I find myself having more and more difficulty finding the words I want to say in this blog section of my site, more so this year than last. It's funny, because before graduate school began, I was already doing it on my own in a very casual way, simply letting people know what I was up to and planned on doing next - entries in which I have since archived. Even with a site clean up, my love for writing remains and is incorporated into my work frequently, so why the knotted tongue?
To say thesis year is a crazy roller coaster is an understatement, albeit a fitting descriptor. Really though, it's more like a roller coaster that keeps breaking and you keep fixing it and thinking you've got it and then you're whacked out into the lake head first again - at least that's what I imagined was about to happen when flailing around the Magnum coaster at Cedar Point back in my tweens. So perhaps what is making it so difficult to chronicle all this time here is that I could probably update you with something new every hour, be it a new thought, feeling, tactic, maneuver, experiment, idea, doubt, or revelation.
Alas, things finally took off into production mode about two weeks ago, shortly after crushing my pre-thesis check-in with my committee. This check-in occurred a week after what was the most deflating, discouraging, just plain suckfest critiques in my time here at CCAD. Them coasters, eh? They sure do rise and they sure do fall, but fear not, this is not the first nor last time I've been baptized by fire.
Even though it didn't feel good at the time, I kept my feet firmly planted and a solid grip around what it is I want this thesis work to be. I tested what was brought into question, tore things down, put things back up, lit, unlit, re-lit, squeezed in an emergency talking doctor visit, cleaned my studio, then called it a day with some emotional mozzarella stick eating, beer drinking, and journaling of wtf should come next...
See? I really do love writing.
Now, I'm currently staring down the barrel of install week, and things feel really, really good. The only stressful factor remaining is the sheer working hours that are left vs. all that I have left to do. But flailing up and down and all around is kinda my thing, so I'm ready to prove myself and bring this work into fruition.
"make it happen. shock every single one of them."
I'm typing out my final spring semester pre-crit blog entry right now and it's feeling all kinds of bananas. It's also a bunch of rum-soaked-bananas-prepped-for-a-goddamn-daiquiri-poolside that February is FINALLY over in less than an hour, thank the LORRTTTTT.
It has been an absolute whirlwind clusterfuck for me this month, as well for my fellow MFA peers I'm sure. Luckily though, some really exciting things have managed to crack through the insufferable surface of self sabotage and doubt. Let's start with all the darlings I have killed...
The plan for including a multi-thousand cicada installation: after a really great performance, artist talk, dinner, studio visit, AND lunch with artist Neil Goldberg, it sunk in that though this process is great, and the laser cutter offers a myriad of potential for future projects, no where is my hand seen. Eviscerating images from my past, no matter how complex the cut, is still just that - cutting up old images because wah wah feelings.
That being said, however, I do have plans to do something with this in my post-thesis life sometime. I love the idea of having an abundance of these little guys, installing them somewhere in nature, documenting them, and leaving them to be whatever they may become. Perhaps laced with seeds in the paper to later germinate? We shall see...
Also, props to my fellow RA Logan for getting me a sweetass pack of Bob's Burgers socks for Secret Santa. They are clutch.
The complex, gaudy, more is more wallpaper: I can totally see this badass boy in my head, but making it come to life in the time that remains and the amount of bank it would bust caused me to start doubting its reality. Fortunately, with the same said artist visit from Neil, and equally brilliant and badass visit from Susan Van Pelt Petry, a different kind of "wallpaper" has been conceived...stay tuned.
My exquisite love and connection to the beauty that is excavators: this darling was the hardest one to kill. I think I knew it sometime in late January/early February and just didn't want to admit it. If I can offer anything to future MFAers, definitely believe that the more you strip down to the bone marrow of what it is you're trying to do/say/present/argue/etc., the better it will be in the end. Even though excavators didn't make it off the cutting room floor for thesis, they will definitely be a major part of work in the future, and the process of digging and digging and digging and hitting really sensitive power lines and digging some more and piling up heaps of rejects and emotions has no doubt happened within me and the work since day one.
Keep on excavatin' down the mile, my loves.
This was just cool as fuck and I wanted to include it. Also, peep those bright ass orange suspenders I got for Christmas as well! Now on to some sneaky peaks at what's in store for my final crit tomorrow:
The variables of what I will be doing for thesis have finally fleshed themselves out, and now it's simply a matter of logistics and refining. There will be a wallpaper, but not in the conventional sense. There will be collage, but not just paper elements only. There will be installation that marries that bizarre combination I've been looking for of plastic and primal , attraction and repulsion. There will be performance too, but it won't be solo or static.
Here's to thesis, to madness, to despair, and all the beautiful pop in between.
"i did not come to play with you hoes, I CAME TO SLAY BITCH."
