Friday, January 27, 2017

.figure drawing...

Last night was semi-Illustration Academy drawing, which I've been sorely missing. It shows in my drawing - everything is a little out of proportion and overworked, but it's been at least six months since I worked with a live model so that's not exactly surprising.
What was surprising, or maybe just unexpected, was an interaction with someone in the room.
Older gentleman, sitting to my left. Ignored me initially, as you do in a live drawing situation - we're here to draw, not make friends - aside from commenting on the number of pastels that were in the room, and I responded with a quip about John converting everyone sooner or later.  We did the 3minute and 5 minute pose, and finally got into the first 20 minute pose.

And he looks over at my completed drawing, and makes a comment about how good he thinks it is. "Thanks!' I respond, because I'm working hard on being better at taking compliments at face value. And he asks if I'm a student, which amuses me because yes I am a student in that life-long learner sort of way, but I'm pretty sure he's referring to "In School" which I haven't been in 14 years, so "No, not for a long time."
And I go to the bathroom.
And when I come back and sit down he lets me know that I'm making him self conscious about his own work - and I'm not sure if it was a skill thing, or an age thing, or a gender thing - but I found myself reassuring him that the only person he needed to worry about was himself because he was the only person he was in competition with.
And then he ignored me for the rest of the night, aside from some more grumbling about being an old pencil guy in a room full of pastels, which was fine.
Yes, please just let me draw in peace.

Friday, November 4, 2016

This is a small section of a piece I'm working on for a yearbook cover. It's a cover that is making me sad on several levels, and it's overwhelming me with the current modern reality of racism in school mascots. Considering everything that's going on in this county this week alone - violence against people of color, violence against women, Standing Rock - and we still have these emblems of institutionalized racism on a public school level. 
This school wanted an Indian Maiden on the cover, in a headdress. They sent reference for illustration style and coloring. And the theme is what's killing me most - "Through the Eyes of a Redskin."

The school wasn't interested in referencing any historical images of tribes that would have been native to that area - they just wanted a young face.
But I'm left questioning, how deep is this entrenched cultural racism that it's not only tolerated on a state and federal level, but in some ways celebrated? Should I assume that this is a case of an area where the school mascot has been the same for so long that the mindset is "my parents and grandparents did this and they're good people so it must be ok" or is there even that much thought put into it?

It's leaving a sour taste in my mouth.