Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. It's really annoying...

Jessica Hische

I'm not sure what else to say about Jessica other than I WANT HER JOB. Really, I think she has the perfect life for an artist. She does exciting projects for exciting clients for a lot of money. And, really, she got where she is on sheer talent and by being a nice person.

I love that she highlighted the "being a nice person" bit, because I think that one's personality IS an extremely important variable in whether or not they'll get hired, and I feel like that isn't highlighted enough in life in general. It IS absolutely true that being a nice person can make a huge difference. Now, I'm not sure that I 100% agree with what Hische said about how a mediocre artist who is extremely nice will get hired just as often or more often than an extremely talented artist with a bad attitude, but I think she WAS onto something. People don't want to work with you if you're a temperamental bitch! It's easier on everyone if you're just civil!

Ben Volta

Ben Volta is an artist whose studio is the world itself. Although he does do art for himself, he works primarily with others. According to him, his role as an artist is to initiate the action collaborative art among others.

One of the projects that Volta told us about was the work he did with students at a school in Philadelphia. He worked with an 8th grade math class using coordinate planes to create abstract art. They added levels and layers and soon had created a highly sophisticated modern art show.

Volta is actually one of my favorite kinds of artists. I love the idea of inspiring young people and helping them see the benefits of art. I think his strategy is a good one -- showing children the practical merits of art. It's a great way to create new artists.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Doug Bucci: Personal Art

Doug Bucci is "one of my favorite kinds of artist" on several levels.

For one, he specializes in metals, which I love. I myself have next to no experience working in metals, but I can always admire the work of someone who has that experience and talent. He also makes art on a very personal level. His work is very self-reflective, which I can respect. (It's similar to a lot of my work, in that sense, although our end topics are completely different.)

Bucci has Type 1 diabetes, and that aspect of his life has shaped the content of his art. Some of his most notable pieces are his red blood cell sculpture and his abstracted red blood cell necklace and his (fake) emergency insulin kit.

In my opinion, Bucci has the right idea. Or at least partially. Yes, I do strongly believe that the artist is basically Emerson's Poet -- seeing the world and basically putting it to words and articulating it for the rest of the human race who are not quite so articulate. However, I do feel that art should be personal too. I've always had a soft spot for esoteric art. I think I just feel that an artist should feel connected to his work.

P.S. For some reason Blogger won't let me post pictures...

Scott McCloud on Comics

I watched Scott McCloud's TED Talks video on comics. More specifically, his talk was on the topic of all the subtle dichotomies of comics.

He talks about the fine balance between the absolute transparency of comics (graphic novels often tend to be cheesy or predictable -- also it is possible for one to simply flip ahead and actually see, in a second, what will happen next, also, text is used to make messages absolutely clear) and their extreme abstraction (things as subtle as style can be used to convey a message in a comic. Also, text is one of mankind's most abstract forms of expression. To us as literate people, text is extremely plain, or transparent, but visually text does not relate in the slightest to what it is communicating.)

He talks about the simultaneous blunt presentation of action in panels, and the abstract space left for our imaginations to fill in the spaces between the panels.

He covers the strange mixing of senses brought about by reading comics. It makes sound visual through the dialogues in speech bubbles and the narrative boxes and through the written sound effects. He even reflects on the fact that comics even make time visual. The layouts of comic pages create the illusion of pacing, and therefore the passage of time. All with the use of line. (And perhaps screentone or color.) Comics also create motion with their panel layouts.

This was an incredibly interesting talk for me, because comics are a facet of the art world in which I am particularly interested. It was strangely gratifying to watch this video, because McCloud addressed some of my own reasons for loving comics. I've always loved reading and creating comics because of the idea that it is possible to, in a way, create time. I have a feeling that most people forget that comics are, in a way, a kind of 4D art, along with music and film.