I think I figured out how the months as a second year MFA candidate in the midst of the final semester tend to go:
January: - violently constant, internally eternal, silent screams - overly caffeinated efforts squashed be alcohol-drenched backfirings - incessant questioning and panic of a future that is perpetually crushing inward and bloating outward - dark, dark, oh so dark voids of nothingness (especially if you're familiar with midwestern winters) - tears. just... so many goddamn tears
February: - things you kept throwing at the wall, tearing down, and putting back up again are actually starting to look p fucking cool - same said p fucking cool things are starting to talk to one another, like a perfectly executed introduction at a cocktail party, courtesy of moi - the visuals are there, and they're lookin' real tasty, but the mechanics are not
March (maybe): - visuals and mechanics are figured out to the point of every possible scenario and engineering complication hashed out - execution mode is fully engaged - you're straight slayin' bitches, takin' names, forgettin' them immediately, and givin' zero fucks bout it - you're more than likely still shedding numerous tears, sweetly bitter & bitterly sweet
April (hopefully): - the show opens, and youz a bad bitch - you remember you've got a mammoth thesis to write - then you remember you've got a mammoth thesis to orally defend (giggle) - yeah, you're still crying about nothing and everything all at once, and that's okay, because our thoughts and feelings matter damnit
May (i just know it) - you're going to walk across that stage with a big ole goofy grin on your face, crying and laughing simultaneously yet again, with all your fellow MFA comrades glimmering in shiny, glorious, polyester cap and gowns the most perfect shade of red
With all that being said, I have much to update you with, but shall do as I normally do and mercilessly tease you until tomorrow's seminar critique is complete and Friday's thesis class has come and gone.
Grad school is really fucking hard. Grad school is really fucking lovely.
I am panicking about my thesis. I am loving my thesis.
I am freaking out about the future. I am trying to stay in the present.
I am constantly thinking about the year 2000, the year 2015, and May 12, 2018.
I am thinking about excavators, ecdysis, and exits.
"Being about memory is artist bullshit. Everything is memory. Relate your experience to the work. Build objective. Be more interesting."
-studio visit notes with Rodrigo Valenzuela
Honestly, for this upcoming second critique of mine for the fall semester 2017, I'm gonna leave it at that. I've got a somewhat visual diary for you to look at to give you snippets of what I have been up to and thinking over, and I'll be devoting this coming Sunday to completely rehashing my site once and for all, which will include a significantly lengthy update.
Or perhaps a short one.
Either way, a change is gonna come...
The only other thing I'll add before I sign off on this post is that my studio visit with Rodrigo was like a fully-juiced defibrillator to my creative ego in a very, very good way...
I owe you FAR more than what this very very quick update will be, but here's a lightening fast rundown:
- I had a great summer, very productive, challenges for sure, but lots of new and exciting thoughts I am eager to share with you all. - I got into my first show outside of school related exhibitions, which I will have updates about in my next entry! - I AM A SECOND YEAR MFA STUDENT!!!!!!!!!!! It still has yet to fully sink in that this is my second and final year in the MFA program at CCAD, and I am stomach-churning-anxious-and-super-duper-excited to see what all of this will shape up to be. - This has been arguably the most blisteringly busy first week of class I've ever had all throughout ma schooldom, but I am hanging in there okay...I think... - I CRIT TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!! It still has yet to fully sink in that this is my turn already to crit in seminar today...lolz.
- I hope you like the face lift I've given to my site, and I promise more is to come very soon.
WELCOME BACK URRYBUDDDDYYYYYYYY!!!
I PROMISE THE STRESS IS WORTH IT!!!
Oh hello, world!
It has been far too long since my last update, but I'm not really sure how much more I want to do these kinds of entries. I want to make a big change and refresh my site over the summer.
This semester has been very challenging, but also super rewarding - my final critique felt like an ass kicking home run, especially after a couple of disappointing stumbles beforehand.
I promise I'll figure my ish out soon and get things back on track, update you with all the goodies these last few months have brought me, and give the site a solid update.
Back last semester, when things were chaotic as all get out trying to get everything finalized for our last round of critiques, I had an idea planned for a little thank you gift to my mentor Sarah, for all the times we met, talked, schemed, and all around being one of the coolest people I've ever met. She and her fiancé, Maximilliano Ferro (Max for short), a fellow artist as well, planned to embark on a multi-city artist talk tour in early 2017, and I thought a little PR might be the way to go. I asked her to send me a couple of her favorite pictures of the two of them, and thought this image was super fitting for all the travel that"Spring Board" would involve. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get this to them before their time ended in Ohio, but was able to bust it out early in the semester and send it off to Miami, Florida, where they've been staying before hitting the road. There are 14 total - 7 black, 7 silver, all printed via silkscreen with different handwritten text on each.
Quick video snippet to show you how glimmer-fun the silver ink is on these bad boys:
Sarah was out of town at the time they arrived to Miami, so Max opened them with her via FaceTime! I think they like 'em! :)
Have fun on the road guys, and come see us all at CCAD again soon!
"show me that part a-gain, where you fashion-hauled everybody"
This semester, I am taking Carmen Winant's Artist Lecture Series class, and this first assignment was a challenge that paid off in the end. We were to give a "Non-Expert Lecture" in which we discussed a topic we enjoyed, but do not necessarily have a professional knowledge base or understanding of i.e. a thorough interest more than a scholarly overview. Come the night before showtime, and I was still STUMPED on what to do.
I wanted to talk about my weird obsession with construction equipment, and how I think they look like a perfect hybrid of human and animal forms, especially backhoes. I wanted to talk about the perfect way to build a sandwich, and maybe give a demonstration of my wicked, cheese/lettuce/meat-stacking skills. I wanted to talk about my love for tornadoes, and that their destructive nature practically turns me on...
C'mon...have you seen the 1996 masterpiece that is "Twister" ?!?!!!?
Alas, I suddenly remembered the oldie-but-goodie "fashion hauling" series I did back in 2014. I realized I could harness my newly discovered performance powers, revisit how things have continued to spiral out of self-absorbed-control today, throw in some cheeky humor, and voilà...
