BLAUGUSTINE / BACK TO ARCHIVE
December 24, 2005
FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
December 22, 2005
HAPPY HOLY DAYS
Chuffed to find we are included in Billy Mernit's "Holiday Stocking for Home Alones" with the kind of praise that is impossible not to quote:
Serious spirituality in comic strip form - that's what we aim for in 2006
December 20, 2005
SEASON'S GREETINGS AND GOOD WISHES TO ALL
December 14-15, 2005
(See this page for possible book covers).
December 12, 2005
WHAT IS YOUR OWN VOICE?
(I took these pictures during the workshops and have put them through various Photoshop filters).
That's the question
I asked last week before starting practical workshops with
groups of 16-18 year-olds at a boy's school. Out of all the
possible paths you could follow, all the techniques, the
influences, the pressures, how to narrow down what really
belongs to you, how to find your own voice?
I was there as a visiting artist, invited to share my particular point of view and set the students some creative tasks. Having looked at their sketchbooks - bulging A3 volumes filled with wonderful drawings, writings, collages, photos, ideas, research - I was very impressed with the broad scope of the art and design course they were engaged in. A few had chosen to go on to art school, others would be entering university or the job market (this was a private school with a high academic level).
While showing some
examples of work (via this website, a computer and projection
screen) I talked about my own tortuous journey towards finding
an answer to the above question. When I'm asked to formulate
my thoughts for the benefit of others, sometimes I gain insights
which would otherwise remain dormant. What I realised in
the middle of my talk to this privileged teenage audience
was that my question was a privileged question, irrelevant
to the real world.
What does "I
want to be an artist" mean today? In general it means "I
want to be famous". Without fame, or at least financial
security, your art must take a back seat while you explore other ways
to make a living, teaching being the traditional one. In
order to be a full-time practicing visual artist (in the
way that doctors, lawyers and plumbers are full-time professionals)
you have to be adopted by A-list galleries, institutions,
collectors, critics. If you don't have this backing, you
can still earn a living by adapting your talents and skills
to remunerative areas such as illustration, design, advertising,
My question belongs in the era of the passionately committed (Van Gogh, for instance) ignored by the art establishment and the marketplace but refusing to compromise, risking everything to persist in the struggle to develop his own voice. Art seen as a religious vocation, leaving the world behind to enter a kind of self-made monastery. To a contemporary artist or wannabe artist this looks like insanity, masochism- why suffer for your art when you can have your cake and eat it? Discuss.
December 6, 2005
December 5, 2005
PIPPED AT THE POST
Full of Joy I hie me to the post office to mail a batch of orders to their near and far-flung destinations. The sun is shining and I am going to be rich and famous beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Er, not. When the book packages are weighed (some containing as many as 5 copies!!) I have to ask the clerk to repeat the amount he says the postage will cost. How can this be, I say, it's more than I'm charging for the Joy? He looks at me sideways and commands me to decide as there's a long queue of people waiting. I am trapped in foolishness and meekly request the stated amount of stamps. The books are mailed to all who have ordered up to date.
I know, I should have worked it out before making my rash offer of paying the postage and I am now squirming with abject embarassment whilst eating my words. But folks, I am now going to have to say that postage is extra. I paid £3.15 (about $5.48) for each single copy sent to USA. Europe was £1.99. UK £1.75. Sorry about this, mea culpa and all that, but I know you understand. I need to go on a business management course.
Very busy teaching for the next couple of days so will be incommunicado.
December 3, 2005
LOVE ME, LOVE ME NOT
No flood of responses
to my Special Offer (only
the following good things have occured:
print of mine appears on qarrtsiluni .
Freedman asked a good question in a comment on
the previous post. I'm copying it here with my reply: