sex education worldwide

good morning. how are you? (laughter) it's been great, hasn't it? i've been blown away by the whole thing. in fact, i'm leaving.

sex education worldwide

sex education worldwide, there have been three themesrunning through the conference which are relevantto what i want to talk about. one is the extraordinaryevidence of human creativity in all of the presentations that we've had

and in all of the people here. just the variety of itand the range of it. the second isthat it's put us in a place where we have no ideawhat's going to happen, in terms of the future. no idea how this may play out. i have an interest in education. actually, what i find is everybodyhas an interest in education. don't you?

i find this very interesting. if you're at a dinner party, and you say you work in education -- actually, you're not oftenat dinner parties, frankly. if you work in education,you're not asked. and you're never asked back, curiously.that's strange to me. but if you are, and you say to somebody, you know, they say, "what do you do?" and you say you work in education,

you can see the blood run from their face. they're like, "oh my god,"you know, "why me?" "my one night out all week." but if you ask about their education,they pin you to the wall. because it's one of those thingsthat goes deep with people, am i right? like religion, and money and other things. so i have a big interest in education,and i think we all do. we have a huge vested interest in it, partly because it's educationthat's meant to take us into this future

that we can't grasp. if you think of it,children starting school this year will be retiring in 2065. nobody has a clue, despite all the expertise that's beenon parade for the past four days, what the world will look likein five years' time. and yet we're meantto be educating them for it. so the unpredictability,i think, is extraordinary. and the third part of this

is that we've all agreed, nonetheless, on the really extraordinarycapacities that children have -- their capacities for innovation. i mean, sirena last nightwas a marvel, wasn't she? just seeing what she could do. and she's exceptional, but i thinkshe's not, so to speak, exceptional in the whole of childhood. what you have there is a personof extraordinary dedication who found a talent.

and my contention is,all kids have tremendous talents. and we squander them, pretty ruthlessly. so i want to talk about education and i want to talk about creativity. my contention is that creativity nowis as important in education as literacy, and we should treat itwith the same status. (applause) thank you. (applause) that was it, by the way.

thank you very much. so, 15 minutes left. well, i was born... no. i heard a great story recently-- i love telling it -- of a little girlwho was in a drawing lesson. she was six, and she wasat the back, drawing, and the teacher said this girlhardly ever paid attention, and in this drawing lesson, she did. the teacher was fascinated.

she went over to her,and she said, "what are you drawing?" and the girl said, "i'mdrawing a picture of god." and the teacher said, "but nobodyknows what god looks like." and the girl said,"they will, in a minute." when my son was four in england -- actually, he was foureverywhere, to be honest. if we're being strict about it,wherever he went, he was four that year. he was in the nativity you remember the story? no, it was big, it was a big story.

mel gibson did the sequel,you may have seen it. "nativity ii." but james got the part of joseph,which we were thrilled about. we considered this to beone of the lead parts. we had the place crammedfull of agents in t-shirts: "james robinson is joseph!" (laughter) he didn't have to speak, but you know the bitwhere the three kings come in? they come in bearing gifts,gold, frankincense and myrrh.

this really happened. we were sitting there and i thinkthey just went out of sequence, because we talked to the little boyafterward and we said, "you ok with that?" and he said,"yeah, why? was that wrong?" they just switched. the three boys came in, four-year-olds with tea towelson their heads, and they put these boxes down, and the first boy said,"i bring you gold."

and the second boy said,"i bring you myrrh." and the third boy said, "frank sent this." what these things have in commonis that kids will take a chance. if they don't know, they'll have a go. am i right? they're notfrightened of being wrong. i don't mean to say that being wrongis the same thing as being creative. what we do know is,if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come upwith anything original -- if you're not prepared to be wrong.

and by the time they get to be adults,most kids have lost that capacity. they have becomefrightened of being wrong. and we run our companies like this. we stigmatize mistakes. and we're now runningnational education systems where mistakes are the worstthing you can make. and the result is thatwe are educating people out of their creative capacities. picasso once said this, he saidthat all children are born artists.

the problem is to remain an artistas we grow up. i believe this passionately,that we don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. or rather, we get educated out of it. so why is this? i lived in stratford-on-avonuntil about five years ago. in fact, we movedfrom stratford to los angeles. so you can imaginewhat a seamless transition that was. actually, we lived in a placecalled snitterfield,

just outside stratford, which is whereshakespeare's father was born. are you struck by a new thought? i was. you don't think of shakespearehaving a father, do you? do you? because you don't thinkof shakespeare being a child, do you? shakespeare being seven? i never thought of it. i mean, he was seven at some point. he was in somebody'senglish class, wasn't he?

how annoying would that be? "must try harder." being sent to bed by his dad, you know,to shakespeare, "go to bed, now! and put the pencil down." "and stop speaking like that." "it's confusing everybody." anyway, we movedfrom stratford to los angeles, and i just want to say a wordabout the transition. my son didn't want to come.

i've got two kids;he's 21 now, my daughter's 16. he didn't want to come to los angeles. he loved it, but he hada girlfriend in england. this was the love of his life, sarah. he'd known her for a month. mind you, they'd hadtheir fourth anniversary, because it's a long time when you're 16. he was really upset on the plane, he said, "i'll never findanother girl like sarah."

and we were rather pleasedabout that, frankly -- because she was the main reasonwe were leaving the country. but something strikes youwhen you move to america and travel around the world: every education system on earthhas the same hierarchy of subjects. every one. doesn't matter where you go. you'd think it would beotherwise, but it isn't. at the top are mathematics and languages, then the humanities,and at the bottom are the arts.

everywhere on earth. and in pretty much every system too,there's a hierarchy within the arts. art and music are normallygiven a higher status in schools than drama and dance. there isn't an educationsystem on the planet that teaches dance everyday to children the way we teach them mathematics. why? why not? i think this is rather important. i think math is veryimportant, but so is dance.

children dance all the timeif they're allowed to, we all do. we all have bodies, don't we?did i miss a meeting? truthfully, what happens is,as children grow up, we start to educate them progressivelyfrom the waist up. and then we focus on their heads. and slightly to one side. if you were to visiteducation, as an alien, and say "what's it for, public education?" i think you'd have to conclude,if you look at the output,

who really succeeds by this, who does everything that they should, who gets all the browniepoints, who are the winners -- i think you'd have to concludethe whole purpose of public education throughout the world is to produce university professors. isn't it? they're the people who come out the top. and i used to be one, so there.

and i like universityprofessors, but you know, we shouldn't hold them up as the high-water markof all human achievement. they're just a form of life, another form of life. but they're rather curious, and i say thisout of affection for them. there's something curiousabout professors in my experience -- not all of them, but typically,they live in their heads. they live up there,and slightly to one side.

they're disembodied, you know,in a kind of literal way. they look upon their body as a formof transport for their heads. don't they? it's a way of gettingtheir head to meetings. if you want real evidenceof out-of-body experiences, get yourself along to a residentialconference of senior academics, and pop into the discothequeon the final night. and there, you will see it. grown men and womenwrithing uncontrollably, off the beat.

waiting until it ends so they cango home and write a paper about it. our education system is predicatedon the idea of academic ability. and there's a reason. around the world, there wereno public systems of education, really, before the 19th century. they all came into beingto meet the needs of industrialism. so the hierarchy is rooted on two ideas. number one, that the most usefulsubjects for work are at the top. so you wereprobably steered benignly away

from things at school when youwere a kid, things you liked, on the grounds that you wouldnever get a job doing that. is that right? don't do music, you're notgoing to be a musician; don't do art, you won't be an artist. benign advice -- now, profoundly mistaken. the whole worldis engulfed in a revolution. and the second is academic ability, which has really come to dominateour view of intelligence, because the universities designedthe system in their image.

if you think of it, the whole systemof public education around the world is a protracted processof university entrance. and the consequenceis that many highly-talented, brilliant, creativepeople think they're not, because the thingthey were good at at school wasn't valued,or was actually stigmatized. and i think we can't affordto go on that way. in the next 30 years, according to unesco, more people worldwide will be graduating

through educationthan since the beginning of history. more people, and it's the combinationof all the things we've talked about -- technology and its transformationeffect on work, and demography and the huge explosion in population. suddenly, degrees aren't worth anything. isn't that true? when i was a student,if you had a degree, you had a job. if you didn't have a job,it's because you didn't want one. and i didn't want one, frankly. (laughter)

but now kids with degrees are often heading hometo carry on playing video games, because you need an ma wherethe previous job required a ba, and now you need a phd for the other. it's a process of academic inflation. and it indicates the wholestructure of education is shifting beneath our feet. we need to radically rethinkour view of intelligence. we know three things about intelligence.

