Thursday, May 14, 2009

Holy Smokes.


It just struck me.

The combination of fiction and art that I'm currently executing is something more-or-less new.

It's not that illustrated fiction is new, or that art inspired by writing is new...

But the idea of creating art as a means to inspire fiction while making sure that the art is of a certain quality, well.

I can't think of anyone who's done this before. Christ, that can't be true. Someone else has done this.


So The Presentation Went Well, Aside From The Way I Dressed

The missus took this picture of me; I'm standing in a doorway in order to give a sense of scale. Since I never see myself in this kind of context it's a little unnerving to see just how big I really am. There are places in the world where people would look at me and go, "Hey, I bet we could get a canoe out of that son of a bitch."

And is it just me or does that outfit say 'Cop show?'

Well, I had my final presentation for the Art Marketing class Tuesday night and I think it went fairly well. Let me correct myself; it went damned well. The people on the panel were a working filmmaker, a graphic designer, and the chairman(person) of the art department at school.

Well, they said flat-out that my work is gallery quality. There was something that threw me a little bit, though. They also said that my art would have been a lot less interesting to them without the story behind it and the words associated with it. As I've mentioned many times before, these pieces were done as inspiration for the novel; in my packet the prints of my art also featured related paragraphs from my writing.

So it was suggested that should a gallery show come to pass it would behoove me to a) figure out some way of working the novel into the mix, say by posting plaques featuring the appropriate writing side-by-side with the prints, and b) make a video featuring either an interview with me or just me explaining the story behind the work. Today in class my instructor made a point of repeating this again. Okay, chief. Whatever you say.

The thing that gets me about that is that (that! that!) I learned how to make art because I wanted to do comics; now I'm contemplating a gallery show with fucking captions. You can't rise higher than your roots...

The other encouraging thing that came out is that I'm apparently very well-spoken. I was told in so many words that once your art is good enough to get you in the door it's your ability to present yourself that makes the real difference -- and made it plain that the way I come across in person is a real area of strength for me.

Go figure.

Afterward we went out for drinks and pizza. (I had a red ale that was a bit green and sour and a very dry and toasty porter that more than compensated.) It was quite nice; the class was small and we've gotten to be quite fond of one another. And one of the people in class works at a local bookstore. When I was being congratulated on the way I handled myself I mentioned that I'd been considering some kind of performance and that one of my writer's groups was talking about organizing a reading; he said that we should do it at his store. Details to come; I'll be talking to my writing buddies about this in half an hour or so.

Of course the grownup costume I wore was a whole other kettle of slimy disgusting fish that bite. I've never had a sports coat before; the last time I tried to wear a tie was in my twenties and I warped it when I tried to tie it. I haven't had a white long sleeved shirt since those days either. And my pants were polyester.

There were two issues that contributed to the disgraceful quality of my appointment. First, I've got a bit of an unusual build and it's difficult to find clothes that fit me well. I'm sort of menhir-shaped -- short legs, long torso, narrow shoulders, wide hips, long thick neck, long arms, and general behemothosity all make me long for the day when I can afford to have my clothes tailored.

I'm not criticizing my body here -- I'm very pleased to have the kind of physiognomy that lets me walk anywhere at night. I just don't have the kind of form that dresses well.

The other problem was that... well, when I got home from the thrift stores the missus started moaning, "Why did I let you shop for clothes all by yourself?" The answer is simple, my beloved -- you wanted to play video games.

Interestingly, by the end of the evening I'd started to feel comfortable in my new duds -- the poorly-fitting ugly formal wear made me feel threatening in a new way, one that seemed more in fitting with my current prospects. One of my school pals said, "You actually look kind of punk."

I can live with that. But maybe I need to get a shoulder holster to round out the new look. I'm just saying.