GREETINGS MA PARTY PEOPLE!
Happy New Year!
And I guess...Valentine's Day soon?
I did NOT do a very good job on my promise to get this place fresh with hot 'n steamy art updates and news over the Christmas break! My apologies! I will have to leave you hanging a little longer in the WORKS section, but keep checking back as I plan to give that everything I got from last semester soon!
Today will be my FOURTH official critique in my CCAD MFA journey, and I am locked and loaded! I am going to try something a little different than I normally do, in that I would like to hear as many "cold reads" as possible i.e. what do you think/interpret/see/understand/etc. without me giving you any information.
The information I will disclose beforehand is that this is a project I'd discussed with my mentor last semester, Sarah, who at this time is in sunny and far warmer Miami, Florida, prepping for an artist talk tour with her fiance Max. To say that I am wicked jealous is an understatement. (There is also a little extra something something I am cooking up for them to use on said tour, but I will reveal that later as it's under wraps till I mail it out!)
She and I had numerous and excellent conversations all along the way of mentorhood? Mentordom? Mentoring? There. It didn't give me a red squiggle this time, but I like those words and I am a POET DAMN IT. These discussions ranged from social media platforms to election nightmares, artists that have utilized dance as medium, and ways in which to go about your art making without having to disclose every single little detail. I work for the galleries on campus as my GA (graduate assistant) position, and asked Julie, one of my supervisors, if I could snag up some gallery space early on in the semester if a time frame was open. She was okay with it, and off I went! The show is titled "i say you kill your heroes and fly" and will be exhibited in Byers Gallery until the closing reception, this Friday, February 3rd, 2017!
That is all I am going to say for now, but I will return with more information soon! I will end with some installation shots to give you lovely site checkers a little appateezer to what's been goin' on:
I've also recently turned the art of my sandwich-making-game up to savage level:
There's a hater among us, name rhymes with "sane," who dares to challenge me! Critiquing my lettuce as "cartoony." I say sir, haven't you always wanted to know what a Krabby Patty actually tastes like?!
FACT - I know exactly what it tastes like, and where to find it. Go to the Bellagio pool in Las Vegas, order their cheeseburger while you lay there, sunburning your gut, sipping on a $27 margarita, and you will experience nirvana.
Anyway, this sandwich naysayer and I shall have an ultimate showdown soon! ):)
When the critique is over today, I will come back and post a photo of the invitation for the closing as well. Here is the information for now!
"i say you kill your heroes and fly" Friday, February 3rd, 2017 Byers Gallery - DSB corner of Broad and Cleveland Columbus, O-hi-O!
Later that day...as promised...
A PENULTIMATE CHECK-IN
I am still here! Penultimate week is killin' me bruh, but I'm gonna slay it in the end! I promise to return as soon as I can with updates - it may unfortunately be pushed back until Christmas break due to the sheer amount of work I have left to do before breaking for the holidays, but I will try ma damndest!
Hang in there all my MFA kiddos!
Dovetailing off of Sarah Mattes "call/response" show, current 2nd year MFA candidate Zane Miller and I decided to play with the relationships between all the pieces installed within the gallery space. Truly the brainchild of Zane's, I assisted with the temporal installation of various string that connected each piece to the work it corresponded with i.e. I made a piece that responded to Sharyn's while Ric made a piece that responded to mine, while Justin responded to Ric, etc... you can see how things got complicated quickly! Initially, I thought things would connect from A to B only since it involved two people puling names. In reality, it became several complex circuits of connections in varying sizes that would begin and close with which ever piece was chosen at the start.
Hence, why I don't do math. ;)
Besides the final, tangled, complicated result that ensued, I was especially intrigued by the physical demands both installing and uninstalling required. Along with forensic connotations, the process itself had a choreographic character, allowing the piece to come to life twofold, both in installation and performance.
PANORAMIC 'N SNIPPETS
I tend to do a lot more writing in my journals and sketchbooks over drawing – grocery lists, supply lists, to do lists, ideas, plans, brainstorms, and overall note taking. Every once and while a doodle or two sneaks in, and lately I have been trying to incorporate more. My badass mentor Sarah Mattes is really helping me appreciate drawing again, and that even if a medium challenges you to the point you think you aren’t “good” at it, dive in, mess around, and see what happens.
An example of Sarah’s endless great advice came to fruition in my attempt at the “respond” stage of “Call/Response” – a show in which multiple students and faculty within the MFA program were to make a piece of art, draw a random number, and from that number it was determined which work you would “respond” to by making another piece of art. I had the privilege of drawing Sharyn’s name from the hat, and found myself thinking for several days before coming up with a response…
Gotta love that superflat! Simply sitting down in my studio, drawing what I saw in black gel ink, and coloring it in with various Prisma markers was a nice comedown after all the stress (and fun) of critique week. I like the “permanent” risk in using ink right away…I guess all those months of working in a doctors office has given my hand a little more confidence.
outside panoramic view of studio:
inside panoramic view of studio:
I HAVE ONLY SLIPPED AWAY INTO THE NEXT ROOM
Image courtesy of and shot by my Grammie, where I got to stay with her a whole week of the summer, in the glory days that were the nineties.
This morning, as I sat at my desk haphazardly choking down coffee while trying to cram vast art theory ideas into my brain, my cell phone vibrated to my right reading “Gooby” the name my sister and I affectionately call our mom. I think the world stopped spinning for just half of a second, and as soon as I heard the crack in her voice, I knew exactly what she was about to say. “I have some sad news…Grammie died this morning.”
