Heide’s little fling at undercurrent projects was an adventure and a half.
From the standpoint of someone who was just attending and not spending a good hour or so struggling to compile legible booklets under a long gone time constraint, it was just a half.
Our program in New York spends a lot of time and effort learning the twists and turns of poetry, how it is written, and how it’s published. While there’s nothing wring with that, and the time and effort in my opinion was well spent, I would have liked the opportunity to write more poetry to be shared with the class.
And while it’s true that nobody was stopping us from writing what we liked, I feel like more class attention on what we were writing in our spare time rather than just our weekly writing prompts would have been enriching.
Thusly a chance to hear what our colleagues were writing and thinking about was a treat that I would have liked to be accustomed to. the short time we spent reading was all too little to spend in the presence of the art of those close to us.
After all, how well can you really know someone if you’ve never seen their art?
The art you make, like anything you do in your spare time, says a lot about you. So in my case, what does that say about somebody who draws comics rather then write?
Comics, visual as they are, are in many ways an invisible medium. You can read a poem aloud to your friends, perform a song, and paint a picture in front of people. You can display such media and talk about and perform it.
If you’re talented at these things, you can put on a show. Comics are hardly as lucky.
While you can had a comic in a galley, and sure, you can watch somebody draw one, to really take all that a comic has to offer, you have to sit right in front of it and read it yourself. If I as a comic artist were to tell you what I’m planning to draw panel for panel or read a comic aloud to someone, the result would be somewhat butchered.
So you can imagine the surprise I felt when Heide asked me to talk about my work to the class. Few comic book artists will claim that their work represents the comics they see in their heads and want to draw any more than 30% or so. I would estimate that at least thirty percent of what the comic I drew was lost, misconstrued, or tarnished in translation when my description made it into the class’s ears.
While I’m not worried that anyone became misinformed about myself because of this, I would have liked to have the opportunity to hear more from the rest of the class about my work, seeing as what I put into is is already there staring you in the face. Comics, unlike a poem or a painting, are a lot more direct in telling you what on earth they’re talking about, to the point where hearing the differing opinions amongst the class would have had a lot more variety and things worth hearing then if I just stood there like I did telling you all what you likely had already figured.
Other than my own discussion, I had a wonderful time hearing what everyone else had been doing, and I’d like to take the chance now to thank Heide, if she’s still reading the website, for putting it on. It was a grand old time.