one, it's diverse. we think about the world in all the waysthat we experience it. we think visually, we think in sound,we think kinesthetically. we think in abstract terms,we think in movement. secondly, intelligence is dynamic. if you look at the interactionsof a human brain, as we heard yesterdayfrom a number of presentations, intelligence is wonderfully interactive. the brain isn't divided into compartments.

in fact, creativity --which i define as the process of having original ideasthat have value -- more often than not comes aboutthrough the interaction of different disciplinaryways of seeing things. by the way, there's a shaft of nervesthat joins the two halves of the brain called the corpus callosum. it's thicker in women. following off from helen yesterday, this is probably why womenare better at multi-tasking.

because you are, aren't you? there's a raft of research,but i know it from my personal life. if my wife is cooking a meal at home --which is not often, thankfully. no, she's good at some things,but if she's cooking, she's dealing with people on the phone, she's talking to the kids,she's painting the ceiling, she's doing open-heart surgery over here. if i'm cooking, the dooris shut, the kids are out, the phone's on the hook,if she comes in i get annoyed.

i say, "terry, please,i'm trying to fry an egg in here." "give me a break." actually, do you knowthat old philosophical thing, if a tree falls in a forestand nobody hears it, did it happen? remember that old chestnut? i saw a great t-shirtrecently, which said, "if a man speaks his mindin a forest, and no woman hears him, is he still wrong?" and the third thing about intelligence is,

it's distinct. i'm doing a new book at the momentcalled "epiphany," which is based on a seriesof interviews with people about how they discovered their talent. i'm fascinatedby how people got to be there. it's really prompted by a conversationi had with a wonderful woman who maybe most peoplehave never heard of, gillian lynne. have you heard of her? some have. she's a choreographer,and everybody knows her work.

she did "cats" and "phantom of the opera." she's wonderful. i used to be on the boardof the royal ballet, as you can see. anyway, gillian and i hadlunch one day and i said, "how did you get to be a dancer?" it was interesting. when she was at school,she was really hopeless. and the school, in the '30s,wrote to her parents and said,

"we think gillianhas a learning disorder." she couldn't concentrate;she was fidgeting. i think now they'd say she had adhd.wouldn't you? but this was the 1930s, and adhdhadn't been invented at this point. it wasn't an available condition. people weren't aware they could have that. anyway, she went to see this specialist. so, this oak-paneled room,and she was there with her mother, and she was led and saton this chair at the end,

and she sat on her hands for 20 minuteswhile this man talked to her mother about the problemsgillian was having at school. because she was disturbing people;her homework was always late; and so on, little kid of eight. in the end, the doctorwent and sat next to gillian, and said, "i've listened to all thesethings your mother's told me, i need to speak to her privately. wait here. we'll be back;we won't be very long," and they went and left her.

but as they went out of the room, he turned on the radiothat was sitting on his desk. and when they got out, he said to hermother, "just stand and watch her." and the minute they left the room, she was on her feet, moving to the music. and they watched for a few minutesand he turned to her mother and said, "mrs. lynne, gillianisn't sick; she's a dancer. take her to a dance school." i said, "what happened?"

she said, "she did. i can't tell youhow wonderful it was. we walked in this roomand it was full of people like me. people who couldn't sit still. people who had to move to think."who had to move to think. they did ballet, they did tap, jazz;they did modern; they did contemporary. she was eventually auditionedfor the royal ballet school; she became a soloist; she hada wonderful career at the royal ballet. she eventually graduatedfrom the royal ballet school, founded the gillian lynne dance company,

met andrew lloyd webber. she's been responsible for some of the most successfulmusical theater productions in history, she's given pleasure to millions,and she's a multi-millionaire. somebody else might have put heron medication and told her to calm down. what i think it comes to is this: al gore spoke the other night about ecology and the revolutionthat was triggered by rachel carson. i believe our only hope for the future

is to adopt a new conceptionof human ecology, one in which we startto reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. our education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip-mine the earth:for a particular commodity. and for the future, it won't serve us. we have to rethinkthe fundamental principles on which we're educating our children. there was a wonderful quoteby jonas salk, who said,

"if all the insectswere to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all lifeon earth would end. if all human beingsdisappeared from the earth, within 50 years all formsof life would flourish." and he's right. what ted celebrates is the giftof the human imagination. we have to be careful now that we use this gift wisely and that we avert some of the scenariosthat we've talked about.

and the only way we'll do it is by seeingour creative capacities for the richness they are and seeing our childrenfor the hope that they are. and our task is to educatetheir whole being, so they can face this future. by the way -- we may not see this future, but they will. and our job is to help themmake something of it.

sex education workshops

hey, guys. so welcome to proko. my name'sstan prokopenko. this is the one and only steve huston, one of my biggest idols. somebodyi really look up to. and i'm a fan of your work, too. oh, thank you. wow. you heard that one. yeah.

sex education workshops

sex education workshops, steve is a really good artist and even betterteacher, i think. probably one of the best teachers alive in my opinion. he has a bookthat just came out recently, he teaches workshops on new masters academy and art mentors. right? yeah. yeah.

why don't you start with the beginning. allright. when did you start drawing? it was february 1959. that's when i was born. well, yeah. i went to art center. moved from alaska tocalifornia to go to art center, the art school in pasadena and went as an illustration majorwhich is where all the craft was. the fine art was doing all the new york stuff and illustrationwas the place to learn how to draw and how to paint and all that good stuff. so i wentthrough that. i illustrated for a number of years and... was that college?

yeah. art center is a college. right. but that was when you...when you'rein college. so did you start...were you drawing before that? no. well, i always drew but i'd draw a can see it in my paintings now, i draw comic book characters as a kid but i didn'thave any training. it was up in alaska. so you started as a college student. my one and only...before art center my oneand only art class was leather works and i made a...or i guess it was a copper...i madea little copper bulldog belt buckle. that was my whole education in art up until artcenter.

wow. okay. so that was it. there wasn't much to be hadup there. people often think that you have to startas, like, a little kid. no. i always drew. it was the one thing icould do better than my two big brothers. okay. so you did... so i got my identity out of drawing. so idrew all the time but it was just out of my head, copying comic book characters. i usedto send my drawings into marvel because i was a marvel guy or a marvel kid and they'dsend these nice letters back saying, "work on your anatomy," or whatever it was. butno training and but i discovered art center

so i went there and then illustrated for afew years and was a burn out profession. you're doing...i got known as being prettyquick so i get these overnight or over the weekend deadlines. i'd stay up for two or three days to crankout something that wasn't very good and it just took the fun out of it. so i went backand i always teach...i taught a little bit. i went back and started teaching at art centerand then that way not only were they paying me to practice, i could sit in on all my favoriteteachers. a lot of them were the teachers i'd had in school. i'd sit in on their classes.dan mccall was a huge favorite of mine, richard bunkall who's no longer with us. davemckarsky was a big influence, vern wilson,

harry carmy [sp] and these... some of themare still there, some not. but anyway that way they were basically payingme to get a masters program is the way i looked at it. i went in, they told me to teach aclass and i would teach it the way i wanted to learn. if i wanted to learn about colori'd try and get a head painting class, maybe, and teach color theory and head painting.if i wanted to work on hands i'd give them extra work in class on hands. and then i basicallyhad a research team working on all the problems i was trying to learn. and, to me, it was... wow. nirvana.