Often in my work, I try to pinpoint exact, fault-line-cracking moments in time – when something becomes forever something else due to an action, be it gentle or extreme, that catapults the person/place/thing involved into territory that will never be the same. Hearing the news that someone I love has died, it’s as if this idea is cranked to level 11: my heart hurts, my lungs swell, my throat tightens. I cannot see in front of me/I can see every single color in front of me, I cannot hear anything/I feel as if I have supersonic hearing, I taste bitter ash/I want to be sick, I smell the coming sadness/I cannot breathe at all.
For this prompt, I’m to tell you my process, theory, or method for critiquing art. To do that, I will critique death. One of my favorite undergrad philosophy professors proposed the idea that perhaps when something terrible or ugly happens in the world, we as creators can respond by making something beautiful – be it art, poetry, music, etc. I heavily criticize death for the permanence it possesses, but I can appreciate it in knowing peace is eternal, and reunions are happening this very moment in wherever it is we go to after this life. Grammie is getting to meet my mom’s mom for the first time, is seeing her first husband again, and is reunited with her son, my dad. I imagine lots of highballs and margaritas and laughter being involved. I smile and cry and cry and smile.
After finding out this news, it was hard to sit still, even harder to lay down. I paced the living room, noting how I had just days before meticulously rearranged and reorganized the shelves, a skill I know for sure I inherited from her. I looked out the window and saw the same skyline, now full of buildings that seemed to starkly stab the sky and sit heavier all at once.
I walked all the way down Gay Street to the river, listening to Lady Gaga’s “Joanne,” Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” and Cory Monteith’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” over and over again, with tears flowing and hitting the pavement below me, wondering if any passerby might stop and ask me if I were okay. Cars and buses and trucks zoomed by in rush hour speeds, construction workers kept digging the ground for new luxury apartments I’ll never afford, and I wondered how different this city must have looked when my dad grew up here and Grammie worked and lived out all her days here.
(Am I doing this right?)
What I would give for one more shared box of Lucky Charms and a cinnamon roll the size of my head, with Andrea Bocelli playing in the background paired with a hilarious but extremely racist crack, followed by a Catholic-soaked scolding capped off by a cheap, hair-on-your-chest amount-of-whiskey-highball with her again. So to end this critique, and heed my philosophy professor’s philosophy, I’ll make the ugly beautiful, with my favorite parts of Henry Scott-Holland’s “Death is Nothing at All.”
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened.Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.
All is well.
As promised, here is an update with images from my first critique!
"baby's first wacom tablet"
This work was one of the first things I began to really dive into this semester, and it’s one that’s been enjoyable and agonizingly frustrating at the same time. I’m exploring text, physical handwriting, history, violence, and time, themes that are each massively broad in scope when standing alone. I’ve chewed it over and over in multiple platforms and mediums, and am worried it has become too complicated and is falling into trite-ville. Nonetheless, I’m still intrigued, and will keep it simmering on the back burner for a while.
My “first” performance piece..oh my, this could be addicting…
The basis of this performance centered around an exercise I’ve come to call “always/sometimes/never” in which participants are given a statement and have to choose the answer they agree with most. For this work, I wrote the statements and “responded” to each accordingly, trying to convey a story of sorts. This was all very new to me, but very much grabbed my attention as something I want to continue pursuing.
I’ve included some movement images, a stage shot, and my “choreography” plans – I am trying to push myself to keep things a little more raw and less refined. I’m a neat freak and want things lined up and in order, but am starting to see the beauty of candid shots, imperfections, and first attempts.
I said I was going to build a wall, and damn it I did! This bad boy is roughly 40′ x 15′ in size, and was delightfully excruciating to create. Each “flier” is silkscreen, and the stencil was created using a technique brand new to me of oil paint pen applied to vellum paper.
While installing this, I discovered the delightful entertainment of podcasts, and highly recommend “How Did This Get Made.” Amazingly, I didn’t get a single paper cut or fall off the ladder at all!
The printing process was actually much more painful, earning me one brutally sore back, throbbing thighs, and what felt like Popeye-bulging forearms. If you’re in the area, it is still currently installed on the second floor of DSB, and a “sequel” of sorts is in the works, with a reveal planned closer to Election Day…stay tuned. ):)
(The last image was taken trying to capture a “dance” in front of the wall, and I thought I had already screwed up the countdown timer on my camera so I just rhythmically spasm-danced, then cried laughing when I saw the result.)
"CHRUMP 2016" stencils
¡And that’s a wrap on my first critique at CCAD!
Ahhh, post crit bliss…
Something like that.
I think it went very well, I survived. Being the ruthless self-loathing nitpicky Virgo cusping Leo battle axe that I am, I’m naturally scrutinizing every little detail. It’s good though…had everything been roses I wouldn’t push myself further, and that’s what I came here to do. I am working on an install shot over the next few days, and PROMISE I will upload many images for your viewing pleasure.
Speakin’ a pleasure, let’s talk Funk Shui!
Critique preparation kicked my carefully organized ass. My studio was absolutely demolished and turned upside down, so this blog prompt has come at the perfect time, as a mass cleaning and re-arranging was itching the back of my mind for some time now.
