Sometimes when people find out you are an artist they automatically assume you can paint anything, fix anything, are naturally crafty, and all things creative are your forté. You would not believe the kinds of things I have been suckered into. Well, believe it or not, I suck at a few things.
When I was in college, they make you take a little bit of everything. I was a painter through and through so sculpture did not interest me. In fact, I was the only person in my class that wanted to cast something (make a carved mold out of Styrofoam, bury it in sand, and pour hot metal in the tube leading to the mold and then the mold melts away) cast a copper masks of three muses, and painted them with enamel paint, much to my professors dismay. I hated ceramics because the clay made my hands dry. I could not throw a decent pot to save my life, so I stuck to hand building, and again, was more concerned with glazing. I would even take my pieces to a local paint your own pottery shop and use low fire glazes on my work just so I could have prettier glaze choices. I told you I was a painter) And photography was a bit too time consuming, scientific and structured for me (developing your own film, chemicals, timing, dodging and burning, F-stops) etc. And the hours spent in the dark room without even seeing daylight for hours on end, and back pain from standing so long……Not my thing. I just preferred to leave my camera on “Automatic” and at times I cheated and had my film developed at the local photo mat (I did have to print it myself though.) I just could not be bothered with anything beyond the initial composition – where the real art was in my opinion. And even if I did come up with something decent here and again, I considered photography one of the lowest art forms there is (sorry, but that is how I feel) – so I never really pursued it beyond two semesters. But the one thing I did learn from photography was how to look at the world with an artists eye, and though the lens. I notice things that other people do not. Floating through life finding beauty in everything. And you can crop out the bull crap in a zoomed second.
That being said, I was recently cleaning out my office, and came across all my negatives and a few photographs from College – 1992. Yes, folks that was 20 years ago. I was not the best photographer (kids, the digital camera was not invented in 1992 – I was using an old school manual 35mm camera) and the photos are not that great, but it was a self-portriat assignment. Shot in my tiny kitchen with a black sheet taped on the wall. My girlfriend and I were making silly poses, in strapless bras pretending we were naked – and the person that took the photos off-ed himself the following summer. I always liked these photos of myself, but the memory was bitter sweet. Lost youth.
Now days, any douche bag with a digital camera, and a Flicker account fancy themselves a photographer……