Entry 11: Manifesto of an Artist
When you were a child, did you know what you wanted to be for the rest of your life? I know I did: I wanted to be a dinosaur scientist (paleontologist, to be exact). I also wanted to be a zoo keeper, architect, and a regular scientist. But growing up made me realize how difficult it is to achieve a dream job. Paleontology required at least a doctoral degree, which is eight years of study; architecture required math, a lot of math; and science was so cool with Bill Nye the Science Guy, but Chemistry class destroyed that dream for me.
High school didn't help with my career discussion neither, mostly because my school had a population of 400 students for the entire 9th-12th grades, which meant that electives were not prioritized nor fleshed out. By my sophomore year I contemplated being an artist like my dad, but just like him I didn't know what to do with art. He was a great artist and has inspired me to be creative, but his career led him to be a recruiter in the military. To my knowledge, I thought art was a dead end hobby that couldn't be manifested into a career, with the exception of being an art teacher.
It wasn't until my junior year in high school when I took Computer Animation that I began to realize the true value of art. It wasn't until that class that made me figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: create.
My early knowledge of art was that you had to be great at drawing, which is the biggest misconception about art. Many artists I know can't draw, or at least drawing is not what they like to produce. Most of them like to create emotions, statements, or visually appealing imagery that inspires or questions the viewer.
An artist can be a photographer, which can lead to many career paths. Journalist need great images as headers for their articles. Sports athletes not only need great photos to display how fantastic they look, but they need someone with a camera to capture their record-breaking moment. Photographers can also use their skills to make a career out of a subject they love, such as animals or nature. I happen to work for a photographer, John Stephen Hockensmith, who loves horses, so he is able to photograph these animals and sell his passion as fine art.
An artist can be a graphic designer, which is found in every subject matter you can think of. Are you able to distinguish brands of clothes or electronics by their logo? Can you find restaurants as you are driving just by seeing the fast food chain's symbol without reading the text? Every great brand you can think of had a great artist design their logo and recognition.
An artist can be a 3D animator, which involves understanding the realm of 3D space and perspective, which for some people is difficult to comprehend. This art medium allows artist like myself to create vast worlds and characters that can add a whole new dimension to the traditional 2D cartoon animation (pun not intended).
My ultimate goal with animation is to create a fictional world with soldiers, robots, monsters, and spaceships. Obviously the first step is to start sketching and modeling the designs for these animations, but I am also creating a story that blends all of these characters together. Teasers for this should be ready in a few months after I make some storyboards, character designs, and timeframe for each step of the creation process.
So what is the manifesto of an artist? I was asked a similar question this week when I stopped by Subway. I was buying cookies late in the afternoon and the high school kids were running the store. We had a little chit-chat and education came up in conversation. One of them asked me, "what degree did you get?" I replied that I graduated with an Art degree, naturally. The other high school student asked, "what do you do with an Art degree?" I told them, "anything I want."
Their minds were blown, partially because they didn't understand what "anything" meant.
As an artist, I can create anything I want. I can create with pencil, pen, paintbrush, crayon, clay, marble, glass, paper, wood, metal, textile, film, digital, and more. Some art can be orderly or rebellious, simple or complex, passive or expressive, static or performance-based. Some art doesn't even have to make sense!
But what makes a true artist is how they create and not what mediums they create with. To put it simply, an art style is what defines an artist. An example would be if there was a traditional painter and the next day they wanted to work with clay, their art style would transfer and their artwork would look very similar even though it was created with a completely different substance.
Today, March 28th, is the Senior Show for the graduating art students at Georgetown College. Today they might be thinking that they are showcasing the art that they will work with for the rest of their lives, but they will actually be showcasing their art style that will transcend every single art piece they will ever create. Some of them focus on the human form, some of them are organic and free-form, and others are systematic; all of which will be evidently displayed through their art, no matter what they create with.
My best regards go to these young artists, because the immersion of themselves will hopefully emerge as wonderful art that accurately describes the artists that create them. Their opening reception is this evening at 5:00pm EST at the Anne Wright Wilson Gallery. And as always, thanks for reading. I have added my Google+ account to my workflow as a means of offering candid reviews and behind the scenes of different subjects, so I will post several interviews of the artists if you are unable to make it to the event.