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Saturday, November 03, 2007


My paper plus some photographs

“My Soi-disant Art Life”
Subtitle: How to Survive the Art World

These professional experiences of attending art school and various art functions will guarantee your survival in making it in the art world.
First off, let me debunk the idea of going to art school to perfect and hone artistic skills; it is not true. It is mainly to lure unwilling participants into thinking that they can make a difference in the world through their kitsch art. In the past, art school taught the non-bullcrap of technical skills to a select handful of dedicated young artists. Nowadays, art institutions offer their curriculum to those who can afford the tuition to those who they deemed to be the next Man Ray, who, by the way, is not that great.
Then, there are certain people you want to avoid in the art world; you can pretty much find them anywhere, there are the Nude Models, the Joe Pro, the Hopeless Case, the Mother with the Empty Nest Syndrome, the Sculptors, the Photo-Major and the Critic. If you are looking to “score” with somebody in the art world, do not in the name of Sandy Skolung, hook-up with a nude model. They are big trouble. Mostly, they come in two types: the married business kind (the one who talks on the phone while supposed to stay still) and the hippie type (the one with hair growing under her armpit). The Joe Pros are the good artists but they believe they are famous and they only stay in art school to exasperate the rest of us. The Hopeless Case is the one who can pay the tuition but should go to technical school. The Mother is the one who attends art school to discover her creative side after all her children have left her, hence the Empty Nest Syndrome. The Sculptors are possibly the coolest people who can create art from their hands but they lack their sanity at the same time. They are not as worse as the Photo Majors are; they are even worse than the neurotic chicks that make their own clothes! They are constantly arguing that photography is an art. They are stressful people who carry their cameras to bed with other people! Stay away from the Photo-Majors. Finally, every class has one: the Critic. This person would make you want to punch him in the face. They do not do any of the required assignments but they heavily criticize everyone else’s work in lack of better participation.
Let us talk about having shows and critiques of your work. First, the art school you attend does not want you to have an art show while you are there. Instead, they want you to go through the motions at their happy institute of learning until you graduate before having an art show. In rough translation, they want to brainwash you for four years into thinking your art needs improvement while at the same time taking notes on how to copy your “asinine” work. Worst-case scenario, you go to your professor’s art show and find the very same thing you did in their class. This will happen once to every artist. Critiques also help with the brainwashing. The peer response received can be taken seriously or freeze-dried bullcrap. First, you hang up your work from a standardized assignment. Then, your classmates look at your work and those who you are friends with will tear your apart. Be prepared for that. Your friends do not want to compete with other artists, as they are “only artist”. Therefore, your only option is to tear apart their works.
The art life is always at a fast pace of getting things done for a general viewing. However, expect to lose a lot of sleep. One time my friend, Ryan Rowlett, fell asleep while holding an exacto-knife facing his face. His beard blocked most of the blade penatrating his gum. The depraved sleep will make you pick up smoking. It is best to buy by the cartons; it is cheaper than buying a pack a day. Otherwise, become an alcoholic by going to art openings. Many art functions have bartenders who never got their ABC licenses serving free wine and beer. It is always polite to accept the free drinks.
Finding promiscuity involves the different partners. It is a claim that the pretty girls are insane or “free-spirits”, which is why most male artists are gay. Be aware of who you are seeing at the time because you will end up ten different relationships by the end of the year. In addition, if you do not remember whom you went out with, good luck. And stay away from the Photo-Majors! If you happen to find your significant other, expect to lose the sex once your other decides to channel his or her energies into their art. And that is when you are lucky!
The jobs are nine out of ten guaranteed. If you want to be an artist’s assistant, that is not a good idea. It sounds great once you have it, with the free cigarette breaks and organizing expensive artworks. Once you drive the company car to Ourkansas, transporting a $40,000 painting and making the transaction in the back of a Burger King parking lot, you will understand. Otherwise, expect the life long ambition of designing video games and working at a one-hour photo store. There might be a job where you can draw caricatures at an art supply store. Oh, and be sure to ask about the tuition and blood for becoming a professor yourself!
And remember what Daniel Clowes said, “The only piece of paper that is less valuable than your artworks is your degree.” And stay away from the Photo-Majors.

Jenny Hoyston (Erase Errata) and Anemone from California. They were great! I have some new photography recently but I have been busy with school!

Tommy "nineteensomething" Kha

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is this your essay? sounds a lot like the art school confidential comic. where are you in school now?
the concept of art school is a conundrum for me! in so many words, your piece is well detailed and a sardonically pleasing survey of personalities. it's all very familiar. and the photos, as always, are marvy. the double exposure thing is still working out pretty well for you. i love the one of the woman in the white top.
The comic helped named the stereotypes, that was the only thing that I used from the comic strip. I used the stereotypes because I have actually encountered all of that but I added more to make it exagerrated. Hence Daniel Clowes quote at the end.
The rest were actually experiences.

But otherwise, I thank you Tom, the double exposures are nice. I am perfecting it. Wait until you see some one of Scout Niblett.
after almost 3 semesters in art school, i will say this as advice. the less you treat people like stereotypes the more you're gonna learn from them. and if you think their critique isn't helpful, then be loud and tell them what you need to learn. i still want to drop out, but it hasn't been as bad as I wanted it to be.
sounds like art school is stressing you out, eh? are you planning to finish up the degree, or is it not worth it?
there are lots of days when i envy you art school kids.... trust me, even with all the bullshit you get there, at least you are getting to do stuff you love at the same time. most days i wonder why i am still at college when all i really want to do is work on my website, make movies, and live in the woods, none of which i am learning to do from a $25,000 school. not that i'm trying to belittle your experiences, it sounds damn crazy. i hope you feel like you're learning, anyway?

(if you could see me, you'd know that i'm writhing around in fits of jealousy, and i'd definitely smash you if you were here.)
What a truly horrible movie Art School Confidential was. What school do you go to?
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