8. [Undercover] Stokastika's Brief Ontogeny of MultiMedia Art. I usually tell people a "formula story" in terms of my untrained relationship with art: my parents never encouraged me too much. They were largely "oh, that's nice" type of parents whenever I engaged in an artistic endeavor. Instead, they were encouraging with science and dictatorial with tennis (my mom was the dictator, that is). My early educational system provided few opportunities to express myself in art, but whenever I had a chance, I created beautiful things, from drawings to cartoons to maps to posters to little rugs and mattresses to canvas paintings to origami and low budget sculptures. I remember hanging out with the best artists in class (like Agatka Chrobak and Myrbon Garcia), and we would essentially teach each other artistic styles and tricks that our authoritative teachers didn't have the will or capacity to teach us. I remember spending an entire year trying to draw the best Little Mermaid in class (and Agatka sent me one of her drawings in the mail! I was so touched!). Since I was intrinsically good at art, none of the other kids really picked on me (well, I was also one of the tallest kids in the class, so that helped too). Since the third grade, I knew I was a rebel artist (now I KNOW that I know it). At one point, a guest artist became infuriated because I did not paint the outline of a lemon-tomato-teapot complex the way how the told the class to delineate. I simply responded softly, "But that's not what I see." Then this angry teacher went behind me to my eye level, and said, "Oh!" and then she left me alone. I was a very subservient, quiet student... and this was the first indication of what would eventually become a "rebellious breakout" from the educative norm. I remember in the sixth grade, the class was partnered up and we had to draw side profiles of our partner. I actually created the most accurate drawing in the class of Alexandra Edmond, an aspiring track runner (who's sister was really famous because she was a North High School track star). I had only one art class in my life--and that was in the 8th grade. Mr. Clack really pushed me to have a career in art (and now, I can go back and say I'm doing environmental media!) By the time I reached high school, the pursuit of art was largely stifled and marginally expressed through science project poster design and designing tennis t-shirts. Art slowly emerged through my doodles during classes and guest lectures in undergraduate and graduate school. And then, I recently met Katrien--an astrophysicist who is also an artist--and she said that it's probably a very good thing that I never received a formal education in art. Just be intuitive and do your own thing!
I'm sure more memories of my relationship with art will sneak up on me!