First, some snaps of before:
Chrump gang, hammin’ it up. That fat stack didn’t make the wall, but they’re going to be seen very soon…;)
Post-crit and into the weekend was spent in my comfs as much as possible. Winter isn’t even here yet…
My entire laptop is hidden underneath that grey cutting mat.
I spy with my little eye, slopped gallery white paint on my desk that I completely forgot about.
Damn T-Rump! Why you gotta go spillin’ all my paints like that? No milk to go with your Wheaties? Pussy got your tongue/any hope you had left for election?
And finally, some aftersnaps. Aftersnaps…
I like that word a lot. Copyright ¡Katie B Funk! All Rights RESERVED BISH!
As you can see, I like a lot of color and eclectic detail (if we’re talking HGTV-level home decor, that kitchen and bathroom better be sleek and minimal AF)! Colorful Post-Its, mason jars full of golden paper clips and sequins, photographs and mementos from family and friends, wooden tacks for hanging that absolutely suck ass – the price you pay for Pinterest-lyyyyyfe.
How bout that state of the 90s entertainment system? I’m telling you, VHS players will be the next record players in terms of nostalgic marketing. And I’m already set!
That coffee mug doe…she helps me get shit done! Everything has been rearranged and put into order, and I eagerly await to mess it all up again. How do you like to keep your studio? Clean to messy and clean it again like me? Messy all the way? Meticulously minimal? One of my favorite things to do to unwind and take a break is walk around and peek into everyone’s studio – what’s changed? What’s developed? What’s getting refined? Seeing all the little personal details and touches shows me again what diverse individuals we have here, and that’s a really great thing. Anyway, there is a ton of colorful fun to be had down here in these basement parts…come down and see me sometime!
Hello all, are you too, trying to recover from ¡¡¡FALL BREAK???
I personally feel like I broke my lower back, shoulders, forearms, thighs, hands, and pride, but it was all in the name of building that wall… HOLD ON TO YOUR NIPS AND YOUR NUTS. CHRUMP 2016. NEXT POST. This week’s prompt called for our literary influences, or text that has had unexpected bearing on our work. Here are three works I’m currently traversing through:
The Dancer Within – Intimate Conversations with Great Dancers Rose Eichenbaum (Roughly half way through this, one of those books you go back and re-read favorite excerpts repeatedly)
The Art of Asking – or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help Amanda Palmer (Started this book a couple weeks ago and can tell it will be a deliciously fast read once I can find time to read again…holy balls I’m busy)
Black Hole Charles Burns (Just picked up a copy of this graphic novel this past weekend, where Charles gave a great and humorous artist talk – this was very refreshing after feeling like I’d been injected with a full bottle of NyQuil trying to listen to Roxy Paine’s talk a few nights before…quintessential example of a great (AND HOT) artist who makes insanely good work but CANNOT talk about it well. Remember this.)
All three of these books are current, so they’re at the forefront of my thinking for now. The list of books I have read and still think about to this day are endless, and I could probably continually add to it (like I did my creative and intellectual family). But I chose these three for the bearing they have on what I’m doing now – I want to reconnect with dance and movement, I want to dive into the deep end of performance art, and I want to make work that’s both humorous and unnerving, manic and melancholy, deep and deeply superficial (holla nip/tuck fans!). IT’S MY CRIT WEEK BABY! Instead of rambling to your about how chill (nervousasfuck) I am, I thought I should end with some hilarity. I promised to update last week’s entry with some SnapChats about art theory, so here they are! I also promised a “better” image of my process drawing, but it turns out my phone took a better picture then the scanner, so there you have it. These go in order, 1-11 - I need to figure out how to put these into one succinct clip!
(I promise I did go back and finish! Then class got cancelled… ohhhhh, the irony!)
Remember this process any time you too feel like shit, or think your work is shit. You’re not, and neither is it.
If all else fails, blast some Rihanna or watch some YouTube videos of Grand Theft Auto car explosions or whatever it is you kids enjoy these days.
FAIL, FAIL, FAIL AGAIN
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it, and hang on. ” – Thomas Jefferson
This week’s prompt is all about failure, and with my emotional/angry/crazy/stressful moments I’ve had the last few weeks, I have plenty of juicy material.
Let’s start simple…
"WHAT IS THIS, A CENTER FOR GIANTS?! FAILURE
This cord design for my studio is hella failure, and isn’t even my damn fault! If I pull it all the way down to my desk, it’s either dangling in my face or knocking all my stuff over. I tried to solve the problem by pulling it all the way over to the corner of my studio with my television and record player, but then it kept hanging down near my stuff and is the ugliest eye sore. So how did I fix it?
CHEEKY, EH? :)
How about some failures in the everyday routine? Do you ever walk into your house and think someone is toasting up some delightful bread? Then horrifyingly realize that’s not toasting, that’s burning, and that’s your COFFEE MAKER YOU LEFT ON ALL DAY YOU JACKASS!
"GRANDE CHARRED SPICE LATTE" FAILURE
Don’t worry, some elbow grease and hot water cleaned it up shiny as new.
