It took me a while to finally be able to sit down and write here.
I mentioned I’d talk about my earlier moments in college.
Before I begin, it’s imperative that I mention that I come from zero legit knowledge on art. I never had art classes and neither have I practised it intensely. My entire primary and secondary school life was just doodling things using pencil and paper, nothing else. Art is considered for the rich, so being lower than middle class, why bother, right?
Now let’s roll back to January 2014, where I was still under the impression I’d take up Illustration course rather than Fine Arts. To be clear, these are an assumed chronological order. My poor memory restricts me from recalling things precisely.
I drew things.
Trying out Illustrator
My Jędrzej and Liya
Periodical “expressive” piece
I drew people to be exact. I was on the “right path” if I wanted to choose Illustration.
Did I mention I love dolls?
And occasional portraits?
I guess you could say that I loved making “figurative” works in a doll-inspired style. And to tell you the truth, I still do. But then… this happened:
Painted from my own photo
I chose Fine Arts. We had to do a lot of imitations and live paintings. It was fun at first, but when you do so much of it it just loses its significance. I had little to zero connection with most of the artworks, but somehow in the past I still managed to do it.
Besides imitations, we also started off with doing some portrait drawings for God knows what reason. Here they are:
Zaher Zorgati Attempt
Jennifer Parkin (Ayria)
(Logically, I assume it is to find out our identity, if portraits/figures is our thing and/or so that we have a grasp on the basics, in this case: figurative drawings. Master the foundation and then go our own ways.) I admit that portrait drawing was one of the more fun parts because we could choose whoever we wanted to draw so I drew my favourite people.
And then there was watercolour class. Never had I found a subject I despised so much (at the time). We had to travel a lot and paint under extreme conditions. (Sun or rain)
And worse is that we had to pay for the bus fees to get there. Sometimes around RM15, if I remember correctly. And watercolour as a medium, to me, feels weak… like my passion in art. Lol. Sometimes I skipped class because I didn’t have enough money. It was either attend class or have money for food. Rationally, I chose the latter.
Theodore Gericault Imitation
Lucian Freud Imitation
We had to do figurative imitations at some point too. I thought that these turned out pretty good, considering that I lack knowledge and experience, and I hate oil paint.
It was only for Visual Language class (pt. 1) I believe that we first were allowed to experiment with any medium and any topic. That was quite enjoyable because there were no restrictions.
Could You Read My Past and Future?
In My Dreams
My Defeat Will Fracture the Earth
I started developing my love for triangles at this era. Why triangles? Mainly because triangles seemed to symbolise glass and frailty. And also because of the game Deus Ex:
You guessed it. Illuminati.
Back to Visual Language… in part 2 was where we had to do more “3d” or sculpture-type artworks. We even had ceramic workshop, which I call “dog-shit class”. My apologies if I offend any clay/ceramic lovers, but it was termed as such because of the location (and my exact sentiments towards it). It was in the middle of nowhere with some dodgy factories and equally creepy security guards, with many stray dogs roaming about and… surprise, it smelled like dog shit. Also, I hate ceramic class. The tutor was not from our college and she was the overly friendly and optimistic type. I felt like I wanted to crush all her dreams (not just the ceramic ones). I really went through that class “just to pass the subject”.
I hated doing that because to me, knowledge should be valued. I was always one who loved learning, in all honesty, but somehow I couldn’t accept that class. Was it that my allergies didn’t allow me to enjoy it? It was really dusty (no kidding) and hot. I had to take a bus and walk with a fellow classmate to attend a class I hate.
Besides that, there were subjects like Art History, Southeast Asian Art and Culture, Malaysian Studies, Aesthetics Studies or whatever it was called, Malaysian Art and Artists… the reading type! I was excited at first since I thought: “Hey, reading subjects, I could succeed in that!” Think again. Art school. We didn’t even have text books (except Malaysian Studies. I actually enjoyed that but I wish it was more in depth and if only we learned more.) Most of the “textbook-style” art subjects was just on the Asian art styles, all of which didn’t appeal to me. It talked about how we should embrace tradition, culture, freaking BATIK and paintings of villages, and that we should always incorporate Malaysian elements in our artworks. Not happening for me. I like an artwork that isn’t tied to culture and tradition. Those are just superficial.
With all that said, what is it that I don’t hate? I’ll get back to you once I find out.
(Probably just notes to self:) Some few things I did learn from all these 2 years of very *what* moments is that it’s much easier to make an artwork when you don’t think about selling it, or publishing/exhibiting it. Just think of it as a hobby, something that you “don’t mind doing”. It helps if you have even just a little interest in what you do. No feelings means no “art”. (Unless you are somehow able to manipulate your skills and talents to show an “unfeeling” art. This requires a lot of mental strength I’d think. But even so, superficial art is also an art form on its own, albeit not a desirable one to me.) Have money… or at least, starve so that you have some money… or just “steal” unused goods (papers, boards, etc.) … salvage what you can and push aside pride while doing so. Another thing is that you need a friend, at least just one, otherwise if you miss out on what the lecturer said, you’re doomed… lecturers can be pretty hard to get to. At least they emit that sort of vibe. Alternatively, you could just pay attention so that you don’t even have to approach anyone to ask anything. Sometimes “stupid questions” are not considered questions and you get dissed instead. Painting outside means bring umbrella, newspaper (to sit on or to put bags on so it’s not dirty or wet) and loads of plastic bags to store your paintbrushes/water containers. It does not mean pouring watercolour into lakes or ponds. (I have witnessed the sad state of humanity.)
That’s that. I just summarised 2 years of art college in this little post.
– I started off drawing cartoon-like doll people.
– Then there were more “realistic” paintings.
– I hated most of the subjects because they weren’t my thing.
– To be fair I liked Visual Language classes where you can do anything you want.
– I wish I knew things before I started doing them.
Up next… ???