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Gabe / on Mon, Oct 20 2003 at 9:30 am

I am an artist!

Today’s comic strip hits very close to home. I’ve become increasingly interested in Apple products over the last few months and the recent release of itunes has only fueled the fire. As an artist I feel like I am letting the other artists down by not working on a Mac. I look at their products and I begin to salivate, as if I’d been hungry all my life but until that moment I never understood what food was. I tell myself that I would be more creative if I used a Mac. That it’s graceful lines would somehow awake in me a level of artistry that had been sitting dormant all these long years.

I had recently decided that while I could not justify the astronomical expense associated with purchasing a new Apple G5 I could justify getting one of their Monitors. My plan is to purchase one of their cinema displays along with the adaptor they make that allows it to work with my pedestrian PC. The hope being of course that this would be enough to satisfy the artist in me that so desperately craves the Apple experience.

I tend to do a fairly decent job of keeping the artist side of myself in check. I do this for the benefit of the people I hang out with more than anything. I know that I usually dislike creative people. For the most part they tend to be assholes. I know that the same potential for narcissism and haughtiness lies within me. I have on occasion been invited to gatherings where these “creative types” congregate. It’s the sort of place where you are likely to bump into the bass player for your favorite promising local band or a girl wearing a Playboy T-shirt even though her antipathy for the publication is well known (isn’t the irony delicious?). When I see these people it’s like I’m looking into some kind of fun house mirror. I can see how easily my own personality could be slightly pinched or stretched to produce the same characteristics. I tend to find these events terrifying unless there are video games handy.

After High school I was accepted into Cornish school of the arts. My portfolio review with them was a real eye opener. Seated in front of a panel of six or seven professors I was grilled about my artwork. My portfolio at the time consisted almost entirely of comic book super heroes and cartoon characters. One professor told me that he could see the same caliber of work by examining the margins of any 9th graders algebra notes. They all agreed that I had “potential” though and decided to allow me into their school under the assumption that I would of course focus on doing “real art” as opposed to the crap I had been producing up to that point. I toured the campus and saw the sorts of people that go there and the sort of work they produce. I realized that I was not like them. I decided not to attend the most prestigious art school in Washington and instead went to community college for a few years. I made no attempt to acquire any sort of degree. I simply spent my days in the art building taking the sorts of classes I was interested in. Figure drawing, color and design, pottery and a few others. The teachers there encouraged my cartooning. My figure drawing teacher did not try and tell me that comic book characters were a waste of time. Instead she told me that before I could exaggerate the human form I needed to learn how to represent it accurately. Obviously now looking back I’m glad I decided to stick to my guns and focus on cartooning. It seems to have worked out pretty well for me.

So it’s not often that I allow the artist side of myself to really come out. This whole Apple thing is one of the few occasions. The artist inside me absolutely craves one. The other part of me though happens to be the part that controls the check book, and it says no fucking way.

-Gabe out


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