Sunday, 7 March 2010

Fly back to your nest...

... and you may find exactly what you needed.

I have moved back home from London to my sleepy home town. Granted it's only bout 45 mins outside of London but it's countryside that I know so well. More importantly a house where I can concentrate on the task in hand because my computer is somewhere I can call my own space. It's amazing how having your workstation in a communal area of your house (especially when you are renting and have randomers coming and going) has such an impact on your work and general outlook on life.

Point being, I am now back to my home nest with my mum and have finally been able to get some quality work together. Though I can't help feeling that I wasted a good couple of months where I didn't get much done. But I guess it's better late than never.

My biggest journey I feel has now started. I am finally beginning to realise what my aim is and what that means, how to get there and the people I will meet along the way. I never thought of games art as a particularly fine art pursuit. I just thought of a lot of geeks who like to push polys around. But it's so much more than that. I have been playing with ZBrush more and more the past couple of weeks and I have grown to love it more and more as I delve into it. I have since picked up my set of pencils and a sketchbook for the first time in nearly three years. Discovering I can actually draw if I put my mind to it. Studying anatomy and seeing the human body as this amazing machine with different parts all working together. This beauty is taken for granted everyday and sometimes even hated by their owners because they don't fit a stereotype. But ultimately it is still a majestic piece of engineering that should be admired. So still life drawing and hopefully a sculpture course are in order for me in the future. Along with further study of anatomy to add to the basics I have learnt so far.

I seem to have rediscovered the artist within me that has been quashed for so many years. I now feel very scathing toward the education system I was apart of. It seems I have learnt more useful and eye opening things within the past couple of months on my own. I did GCSE art and I hated it. The course itself wasn't bad, not good either though. I have never agreed with people marking other's art work, since art is such a personal pursuit, and that is clearer to me now than ever before. But the focus of my whole school life was getting good grades. That was what was seen as important, which by the end of it all seems useless and pathetic. Because ultimately people don't care how well you did in some exams way-back-when but what you are like as a person. In art we never learnt the importance of basic art skills, like how to use different grades of pencils, forms of light and shadow, gesture etc etc. But then we didn't touch the more important things of self expression and inspiration. In short, we did a page of sketches because it would tick a box. Do an artist study because it ticked another box.

I know now, from looking back on my sketchbooks from that time since I've come home, that by ticking those boxes we were supposed to show our artistic "journey". But this was never the way that it was put forward to us as impressionable students. That is probably why I never felt inspired, encouraged or fulfilled by my work. Most likely leading to my low grade, but it wasn't just me, but my entire class who shared this feeling and result.

Maybe I am asking too much of a school system that struggles enough as it is to meet targets and stick to guidelines. But in schools full of young people, where creative thought and feeling is rife, one would like to think they are encouraged to grow and have the reasons explained to them. Not just a case of "do this and it will tick that box".

My closing thought would be that as an artist I had only been asked "why?" when I was at Escape. Now I find myself asking that question all the time. I feel this is what an artist truly is. Seeking and trying to represent the truth, beauty and ugliness of the world. Creating fantasy and escapism from that world. Always asking why. There is a passion that can't be explained. But all you know is that you do it because you can't not do it.


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