Sunday, September 12, 2010


First of all let me tell you that this is not going to be a big entry. I am so tired that I could really use some sleep. Actually, what I really want to do in what is left of my Sunday is not to think anymore. Maybe watch some mindless funny cartoon like Family Guy or watch an uncomplicated TV series. Even if it was hard to understand, I would not make an effort to do so. Why do I emphasize in this? Because even though I have not drawn the weekly hours I would have liked, the effort I have put in paying attention to class, doing homework and assignments and expanding my artistic sensibility, has been out of this world. I am not used to thinking like a crazy person, and now I have to do it as homework. Let me elaborate this thought with an example: one of my assignments is to transform an object. How can I do this you ask? It is not as complex as it sounds; I just need some random material, a lot of glue, an arbitrary object, and some creativity. I would prefer to dig up a hole and bury myself rather than glue rice to a paddle, at least I would know what the teacher expect. But I won’t get ahead of myself.

Since Monday was Labor Day I did not have any classes. I spent the last day of my common life doing nothing. It was as resting the night before a big race… yes, a race against time itself, it seems.  On Tuesday I attended my Storytelling class. Let me tell you, it was exactly what I expected, awesome. It is my dream class because it doesn’t focus on drawing (which eventually I will get better), but mainly it teaches how to visually tell a story. Here I can learn about all the terminology that a comic writer, penciller or inker needs. This is a sophomore class so my classmates were around nineteen or twenty. As if one or two years will make a big difference. The class is very practical and hands on, it is fun but I noticed that one of the teachers (the class is given by a married couple) is stricter than the other. I will not reveal it though; I do not want an F in this class after all. The class lasts around three hours a week, which is kind of manageable. Homework: draw a nine-panel comic, a phoenix comic based on jam comic! (You would know the terms if you have had come to class, but I am the one who is paying this tuition;)).

My second class was on Wednesday and up until now is the most fun of all. Foundation Drawing is hard work (six hours a week) but is much enjoyable. I just have to draw, draw, and draw some more. That day we had a nude model. For all who are giggling right now the model was female, none that it matters anyways, after drawing for three hours you just see shades, forms, and areas. Anyway, I really like this class and I think it will help me the most of all my classes. Homework: Create a drawing that describes your real or imagined ancestry, which is unique to your experience such as your ancestral heritage, family history, culture, and mythology. Say what??? This is what explained before; it is not an objective assignment. It frustrates me because I do not know exactly what the teacher is expecting. How can she grade me? If I lack creativity would I get a lower grade? Is it my fault that I have not yet expanded my artistic side? Well, I gave it some thought and ended up with a drawing that I am kind of proud at this early stage of my studies. I drew Rumiñahui (Ecuadorian ancestor) sitting on a throne and surrounded by bananas. I actually spent four hours doing this assignment over the weekend and I think I have not yet finished it, so I hope she grades me for my effort :).

I have Thursdays off, so I stayed home and took advantage of all the free time to do some homework. I know, total nerd, but like I said before, I am paying my tuition, so I at least should get better out of the investment. Besides, I do not mind because I love what I am studying; everything is new for me.

On Friday I went to my sculpture class. I was very enthusiastic because I really like statues, so I was hoping in the first day I was going to mold a face or something. That is exactly what happened, sadly not the way I imagined. We played with plaster like kindergarten children. We were given a huge block of plaster and we had to dig and crate an inverse human head inside. Afterwards we would have to put some clay in order to cast the face. Mine looked like an alien from outer space. Also considering the fact that the kid next to me said: “I was sitting next to an old dude” when I told him my age, I was not feeling very enthusiastic anymore. I did not dislike it but taking into account my time, I guess I think this class is the one that I will need less in the future, like that Philosophy class I took in high school. Homework: Object transformation (explained in the first paragraph) and gather “forms” to cast, aka trash!

In conclusion, the classes are good, some are better than others and I still have not gone to the painting and art history classes, which are on Mondays. I feel that the most difficult part is the inability to relate to my classmates. I feel like a fish out of water due to my age and my non-artistic background. I hope I will feel better regard this in the future.  Like my brother Oswaldo told me: I have to survive freshmen year, for a second time and care less about the questions such as: “Are you a student or a teacher?” I have fourteen hours up to this week so nine thousand nine hundred eighty six hours to go.


José Luis