ago this time I was on a bike. It was my only means of transportation. We had some good rides. Usually I carry as little as possible when I ride. For some reason I decided to start carrying my little point and shoot digi cam. Most of the time there wasn’t much that could make me stop and actually compose a shot. On this particular late summer/early fall afternoon as I was heading towards my dead end bullshit job, I happened to notice this lone sunflower. I didn’t stop immediately. The crows and I were moving too fast for that. But something told me that it wanted its’ photo taken. I peace'd out from the murder and slowed my pace so I could double back for the flower. I didn’t break out my camera right away. I kinda just stood at the edge of the fence and took in the silence surrounding the area. For some odd reason I felt a kinship to this oversized flower. I wandered into the tomato patch where it was growing and just stood there face to face with it. This flower didn’t want to be forgotten. I had met a depressed flower. How depressing is that? I stepped back, broke out my lil' canon powershot sd400 and flashed a few times. 3 days later as I was riding to work I noticed that it wasn’t there. For a moment I was pissed that someone would come and pick such an amazing specimen. It hadn’t been picked though. It was bent over and broken... Maybe it knew its final days were upon it. At least it had it’s photo taken.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Funny how everyday life can take it's toll on you...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Palm trees…

I think these are the only reason I stay here. There’s not much else.