When I decided that keeping a fragile, handmade ceramic piece on a chunk of uneven foam inches from concrete ground would be a good idea…
"I LITERALLY HAVE ONLY ONE OF THESE LEFT NOW!" FAILURE
Now, for some actual art works that straight up failed…
I attempted this a couple of weeks ago, and hope to return to it soon. I’ve struggled with acne for as long as I can remember, and if I had to pinpoint it, I would say sometime in 3rd or 4th grade I discovered something foreign on my face. Every cream/potion/pill you can imagine has been attempted over the years, with only short term relief being obtained via Accutane, an incredibly powerful drug that though my skin glowed, my immune system was wrecked. My lips were horribly chapped for five months, I had a constant cough, and developed severe strep throat for the first time in my life at age 22. I had to have blood drawn each month to ensure I wasn’t pregnant, then had to pass an online test about sexual education before the prescription could be filled. All of this was required because were a woman on Accutane to become pregnant, an almost 100% guarantee of severe, fatal deformities would result in the fetus. And if you were a man taking this medication? Nothing. Zip. Notta. You could practically buy the damn medication like candy.
I joke that having it keeps me young, but on the days I feel like wallow-y shit this is something I find seriously agonizing. On the flip side, I am intrigued by the idea of disguises and masking, so I feel like I could run with this. I think what made this a failure was that execution really wasn’t planned, and the item I used to make the sequins “stick” wasn’t the right material (a face mask/cream). I’ll give myself some credit though, since it was really more of a test session. Stay tuned!
This is more of a “LOL” moment of “failure”, back when I was experimenting with the self timer on my camera and iPhone. Still have some ideas stirring on the back burners of my mind with those bad boys…
An extra literal failure for you, courtesy of the fact that the traced outline of an up-close Cheeto with Trump’s face is going to look more like an inchworm/turd/sausage link. I am SO excited for this installation piece I’m in the midst of right now. Though I know it could be dismissed as trivial and not “deep enough” for a graduate program, I had a realization today – these elections are actual, chaotic, REAL events that are taking place right here and now that will one day become neat and orderly history, and I’m trying to grasp just a sliver of that pendulum swing. If that’s not art then I don’t think we can sit at the same table in the lunch room (GASP! Why, that wise crack is just in time for Mean Girls Day! Happy October 3rd!).
BRB – Gonna go build that wall (it’s gonna be UUUGE).
HERE'S YER FUCKING MANIFESTO
When things were getting started a few weeks ago, I found myself in mood swings just like this:
I don’t know if this is some sort of pseudo, whacked out Stages of Grief I’m cycling through…but I seem to have landed in ANGERVILLE.
<<<¡BEGIN RANTIFESTO!>>> I don’t know what’s in the water, but I woke up today feeling just plain RATCHET…one of those can’t-quite-place-it-but-I-want-to-cut-a-bitch sour moods. Of course this decided to happen with horrendous timing, as my mom is in town this weekend, and I didn’t want to feel all bitchcakey while trying to show her around the apartment and studio. The Snickers cameo is from yesterday, when I went to pick her up at the hotel she was staying at right off of Nationwide Boulevard. Just the navigation itself was making me seethe – pedestrians everywhere, no left turns allowed, no U-turns allowed, drivers not signaling, on and on. Ten thousand extra turns later, I’m finally outside the entrance only to have a million trucks around me laying down fresh asphalt, a smell that forever makes me want to retch. I am weeks into graduate school, still without health insurance. I paid almost $40 out of pocket at the pharmacy for birth control, only to get home and discover I was given an entirely different brand from what I normally take. To me, that’s like telling your system “Here ya go – we’re gonna give ya Diet Coke for the month instead of fresh squeezed organic orange juice. You shouldn’t feel a thing! Good luck!” I only swallow down those damn tiny bastards because my cramps are the equivalent of Satan simultaneously orchestrating a group of Great Whites and T-Rex’s to play five hundred out of tune pianos at once. The water here tastes like mineral-saturated ass, and I miss my home’s Hawkins Water Tech filtration facet we have had since I was a kid. I miss industrial air conditioning (my mom keeps the house at a delicious 65-67 degrees, so you see why that visit to the temperature-controlled cartoon archives at OSU was beyond delightful). I LOVE the sunshine and heat, but have been so bitter about it because I get to class and am immediately a sweaty and gross heap. I miss my friends and family. I hate that I’m closer to 30 than 20 and have the acne of a 15 year old. I can’t stand that when I’m having a great time with 5/6/7/8 beers I risk being depressed as fuck the next day. Is this growing up? Or is this just aging? I watched a documentary on how food lobbyists are pretty much 100% to blame for obesity in America because sugar is in EVERYTHING. (MIND BLOWER – Did you know that if you look at ANY packaged food label in the U.S. you won’t find a % daily value in the sugar content line? That’s because the majority of items would have to say well over 100+%!!) Trying to read our assigned bell hooks article for Theory right now in this pisstastic mood is going over about as well as you can imagine. Maybe the honeymoon phase is over? Even in a brand new town I have continued to wrestle with my lifelong curse of crushing only on men who are gay/taken/married. I am getting so anxious for a damn paycheck and miss my usual fat stacks of cash gathering up with night after night of serving and bartending, but the very THOUGHT alone of trying to get another job makes my butt pucker. My FEET and my ANKLES and my KNEES and my HIPS are constantly sore/cracking/snapping/aching. I feel old and rickety, but I’m still gonna dance. I can’t stand the fact our two main presidential choices are making the worst of humankind come out in this day and age that is supposedly heralded as the most diverse, open, and accepting in all of history. (CHRUMP 2016…STAY TUNED) Maybe I just need to go HAM in a desert while wearing beyond booty shorts like Gaga…
Damn it Gaga, ¡SLAAAAAAAYYY! <<<END RANTIFESTO>>>
So how does all this fit into my work at the present moment? Well, it makes it really damn hard to work, honestly. But like everything else, I will push on and try to use the anger and frustration as fuel to fire up my projects, get my ass into the work space, and get me out of this whiny-woe-is-me-with-all-these-first-world-problems mindset.
