I'm currently stalling on a load of homework for my drawing class, which is both labor-intensive and slightly too abstract for my puny, literal brain to interpret. We're to do strange, impenetrable things like 'observe' and 'respond' to things, but using our sketchpads. Like THAT makes sense. I'm more likely to tell you how I feel about something using interpretative dance than I am with a colored pencil. So I sit here with a giant blank pad in front of me, and the instructions to 'respond to a daily news story' and create a 'mood diary,' and I have NO idea what any of this means.
Some (small, fleeting) part of me recognizes that these sorts of assignments are intended to inspire creativity--you know, the less specific the instruction, the more freedom you have--but I worry that what I'm producing is all wrong, that I've totally missed the point. I'm not looking to create the Mona Lisa here, but I would at least like to know that smearing black paint all over this page in an angst-filled response to the news of 'tube strike' gets me a few points. I can't get a bad grade in this class; bad grades aren't what I do. I graduated top of my class in high school and college; I cannot fail a class in which we are instructed to make shoes out of cardboard.
And the strangest thing is that while I'm struggling here, the slackers in my class--the ones who won't do ANYthing until the tutor is standing directly over their shoulder demanding it--under supervision produce works of brilliance. Their sketchbooks blossom under their sullen hands, their one sketch outshining my forty in five short seconds. I'll see something that they've begrudgingly produced and be like, 'Oh, THAT'S what we were meant to be doing this whole time!' as I slide my arm over my drawing of a stick man beating a bus with a bat. A bat that looks like a penis, which isn't as much symbolic as accidental.
Now if you'll excuse me, I should get to work on this 'mood diary.' Capture THIS using nothing but color: