What I learned from school today…
Yesterday, I talked about my process and how it currently misaligns with my ability to be spontaneous. (see I’m Only Spontaneous when…) We had some homework to do from the drawing exercise I spoke of in the article.
The first step was to draw the figure above; a prospect I did not relish doing. As I was in my usual overthinking vs just-do-it inner argument mode, I decided to give in and draw with some black and white pastels. Partially, because the teacher suggested we try to do more work in black and white, and partially because I just didn’t[t want to fuss with it too m much. Sooooo… I made a couple of line drawings and kept to the very child-like feel of the assemblage (that’s the silly figure you see above).
I followed this with my interpretation of an image of the original Punchy:
Now that I had these three silly things done, I realized I wasn’t quite finished. I worried that my lack of enthusiasm for this exercise would show. I worried about what others might think of the shoddy work. So on and so forth… You get the point… I wasn’t having fun… YET!
So, I decided to reflect on this work…. It only took a few seconds and two words rushed into my mind: Collective Unconscious! My ceramics teacher expressed this as a possible explanation of the manifestation of works we simply have no clue why we did. The concept talks about the possibility that a community in which we are sends mind wave-images right at us and we find them showing up in our work. Sounds plausible enough, as many of the students in both drawing and ceramics classes were interpreting cultural icons in their work. One fellow student even did a cardboard sculpture of King Kong on the Twin Towers ( a 70ies era version of the icon). So, maybe she and I were somehow influencing each other, and/or we all were with cultural iconography that we simply interpreted from our own experience and ages. In the ceramics class, many of my fellow students were building character monsters they saw in Stranger Things.
An aside note:
It was quite amusing to see the drawing class students, mainly millennials shoe a collective blank stare when my teacher asked if anyone, other than the old farts (he and I) knew what Hawaiian Punch was.
I think this whole collective unconscious inspiration may have something… I guess I need to do more work in public places, around other artists, and engage them in conversation about whatever they are making. It could be an interesting study subject.