how old were you when they asked you to bea teacher? oh, i was...i started teaching i think a yearout of college doing high school classes on saturday. they had a saturday program at thatpoint. i don't know if they still do. okay. and then i became on the...i was one of thesubstitute teachers when somebody got sick. and then burne hogarth, the old tarzan comicstrip fame, he became a mentor of mine for a while and he had a heart attack and i tookover his class. and then dan mccall, another mentor of mine who's still out there paintingmasterpieces, he retired and recommended me for his head painting. so i had a good, solidfigure drawing class, a good solid head painting

class, and that's... okay. we're gonna pause the history for asecond because i wanna ask you because you...right out of college you started teaching at thecollege and you took over all these giant, like teachers. how did you get so good? stan: two or three. i wasn't very good. they just needed was two or three years later. you know? and so by the time i started taking thoseclasses and i was a b-team teacher. but what i did and how i got as good as i could getin that time is when i went to college i was really a c-plus student. i was an averagestudent. i never got one piece in the student

gallery, i never got a scholarship, and iwould have loved to get a piece in the student gallery but i didn't want a scholarship becausei saw...what would happen is the students who got the scholarships, they had to go everysingle semester so they couldn't take a break and they would then kind of try and game thesystem. they know that that guy over there really likes this kind of work so they'd givehim that kind of work. oh, okay. so you figure out how to get a good gradebecause if you're not getting b's and a's you're not gonna keep that scholarship andwhat i wanted to do is have the flexibility of failing. being able to fail.

right. steve: and, also, targeting. so if i was gettingan abstract expressionist class or, you know, a contour drawing class it wasn't what i thoughti wanted to be at that time i would blow it off, basically. as long as i got a c i wasgood with that. and then i would bust my butt in the figure drawing and in the paintingand stuff. and, actually, i didn't even really paint. there wasn't much in terms of paintingas we think of those nice, juicy alla prima paints. it was more either fine art painting,just kind of playing with paint, or rendering. so i worked very hard on the rendering skills.learning to make something as real as it could be. reflections and transparencies and surfacesand stuff.

with a pencil. with a pencil or whatever. gouache, pencil,that kind of stuff. acrylic, oil eventually. so they were... they were called rendering classes. so youdo it as tight as you could, basically. as realistic as possible. so when did you introduce paint and color? it was much later. later. when i started to teach. i started teachingdrawing because i...i still see myself as

this, i'm a draftsman that learned how topaint. i was more naturally good at drawing. painting was actually quite hard for me. renderis a little different, it's just if you're willing to put in 100 hours you're gonna makethat apple look like an apple. so that was just mileage in. but painting,getting color, getting fresh strokes, making that form turn while still showing the process,not hiding that process through blending techniques. that was harder to make it look like sargentor a fetchen or whatever. that came much later and that takes good color knowledge and ididn't really have that. and so i could render well, i could draw well, i couldn't paintwell. so what i did is when i started teaching the drawing classes i sat in with dan andhe'd give these great demos and he'd talk

until he was... hilarious jokes all the way through. but thenwe'd take a break somewhere around lunch and we'd go into the slide room and back thenit was still slides. and he'd click through and he'd show us dean cornwells and know sargent and chases and soroya was big with him. and he'd talk about the colortheory. look at the warm and the cool, the rich and the gray, and the light and the dark. just a private instruction? yeah. well, for his whole class. oh.

but i'd be sitting in. i'd have done my...tuesdaysand thursdays i'd do my drawing class and maybe on wednesday he'd have a head paintingclass so i'd go in, usually have lunch with him, and he'd just let me hang out in there.and every teacher i asked let me do that. and i would go in on, you know, whatever numberof days...sometimes i'd be working on my own stuff, sometimes i wouldn't. but when i couldwhich was quite often i would go in and sit in and he'd take his whole class into theslide screening room and we'd just go through slides. he'd talk us through. and then i'd watch him.i'd be painting with the class, too. but i'd watch and listen to him and he'd sit downand say, "okay. now this blue's too rich.

you gotta shift it this way, you gotta dothat to make it harmonize." and i slowly, painstakingly figured out color. but it took a while. it took a few years.and where it really took off for me was when i started teaching head painting because iwas teaching color theory, as well as drawing principles, basically. and i finally figured it out a couple yearsinto teaching it. but i was... now how did you figure it out? did you readbooks or did you experiment? because i did all of that but i also had aresearch team of... what does that mean?

i had 10 or 15 students in there. "now, okay,guys. we're gonna work on warm cool. how to get the warm lights and the cool shadows toharmonize." so i'd do a pretty terrible demo [inaudible00:09:22] the teacher, they assume it's good so you get that kind of...they cut you a know? because you've got that authority. you know? if the therapist says something it must betrue. it's that kind of thing. so i'd do a fairly horrible demo and then i'd go aroundand help these first or third semester students muddle through and every once in a while somebody,by oftentimes accident, would get this gorgeous warm cool. i'd go, "all right. so, oh, that'show you mix that." and i'd make a mental note

and i'd steal from them. stan: okay. so they weren't actually goingout and researching things you were telling them to do. steve: no. no. no. to be clear. stan: i thought you were, like... steve: i should have thought of that though. stan: that would be great though. you assigna research project and they have to write an essay about color theory? steve: well, they do that, you know, withtheir exercises. you know, when i'd give them

assignments, and they'd go back home and they'dwork on whatever. stan: right. steve: let's make sure the foreground is adifferent value into the background so it separates. stan: yeah. steve: and you're constantly banging intoyour students so you're knocking it into your own head, is fundamental principles. whatare the fundamental ideas? not the flash. if you have 100 hours to make that apple lookright you're gonna stumble into it eventually. it's just a matter of patience. but in a fewminutes when you have to edit out your time

or the number of strokes or the colors. whenyou have to reduce it down to some essential limited structure or palette how do you getthat truth to come through? there's certain fundamental things. so that's what startedto click with me. you know, if you give me enough time i coulddo a piece that a studio would buy for a movie poster or movie comp or something. i coulddo pretty well given time. but if i wanted to stylize it and make it my own, not justknock it out or belabor it as a generic rendering which is more or less what my illustrationstyle was. it was pretty generic looking. it was not distinctive. how do i make it myvoice? how do i take those principles that i love in sargent and not look like a secondhand sargent?

steve: so it's understanding the structureshe's working with. the simple structures. the color theory. you know, when sargent makesa stroke most of those strokes are going down the long axis of the form. well, why is that?well, if we get a long axis line that's gonna show...say it's a highlight mark here, it'sgonna show the corner where the top of the wrist and forearm meets the side. well, wherethe front of the nose meets the side of the nose, that corner then catches that highlightor that core shadow. and so that's structural. but then i also started to realize it's gestural.gestural is how we get from this to that. how do we move from here to there beautifully,correctly, truthfully, or dialistically in your own style and your own voice? well, that'salso...when i do this i can take you from

the brow ridge all the way to the tip of thenoise. i can take you from the elbow all the way maybe to the middle index, the middlejoint of the index fingers with one line. it could be a connective line. well, we could do that with color then. whydon't we take that orange and we'll have it slowly move into the blues and then that gradationfrom orange to blue then moves the eye from here to there. so how do we move over thatform and feel that solid structure, that box logic? how do we move between the forms andmove that fluid, graceful connectivity which is really what artists are paid to do? we'repaid to show the rest of the world how the world works on some level. the world can bethis beautiful, harmonious place like a sunset

or it can be this rough, textured holocaustlike a jerome witkin painting. and it's our job to be biased, to have a pointof view, and see things through a lense. and the only way you can do that is reduce it,distill it down to its essence and then build it back up with a little bit of tweaking withprejudices. rather than making everything its own colorwe're gonna make everything bluish. it's gonna [inaudible 00:13:24] over blue and so i'veteated the truth and pushed it toward the direction for some purpose. stan: okay. so the way you show forms in life.that's your style? steve: yeah. the way you show anything. itcan be the structure of it, the form, how

does that work or how does that movement comeout of the canvas? and we feel that, you know, the nose coming out and the background goingback. all that kind of stuff. but it could also be the design. you know? how do we flowor how do we balance or how do we break from this to that? how do things fade together?maybe we use a lot of soft and lost edges or how do they separate? we'll use hard edges. it's every visual component which is shape,color, line, angle, texture, depth, flatness, realism, abstraction, organic, architectural....allthose, a million of them. all those visual components are gonna be many and few, bigand small. those are all tools of the trade that you can use to make a point.

okay. you know, we'll definitely come backto style. i have a few questions on that. right now, let's see, let's go back to history.kind of pause that college. okay. so i illustrated for a number of yearsand then was just a burn out. you know? you're cranking these things out. where can we see these? stan: you can't. no, you probably can. youcan probably find them around, a few of them. but i did blood brain which is a...the videomarket just....beta and then vhs did just come out so it was a big market for youngartists to crank out know, these little illustrations. big illustration butit'd be a little package for a video cassette,

basically. and so what they did is they went back andthey grabbed all the great, but especially all the lousy movies, all the tv shows, theyre-patched and put them out so you could watch them at home. so all that needed cover i was doing all these horror covers, i did "chainsaw massacre part ii", i did "thebarbarian brothers" that were poor man's arnold schwarzeneggers. they were twins. it was like,"all right, you get two for the price of one," kind of thing. just bad stuff. it was mediocre and then idid a lot of comps. you know, i did comps for the fantasy movies coming out and thatkind of stuff. anything that was figurative.

