What am I good at?
I’m very imaginative and creative, you can look at my artwork and see that. It is something that I feel strongly about myself, and am very proud of. I am also rather skillful. I am a good artist, my craftsmanship is very good for someone my age and experience level in a variety of media. I am adaptable with my artwork, I realize that the end result of my artwork may not necessarily be what I had originally envisioned. I can handle constructive criticism, and welcome it, because a complacent artist is not truly an artist. I am a good communicator. I am very adept at social interaction. People like me, they trust me, and they find that they can rely on me because I follow through with my work. Lastly I am very dedicated. I spent hours upon hours working on my art because I think it is worth the time and effort to create something that I enjoy and want to share with other people. Those are the things that I am good at.
What do I need to work on?
I’m not very flexible. I don’t like unwanted input on my artwork, or stupid suggestions like “You could do…” Usually once I get an idea into my head I just need to put it into reality. It may be a success or a failure, but its my idea. I need to learn to be more openminded to these suggestions. Just because it isn’t my idea, doesn’t make it a bad idea. I don’t like collaborating. I hate group projects. They irritate me to no freaking end! I always end up having to do most of the work, or sometimes all of the work. Why is that? Because I follow through with my commitments. Another reason is that I don’t like sharing the credit. Yeah, that sounds kinda rude, but whenever I do most of the work (or all of it), I feel like I’m entitled to the majority of the credit too. Maybe if I was a little more forceful about telling my partner(s) that I would like some help, that wouldn’t really be an issue. Connections. That’s something that i came to SMU to get. I realize that just being a good, or even a great, artist is not enough to be successful. I wouldn’t call myself savvy about anything really. I don’t really have any job or work experience, and I don’t really have any street smarts. But that’s something that will come with time, so I’m not too worried about it. Raising funds….again I’ve never really worked before so getting paid for my services is a new experience for me.
There are probably more strengths and weaknesses that I could go into, but I feel like those are the main things that can contribute to my success.
Here is my Elevator Pitch Draft! Feel free to comment, ask questions, or provide constructive criticism. Thanks!
Your face is very unique; can I paint it? As a visual artist I am interested in portraying people that represent different cultures. My name is Dillon Chapman and I hope that my art will remove some of the prejudices that we have. I intend to exhibit the truth behind the oppression that people have to deal with and raise people’s awareness about how they treat other people. I work with a variety of media including painting and photography. Here is my card, feel free to give me a call or take a look at my website for more information.
“Rhythm 0 Revisited”
In the aftermath of my social experiment, dubbed “Rhythm 0 Revisited” in honor of the performance piece done by Marina Abramovic, I have come to a few realizations about human nature. Though my experiment may seem a lot less risky than Abramovic’s original piece, it did plenty of damage to my psyche. Here are the instructions that were posted during the performance for the public to see:
“RHYTHM 0 Revisited”
For the duration of one hour, I am no longer a human being; I am a canvas, a piece of paper. I have set out a series of mark making materials with which you can mark my exposed skin in any way that you wish. You can touch me, move me, and pose me, in any way that you wish for this hour. I am an object. However, NO VIOLENCE will be tolerated. There is a moderator standing by who WILL STOP the show if he feels that things are getting out of hand. I am an object, therefore I have no feelings, so treat me as such. Feel free to take as many pictures as you want, and tag me on Facebook.
And treat me like an object the audience, or participators, did. They completely covered all of my exposed skin. Purposefully tickled me and tortured me with the mark making tools, some which hurt quite a lot, and made various comments about my body. They moved me around like I was a rag doll. Several of them made comments regarding how “mean” what they were doing to me was, however made no attempt to stop them. They took great pleasure in doing what they liked to me. Had I not had a moderator and set some limitations beforehand, I have no doubt that they would have done even worse things to me.
The most interesting thing that I found was that my “friends” took the most pleasure in causing me pain, or desecrating my body. People who did not know me would not participate at all, and people who barely knew me only drew on me for a few seconds. My “friends” enjoyed using me for the majority of the hour allotted for this experiment. They drove each other into a frenzy. By dehumanizing myself I allowed them to do what is in their nature. Prey upon the weak. Some of them justified their actions by saying “this is what he wanted.” It is indeed what I wanted. I wanted to see how people would treat me, just like what Abramovic wanted. And just like in the original, the people only grew more vicious and comfortable viewing me as on object over the course of the hour. It would be interesting to attempt this experiment again, but to increase the duration of the time, and perhaps limit the constraints. I have no doubt that they would have taken it much further if I had not set constraints, and I am not quite certain what would have happened to me.
