Bad High School Art

120105-06Yes, this is a Metaluna Mutant with nipples. Photo circa 2005.

Back in 2005, I wrote a little article on All Nerd Review about ‘Resin Rosebuds’ – little resin nipples that were designed to… ahem… augment Japanese Dollfies and stuff for those doll-lovers who were especially overzealous. These were made by my aunt’s boyfriend, a talented artist and sculptor who has since passed away. I’m also positive that they were a commentary on the strangeness of modern culture, doll culture, modern sexuality, and probably, Japan.

It’s always a little strange to see the ghost-website of those who have left us. How long will they hang around? Does the indifferent hand of the registrar hover for a moment over the delete button and drop, or move on?

There’s also another website that’s being maintained by family in memoriam for his works.

I met him once, when I was very young. He came on vacation with us to NJ, and put a quick end to my sister and I play fighting with sticks lest we eviscerate each other. And at the end of that vacation, he didn’t hear me knock on the bathroom door as he was getting out of the shower. My aunt wanted to keep his artificial hip, post-cremation. I’m not sure how that worked out, but only now do I draw parallels between this and the screws that I pulled from the fire after they went through my foot.

The internet reveals interesting things about people, alive and dead. Here’s a quote from 1995, as he was apparently an early user of various current events newsgroups.

“the plague will happen sooner or later

as a result of our over population, exploitation, and

destruction of the natural world, whether we like it or

not. it is time to face the facts and make plans to deal

with the crisis when it arrives. all the soothing talk of professionals is pure denial.”

I have two of his works, somewhere around here. I used this one heavily in my bad high school photography, which was all broken clocks, old keys, things wrapped in twine, dead bugs and incredibly poor contrast. This was at the very down of digital photography being available to non-professionals. I’ve always loved this heavy, bronze thing.

In a very ironic way, this photo is perhaps beautiful.


I’m coming off of the end of a 5-day weekend I made for myself. I don’t know how much I got done – some comic inking, eBaying, cleaning. The struggle of the hyperproductive is that there is never enough done and there’s always a nagging sense of disappointment in yourself for not conquering the universe every day.

I’ve thrown away much, much old, bad art. I spent a lot of high school drawing disproportionate fairies and delicately penciled surrealist scenes that were weirdly violent and sexual (which I didn’t recognize until looking at them now). A period of poorly emulating Dave McKean without understanding that there are certain fundamental skills that you need to develop before you can draw mock-carelessly and have it look worthwhile. High school photography with feathers and broken wine glasses. All of these things, each one, despite being unpresentable if anyone is to take me seriously, was vital in its own way. Each thing was a step towards a greater whole, a record of a fleeting idea that was essential to the next idea, and the next, until it became something nice and moved that much closer to what it had to be.

I was pretty messed up in my grade school years, anyhow. All of this bad art is thrown in a huge garbage bag now, in the empty room where I’ve sat on the floor until 3 AM remembering and not remembering what these things were, and who I was, and what they slowly became. I know that it’s a little bit sinful to just throw out art, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that we make our own forevers. I can’t carry old ideas, pounds of old papers around with me wherever I end up. Thousands and thousands of little ideas were just spread around me on the floor and I was at the epicenter and it reminded me that I’m here for a quiet reason.

When I was in high school, I had dreams of illustrating Alice in Wonderland. I don’t know precisely what I was thinking, but I produced a whole mess of sloppy pages that are frankly embarrassing, but I remember being proud of them at the time. Isn’t this always the way. While I maintain that I’d like to illustrated anything by Lewis Carroll someday, this was not the way to go about doing it. I was still heavily under the influence of McKean and the evidence suggests that I intended to go back into these with digital manipulation (as evidenced by the ‘pool of tears’ image), though I probably realized the error of my ways.

Witness my cold humiliation, and a perfect example of what happens if you think you’re better than basic color theory.