and why was it bad? what were you... it was a bad idea. the art was bad. the art. okay. so what was lacking at that point in your... both the concept and the artist. you know,i was a hack, basically. i was cranking out stuff. i had a little bit of talent, i puttogether a portfolio, i could draw the figure well so i could do these bigger than lifekind of characters, and i was just knocking them out for the deadlines. and i was doingwhat they needed to have done, then you'd bring it in and they'd want changes to itand they'd say, "okay. turn it this way and

do this and put this here." and they'd make me put tanks when there wasno tank in the movie into it. you know? all this kind of nonsense. and you'd just knockit out and it was no fun, really. you know? i was making pretty good money fora while but i was turning out really bad art. now so, okay, was it bad because you couldn'trender it well or the idea and there was just the composition [inaudible 00:16:39]. it's two-fold. when you're illustrating, atleast on the level i was illustrating which is middle-class level. it was not the heightsof illustration like golden age or silver age. it was by any means. i was doing someoneelse's idea.

for a mediocre product under usually verytight deadlines. and for an okay amount of money. but all thosethings have an affect. you're gonna pay me more i'll work harder. if you give me moretime i'll work longer. you know? if you quit changing it it'll be more cohesive. or if i'm not lazy i'll put more time intothe composition. and i was just putting it out there and i could see my skillset wasjust kind of doing this because i's like, think of playing golf. if you've got20 minutes to go practice every single day would it be better to take those 20 minutesand swing that club perfectly, say 15 times and really get that muscle memory in thereor would it be better to get more mileage

and do 100 strokes and just kind of do thiswith the club? you know? what's gonna make you a better golfer? the 15. yeah. so what you do, how you practice iswhat you are. so if you're practicing doing crappy drawingsyou're going to be a lousy artist eventually. if you're practicing...if you're gonna bea hack novelist for the pulp, you know, slasher genre and then in your spare time you're gonnado the great american novel you're never gonna do the great american novel because you'vetaught yourself how to be a slasher novelist. if you're gonna be a linebacker for the nflyou can't someday switch and become a ballet

dancer. the muscles have been trained in acompletely different direction and that's going to inform the rest of your life. so you can't say, "at some point i'm gonnado good stuff." because eventually it's're gonna have trouble with that. you know, everybody does that sometimes. everybodyputs out something that's a stinker. just the way life is. but if you're not genuinelytrying your best and focusing to get better...there's no stasis in art or really in life. if you'renot gonna try and get better you're going to get worse. even if it's because you justrepeat your original inspirations. at 18 i came up with this really beautiful color schemeor composition but at 45 you're gonna be a

bad hack copyist. people worry about someonestealing their ideas but we steal our own ideas and we do them more poorly later onin life. so we have to keep reinventing ourselves,keep trying to push, make it better. make that line better. make that shape know, look at most of the great artists even back into the renaissance looked likea tion and you'll see their styles evolve. michelangelo. styles evolve because they knewif you don't start pushing in a new direction you're gonna just be hacking out the sameold stuff. yeah. okay. so you realized that you were...didyou realize that at the time? that this was happening?

yeah. that's why i got...decided to get outof it. so what i did is i started to teach more and more even though it cost me money.i made more money illustrating. but also sometimes you'll have a two or three-monthdrought as a freelance artist so it was nice to have some steady income but it wasn't muchincome. it was $30.00 an hour i made, i think, atthe height of teaching at art center in the '80s. and so i went back and started teachingfull-time and that took me a couple years to get into that. i always taught a littlebit because i love teaching and, like i said, it's a way to practice and for me the classis doing a workshop like i'm doing this week or doing the semester workshops or classes...andi used to do, that's my sketchbook. or one

of them, anyway. so i'm sitting down with that young studentshowing her how to draw a head and redrawing the cheek bone and seeing how she drew a betternose than i did and wondering why. all that stuff is great so it helps. but it's not gonnamitigate the fact that then you go home and stay up all night and crank up, you know,the "blood brain ii" or whatever it is. you know? it's not gonna balance the scorecard on that. but i started teaching because i figured,"okay. i can render pretty well, i can do other people's ideas, i can draw well, i can'tpaint. i can't just lay down paint and make it..." you know, think about when you paint,you know, i'm separating...rendering when

you tighten things down and you kind of losethe strokes, lose the process into that film of realism. how do you make something unfinished?because that's what a stroke is. if you lay a stroke down and don't lose it into the surroundingcolor field it's unfinished. how do you make something unfinished finished? that's a toughproblem. so if you're gonna be painterly or stylistic in any way how are you gonna makeit feel like it's a complete idea? that's a tricky deal. you know? and so where's the consistency inthat if you're gonna use broken line? you know, broken, soft edges. you know, limitedcolor, simplified form. why does it not look unfinished? how can a sketch be worthy ofbeing framed? in other words. worth of of

going in a gallery. and the trick to that is if it feels likeit's saying what it needs to say. in other words every stroke for the most part thatyou put down or every mark in that artwork if it's speaking the truth about what you'retrying to say, "this is a cheek bone that turns, that flows down into this structurethat comes forward and then steps back..." if those truths ring out despite the techniqueit'll feel finished. but if it's a placeholder, if you do a figure drawing and you just doa ball for the head, well, it could be anybody's head in almost any position. you know? you got some sense of where that positionis probably but you haven't nailed it down

in space, in position. it doesn't have theright character and it doesn't have a unique character to the models there. but ideallyif you've got, and charles hawthorne said this, "with every mark you make," it's a littlebit of hyperbole but it makes for a good teaching moment. "with every mark you make i know howyou're feeling." if you really want to get out of that classroom and go have lunch that'sgonna come through in some level of that mark. it's gonna be a lazy, impatient mark that'snot speaking, not doing the work it needs to do. but if that tracks like an ant up over...ifyou can actually feel when you put that stroke on that cheek bone the mounds of the cheekbone...m.c.wyeth said, and this i think is true, he said,

"if i was doing a painting of a guy reapingthe fields with his scythe," he'd make those up for the most part later in his career,he said, "by the end of the day, man, my neck and back were sore because i was feeling thatsame tension." it's like method acting. you know? he was actually...the method actoractually feels those emotions and sometimes suffers for it after the film's over. andhe suffered for it because he dialed into that tension. you know? so if i'm gonna makethis hand as opposed to that hand those strokes, those moments, those color shifts, those gradationsand so the contours in some manner or form those have to be quite different because they'reserving a different master. so, you finding that is incredibly complex and theartist generally, not always but generally,

most of the great art movements have donethis, is gonna distill down. it's gonna take a piece of the truth [inaudible00:24:43] might just be by framing it. i'm not gonna put all this [inaudible 00:24:46]the rest of the room, we're just framed here but there's a whole wide world around us thatwe don't get to see in this frame. but, also, what am i gonna do about that particular [inaudible00:24:56]? am i gonna do every possible thing? am i gonna get out the magnifying glass anddo a miniature rendering of it or am i gonna just make it one stroke? or leave that oneout completely. you know? and so we're always editing down. so the trick, one of the tricks is when weedit let's do it out of a strength, out of

a choice. let's say, "shoot. if i had moretime i'd put more petals in there. if i had more time each petal would be a more renderedpetal." but let's do something that speaks to some poetic truth. some deeper truth aboutit. maybe it's just a zigzag of yellow or a splatter with a brush or something likethat. or it's taken out completely or it's made bigger or it's moved over, it's set backthree feet. you know? what are we gonna do to change it or edit it in such a way thatit supports our system of belief? our agenda? you know, we're not journalists, we're editorialists.and what are we really trying to say about that? and the clearer you can be on that interms of the craft and by painting a front plane now, well, that front plane should havesomething to do with this front plane and