Humans are cruel. They like control. The first chance they get to exercise that control over you, they will take it. The closer a person is to you, the more comfortable they are with abusing you in various ways. This cruelty seems to not be gender specific, race specific, or based on religion or sexual orientation. Man, Woman, Caucasian, Asian, African American, Gay, Straight. They all treated me equally. They treated me worse than one would treat a house pet. My trust in human beings has been almost entirely shattered. Only one “friend” refused to participate, however, he made no attempt to stop them either. Without the fear of retaliation to keep them in check, humans become quite cruel, that is what I learned from this. Several people made comments to the fact that I looked similar to Jesus after he had been crucified. I feel in a way that this has brought me closer to God, or at least given me much more respect for the Christian religion as a whole.
I am sure people may have found it to be ridiculous, but can they truly say that they would willingly submit themselves to a crowd of people and not retaliate? Would they willingly humble, humiliate, and dehumanize themselves? I can at least say that, on a somewhat mild scale at least, I have tasted a bit of human cruelty. It tastes of bile and tears and bloodlust.
There are truly only two things that can motivate me: obligation or desire. Either I need to do something or I really want to do something. It’s honestly as simple as that. If I have a required class or assignment, or a deadline, I’m going to meet it. I try to really follow through with whatever I do.For example, right now I am taking an introductory advertising class. I signed up to see if that may be something that I might want to do in combination with my art. After a few weeks in the class I’ve realized that I don’t like advertising. However, this is not going to affect the quality of my work in this class. I’m still going to give it 100%, even if it is no longer something that I am working towards. I made a commitment, and I intend to follow through with it.
I take this same approach to every commitment I make, whether it be a class that I am taking, or an organization that I have joined. What you get out of something is exactly what you put into it. If you invest minimal effort, you’ll get minimal results, and likewise if you invest a lot into something, you get a lot back from it. Obligation is one of the biggest motivators in hour society. We all have obligations: social, religious, family, job related. Fulfilling your obligations is being responsible. Everyone has the “have to’s” that they have to attend to in life.
Just as everyone has obligations, they have desires. For me personally, desire is a better motivator than obligation. If I truly have an interest in something I am going to give it all that I’ve got. If I give 100% to things that I’m obligated to do,then I give 110% to things that I want to do. “Want to’s” always motivate better than “have to’s,” which makes sense. If someone has an internal motivation, it’s usually a lot more effective than an external motivation. If I want to do something obviously I’m going to have a stronger passion about getting it done, or the quality in which it is done, than if I have to do it.
Money is also a big motivator for most people. Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to make money. Everyone has to make money, it’s a necessity. However, it is not a primary motivator for me. As long as I’m financially stable, I’d much rather do something that makes me happy, even if it makes less money than some other job. Happiness is the most important motivator to me. I want to enjoy what I’m doing, not suffer through some 9 to 5 desk job. Externalities is also something that I am acutely aware of as a motivator. If something that I’m supposed to do is going to hurt someone, either directly or indirectly, I’d like to avoid that at all costs. I am very much a humanist at heart. I try to keep my actions from negatively effecting people, because I truly care for people. This was the wall that I ran into in the advertising class. I couldn’t in good conscience make money off of selling people stuff that they don’t need and by telling them that they aren’t good enough. I could’t prey on people’s insecurities for my livelihood. It goes against my morals. I probably could do the job, but I wouldn’t have that internal motivation that I feel is crucial to doing something to the best of my ability. My morals are a big part of what motivates me. I am a big proponent of equality in every way: racial, gender, marriage. I could not do something, no matter what the motivational technique was that went against my core beliefs.
What is it that I value? Fame? Money? Too often I feel that we equivocate these things with success. And if you look in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the primary definition says that success is, “the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.” Most people would agree with that. Why are we going to college? To get an education, to learn how to do a job, to get a job, to earn money, to be “successful.” However, if one were to look at the second version of the definition, which states that success is, “the correct or desired result of an attempt,” your perspective or perhaps idea of the word success may change somewhat, whether minimally or drastically. We as a society place so much emphasis on being “successful,” or making money, having a job that pays well. As a society we don’t value things like helping one another, or being truly happy, we associate money with happiness. Don’t get me wrong, money is crucial, however, I do not believe that that should be the primary motivation for something.
Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to be famous. To some degree every artist does. That recognition, the validation of all the work and effort that they have put into their craft. However, I am a realistic individual, and acknowledge the fact that I may never be famous. As far as monetary compensation for my artwork, I’m not interested in being very wealthy. As long as I’m financially stable, the rest is excess. Just being able to do my artwork is enough for me. That’s all that I really want, and that’s all that I know that I want for certain at this stage in my life.
