Linda Carson cares about art, and teaching, and teaching art. This is not so much a blog as a growing archive of things she's found it useful to share.
Caution: Linda Carson is not afraid of rude words. Or big words. Or big rude words.
The anatomy lab is a quiet place when I'm not leading a class of twenty-five. I suppose, for most audiences, the less said about the subject matter the better. But I agree with a student and friend who said, this week, "I have never found a more interesting subject to draw." I feel tender toward the bodies and find it a very reflective setting. By this point in my experience, it's not morbid but I always leave in a reflective mood. I would worry if I didn't. This should be a big deal, and a privilege,and it is.
Donald Norman said, "I have a rule of thumb for spotting bad design: Look for posted instructions. Whenever you see signs explaining how to use something, it is a badly designed piece of equipment. I take great delight in traveling the world, reading all those taped, hand-written signs that instruct folks what to do and, of equal importance, what not to do."
From a washroom at McMaster University this weekend...
You've gotta love the Letters of Note site just on principle. It's "an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos."
But they published a real gem recently for anyone who draws or cartoons or loves Ren & Stimpy. Here's the story...
In 1998, aged just 14, aspiring young cartoonist Amir Avni decided to get in touch with the creator of Ren & Stimpy, John Kricfalusi. Being a hardcore fan of Kricfalusi's work, Amir sent him an introductory letter along with a few cartoons he'd drawn, some of which contained relatively unknown characters of John's. To call Kricfalusi's response 'generous' would be an understatement, and when I asked Amir about the reply he said the following:'I think John puts a lot of faith in the younger generation of cartoonists, and wants to make sure they are well educated. He sees the younger generation as the future of cartoons, and that's why he's so approachable and good willed.'
So John Kricfalusi wrote back. By hand. With feedback and tips and drawings of his own.
"Good drawing is more important than anything else in animation. More than ideas, style, stories. Everything starts with good drawing. Learn to draw construction, perspective."
I can't bear it if you don't visit this link to see the reply from "Your pal, John K.", which is not just a nice letter but a great drawing lesson. They've also linked to John's blog, Amir's blog, and Reddit, where the enthusiastic response to this letter has led John to answer questions. Check it out. Check it all out!
Expertise in a subject changes how you take in information about that subject. You remember key elements. You leap to well-informed conclusions and move on to the new and unusual stuff faster. It's almost magical how quickly you spot useful clusters and patterns of information.
...In a subject where you're expert...
...but I'm not an expert in music...
Saturday night I attended a concert and what I noticed was how, because the music was totally unfamiliar, I could neither anticipate what was about to happen nor recall in detail what has just occurred. I was naive and therefore totally in the "now" of the music.