that front plane there, all those front planesin flesh we're gonna have some relationship of color and value and such. and because they'reall on an organic figure they're gonna have some relationship in terms of shape, too becausethey're all gonna be somewhat organic, figurative shapes. and that'll be very different thansomething that's clean lines and architectural. so are you saying the decisions should bebased on what your message is instead of just the level of detail? ideally. now that might be very carefullythought out. that tends to be the kind of guy i am. but most artists in history don'tthink it out. but they feel it. you know, every time you work your instincts are tellingyou that there's something wrong, it doesn't

sit back or doesn't do...or it's the wrongscale or whatever it is. you're making those critical choices oftentimes and for most artists,even advanced artists most of the time without the critical thinking. but what i argue wheni teach is that if you don't spend at least some time in the beginning critically thinkingthat all you're doing is you're a slave to the system. you happen to get a teacher that you kindof like and you're a secondhand version of them. and oftentimes they can't quite tellyou why it works, they just know that the guy that they got it from or the girl theygot it from showed them that it did work and it looked good and it felt good. but why doesit work? we can't figure those things out

so i'm always a why guy. i wanna know whysomething works and then i can play games with it and then say, "well, maybe i'll breakthat up. i'll flatten that space. you know? tangents are bad, maybe i'll use tangentsfor a specific reason. you know, for a counter reason or something." you can play with thoseideas. so you're saying the people that feel it insteadof thinking about it, they're just instinctively copying somebody else or... oftentimes. yeah. and there's good copy. you know, explainin a second, and there's bad copying. because we all copy and we all have to copy. if yougo to most good museums you'll see great artists

have done copies of other great artists. that'show you learn. but if you're just a slave to that, if you've got know a atelieror a school or whatever, they have the house style. steve: now how many students going throughthat are gonna be able to transcend that style and make their own style? they're gonna beinfluenced and probably heavily influenced by that style and they'll probably never getpast it because they don't know what's in that style and oftentimes they're not...theteacher isn't able to tell them what is in that style that really makes it work. theyjust have a few...they have a process that they're teaching rather than a philosophy.and, for me, art is...we're visual philosophers

and we can get into deep meaning of life andman's inhumanity a man's kind of philosophy or just the philosophy of how form reactsto our mind. you know? how does your audience see things? you know?how does their psychology work? you know? we're all related as humans. we think in verymuch the same way. how can we use that? well, if we make things dark then that gets a littlecreepier. if it's in a film i have on and off lights or cracking thunder and loud noiseand silence, that's scarier. and you can use those to story-tell but you can also use themon a deeper level to get to kind of iconic ideas, metaphorical ideas, deep ideas. andrembrandt used golden light off camera from above. that was religious light. that wasgod's enlightenment was enlightening the christians,

you know, the calvanists that he was painting...primarilypainting. you know, you're gonna rot in hell or youcan be enlightened by this glorious light and so he painted pretty ugly people withglorious light on them because it wasn't the flesh that was the truth for him, it was thatthe light of know, god's loving light from above or however he was gonna frameit. so that's a powerful metaphor. so you were saying most students aren't ableto get past that style, the house style of the atelier . yeah. yeah. and how could they unless they'rejust diligent and they're treasure hunters? and that's what you have to kind of be nowadays.there's not gonna be any place where you can

get everything. you know? you're gonna getpieces. and so you'll go to that school or that artist or that book or that image bankand you go, "oh, look at that. god, i love the way that guys uses line. i love the soft,sfumato edges of this guy. you know?" i love how, you know, how rodin was an impressionist.he'd lay in the impression of a sock and then take a blowtorch basically and melt it down.maybe how can i get that into paint? and you treasure hunt and you steal. and that kind of copying is great. copyingis great if you're trying to learn that idea. how do i get form? how do i get three dimensionalconcepts on a two dimensional flat surface? how do i do that? you need to copy, you needto steal from people because those are...those

are nobody's ideas, they're everybody's ideas.and you copy those and you learn from that and they'll have you put up a cast or theball, cone, and cylinder, and you'll copy those things and you'll copy the lightingand all that kind of stuff. that's all good stuff. but where you really...once you get past thatcraft 101 stage where things really take off is when you copy not from one source or twosources but four or five sources. right. then start combining. i'm gonna take da vinci's sfumato idea andcaravaggio's value range and christianity's metaphor of light as salvation and i'm gonnatake everyday people and i'm gonna take gothic,

not neo-class or not classical ideas...davinci, the renaissance, michelangelo, they use a greco roman aesthetic. they use thelachlan and the belvedere taurus and all these glorious greek god sculptures. you know? they'vegot man as god, woman as goddess kind of thing and made this ideal of beauty. well, rembrandtwas every bit as draftsman as those guys were. he was one of the greater draftsmen in historybut he used the gothic tradition, the time before the renaissance where it was, again,flesh as corrupt, flesh as a bad thing. you know, sex is bad. you know, nudity is cover that stuff up, you put on a grape leaf in front of the genitals. that kind ofstuff. you hide that kind of stuff. and he used was non-glorified. it was a reverse of

that. you had kind of buggy-eyed characters,everything was kind of awkwardly round, you didn't have the sensual hips, you had thebig, full belly and hips which was the birthing. if you're gonna deal with sexuality it's toprocreate, it's to put more babies in the planet. that kind of thing. and he used thatso he took from four or five sources and did a mash-up. is it possible to create a truly unique styleor does everybody really just combine? yeah. it is. from another source. you and i could create a truly unique styleright now and it would be easy. and all we'd

do is say, i use this all the time so it'snot unique. i came up with it years ago and if you guys wanna steal it you can. let'sbe the first artist team that makes a jello skyscraper. that's completely unique. nobody's ever donethat. but it's stupid. it's a stupid idea. so usually when you're original and you comeup with something brand new there's a reason nobody ever did it before, it was a dumb idea.but every once in a while somebody comes up with a brilliant idea. quantum mechanics orthe transistor or the wheel or fire. let's tame fire. those are big ideas. but most ofus mere mortals aren't gonna be able to do that. but you might be able to add one thinglike michelangelo. he took a greek sculpture

which was contrapasta, can i...maybe i canstand up here a little so you can see the torso. if i shift my weight from both feetto one foot i get the rodin called the classic curve. as soon as you do that you're throwing thisoff axis, the shoulders will go off axis, and everything has to balance out. and you'llstart to get a stretch and pinch. and what happens is the body's designed...there's lotof reasons for it but designed as a stretch here and then a pinch in the back. but ifi go off axis here there'll be a stretch here and a stretch here. so from any place youlook at me in three dimensions all the way around you'll see this dynamic stretch pinch.that bean bag idea. that's a lovely idea because

it makes things interesting and dynamic fromevery view as opposed to the earlier sculptures that were like this. well, that informed greek art and then romanart after it and everybody up until michelangelo and then michelangelo did the one little thingand it was completely original and he probably dropped his pencil and he went, "oh, waita second. what if i take that classic curve and now make it truly three dimensional andmove that figure in and out of the picture plane." because this was three dimensionalfrom every direction but it's still flat in the picture plane. but what if i do this?and that was revolutionary. who was the first guy who separated the arms and the littlefigurines? the primitive figurines. put them

on here. now who was the guy who shifted the weightfrom one foot to the other? you know, they're just simple ideas but those are revolutionary.but even those don't happen very often. who's the guy who thought of taking a photographand then putting it right next to another photograph, another photograph, another photograph,another photograph? we got film. brilliant. so are those styles? well, those are revolutions. but, you know, how that becomes a new artform. it's stylistic but it's deeper than that because you can put can createany costume on that three dimensional movement.

hell, you can do it as a raphael, or a rodin,or a michelangelo, or a picasso. it won't matter. you know? you can do a roger mooresculpture, it won't matter. that idea will hold. that's a fundamental truth. it's a fundamentalobservation of how the world works or maybe how the world should work say in horror, fantasy,or science fiction. that kind of stuff where you pause at what could be. but that's howthe world works and now you can costume that in any way you want. and is the costume a style? the costume's the style. so that idea works also for getting the noseto come off the page. you know? or reaching

the hand out and doing it there instead ofhere, that kind of stuff. so it has all sorts of...and then that could be done like a sargentor it could be done like a courbet or it could be done like a sehgal. you know? and it couldbe clothed any which way. now the easier way to work if you can't come up with that revolutionaryway to change the world is you just do the mash-up. hollywood does it all the time. bigbusiness does it all the time. little entrepreneurs. what if i put an art course on youtube? youmight think of that. you would sell a lot of art courses. yeah. you might think of that. you know? maybei'll put classes on youtube so the people who live in bangladesh can access it.

