Dreams are the Tattoos of the Soul—Letterpress and cut paper
The first term set me adrift. I was trying to find my footing in a new country, as well as a whole new educational environment. Without clients, briefs or deadlines, I floundered a bit.
In order to try to apply craft techniques to digital making and vice versa, as was my original intention, I would have to pick up skills in mediums I had not previously worked in. I dabbled in letterpress, screen printing, stencils and even began to draw again for the first time in years.
I picked up visual inspiration like a magpie, not settling on a common theme, simply finding what struck me at the time. Disparate elements engaged me equally and I simply didn’t have a path through it all. What interested me more: subverting technology, crafting objects or maybe even the concept of play? While I was developing interest in narrative, I hadn’t found my thread to bind everything together yet.
The vastness of what was available to me left me immobilized by choice. My tutors gave me several methods to try to allow myself to impose some rules, but I still felt like I was hitting a wall. Grappling with shedding the traditional modes and methods I had used in my corporate work over the years was also quite difficult.
Eventually, I took Ira Glass’ advice to beginners and just started making. The things I ended up with might not be where I want to finish, but by the end of the term, I was finally starting to realize that this is a journey and that I needed to learn about what fails to make the next thing work.
Here’s a small sample of those things.
Uma and her Cameras by John Maeda
I spoke with Prof Henry Ferreira of RISD’s Printmaking Department once about the arduous task of old-school gravure printing as compared to point-and-click inkjet prints. His comment took me by surprise. He said, “Well, they’re the same for all intents and purposes.” And the it hit me. “But with a different process, you have a different dialogue with the tools. That dialogue takes you to a different place.” So it had nothing to do with the actual output, but everything to do with the person making the work.
“–you know, I’ve either had a family, a job,
something has always been in the
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
for the first time in my life I’m going to have
a place and the time to
no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
you’re going to create blind
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.
baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
© Charles Bukowski, Black Sparrow Press