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nicci

Revolution Gets Its Name By Always Coming Back Around In Your Face

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Another iATC user, arekanderina, wrote a blog entry about how it all started -- what inspired her to draw for the first time, and then how her art has progressed, and been stalled, since.

I've been encouraged to make art since I was small, mostly by my mother, and at school. Art and drama were required courses until high school. I started out as a finger-painter, and by the time I made it through grade K, all of my clothing was paint stained. Every piece. I came home with paint on my shirt, and sand in my shoes (I also loved the sandbox, you see).

I published (ha) my first poem and drawing in grade K at the ripe old age of 4 or 5. We all wrote poetry. Very simple, mind you. Mine was about rats, and was accompanied by a hotdog with legs... er, a drawing of a rat. Our teachers copied them and 'bound' them into little booklets, much like zines. Everyone received a copy, and the cover featured a polaroid photo of the artist/poet the booklet belonged to. I wish I could find it today. I look exceedingly irritated at being interrupted in my creative endeavor to be photographed. Excuse me, lady, I am working. lol

In high school, I dove into art headlong, spending up to 4 hours a day in the art house at school, which is quite a lot when the school day is 7 hours. In my other classes, I doodled constantly in my notebooks, which irritated several teachers. They got over it, realizing not everyone has to look up and stare at a lecturer to absorb information. Same in college. I considered it a public service to educate folks that artists aren't flighty daydreamers all of the time. We can multi-task, dammet!

In college, I had some bad experiences with part time profs, and almost dropped my art major. I picked up an English one, and avoided the art for half a year. I eventually just started working on both subjects at the same time, and picked up an interested in Women's Studies and then randomly started taking Honors seminars on various subjects.

Mid-stream, I discovered Mail Art. It's been one of the most influential art related discoveries, and helped to shape the way my 'serious' art progressed.

My first ATC, made back in '00 or '01 (I can't recall), was sent as a 1 for 1 trade to another woman on Nervousness.org, back in the glory days when it was more than just a forum. My photo skills were less than stellar at the time:



I think it's a pen drawing of Kate Blanchett in a multi panel ATC (folded) with a poem behind it. Or a quote. I can't recall! Someone told me an ATC was a 3.5x2.5 inch rectangle, and I was like to hell with that. I'm doing fold out ones! Law breaker. lol

My second real ATC was for a friend who had a hysterectomy. She wrote a personal essay that I read and found very interesting, so I sent her this fold out ATC in which she could undress the art:



I went through a phase of bright colors with markers, around the time I also started doing serigraphs:



Here's an early serigraph (screen print). Notice the similarity?



If you're at all interested, there's a random sampling of the last couple of years of my undergrad experience here @ flickr: art in my 20s.

One of my favorite random experiences (not necessarily the finished piece) is my very first and last bronze pouring experience. We did lost wax process. I made this little goddess:



Did you giggle? I do every time I see it. My instructor couldn't stop laughing. We both have an affection for Louise Bourgeois.

Anywho, my mail art now-a-days is more bright and saturated, which is also a throwback to my very first finger-paints. It all really does come back to what we did in Kindergarten.

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Comments

  1. HeavenPhoenix -
    HeavenPhoenix's Avatar
    These fold outs are awesome!! It was nice to read your story.
  2. EraserQueen -
    EraserQueen's Avatar
    I LOVE hearing these stories! I should write mine but it seems lame compared to what you guys are writing LOL I love seeing the progression of your art though various styles!


    It all really does come back to what we did in Kindergarten.


    this is actually pretty true! I was in kindergarten for maybe two weeks until my mom removed me. But during that time I got super messed up. I tried to color a leaf orange and got yelled at, so colored it the "correct" color, Green. Now I paint weird purple or green people once in a while and I can say "Take that Mrs. J!"
  3. nicci -
    nicci's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by EraserQueen
    I LOVE hearing these stories! I should write mine but it seems lame compared to what you guys are writing LOL I love seeing the progression of your art though various styles!


    It all really does come back to what we did in Kindergarten.


    this is actually pretty true! I was in kindergarten for maybe two weeks until my mom removed me. But during that time I got super messed up. I tried to color a leaf orange and got yelled at, so colored it the "correct" color, Green. Now I paint weird purple or green people once in a while and I can say "Take that Mrs. J!"
    You should write your own! I'm definitely curious about the ladies whose swaps I join and whose art I receive aaaall the time. How did you progress? How did it start? Shaaare!

    Man, I would have been so indignant as a little kid if someone told me I was using the wrong color. When I was in 1st or 2nd grade, a year or 2 after that, I was corrected on a paper I wrote. It was a fill in the blank assignment, and there was a blank for a name. Something like ______ likes to go fishing. So you had to put in a name. We were learning basic grammar.

    Anyway, I put in Ferd. My teacher marked it out and wrote Fred. In red pen!! Boy, I marched myself and my paper up to her desk and said, "Excuse me, my Dad's name is Ferd." Short for Ferdinand, of course.

    You know what. We should have a Science Fiction Nature swap or something like Girls with Blue Hair swap just to honor the people who tell us we're doing it wrong =D.
  4. nicci -
    nicci's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by HeavenPhoenix
    These fold outs are awesome!! It was nice to read your story.
    Thanks! I love ATCs that push the definition of what most people consider to be 'the right format'. I break that rectangle as often as possible. Shaped goddess and shaped hearts are 2 favs.

    I hope to read your story too. I think that would actually make a great zine topic -- how people got started in art.
  5. arekanderina -
    arekanderina's Avatar
    oooh glad to see that you're sharing your story too seems that everyone has had periods where the take a break from art, glad that you went all out with your art major anyway

    my art teacher once told me that being able to use bright and bold colors is a sign that you're being braver with your art.

    your 'little goddess' made me giggle a little!