we live in l.a. or i used to and even in l.a.,the art center of the world, really, there's still a lot of classes you wish were offered.there was a lot of styles, a lot of teachers you wish were teaching. you can't get everythinghere. how are you gonna get it in oklahoma city? how are you gonna get it in tehran?now with the internet you can do that and for...instead of know, if youwent to my workshop you'd be paying whatever it is, $400 for that. now a lot of people in this world don't have$400 and a lot more don't think it's worth $400. but it might be worth, you know, whateveryou're charging online or it might be...if i can just see a little five-minute snippetof that for free that might be enough to wet

my palette. it might be enough that i canget the rest of it myself. so that's revolutionary. so any time you can mash things together...hollywooddoes it in their high concept. so what if we have a kid who goes to boarding school,a british boarding school? there's a long line of literature in britain of kids goingto boarding school and having whatever dramatic story they have in the boarding school novels. but what if we sent a kid not to boardingschool but to magic school? the boarding school is a magic school. those were two...boardingschool, magic. been around forever. common ideas. nobody put them together and even ifseven or eight or 20 did put them together no one would have put them together the wayshe did. yeah. what if we have the hero of

the story or one of the key heroes of thestory hate the guy he's trying to save? that's the snape character. so that's how you can create a character ina story, that's how you can create an art style. what if we... i guess i'm confused though. like, are youtalking about styles or are ideas for the message? everything. i'm having a hard time... you can look at can look at artmovements, you can look at styles. i don't

separate the message from it because whateveryou do...i mean if you...if we go outside after the interview and look up in the skyand see a cloud your instinct will be to try and find a picture in that. "oh, look, itlooks kind of like a duck." and you'll impose meaning on it. or if you go out as a littlekid at night because your dad made you empty the garbage and you go out and the wind'sgoing, you creaking trees. what is it? who said that? somebody is talking or somebody'sgrowling at me. or why is the sky angry? there's this flash of light and this crackingsound. we are wired make things make sense. for example, if i say, "oh, look atthat," and they're gonna see that my finger points more or less at you you're "that".if i go over here they'll try and find...i

go, "look at that," at the picture they'llgo, "oh, he's talking about me." we connect. it's called closure in psychology where weconnect the dots. if i do a drawing, i put a dot here and a dot here and a dot here nowwhat have i drawn? a triangle. yeah. but i just did the three dots. you guysdrew the triangle. that's closure. you connect the dots, literally. and so we're all...whatever you do in artor know, if i go, "yeah. sure," you're gonna say, "now why is he mad at me?"or, "why does he...does he wanna leave?" i kinda do. no. i'm just, i'm joking. you know,you'll start attaching meaning to it and maybe

i had a kink in my neck and that's why i didthat. all right. steve: but you'll go, "he's mad at me. whatdid i say?" you know, we are wired to make sense of things and so whatever you do asartists...that's why i say visual philosopher. whatever you do as an artist it means something.every mark you make, every... every mark you make. yep. that was the thing in the book. and that's why i did that because usuallywhat we do is we have a process. and if we

have more time we refine the process and ifwe have more time we refine it farther and the process, the result, gets better and betterand better give or take a mistake here or there. that's not the way to do art, i don'tthink, because then you're locked into a process which is someone else's process and originallyit was a great inspiration when fred fixler or whoever it was came up with the style.fred fixler was out of the early illustrators, they were out of sargent. sargent took carolusduran, his teacher, and said, "well," he basically said, "he's got a great system but he's nottalented enough to know what he's got. he can't paint his ideas." but the implication was, "i was talented enough."and he was right, that he could paint his

ideas and he had that system and that allof american illustration comes, or most of it comes out of that foundation of sargentwhich was taking valasquez and manet in effect, putting it together. carolus duran [inaudible00:43:27] brought it from a different direction but that's kind of where it ended up. so allthose things, you know, whether it's the style, the subject matter, the choice of medium,they all mean something and if you don't think they do you're making a mistake. now you don'thave to make them mean something up here. okay? i used blue. blue means, let me see, let me remember myreligious mythology. that means sky, heaven, mystery, above. it doesn't have to be thatand probably shouldn't be that. but it's good.

they're gonna attach meaning to it just likewhen you sit every gesture means something. so what should the artist focus on? you'resaying that they don't have to separate each of those things and deliberately decide oneach piece? yeah. well, you've basically havetwo questions to answer as a young artist or any time, but, i mean, the two things youwanna answer is, "what do i see? when i look at that couch or look at that nose in threequarter position or whatever it is what do i really see?" if you can understand whatyou really see you can get it down on the page or the canvas. but then the...that'sthe craft, learning the craft. and so there's gonna be certain processes you do use becausethey start to answer those questions and hopefully

there will be a why behind those on some levelrather than just, "do it this way because my mentor told me and i know it works." youknow? there's an old story that housewives tell,i forget whose family it was. it was actually friends of ours told us this story and theywere watching this woman make her roast for the group that was gonna eat dinner that nightand she cut off both the ends of the roast and put it in the pan and it came out of theoven and it was delicious. and so they go, "god, that was good. now why did you cut offthe two ends? how did that make it better?" and she goes, "i don't know. mom, why do wecut off the two ends?" and mom goes, "oh, i used to cut off the two ends because ourpan was too small." so they just did it because

someone... they saw someone do it but they don't knowwhy it helped or if it helped, even. and that's usually the kind of education we get. we geta process that works pretty well and a process just says if you follow this step from oneto 10 or one to 3,000 more often than not you'll get a better result. and the more incremental that process is thesafer it is. but also notice if i tell you how to move just this far in the process asopposed to this far you're gonna get a better result, it will take you more time but itwill look more like me because it's my process and i probably look like that guy back inthat generation all the way back to the original

inspiration. so what we wanna really do iswe wanna say what do i see? now what are the fundamentals that are out there of perspective,of structure, you know, shape, design, of lighting, color theory, you know all thatkind of stuff? organic ideas as opposed to architectural ideas. why is this and thisa fundamental different character than this? you know, what is it that makes those differences? so do we challenge our teachers? everythingthey teach us. is that how we... well, you steal from them. but don't juststeal. even if you get a great teacher don't just steal from them. do you question why you're stealing everylittle piece or...

well, it's a good idea to question becausethen they'll explane why that works. if they can. and if they can't you'll find anotherteacher or you'll start looking at old masters and you'll say, "okay. well, paul did thatand michelangelo did that and bernini did that and on and on and on." you'll go, "nowwhy is that?" "why is it? why is it that, you know, everyhorror film just when you think it's safe that's when the monster jumps out?" well,why would that be? if you see that enough and think about it enough you go, "well, oh,i get it. you know, the motive is to scare the audience as much as possible in that moment."so if they're already kind of scared here's calm. if they're already kind of scared thengetting really scared isn't that big a jump.

but if they get kind of scared and then theygo back and they get scared again and go back and get scared again, go back...but just alittle scared, you go, "okay, this is gonna be a little scare again." and it's a false alarm and he opens the door...nothing.opens the door, it's a cat. opens the door, it's the light bulb swinging or something.and he opens the door and nothing's there at all and the monster's behind him. and youscream like crazy. so what you do is you play way down that visual component or that componentof what you're trying to say and then you kick it way up and you have that big a i have to step down the step or jump off the cliff? that kind of idea. and so you wannaunderstand why does it work? why if i put

a dark value here and a light value here itfeels like it's form? and you can start understanding that there's... there must be some formula in life that speaksto that and artists are afraid of formulas because they think, "well, that's...steven,you're talking about all this kind of life philosophy and stuff. if you do formulas aren'tyou killing all that?" no. we use formulas all the time. that's science. that's how wecan get rockets to the moon, that's how we can have electricity, e equals mc squared,all that kind of stuff. life worked with a predictable, consistent regularity. the sunset this last night, it'll probably set tonight. you can be pretty sure of that.

so if i make this dark and this light andthis dark and this light and this dark and this light and this dark and this light...ifi make all those side planes the same or similar value and all these front planes a differentand let's say lighter value i'm gonna get this box logic that will work with consistencyand i can stair step and structure out even the most complicated thing fairly easily once i've got that box logic what if i use then rather than a...just a swathof dark and a swath of light, what if i put a gradation between it? well, now that willround the edge so gradations round the edge. now it doesn't matter what technique or whatmedium you use, that's gonna be a fundamental truth that you can depend on.

