Musings of the Mad

I recently found some notebooks from my time in college. It’s nice to think that you’ve changed over time, matured, and found some wisdom. But these notebooks prove two things: I haven’t changed since I was 20 years old, and I was clearly insane. While other students were hastily taking notes about Roland Barthes, I was intently drawing the objects I deemed “mean.” The notebooks reveal a person obsessed with bizarre trivial ideas. Why did I create a narrative where Georgia O’Keefe serves me toast? I catalogued the world around me, which Southern California of the early 80s was new wave Vals (Valley teens), Bevs (Beverly Hills teens), and their shopping habits. I also include a page on semiotics to prove that while I was busy drawing LA Eyeworks sunglasses, I was also trying to understand structuralism.

The sad part of this, or the good part depending on your point of view is that my current notebook is no better. Today I finished a rather intricate drawing of a riverboat during a meeting.

Living in the 80s

Poster, Spring Dance Ensemble, 1985

I’m often asked to bring in my student work by my students at Art Center. I went to CalArts from 1982–1986, so the work tends toward the New Wave. I was fortunate to have some great instructors including Lou Danziger, Lorraine Wild, April Greiman, and Roland Young. Here are a few of my projects. Now, remember, this was when type was generated by an old Merganthaler VIP photo-type machine, or by letterpress, and you needed to make giant negatives and print posters either as a slikscreen or Diazo print (blueline). So they ain’t as purty and slick as the fancy pants digital printed student work today. And I walked ten miles in the snow to get to school after milking the cows.

Poster, 4 Australian Poets, 1986

Poster, Phil Garner Visiting Artist, 1986