Monday, November 13, 2006

Artist dilemma

As you know, I am an assistant professor of graphic design. This means that I have to do research, have exhibitions, and publish. Art has always been a very important part of my life. The act of creating and the messages the creations produce has been a focus of all of my work. Some of of my work has included life size portraits of my self as other characters --telling a story. Other work included a Step 1 board review game -- for students wishing to review for Step 1 of the USMLE board exam.

The past few years have been difficult for me to work as an artist, as I have felt a general lack of purpose in the act of creation. I have not wanted to use darkroom chemicals - due to the negative impact on our environment (and our bodies). I have not wanted to create logos to sell products. It has been a dilemma. I want to have a purpose and a positive impact in my artistic work. Without that intense internal desire, I have no longing to do any artistic work or research. I don't want to create waste. I don't want to contribute to what I see as being a negative influence on our society and our earth.

I have been contemplating exploring the designer's role in teaching change. I have been thinking about using what I write about here. Designers have some latitude in research and artistic creation. We have helped form our society as we inform it. We have created new artistic movements in response to our culture. Everything in our world has been influenced by something else. There is a lot for me to think about.


BurdockBoy said...

I understand what you are saying, but I feel that art enhances our lives by giving us beauty. I also believe art can teach us valuable lessons-including being more friendly towards the Earth. We had a great artist up here that ran Puppet Farm. Unfortunately he and his family just moved to the Twin Cities. Lately he has been doing workshops on creating art from garbage. He had one earlier this year for kids where they turned their bicycles into peddle powered animals, all with recycled materials. He has amazing puppets that are always at Applefest in Bayfield. I also went with him to Washington DC a couple of years ago to protest the then upcoming war, where he had hilarious puppets of Bush and Cheney as well as the peace doves.

Anyhow, if art is still your passion please look into ways of expanding its boundaries to fill your new morals. While simplicity is wonderful, we still need art and literature to fulfill our lives in other ways.

Emme said...

I do agree with you -- I think I simply need to explore ways that my passion for simplicity/sustainability and desire to create can be combined. Art is important for our souls. I need to create it, I just need explore mediums that fit my life.

BurdockBoy said...

I almost forgot about the ice protest Chris of Puppet farm also organised a couple years ago. I'm somewhere in the breast of the dove.

Emme said...

fit my life - and teach. I am a teacher and always will be. Even in my art.

Phelan said...

I feel similar. I am a writer and am addict to printed word. Paper that is. Maybe I can convince my publisher to print me on hemp or recycled paper. HA! Maybe when I am hugely popular that will happen. Good luck on all your choices.