Choose Your Weapon.



Art Revolution Graphic

Design for SAAEA Shirt


Here’s an image I created for use on the t-shirts for the San Antonio Art Education Association. My idea came from several sources. The Jamie Oliver Food Revolution made me think of art teachers as leaders of the ART revolution. Also, I give my students an assignment where they have to draw a hand holding art supplies. Finally, I was influenced by German Expressionist graphics and the idea of art being widely distributed– that is how made I made the decision for my design. What is your weapon of choice in the art revolution?


8 responses »

  1. At university I was actually discouraged from making art in ways that came naturally to me. Why? My art is my art. I really wish there was an art revolution. All the art of old thrown out. All the tutors from schools and universities discredited and ejected. What gives them the right to choose a direction a budding artist should go in? Down with the establishment

  2. Hi! Where do you teach? I’m new to San Antonio as of Feb and I am always trying to grow as an artist. I love working with metal and can make almost anything with it, but due to money issues and lack of metal shop space I’ve been painting and drawing a lot.

    Can I ask you a question? I don’t feel challenged, literally, not in a cocky way, but actually, I’m not sure what kind of challenges I should be feeling? I see historical artists and some modern artists expressing some deep meaningful ideas, but I don’t ever have those kinds of ideas or motivations. Do you? Where do you get them from? Do they just occur to you, or does someone suggest them to you?

    I am starting to see that a lot can be accomplished in the world through art, but honestly I feel like I don’t have anything to say. Not that what I have to say isn’t important, I have a good self esteem, just that nothing seems important enough to say… and I want something to say. Does that make any sense?

    Any advice?

    Chris Pyles

    • Hi Chris

      I think your question about artists expressing “deep meaningful ideas,” and your disconnect with that strand of art making is interesting. I think that artists make things for different reasons. I think that intentional craft that displays attention to detail and willingness to follow through with complex process is equally intriguing as ART as someone who makes political statements or makes the viewer “think” in other ways. For example, if what you make is hand made paper and you make that paper with intention and perfection, then isn’t it just as valid or important a statement as someone who “says” something? Contemporary art often requires an essay posted next to it for the viewer to get it. I don’t have a lot of patience for that kind of art making. Genuine art comes from accessing the things that are most important to the artist. When someone tries to impose the “shoulds” of the art world on the work, it becomes academic, stiff, ingenuine. I get my ideas from the things that move me the most on a visceral level– though, that’s not always popular with the contemporary art world, but I try to make what I make anyway. As a teacher, I’m constantly waging a battle between learning what I teach so I can teach it better, and just making what I make whether it relates to my teaching or not. In that way, I’m pretty schizophrenic. I don’t know if I have any advice for you, except to make what feels right. (There’s a great TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on the nature of creativity and tapping in to your muse.)

      I really appreciate your post! Your artwork is awesome–
      Take care,

      • Great question, and great response.

        Chris, I think what matters is that you find what moves *you* to make art – and the rest will follow. I’m probably not the best person to weigh in on this, in some ways, because after a lifetime of music and fiber arts, I’ve only just picked up sketching again. I don’t really know what I’m doing and I’m just an average person having fun doodling. An artist, not an Artist. But I felt moved to say something about this precisely because I think, growing up as a songwriter, I always felt that Having Something To Say was the only real reason to do anything. But that’s not why I’m having fun doodling again. What engages me is that, in spite of the unskilled nature of my doodles, I feel like I’m often able to capture *something* that rings true about the person or thing I’m drawing – an expression, body language, a sense of movement – whatever. I’m not striving to create art that looks a particular way. I’m just trying to have fun, and to create something that provokes a reaction in people – a laugh or just a sense of recognition. That’s magical to me, and that’s why I do it.

        If you feel that your art needs to Say Something, that’s perfectly fine, and something to strive for. I know that for me, as a kid, I abandoned drawing because I didn’t know *how* to make it Say Something – and in doing so, I missed out on a lot of years of just plain fun, and never discovered all of the other many reasons for making art.

        Clearly you feel a pull to create. So listen to what’s going on in your head. Notice what catches your eye, or makes you feel like making something, and try to put your finger on what that motivation is. Then follow that.

        Carol, I’m really looking forward to getting to know your work! I don’t really think that pull in different directions is schizophrenic. I think most people I know feel pulled in different directions by the different things in their lives – I know I do. I kinda like that that pendular tension pulls me in ways I might not otherwise go.

        Anyway, just my unsolicited 2 cents. Sorry this is so long! 🙂

      • Whoa! Awesome narrative. You bring up some important points about why people are compelled to create and how that compulsion comes from different sources for different people. Thank you for your insights.

      • Thanks! I really liked your response to Chris’s question. It wasn’t until after I hit the “post” button that I saw that this was from 2010. Leave it to me to dive into a conversation 5 years too late. 😛 But I figure it just shows that your work and your thoughts are still relevant and important. I hope I post something someone still feels compelled to comment on 5 years from now. 🙂

  3. LOVE this, Carol! My weapon of choice is a pen. I love to write and find myself at my most creative with a pen and blank piece of paper. I spend so much of my day on a computer (like now), but I find the ideas flow so much easier with old school tools. I believe the pen truly is mightier than the sword!

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