now that's what do i see. what i say aboutit is, "now what am i gonna do with it? how am i gonna make it what i want it to be? well,how am i gonna bring back that great baroque period i want everybody to enjoy like i'denjoy...i'm gonna paint it like a baroque artist or how i'm gonna come up with a brandnew style. or more likely and more productively, probably, what if i wanna paint like a baroqueartist but i don't wanna look like i'm a knock off of rubens? how do i make it fresh andnew? right. okay. you know? and how can i play that up in away that's interesting john currin, a modern painter, did more of those more botticellibut he did the same thing. he took high renaissance,

really, and used it in kind of an illustration.and a lot of early illustrators in the '80s that are early now but did the same thing.they used these kind of renaissance styles, kinuku craft and all these folks. but theydid it in fantasy or they did it in, you know, a time magazine cover so it was modern stuffor they'd use it as a farce. you know, they'd make a social commentarywith it. and they costumed it in a different way. you know, they used acrylic paint, madeslicker, simpler forms, they used kind of candy colors rather than the old sepia earth-tonecolors. you know, and so you change one component and it's brand new. you know? and that's howyou can create a story, that's how you can create a business, that's how you can createa style by mashing up one or two or five things.

for me it was taking...i wanted to do figurebut i didn't wanna do naked people on couches. or at the beach. everybody does that in califonia.everybody does that all over the world. so what if i did nudes but had them action i brought in movement and i used a box or i'd do what i know best...or not the best,i'm not a very good boxer. but i know a little bit about it. you look like you're a good boxer. yeah. a little punch drunk at this point.but so i'm gonna take the boxer and all of a sudden everybody in california...i was justtrying to be different to begin with. everybody in california was doing beautiful girls onthe beach with glorious, romantic sunset,

the candy color palette of the californiaimpressionist, all that kind of stuff. loose, [inaudible 00:52:23] brush strokes, flowinghair in the wind, and all that kind of atmospheric stuff. and i didn't want a...even if you canbe better than all those guys why do you wanna be the same? so i figured, "what can i dodifferent?" so i'm gonna do kind of gnarly characters. ugly characters who were not passive but activeand not at peace with their environment, feeling the wind and the sunshine on their shoulders.but i'm gonna have them fighting in their environment and [inaudible 00:52:53]. i'mgonna make it a war. so what can i do that's very, very different? that's not a bad wayto start rather than doing the same thing.

if i was a production designer in hollywoodi would not be doing "bladerunner" concept art because everybody does "bladerunner" concept...thewhole photoshop program is geared to bladerunner stuff. it controls the whole industry so everything'sa variation on that original, wonderful inspiration that gieger and cobb and these other guysput together. so i'd do something different. so anyway thatstarted with the boxers and i got into art because i loved comic books. that's what iused to draw all the time as a kid. i'd draw these comic book characters. and so what ifthey were book comic book panels? and then what if i took the energy of abstract expressionand i looked at an artist named franz kline, k-l-i-n-e, and broad...he'd use these big,broad strokes of black on white or white on

black, kinetic strokes. what if that was thesefigures? you know, and you get that kind of energy and the zigzag of the arm and the fallingback of the body and that kind of stuff. do you look at your canvas as a comic panel? is that it? it's a big comic book panel. and i'll play with tangents and all this kindof stuff like comics. there's a certain haphazard quality to comic books as you're knockingthem out and stuff and you'll get tangents or slight croppings. everything's kind ofbig. there's a lot of dynamics. you're trying to get them to move into the next panel. allthat kind of stuff. so i picked up on that.

jack kirby was a big influence and i don'tlike the way he draws but that was the epitome of that superhero ethic that my boxers arebig superheroes, basically. they're bigger than life. and then so i brought in comicbooks, a little bit of my own history boxing, the franz klein abstract paintings, rembrandtlight, and the religious martyr idea of sacrificing... and those were all things that you... that i liked. you really liked and you wanted to put themall together. yeah. yeah. i learned that from an artistnamed richard bunkall who passed away of leugerig's disease when he was in his early 40's. andhis style, you can still see him online, it's

b-u-n-k-a-l-l. richard bunkall. he did hismash-up. he loved new york architecture, neo-classic architecture. so he'd do these big facadesand they would be huge. six by eight foot paintings kind of things when he was on arespirator in a wheelchair. he'd be out, they'd built a ramp for him and he'd be paintingthese things. so he had this kind of flat facade, the beautiful, deep chiaroscuro lightlike i like and then he'd put a chrysler building inside or a ship or a train or a whale andjust do cut-outs with the arches so you could see into this foggy environment with nothingin there. and there'd be a floating ship with cableson it. and then he'd take a...usually from "moby dick" he'd take it and go up into thefrieze of the architecture and he'd block

out in helvetica type, a partial quote from"moby dick" or whatever. those things have nothing to do with each other. so "moby dick"quotes, let's say a train inside, new york architecture, and romantic light. and onlya four-color palette. and so what do you do when you look at those? nobody goes up thereand says, "what the hell does that mean? those have nothing to do with each other." theygo, "now let me figure out what that means." right. do you think it meant something tohim or was... of course it did. yeah. but it's none of our business what thatis. and he's happy to tell us, but, i mean, what'smore important is when you do that all of

a sudden you've opened the door and now theaudience can come into your art. but if you give them every little thing, if you comein and give them every petal on that bush what's left for them to do? but if at leastyou just do the three dots then they get the pleasure of connecting those dots and whathappens then when you leave things open-ended like that where you don't...when you don'ttell a story but suggest a concept or put together things that shouldn't go together...magicand boarding schools, that's stupid. that's not real. that's childish but it's kind ofcool. i wish there was. stan: well, i think it's the execution could put it together in a really bad way. right?

it's all of it. yeah. any of these...yeah.that's always the danger. you can always do it badly. and sometimes people do it badlyand then somebody else takes the idea and they see past the style and they say, "thatwas a great idea. it was just really bad." so and you'll see that... just for in impressionism, french impressionism.for a lot of artists and a lot of audience they'll say, "that's a lousy drawing. notgraceful brush strokes." okay. so in that case... but, boy, it's beautiful color so why don'ti take...why don't i steal the color palettes and the beautiful shifts of warm and cooland rich and gray limiting the value range

into that sunlight sunset range of valuesand then i'll put that on a sargent. that's what sargent did with these watercolors andi'll use the skill set of a valasquez, i'll use the color palette of a monet. now i'vemashed up again. i've taken the best. so you can know, a life coach will saymodel yourself after people that you admire. well, you might have an uncle who's a multimillionairebut he's a dirty, rotten guy. you don't have to model the dirty rotten, guy part but howdid he become a millionaire? maybe he saved his pennies in a jar or can take that one idea, use it. do you think that the...when somebody hasa good idea but it still doesn't work is that mostly because of not learning the craft oris it something else?

well, usually when you don't have a good ideayou're trying to tell a story. you're saying, "okay. if i show a...i wanna make the worlda better place." you have excellent motives. so i'm gonna show dictators picking flowerswith little children on a playground teeter totter. stan: okay. steve: so i'm gonna put stalin there. actually,this could be a good idea. i'm gonna have stalin on the teeter totter with some littlegirl. okay? because that's what...the life he should have lived. and i'm gonna paintthis beautiful...i'm gonna use the pitura style of the flesh in there. well, that'sa stupid idea because you're trying to...well,

i shouldn't say a stupid idea but it's notgonna be very successful because you're trying to force the audience to feel something. adoor just closed. you know? there's no room for us to bring our baggage in. we're gonna come to your art for what we need,not what you need. you got what you needed by doing it. but if you're gonna show it tome respect me enough to let me get something out of it. don't tell me the ending of thestory. you know? i went to a movie once when star trek ii came out in the '80s or whateverit was and we walked into the theater and these two kids in the earlier showing poppedup from the studio and said, "spock dies." and they ran out of the studio and ruiningthe film for us. that's what most artists

do with their paintings. "spock dies." you told us the ending. let us figure it outor better yet let us make our own ending. so if i have a show, if somebody comes upto me and they'll say, you know, "that portrait that you did is really sad. you know, thatguy must have been suffering mightily and it might have been my dad that i was givingit to him for his birthday and i wanted him to feel happy." i didn't intend that to besad, but something i did in there triggered their response and i never say, "oh, no, no,no. he's not sad at all." i go, "yeah. that's right." because it was sad to them and itis sad to them. when your art... when somebody comes up to you and says yourart means something that you never intended

and that happens consistently you're doingsomething right. now you're know you're onto something. because the door isopened up and you're allowing them to come in within your world finding what they needto make their world better. and that's when it's art with a capital a and not just craft,not just piecing together something or a process. there's nothing wrong with that, just havingfun, you know, entertaining. so how do we know how to balance it though?because it seems like there's a wide range of what you can leave open or how much youcan tell. because you have to tell them something. well, you put it out there. not necessarily.i mean, how much did rothko tell us? i mean, you can do many minimalist work.

