Friday, January 20, 2012

dead trophy fish or koi

How do you art? I have my ways. As much as I want to draw on a computer the same as I would on paper, that is not my pattern. Being a draftsman for years does something to you. I am used to drawing with instruments, using templates, keeping a library of reusable parts and symbols and recycling drawings. I usually don't do sketches on the computer because it's not reflex enough, fluid enough. Pen and paper is so.........natural. When I come to the computer I am fitting together pieces of ideas, tweaking, editing, altering, arranging and formatting. So yes, scanning is a big part of what I do. I will draw something, scan it, save it for later. When I review the scans I find a use for the scan.

I used to get guilty over my process till I watched someone do a block print from beginning to end. Then I saw them ink up in other colors, combine the block with other blocks, even alter the block. My computer is similar to that block, I can print over and over the same file or make a new altered file from the old file, saving both the old and the new, then reuse them, combine them. I say the process is my art, the outcome is your art (that is the part I show you).

Now let's flip the fillet from man eating fish to show fish (like koi). You know many cities try to use artist to revive and recover old neighborhoods. This works fine if the artists are a community. They rent spaces to artist for studios and living that need remodeling, many times spaces that other people would turn their noses up at. The art of making space livable and living there is fraught with legal wrangling and physical alterations. This is all weathered if the artists are a community and not a band of squatter gypsies. The difference is the level of giveback to the larger community.

Artist need to acknowledge themselves, then each other and become economic partners instead of competitors. You need places to hangout, a newsletter (grass roots thing), resale shops, galleries, art services, etc., etc., etc. Above all independent thinking must make space for group concerns. It's not just you, it's your neighbor too. We fight for credit, glory, power, money, all to get ourselves elevated at the expense of other community orgs in the same hood. Wrestling for control, political advantage, a name for ourselves and to have the prominent ego might be fine down the road, but you don't want to start off like that. Artists work hard at their arts, but they must be unencumbered from the pace of competitive madness. It doesn't take that much to live. This is why artist can recover a community where others can not. Recover the community first, fight for economic advantage when you have a community that can deal with it later.

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