(I especially like the Salvador Dali one, as well as Tanya Davis’s “The Loner’s Manifesto” which is told through poetry and music in video format.)
Finally, even more so like everything else, I will push on with a sense of humor equipped and at the ready. If I can’t at least make myself crack up, something is seriously wrong. With that, here are a few more snaps from the weekend…
I’M JUST VISUALLYESSAYING…
If the first couple of weeks sent me into a death grip of stage fright and creative block, this past one has put me in quite the opposite pickle. I straight up have 20 or so different ideas swimming in my head, each screaming for attention. I don’t know where to start, so I guess the best thing simply to do is STFU AND JUST START! I’m going to march over to the supply store and buy some nice paper to print out images, then I’m going to take some of my old transparencies and get myself back in the rhythm of silkscreen prints.
UPDATE! UPDATE! GIT YER UPDATE HERE!
What UP ma party people?! A shift in the tide finally formed, and I feel like I’ve officially busted out of my funk. Yes, it is possible for funk to go bad on you – I compare it to the scene in Family Guy where Stewie and Brian think they’ve found themselves a Dr. Pepper vending machine in the middle of the dessert, only to discover it’s been a mirage of RC Cola the whole time… Let me begin this visual essay to you all with this bitchin’, lo-fi, repetitive, dizzying, humbling-beginnings-GIF I somehow found myself creating yesterday afternoon:
Even the link is 8 million characters long and brutally hard to swallow! When I click it, I get a shitty banner ad for Kroger or “Sling Television” (or none at all??) at the top with hyperlinks galore. But I swear, if you sit there and watch at least a few moments, parts of the music line up with the dance movements straight MAGIC formation. If all the doors of my creativity felt bolted shut before, this just hammered in a thick wedge of light. To continue my justvisuallyessaying, I want to introduce you all to the magical, time-sucking, addictive world of PINTEREST. I don’t care what responsibilities my life may have at a given moment, if there’s a goddamn acorn in need of hot gluing to a wine glass, I’m your girl! Here are a few snippets to get your started:
That’s only 71 of my over 5,000 pin collection.
I got so over the top with this bad boy that I even devoted several pages to a project itself – color coordinating the pins I’ve already pinned!
I will conclude my justvisuallyessaying with some teasers/snapshots/studies I’ve been playing with the past week…
(THE PLASTIC. HOLY SHIT. Definitely exploring this further ASAP)
There may be no oven, and the elevators often smell like footass, but holy DAMN you can’t beat that million dollar real estate view the Design Square Apartments give you.
Dat booty’s nice too.
Trying to figure out the beautiful Epson printer and failing miserably inspired me to get up and move.
NOTE: This above image is a FILM STILL, NOT a snapshot photograph. This is a visual difference I see in my head and struggled to explain to my senior thesis committee my final year at Saint Mary’s College. I do hope to delve into this further and have more to show you at the next blog entry.
These two shots were taken within seconds of each other on the exact same day in the same area, with the camera facing me in front and pointing towards the sun in the first image, and away in the second. It’s incredible how much your light will ultimately change the entire outcome of photographs.
Lolz balance is hard!
There are some other things I’ll be exploring this week in terms of printmaking…I am hoping to finally get into the studio and physically introduce myself to the emulsion/light table/power washer/etc . I’m hoping to use some of these images as figure studies, make some more GIFs, continue to play with dance, will let you in on another ass kicking a-ha moment I had last night, and oh yeah…I have some Trump-inspired works in the making…it’s gonna make America great again..stay tuned.
For now I’ll leave you with this final image I shot last night, simply waiting for my spot treatment to dry. (Masquerade/headpieces/face paint coming soon too!)
“Everything starts from a dot.” – Kandinsky.
WE! ARE! FAM-I-LY!
Good GOD, I hate the hell out of that song.
And now the terrible earworm is in your head too…I GOT ALL MY SISTERS WITH ME! Can I get a hand in the air from all my beautiful fellow classmates out there who too don’t know what the hell they’re doing?! I swear, if I squint hard enough, I can see a bunch of you! We have officially tucked away week two under our belts here at CCAD, and I gut-wrenchingly fear that I still have “nothing” to show for it. After several great conversations with some faculty members, my mentor and artist-in-residence Sarah Mattes, and a studio visit with visiting artist Jessica Jackson Hutchins, I know this is not the case. The choke-hold stage fright was there without a doubt, but I truly believe I’ve loosened the bitchgrip, and am ready to work.
