"Couleurs" by M83 which clocks in at 8:34
I started drawing again.
It's been a while and I'm a bit rusty. Well, it's been roughly 22 years actually. Something told me back then that I should probably give up drawing and I did. A patron's question stands out in my memory: "What is that, a black flounder with a sword? Where are the colors?" Ugh! Always with the colors! Nobody appreciates my weltanschauung in this 5th grade art community and... well, there are two swords actually. And no, it's not a fish it's a dog. You might notice the two long ears and pronounced snout? Clearly a canine.
I imagined that that was my response, and then I imagined her taunting reply: "Ears, those look like fins! It has five leg-fins and two ear-fins and then. Wait, are they tentacles? That's no dog, and it's clearly not a flounder. It's a messy black octo... septopus! Hey everybody come look at how much time Matt is wasting by drawing imaginary black sea creatures! He can't even use color!"
Black ink was my preferred medium back then, and always. No colors, colors were beyond my reach and I fear they still are. It's an austerely black and white world of extremes, the only couleurs exist dans le bruit. In sound.
In sound in sound in sound in sound...
I picked up my paper and pens and actually said nothing at the time. I sulked away with my head down, every bit the unappreciated/misunderstood artistic savant who'd been shunned into ceasing his creative endeavors. It's true! Excepting the artistic or savant parts. Or the shunning really. Truthfully, it wasn't that my peers didn't "get" me, and it wasn't a lack of support from my parents or teachers that made me give up drawing... Though, one day one of my teachers did confiscate my inspiration* because it posed a threat to "the other children" - and I don't think it helped my situation that I responded to said confiscation with "well it doesn't pose as much of a threat as your inept teaching does!"
I was vicious at ten. In my mind.
Perhaps, ultimately, I stopped pursuing visual art because I was hung up on drawing my own version of Snoopy (as a crime fighting ninja, that's where the black outfit and double swords came into play - my series of books of The Adventures of Ninja Snoopy were easily the greatest comic book series never published), which was an entirely demoralizing effort. Each and every holiday that rolled around I was hit with the irrefutable evidence that I couldn't technically draw Snoopy. Especially not all beautifully full of color the way he always was on those cursed holiday specials. Instead I made B&W fish-blobs with fourteen fin-arms extending into ambiguous weapon-tentacles. That bastard Schulz and his comic strip characters! Equally inspiring and taunting me at every turn.
Come to think of it, I was a lot smarter then than I am now. I was all high-concept and no execution, full of nothing but potential, and I got out while the getting was still good. And who's going to blame a ten year old for that approach? I should've just gotten an agent and sold the idea. I considered it at the time, but I didn't really even know what an agent was. I thought they were likely very shadowy figures who spent half their time in secret spy battles and the other half in secret contract negotiations. Turns out I was more-or-less right on the money with that assessment; and thus, I've once again proven how much brighter I was at ten than now.
Anyway, sitting in a coffee shop the other day, and staring blankly into space, I found myself looking at elementary school art on the wall. I thought, "I wonder if those are for sale, because I bet they're cheap."
In fact, they weren't for sale, but rather "on display to raise money." I asked, and that's what the guy said. And then I asked what the difference was. "I don't know man, they're just on display." And then I asked if they were still accepting submissions... if they might consider a black and white addition to all of their colorful pieces on the wall. To which he replied, "your kid an artist or something?"
Yeah, something. Or maybe I don't have a kid at all and I'm simply still seeking validation of my pen and ink Snoopy sketches? Or maybe I'm just looking for colorful art like that to put on display in my home to look at while I listen to music? Nooo, I swear it's not to get visitors to donate money to an imaginary children's fund that's actually a 'buy Matt a coin-op arcade game' fund - and yes, maaaybe so I can pass that art off as something I created when I was very young and really into Picasso (rather than silly old Peanuts). But see, I figure it might be hard to come by art like that in the usual way, and it would take years to conceive, birth, and half-heartedly train a child to draw in a typically childish, yet somehow partially Cubist, manner; so, when I was told I couldn't buy any of the fine works hanging in that coffee shop I decided to take up drawing again. Just black ink on paper for now. Black and white ninjas?! Perhaps. But I feel like I might be ready for some colored pencils or crayons soon. And maybe then I can fill these empty spots on my wall with art that everyone can relate to and enjoy, because of the colors.
*my inspiration back then was this little rubber Snoopy eraser to which I'd stuck pins through each of his hands so that it looked like he was holding two swords. The teacher found it dangerous in the hands of a ten year old - whatever.
Buy the Saturdays = Youth soundtrack on Amazon/on iTunes.
EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
David Byrne - "Happy Suicide"
Fleetwood Mac - "Oh Well"
Phish - "You Enjoy Myself"
Green Day - "Homecoming"
Billy Bragg - "Joe Hill"
Van Halen - "Year to the Day"
Kraftwerk - "The Telephone Call"
Neutral Milk Hotel - "Oh Comely"
To see a full list of every song featured in EAR FARM's 8+ click HERE.
17 April 2008
"Couleurs" by M83 which clocks in at 8:34