Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Red Dot Story!!!

Steve, our professor, is a really great story teller. I've decided that I'm placing little reminders in my sketchbooks about some of the awesome and inspiring stories he tells us. The first one being, Red Dot Story.

When Steve was in grad school, the first assignment they were given was to take a 17"x17" piece of paper and put a 1" red dot in the very center of the paper, using a "great red" color. The assignment was....TWO WEEKS LONG. Steve thought, this is great! I have 2 weeks to create such a simple project! First, he tried figuring out what "great red" meant. He decided to use car paint as his material to creat the red. He goes into an auto body shop and gets severel different types of red paints. Chevy red, Mustang Red, Firebird Red, ALL KINDS of reds. Steve sprays them all onto a sheet and knows immediately which one is a "great red." WOW....THAT is a great red. Now, how to figure out how to put this red dot on his paper. He makes a stencil for his circle, places it on the paper, sprays the red, takes the circle stencil off, and the paint bleeds and spread everywhere. Not gonna work. He decided to try some kind of cling material, cuts a whole in it, sticks it to the paper, sprays the red, takes the cling off, and it's STILL bleeding everywhere. This process continues for several days of Steve figuring out just how to spray this damn paint on this paper without it bleeding. He figures out that if you just spray it for a split second, let it dry for an hour, do it again, repeat for about 8 hours, he could create the PERFECT Great Red dot! Presentation day comes, and their professor asks them to place their projects in a line on the floor. The students do so, and the professor looks at them quickly and says "This would be great for a lecture"...and walks away. Keep in mind, many students were up till all hours of the night figuring this project out and working impossibly hard. After the professor walked away, many students got pissed and just left. The remaining students stood there for a bit, and began to talk to each other about their projects. What material they used for the red, how they got the red dot on the paper, and their entire learning process and experience. Steve could tell the professor was behind the corner listening in, and it was then and only THEN that he realized what the intent of the project was!

We learn more from each other than we do from our professors. Being in a studio environment is FUNDAMENTAL to our learning experience, because we learn SO MUCH by talking with each other. Our professors can guide us to a certain extent for a certain amount of time during the day, but our classmates can help us out all day every day. We MUST work in the studio if we are going to learn and succeed in the program. What a great story, at least I thought so.

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