The prompt this week asked each of us to create a list of our own “creative and intellectual family” – the influences on our practice, living or dead, known or unknown. Without further ado, I present them here in photo format, give or take a few I didn’t think of here and now, or the ones I may be guilty of including superfluously:
In order as they appear:
Abby and Ilana of “Broad City”, artist Laurie Simmons, choreographer Mia Michaels, singer/actress Lady Gaga, “Grand Theft Auto 5” character Michael De Santa, actress Sarah Paulson, late artist Andy Warhol, creative director of “VOGUE” magazine/model Grace Coddington, comedian Conan O’Brien, artist Catherine Opie, late actor and comedic genius Chris Farley, the late poet e.e. cummings, musician Tom Waits, late actress and mental health advocate Patty Duke, late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, choreographer Sonya Tayeh, late musician Elvis Presley, the baddest bitch of my nightmares since 2002 – Samara Morgan, artist Ida Applebroog, legendary actor Tom Hanks, Sailor Moon and her ladies all in formation, artist Ann Hamilton, late actor and comedic genius Robin Williams, musician and sexual assault victim advocate Tori Amos, late artist Diane Arbus, classy and sassy Christine Baskets of FX’s “Baskets”, the dreamy Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy/American Dad/voices-a-many fame, late choreographer Pina Bausch, everyone’s favorite vigilante serial killer with killer looks Dexter Morgan, the story of “Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland”, singer/dancer Sia, “Grand Theft Auto 4” character Niko Bellic, easily two of the best looking doctors in the world McNamara/Troy of “nip/tuck”, artist Janine Antoni, the cutthroat Vanessa Ives of “Penny Dreadful”, and comedic duo Hannibal Buress and Eric Andre of “the Eric Andre Show.”
These are only some of the many characters and human beings that serve as a massive influence to my work – be it in their own work, or something they have said about the process along the way. In times that I find myself stuck or bitter, moody or sad, I look to these people and their places for a sliver or two of spark – just enough to get my gears unstuck and engines firing again. That being said, I think the greatest challenge I’m facing at the moment is the HOW. How do I produce the works I can see in my head when I close my eyes, but don’t know where to start to make them come to fruition? Before, with the 2-ton load of self-doubt/sabotage and all around stage fright on my back, I didn’t even know where to start. Now that I have sloughed off that self-depricating-yet-needed-every-once-and-a-while bullshit, I simply need to figure out the logistics. How do I build wearables? How can I best capture an image of myself both as the photographer and the subject matter? Where can I print out my transparencies?
Here are some snaps/studies I did this afternoon and evening:
Man…I gotta admit this was frustrating as hell at the time of the shots. These were done on my purchased-in-high-school Nikon D40, and I am rusty as all hell as to how to operate it. When I tried to look at my resulting image on the camera’s screen, I wasn’t thrilled with what I saw. Upon seeing these images on a larger scale on my laptop however, I am actually very excited and intoxicated by the potential of these bad boys. In my head I picture everything with perfected light, timing, and backdrop, but something about the rawness of these test images is grabbing me.
As for now, it’s the D40 camera, a couple of possible Polaroid cameras, and my iPhone/laptop that will be serving as my main image takers. I want to push push push PUSH myself, but remember to play. I see myself diving head first into photos, silkscreen prints, plastic wrap (Dexter, anyone?), film stills, and that fabahluss fablab…Funky needs to get down there and master all there is to that laser printer that can cut teeny tiny AK-47’s…stay tuned to find out what the hell I’m talking about.
That’s all for now folks…but more to come soon! I’ll leave you all with a quote about family from one of my dad’s favorite comedians, and another member of my creative family for sure –
“The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.” -George Carlin
SO THIS IS WHERE WE START
I just concluded the first week of my MFA candidacy at CCAD, Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, and I think Cory Matthews is straight summin’ it to the T:
I will leave you all with the song that influenced me the most way back when I was too scared to take the leap and commit to a school. I actually ended up deferring from CCAD back in 2015, a long, twisting, multi-faceted story that will reveal itself in time, and fuel me forward to new works.
Holy shit guys...
I am an official MFA candidate!
It is unreal that the time is finally here - the first week was an absolute hectic roller coaster, but a complete blast all the same. I will always be grateful to my humble set up in the basement at home, along with my trusty laptop and desk space under the microwave Goobs (my mom) let me invade, but it is beyond boss to have a studio of my own, an apartment with a killer view (and awesome roommates), my own room to do with as I please within the apartment itself, and the academic environment incorporated back into my everyday life. It is as if someone just told me Discovery Zone opened back up, and you get to go play all you want for the next two years.
That's not to put all reading, writing, presentations, projects, works, blood/sweat/tears lightly - this will (and already has) tested me on almost all facets.
But that is exactly what I want.
I plan to immerse myself in as much of this as possible, and that has included me coming to the conclusion very quickly that I will NOT be getting a second job while here. I have a Graduate Assistant position with undergrad students which has already been incredibly rewarding, and had planned to supplement with another bartending/serving gig. It is, however, not in the cards, unless I want to completely wreck myself with sleep deprivation...no bueno.
I played the hamster wheel game for years, and though I will always be proud of my high school and undergraduate achievements, I want to put all that I have into this time here, instead of 40% here and 76% here and 33% here simply because I can't give 100% to anything because there's always some other fire to put out.
Along with this website, I will also be maintaining a blog throughout my two year program, if not beyond. The plan was to originally have it all meet here, but because the vast array of platforms previous students used caused too much confusion with comments/feedback, we are all to use WordPress.
(((NOVEMBER 2016 UPDATE - WordPress is about as easy to navigate as a big ole' bag of dicks. May be fun for some, but I'm a classy, one-atta-time broad. I am going to transfer EVERYTHING from that site onto here, and put it in the same order as it was so it's easy to follow - keep scrolling like normal, and it will be dated in the bottom right corner as usual.)))
I will update as soon as I can with some pictures of the place/studio/apartment. For now, I think this one is very fitting...
"Some of us aren't meant to belong. Some of us have to turn the world upside down and shake the hell out of it until we make our own place in it." - Elizabeth Lowell