Monday, September 04, 2006
I saw this 13-ish fella pushing a stroller with his 2 younger siblings in it. He was sweating, miserable, rickshaw-forlorn, and he gravely looked up to me. I saw this image. I jumped to my easel and drew 'im.
It's funny, because for the past day or so I'd been thinking of what I didn't like about my job. What I don't like, I realized, is the Assembly Line and the Need for Manufacturing. The Assembly Line and the Need for Manufacturing is a syndrome of pain. You physically whip-out pale drawing after pale drawing of the universal face. There is no MIND in your endeavor. It is MINDLESS, and your activity is an act for wages only. You need to eat, to buy video games, to subdue your family and the welfare state and collectors; you're proving Marx's point: history is motivated by money. But I disagree with Karl. I think humanity's push is related to what the Greeks called Eros (and who made this quality a god) and by the trauma of great MINDS and by desperate animal masses and perhaps by the hand of suspicious powers/creator(s). But what end does my wage warrant such boring means besides the above mentioned? Perhaps an end called carelessness? Or selfishness? A house and spouse and child? But aren't those things often the result of urge and not mind?... But I digress....
I DO NOT want mindless work. That, technically, is DRUDGERY. I wish to be honored with finanicial reward by the use of my MIND in concert with my art. If drudgery is the only choice, then I'll drive a truck. It's a lot easier, and less hypocritical, less guilt. The mindlessness of typical caricaturing is a horror, akin to digging ditches or making one million cookies. I don't wish to be a factory-worker. Thought, pondering, searching, failing, finding. That's the good work. The work of the artist.
So, when it comes down to it, how do I continue within the current caricaturing business? Well, it's the greatest job in the world, I say. And I say that $20 or $30 is too much for the typical caricature, and not enough for a studied one. I will continue, and will learn, putting much much energy into the thing, and much much mind. I will not let it become an assembly line, and will recognize that while it is an "art job" it is also a form of entertainment, and that it includes a certain amount of selling. But entertainment and salesmanship are just the means to an end: a work of art, the work of the artist, my pleasure.