1.02.2010

creativity and its opposite


those that know me have heard me say i can't draw. for me drawing is psychological torture. i get extremely anxious and nervous and so i do not do it. anything i do draw seems wrong wrong wrong. i hear from friends who do draw how wonderful it is, how freeing to draw and i have no experience to agree with this.

i've been pondering this idea of my creative psyche being damaged by certain teachers i had in college. one in particular, doug cooper, really is the main force behind my not drawing for the last 20 some years.

doug cooper was a terrible teacher. his lack of caring and compassion towards a beginning artist, i now can see, was quite appalling. you were an arrogant jerk, nothing more, nothing less. you made me feel that any drawing or artwork i would do was subpar and only worth throwing out. this has stunted my growth as an architect, a designer and an artist (and only recently have i started admitting to being an artist. never feeling i could lay claim to that title since i was so bad at it). and i think i am finally ready to transcend the damage you caused.

i will say, however, i did have some very good teachers in school and they gave me certain things i have carried through my whole career as an artist and designer

paul rosenblatt - there would not be an air and nothingness press without you. you are one of the main reasons i design and create books.

bruce lindsay and bob bingham - you never told me what i could not or was not allowed to do and your class was the first where i realized that my ideas had merit

rob woodbury - you taught me a wall can be something other than a physical object, which you said if thats the only thing i learned that year, it would be enough

agus rusli - you taught me to layer my ideas creating complexity and depth and to always look at any project from a subversive angle and see how that can strengthen it


having said all this...

last night i spent some time going over the ink prints i had made the day before for the merwin book, adding to them with pencil and oil pastel. this book is for some reason becoming a watershed for me. i find myself listening to an inner voice i dont normally pay attention to. and so these images, i just worked with them last night, just enjoying the feel of the work and making decisions on what to do as i went along. they are what they are, perhaps not quite yet where they should be visually, but i do have 20 some years to make up and i think for a first attempt, i can actually call them 'art' and be ok with that