…Season 5 Finale…well, this one ends sooner than I’d thought…thanks to everyone who have followed along over the years. This time I truly feel that it’s time to hang things up…try and forget about this “theme” and begin a new one, or perhaps just do nothing at all. I’m an artist that never really kept up a sketchbook, this journal was about as close as it comes to random glimpses into what makes me tick. And small, controlled glimpses to be sure… All it takes is one true “fan” to make it all worth it right? The reason why we scribble marks down on paper, or trade hours of our lives on something creative that will never even be equal to the heating bill. For a long time I thought it was worth it, even if it was just simply for me–a catharsis or cheap therapy. These days, I just don’t know anymore… One thing I have to tell myself is, don’t be sad that things end, just be happy that they even happened at all.
…I’ve always been interested in drawing people. When I was in art school I really enjoyed live figure drawing and thought perhaps I could make a serious run at being a gallery represented artist that did chiaroscuro drawings that recalled the nice tones and linework of the great artists in the past. …However when I graduated, real life didn’t turn out as I’d imagined, and I never realized that time bubble effect that college has on a person. Throughout high school and college, photography was a keen interest as well, seeing as how the compositional skills needed to produce drawings and paintings naturally translate to the camera eye. Years ago many of us totally embraced digital photography and image making in the computer. It was quite liberating to not have to be stuck in the darkroom or pay vast sums of money for essentially mistakes and errors. I was one of the few in my neck of the woods and age group to carry a camera around everywhere. I didn’t shoot as reckless as I do now, but it was nice to have a tool to document all the cool things we did when we would hang out, cut school, or just be alive.
Most of the drawings and artwork from my early days of this theme involved me just walking up to random people and ask to take their picture. Complete strangers that were pretty or interesting. I would then translate that low fi digital image into a piece of art using the tools that I had available, namely my eye and mind. Many people always ask me, “Why do you only draw girls?” I don’t really see it that way, at least not totally. While some people see a female form, I see the subject merely as a vehicle to carry the visual play of chiaroscuro, light and dark and mark making. Not too many people can see beyond the initial pretty facade and realize that it takes a different type of scratching on the paper to render the texture of jeans as opposed to the sheen of hair or other material. As far as the subject matter, yes, I think I basically took an interest and ran with it. Again, I’m a Lao (Asian) kid that grew up in America, and while it would be nice to be accepted in the world of “fine art” and post modern abstract paintings, I can’t deny my diet of comics, anime, and other popular culture. Those art forms are very graphic and deliberate and that’s probably where my stylistic decision came from.
As the years went on, more strangers, friends, and random folk were added to my archive. Drawings from photos turned back into photos. Photos of drawings. Pictures of pictures. This was the play on the theme. However, looking back there’s still so much to do and room to grow, such is the path of an artist. At some point, any creative person will review their old stuff and just be apalled at what they thought was once good. I’ve suffered from that many times in my life. In digging through my stacks of drawings and image folders the other day, I realized…I’m…not…that…good. And I’m not even talking about the drawing ability part…I’m talking about being a good person. It’s quite humbling and horrible at the same time realizing what a jerk I was to a certain someone… So that’s one of the reasons why it’s time to put this theme in the back of my mind, perhaps revisit it later, while I maybe pick up painting or poetry again, or some other diversion to take me from these so-called problems.
Since my website/journal has been going on for some time now, I’m sure people think that most of the works are commisions or based on photos that other people take. No, it’s pretty much me, my passion alone. After all it isn’t the pushing of the button that makes the image and marker in time, it is the pushing of yourself to live your life, to create something, or to tell that certain someone you care for them. It is my art, it is the way I go about things, it is the way I share with the world some useless skill (in the grand scheme of things) that perhaps maybe, just maybe makes someone smile.