Thursday, April 3, 2014

freaky good times…

tdt90-USE

If you’ve followed the blog, you know my love of architecture and the fact that I was once dreaming and studying to become one. An architect.

Then, it all went horribly, horribly wrong.

Actually, I just quickly figured out that math was not my friend.

Also, so many decisions made in committee style meetings and tons of minutiae. It felt like any creative ideas were always being suppressed for such things as “structural integrity” and the apparent need for things to stand under their own weight.

Paawwshaaahhh.

My brilliant teacher was kind enough to point me in the fine art and design direction. Wise, wise man.

When I sauntered into the fine art dept. and took my place amongst the other creative types, I was quickly criticized for being too structural. Too precise. Not enough whimsy and artistry.

I wasn’t precise enough for architecture or cool enough for art.

This, was eerily reminiscent of my high school years.

Where was my path to greatness?

I had such high hopes for architecture and when I was shuttled over to the fine art pool I shifted my hopes of awesomeness to all things arty. Surely the world of beleaguered art types and bohemians was where I would find my voice and great purpose. Non?

As a fine art major, I was not required to take math but I was required to take art history. I loved it. It confirmed that it was OK to not do things just one way. Plus, it had *history* in the title so it had to be right.

I also took a structural anatomy course that pretty much taught you how to see and draw the human body…inside and out. Freaky good times.

As a very shy and sheltered Greek boy from the suburbs, the nude models and cadavers that we had as resources blew my mind. I was a sketching fool. In this class my structured way of drawing was actually seen as a positive. I flourished. I spent hours obsessing over the smallest details and trying to not only capture them in a photographic style, but also in a way that felt fresh. At least to me. I turned some of the drawings into collages by adding other materials and cut-up pieces of photography I had taken and adhering them to the canvas. It was my favorite way to be creative. It felt freeing and every project was an unexpected discovery.

I took pottery and sculpture classes and made so many mistakes that I’m sure the classroom looked like the outtakes from the movie Ghost. I didn’t care—LOVED it!

I truly had no idea what I was doing at the time. I just immersed myself in all things “art” related.

It wasn’t until years later during an improv class I was taking (to hopefully help with getting over the shyness and social awkwardness) that I had this moment where I realized that the beauty of my art classes was that they were improvised creativity for me.

AHA.

There was not as much pressure to “get it right.”

Getting things right or perfect was a very big deal in our home. Perfection was always the Holy Grail and anything short was unacceptable. Hence it was not worthy of any kind of recognition. True effort was not enough.

In these classes, effort, interpretation and originality were more than enough. Even though I struggled to find perfection in every art project, it became more and more real that the true creative reward was in the process.

So much is discovered in the process of creating something.

It was the One Path to Greatness.

The Process, which was a mixture of all kinds of stuff!

It’s a strange little mix that is part of my design DNA to this day.

Part of what I design incorporates my love of structure and architecture. Another part is the lessons I learned about letting go and allowing whimsy to take the lead. Then there’s the need to perfect. Which is never really attainable, but it’s always a driver. In the end it becomes my favorite art form…a collage.  A mix.

The rooms that I admire or that I have designed always share that common denominator, regardless of their style. They are a mixture of things that work together to create the perfect setting for that space and homeowner.

There really is one way to get it right or to be great, and that’s to use whatever works for you.

Go Forth and Mix It Up.   -angelo

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