A lot has been going on here over the past week. Has it really only been a week since I last blogged? Wow. One exciting piece of news is that the movie I made with Kyle Markwalter took first place and audience choice at Golden Schillers (the student film festival)! All the films will be posted on the Golden Schillers site soon, but you can see our movie in HD on YouTube here! The event was a lot of fun, and it was very gratifying to have both the cheering of the audience and the really affirming words of Pierre Hecker, who announced first place. I had Pierre for Shakespeare I last term, and I know he's not the type to just throw around compliments without thinking. The prizes were candy, movie tickets, dinner on the town, and entry into a film festival of our choice. We're not really sure what sorts of film festivals are out there, though. If you watch it and have a good idea, please comment and let me know!
In most of my life, particularly in the more serious artistic side of things, I try to avoid being referential. For example, I try to avoid things like pop-culture (or high culture) references and in-jokes. A lot of the artists that we've been studying in Art Since 1945 make pieces that are direct responses to other famous artists, and don't think I would ever want to do this. I also generally avoid making fan art. I think I'm afraid of piggybacking on other things that would make someone appreciate or enjoy my work; I don't want someone to like something I did simply because it relates to their experience of someone else's art, or because it makes them feel like insiders by them "getting it".
One of the few times I gave in and made a Decemberists poster for a contest. Design contests and fan art... if I had two spines they would both have shivers running down them. Annoyingly (and obviously) it is by far the most popular piece I have on my deviantart account.
I think this trait is something of a mix between egotism and integrity. However, one night last week, when I was sick and having trouble focusing on an Art History paper, I got sucked into the latest phenomenon: the college meme Facebook page.
Apparently just these past few weeks, tons of colleges started up their own meme pages. There's a lot to say, if you haven't heard about memes. I won't go into all the details, you can read about the phenomenon in this USA Today article. Carleton followed suit, and over the past week or so, the page has been filled with various references to campus buildings and activities (or even things that have nothing much to do with Carleton at all). It was fun for a little bit (I posted a TON that one night, mainly to procrastinate) and I still post occasionally, but I think it's mostly just a fad. At least that's what the meme police are hoping; inevitably there are one or two people who are more embedded in internet culture who just can't stand the college meme page. They say how the Facebook memes should be on Reddit, how they're actually "image macros" not "memes", how they don't follow the correct rules of usage for popular meme characters. So there's been quite a bit of drama in Facebook land. Luckily I have a good friend Molly Nichols who also posted a lot of memes early on, and we commiserate about the poor little Facebook page's loss of innocence. So that's my foray into the land of internet and pop culture humor. I will go back to drawing comics now.
One of Molly's memes playing off the fact that we can now print to the campus computers from our own personal computers!
Speaking of comics, we have a fantastic dream-themed Carleton Graphic issue coming up, and it's going to be huge and beautiful. Several of our contributors came up with some of their longest and best contributions, so be on the lookout for that at carletongraphic.com.
Also, on a related note, I just got my copy of Shuteye in the mail! Shuteye is a collection of dream-themed comics by Sarah Becan, the author of Sauceome, a fantastic webcomic about food and drink and sometimes about body image. Also, Sarah just went to Japan and she did a sauceome about this incredible-looking ramen museum. They recreated an indoor version of a city block in Japan at the time of the invention of instant noodles, and there are all these mini versions of famous ramen houses! It sounds so amazing. Anyway, Shuteye was funded by a kickstarter project that I supported; you can pre-order it here. I've only read the first story so far, so I can't say too much about it yet. But I'm really excited to read it!
I think that's all I have to say for right now. Hope you have a good week. I'm going to be really busy over the next couple weeks with the Carleton graphic issue, a big final Art History paper, and rehearsal every day for the play which opens at the end of next week... Wish me luck!