Monday, February 20, 2012

Same question, different answer...

What's the best advice you've ever received as an artist?

In the end I answered that question for the Western Visions Miniatures and More catalog a little differently than I'd planned.

I said it was to learn to bake a great cake, before bothering with any icing skills.

In my twenties I had to abandon everything I thought I knew about drawing in order to learn to bake a great cake.
I'd been focusing on the icing for as long as I could remember, which is why I couldn't make up scenes out of my head and draw them. I was always struggling to get my hands on all the right elements of reference first, since I was all icing and no cake.
No good for becoming a handy dandy storyboard artist, which was my only goal at that time.

Now I'm taking my own advice as I attempt to kinda sorta learn to play the drums half decently.
I sort of thought I could play them not too terribly badly, since I had a set for a couple of years back in my art school days.

I figured it would all come rushing back.

But now I have an electronic set that I can plug headphones into (so Meridee isn't standing behind me, all wound up like a pitcher on a mound, only with a frying pan in her hand).
My high-tech sonic play-thing also has this horrendously helpful feature called "instant record".

That's right, with my iPod plugged in I can bash along to my favorite tunes, a legend of complete awesomeness in my own living room, and then play back what I ACTUALLY sound like...
...only without my favorite tunes in the mix.

Mmm. Not quite so awesome.

What have I learned?
Us humans are a delusional species!
Or maybe it's just me.

Awful doesn't even come close.
I can't even get things I'm hitting at the same time to line up.
Sounds like someone trying to play the drums in the back of a pick-up truck bouncing along on square, tire-less wheels.

I imagine I was as delusional back in my college days, too.
I played one and a half gigs.

The band was scrambling to find a drummer at short notice, and I turned out to be the only one available who had any drums handy.
So while I was far from the ideal candidate quality-wise, that small technical detail kind of gave me the edge.

Actually I was terrified!

Gig #1 was the art school Christmas party (the band was called  'The Booze Brothers') in front of about 300 fairly inebriated people.
As far as I know that went well.
But it did turn out be my last time at that particular college.

And then someone's birthday party at a night club about a week later.
We were politely asked to leave after half our set!
Then I moved all the way across the country to another art college in Cornwall, which helped me avoid further embarrassment and shame.

Of course I took my drums with me: you could fit lots of clothes and other belongings in them, and how else could you alienate an entire fishing village by the sea in the least amount of time...

Anyhow, it's back to basics for me!

With patience and a plan, hopefully I will enjoy some satisfying progress as time goes by...and none of the neighbors will be any the wiser!

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

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