Tuesday, June 12, 2012

IMC 2012: Saturday June 9th

IMC 2012: Saturday June 9th- Day One: Now you get to learn what you don’t know but should.

From the ground, a diving board doesn’t look as high as it does from the air. Well, here in Amherst, I am climbing the ladder to the diving board and getting ready to jump into Lord knows what. I know, don’t make up stories. These are just people, just like everybody else… you know, like Olympians are people. Well, studios have opened and we can go and pick out a space. I am going to do what I do best, go out there and mark my territory. I already drank 4 glasses of water this morning so I squish when I walk. Look out IMC, I am loaded.

Ego!! You bastard, come back here and face me!!!

Didn’t they tell you not to fall in love with your sketch??? And what did you go out and do???
Hello, I am Doug, and I fell in love with my sketch….
All:  “Hello Doug”.

Why do I let my ego drive? It never goes where I want it to go. It never takes me where I should be, and it always leaves me in a mangled heap in the middle of the floor somewhere. Yep, I like an idiot, I gave ego the keys… let it sign me up for first critique of the day, with everyone and their mother’s watching my ego let me tack my precious drawing up on the wall.
“Well, looky there, ain’t that just purty up there like that?”
From off in the distance I could swear I heard an English horn being blown as if a hunting party in full gallop complete with bloodhounds were on the scent for their quarry.  Eh, It was probably some dumb fool who fell in love with their sketch after being told… Hey… I fell in… do you hear bloodhounds???

After making sure I had my name emblazoned in 96pt type, I had four of the most competent artistic minds today dissecting/no discussing my drawing. Now there are two stories that occur here. The truth, and what ego snuck in and translated into my ear then high tailed it out of the room.

My ego left me crushed… they didn’t shower me with praise like ego said they would. They gave me things to work on to make it better. They didn’t sing of my name in glory like ego said they would. Instead, they just made suggestions and moved on to the next person. They can’t do that… I paid good money to be showered in false praise. Isn’t that what higher learning is about? It is at a lot of art colleges. So after our group finished with the critique, we took down our sketches, and I took down my shattered dream of excellence and everybody went to lunch. I didn’t even want to go to lunch. I couldn’t show my face there. I’d be forever known as ‘oh that guy, wow, you should have seen what he chose to hang up as a solution.’ But nothing was said about it, ever. I even got invited to sit with some people at lunch. The only person who noticed my critique was me. Could I tell you how anybody else’s critique went? No I cannot.

A very wise man advised me of two things that I occasionally forget, from time to time. But I always come back around and remember them when times get a little rough and it pulls me out of a lot of bad stuff.
·      Upon first impressions, believe positive intent. Most people are out to do Good in the world. Some days we may be better at it than others. I know that is true and a half for me. Nobody is out to get anybody generally. The vast majority is way too busy fixing their own screw ups. They don’t have the time to be bothered with screwing up anybody else’s lives.
·      Do I want to be happy? Or Right? This second one I really had to and still have to practice on from time to time. Sometimes people just want to do things their way and not mine. The nerve of it all. Who do they think they are… Me? Giving up the thought that I am in control and lending help when asked or needed makes a life much less stressful. Much less stressful indeed.

So, after all that… I went back in there and reworked my drawing, and reworked it, and reworked it, until it was so awful that I basically tired myself out. Then we had another chat with one of the faculty, Mr. Donato Giancola, a wonderful painter. We discussed the challenges set for my by the faculty in the critique and for some reason he harkened back to something my Father used to have help me with:  Listening vs. hearing.  I was hearing what the faculty was saying, but the meaning was getting scrambled somehow. When Mr. Giancola and I sat down together and re-evaluated the sketch, All I did was repeat back what was told to me, then he agreed. Probably due to the change in environment, I was able to absorb the message and easily  make the necessary adjustments. Is it perfect… no. Is it better… MOST DEFINITLY. Have I learned things… Most def

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