Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Connection: Childhood and Adulthood

Even though my portfolio only dates back to 2003, I've been creating art since I was a kid. Even for kids drawings, I spent a lot of time on them, wanting to make them beautiful. I even remember drawing my own superheroes, coloring them, cutting them out, and then detailing the backs of the paper. I'm not sure why I did this, but I do recall playing with these paper figures as if they were action figures. I also loved coloring books. The coloring books I remember owning were Ninja Turtles, Batman, X-Men, a Fantastic 4/Incredible Hulk combo book, Power Rangers, and even Jurassic Park. I used to spend many hours in a single day coloring just a few pictures at a time. I felt I had to choose the right colors, stay in the lines, and I even developed a technique where I would press down hard with the crayon and then scratch away the excess crayon wax with my fingernail. This would leave a nice soft looking picture where all the white was filled in and it looked like the crayon blended with the paper very naturally. I sometimes would go as far as adding my own details in the picture. I think next to video games, my coloring books and personal art projects were my greatest childhood passions.

When I decided that I would pursue a career as an artist after I got out of high school, I don't really recall thinking about what I did throughout my childhood, even as my art progressed over the years. I'm thinking about it now and the funny thing is even though my art has evolved over the years and I've developed certain techniques of my own since 2003, the passion I have towards the work and some of the techniques themselves mirrors exactly what I was doing 20 years ago. I think back to the action figures I drew and then cut out as a kid and then I think about what I started doing with my projects in 2005, when I starting cutting my drawings into random shapes.
Untitled 4-2005. I started cutting my drawings into different shapes.
I also think about cutting out the action figures and adding detail to the back of the paper and then I think about my more recent obsession of finishing the back of my artwork even though no one will see it. With my recent work, I started doing that in 2010 and I'm still doing it to this day, the most recent example being the collaborative piece Dark Lily that I worked on and completed recently with my friend Christine.
Dark Lily, a collaborative piece I worked on with my friend Christine. The front had a lot of work done to it, but......... 

so did the back.
Then there's my obsession with coloring beautiful pictures in my coloring books. In later years, that attitude would come back when would often go back and do charcoal work over and over again until I felt it was right, or I would paint over something until I felt it was right. I also sometimes stare just inches away at my drawings and paintings. I even go as far as blending and smudging paint with my own fingers just like I used to used my fingernail to scratch away excess crayon wax from a picture. 

Like I said, I never recalled thinking back to my childhood, but the similarities are there, even if the circumstances of how I developed these techniques are not. I think what is similar are two things. First, I always had an obsession to do things differently than others. Throughout my life I always felt like I was somehow different from most people and that led me to do things that would help forge an identity of my own. So I do believe there is a connection between feeling different and thinking differently. Second, as both a child and an adult, I always had a passion towards doing anything creative. That passion would drive to do things that a lot of other people would see as unnecessary or simply not worth it. 

Originally, I was going to to blog about something entirely different, but these connections I'm making are just mind boggling and I find it amazing that so much of your childhood stays with you as an adult, even if you don't think about it. As for me and what I'm doing now, I still feel like I'm different than most people; not better, just different. I still feel like I think differently than others and I believe that my art, no matter how good or bad it may get in the future will reflect that.

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