As far as religious or spiritual values I’m not really sure if I have any. I’m not necessarily “godless”, however, I’m not really sure what I want out of my spirituality right now. Despite my lack of spiritual clarity, I am absolute in my morals. I have a firm belief of what is right, what is wrong, and what is subjective. I am a very honest person, and honesty in any relationship is key to its success. Honesty is one of the most important things that someone can give to me. Loyalty is something I value very much as well. I am very loyal to my friends, almost to a fault. I believe in emotionally investing in people. If you want to build a relationship with someone, you have to put some of yourself into the relationship to get some of them back. I value my family probably most of all. They love me, encourage me, respect me, support me, and put up with all of my bullshit. They’ve always been there for me, no matter what, and I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without them.
I am a very structured and habitual worker. I like to plan ahead, and to set deadlines for myself. If I don’t self-regulate, I won’t be able to get the task at hand, whether it be a piece of artwork or homework, finished on time or to the level that I think that it should be at. My work habits for creative thinking and actually doing the work are similar in certain aspects, but are a bit different. There are even slight differences between when I do artwork, and when I study or write my papers.
When I am doing an assignment, I like to be very wide awake (often I drink something caffeinated), and I usually like to do this sort of work in the morning, or right after I get out of a class, so that the material is still fresh in my mind. I like my environment to be very cozy and warm while I am studying, and I need it to be fairly quiet. I cannot concentrate with a large number of people around me. I am a very social person by nature, and if too many people are around me (especially if they are engaging in conversation as opposed to studying) I am tempted to socialize instead of study or do my homework. However, I cannot concentrate when it is completely silent either. I usually put in my headphones and turn on my Pandora radio to one of my classical or relaxing stations and immerse myself in that sound. These things usually produce the best results in my schoolwork.
When I am formulating ideas for my artwork, I usually work under extremely different conditions. I think about these things in the morning when I get up and take my morning shower. I will turn the water on as hot as I can physically stand it, crank up some sort of pop or 80′s music, and just sit there in the shower for awhile with my eyes closed, going through ideas in my head. This way I can shut out the outside world and truly visualize what I am trying to depict in my artwork. Sometimes it takes only 10-15 minutes, other times it may take me an hour or so to work out a composition in my head. In this way, I can truly control what influences my artwork. Only what I let in can affect what I am trying to create, so usually just the music that I am listening to.
Lastly, when I am actually working on a piece of artwork, I have a different set of conditions that I usually need to be fulfilled. Contrary to my usual working conditions, when I work on artwork I don’t mind being around people, it seems to calm my nerves, and make me less uptight about my work. I’m a lot more open and free-flowing when I work on my artwork. It’s almost as if time doesn’t exist. I can get so much done and it seems like only 30 minutes have passed when in actuality I’ve been working for 3 hours. Also unlike my other work, I tend to not get as stressed out about it. I know my limits when it comes to my art, and I don’t feel the need to push myself beyond what I can do at the current time. I know what I can do, so I focus on that. Ironically, even though my mind is free flowing, I feel as if I am at the height of my intellectual awareness and my dexterity when I am working on my artwork. I think straighter, see clearer, and work harder, I become very structured and methodical. My art is an application of everything that I have learned, the exhibition of my knowledge as a person, and of the world around me. All of my observations and experiences. That is what I channel into my artwork. In short, my artwork is the ultimate display of my self-efficacy. I am most sure of myself when I am doing my artwork.
Well seeing as this is my first post, I’d like to take the opportunity to tell you all a little about myself. I have been an art student for the past three years in my high school. I’ve been exhibited in venues throughout my hometown, as well as at El Centro College in 2012 for Booker T. Washington’s “Young American Talent” show.
I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. I’ve always loved looking at artwork and going to museums. I remember being fascinated and awestruck by the wide variety of artwork in the museums, by all the different styles and media, depicting almost as many different scenes. I always loved to sketch in my free time, but, like most kids, I was told that being a “starving artist” was not a plausible career choice. I continued to sketch for fun, but never really considered pursuing it. Eventually, through the combined encouragement of my parents and some greatly appreciated teachers, I finally had the self confidence to pursue my career in art, and share my talent with other people. I was lucky enough to have supportive parents and teachers who truly cared enough to help me reach my goals.
As an artist I really need to work on being more innovative and to take more risks. By trying new things I can help further myself as an artist and possibly discover a new medium that perhaps I am better at, or that I enjoy more, or is more effective at conveying the message that I am trying to send. I am resilient and very adaptable, and I welcome constructive criticism because I realize that your perspective can be altered by other’s view points.
I appreciate and enjoy all forms of artwork, not just my own singular style which I am still in the process of developing.
Some of my favorite artists are: Andy Warhol, Lucian Freud, and Pablo Piccaso (and not just his cubist pieces).
Some of my favorite museums that I’ve been able to visit are: The Modern in Fort Worth, The DMA, The Guggenhiem, and of course The Metropolitan. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit The Lourve soon.
I am really looking forward to my time at SMU and cannot wait to see what these next four years bring me!