yeah. well. but most of us don't want to understand. but there's nothing you have to do and assoon as you realize that it opens things up. i think that the problem we realists haveis that we're realists. that we think... you tell too much? we tell too much but also we think that whenwe paint a nose it's a nose. it's not a nose, it's our idea about a nose. now why does thatidea have to be so limited? so go ahead...i'm not a huge fan of picasso but look at picassonoses. look at modigliani noses, look at moore, henry moore noses. you know? look at the guy...theabstract, the contemporary artists because

they'll tell us how to think differently,at least. and we may never wanna go anywhere near that stylistically but that's...we saidbefore, "well, what if you do it bad?" well, now you've got a wonderful idea waiting forsomebody who can do it better. you know? if j.k. rowling screwed up littleboy at magic school maybe j.d. salinger if he's still alive, i don't think he is, maybehe'll do it better. but it's a great idea. yeah. so i guess most people that go to ateliersand, you know, the realist schools probably have this problem where they have a fear ofdrawing something wrong. you're right. right? the way it is in reality.

so what you recommend the people do? right. well, and it's a valid fear becausethere...if you throw things...if you take that nose and do this it is wrong in termsof the portrait or if you make the nose go into the face rather than out of the face.all those things are wrong realistically and there has to be a very good reason to makethem wrong in that sense. so if you intentionally did it for purpose... yeah. so if there's a purpose to it then it'sgreat and what that is, that's all context and that's where talent and taste come know? how do i do that great idea or how do i do something that's not a great idea,but do it in a great way? sometimes they're

just mediocre ideas like sargent paintings.those are mediocre ideas but they were done in great ways. all he's doing is he's...thecaptains of industry, he's just making them royalty. you know? which is what, you know,van dike paintings were. he was painting royalty back then. well, now the new royalty at that time andstill is the people who make money as entrepreneurs or inherit money and sustain that money. andso he was painting these people as gods. when he painted a little old lady she wasn't alittle old lady, she was hara, goddess of the universe. you know? and she was sevenfeet tall with this beautiful, long neck, deep, intelligent eyes, huge hands that hadstrength and grace and power and elegance

to them in fashionable dress in a rich environment.that was a mythology as much as rape as sabine or any of that stuff. but, like, some artists like myself even havea fear of just intentionally drawing things wrong. just it's just like not the way itis. but we need a couch for that, i think. what do you mean? we'd have to lay you down and do long therapy. oh. okay. no. i'm joking. i'm joking. i'm joking. well,yeah. but, i mean, here's the...and everybody's

gonna have a different...this is a continuum.i mean, what's wrong to picasso is way down the line in terms of the continuum of what'sright and wrong to us realists. so you have to decide what's right to you. but all youhave to do, and that doesn't mean it's easy, but it's simple is does it ring true to whatyou're trying to do. okay? so, like, klimt broke peoples' necksover on this shoulder and it looked incredible but it wasn't real. but what you're doing is not real either.what hans holbein does isn't real either. rafael did wasn't real, what rodin did wasn'treal, carpo wasn't real. none of those are real. they're stylized, idealized, abstracted,and they're poetic. they have a deeper current

to them. so, you know, if i took a portraitof a couple and had them...and put them right together with each other or if i move themto far outside corners that all of a sudden would have a very different feel. maybe theydon't get along so well. you know? that's what, i forget his name, he's in california...yeah.david hockney and he would take these...and fairly flat graphic style of painting andhe'd have them in mid-century modern california living room and you could see through theglass to the pool outside or something like that and he'd put them here separated andthat spoke to isolation in the city. at least that's what i get out of it. youknow? just by doing that it's still realistic. he could have done that in any realistic could have been a fetchen or a, you know,

pick your favorite realist or painter andplug it in. it wouldn't have mattered. a reppin or something. but as soon as you do that...anddewing did very much the same thing until american totalist. and all of a sudden heneeded to have these lonely figures was just was a product of the facthe didn't have a lot of money to set things up. he'd have one simple prop in there. he'd have a little vanity desk or a pianoor a simple chair with a painting on the wall and it'd be one woman in a dress like this,in a flowing dress, and she looked as lonely as she could be. you know? it was just isolatedfrom the whole world. you know? and sometimes we accidentally come up with it and that'sa fairly trite concept. it's real easy to

make a clichã© especially at this point butthose are lovely little paintings. you know? and so anything can be done well or bad andit can elevate or degrade and that's where talent comes in. you know, do you have the aesthetic senseand do you have a sense of human nature, of how people around you act and react and howyou react that you can pick up on that? you know, what if i make really beautiful peoplehitting each other in the face and trying to hurt each other? that's pretty's pretty messed up now that i think about it. so and i've had people come up and say,"i really like your paintings but it bothers me that i like them because they're beautifullight, they're not beautiful figures but they're

beautiful light or whatever they like aboutit. but i hate boxing, i think it's a violent..." "i think it's exploitive." and i did thaton purpose because making something beautiful that should be, you know, consideredugly and pretty brutal and maybe even banned now that's drama. what if i have a hero whohates the little boy he's supposed to save? that's drama. that's good drama. you know?and novelists and filmmakers want that kind of conflict. what if i have a guy who's abrilliant but nerdy chemistry teacher have cancer and he's gotta become a drug dealerto support his family? i was just thinking of that because there'sthat conflict where you're rooting for him and then all of a sudden you're like ooh whyam i rooting for him?

yeah. and the producer of that pitched thatshow as, "what if mr. chips, the famous teacher at school became scarface?" now that's aninteresting idea. what if this guy who's a model citizen becomes the worst of our societybut for all the right reasons? i just wanna leave something for my family and pay formy cancer treatment." that's good stuff. so when you can bring things together that'soil and water. if i can bring magic and boarding schools, if i can bring an alien invasionwith big game hunting, that's the predator series. now is that tool to find. now that makes it...that's a tool for beingcreative.

steve: so you have three ways to be can be a craftsman, you can follow the process of your teacher because it's a lovelyprocess and it's darned fun to do and you get good results. you get a b plus most everytime. nothing wrong with that. that's right. keeping the old truth alive. you can be completelyoriginal and make a jello skyscraper. but the problem with making the jello skyscraperor being totally original usually, let's say 96.8% of that's garbage. it's poo poo kaka,as we say in the business. we'll quote you.

the problem is with craft is 98.6% of thatisn't very good either. it was done way better before. and sometimes it's just darn horrible. youknow? it's all out of whack and stuff. so most of the time you're not gonna be ableto take it to these transcendent heights and you'll'll have to work quite a whileeven to get to a mediocre height. you know, it takes you 10 years to learn howto be an okay drawer oftentimes. yeah. so the third one is... and i still can't...not an okay dresser. butthe third way is the oil and water. you take two things that are usually commonknowledge and put them together. beautiful

design and computers that are easy to take two and it can be five things together. you know, comic books, boxing, abstract expressionism,religious light. and that way you're making the old thing newand you're contemporizing it. so, to you, like what is the purpose of creatingthe art? is it it enough to just create beautiful pictures or do we have tohave a message or record the modern times? there's nothing in this world you have todo. and in some ways nothing you should do. imean, if you're gonna try and make a message you're probably gonna close the door and thepeople you speak to won't be the people you really wanna speak to because it'll be over-simplified,it'll be patronizing. so probably, you don't

wanna do it. but there's all sorts of exceptionsto that. i mean, look at goya's war etchings. look at kathe covett's wood blocks. they'retalking about the horrors of regimes and war and all that kind of stuff. sometimes it works beautifully. but most ofus it comes off as clichã©. and especially in, you know, though even that far back itwas slower times. now things move so quickly we get bored. you know, i have to be textingmy friend and watching tv and listening in my headphone to a steve huston lecture ora stan lecture or something like that while i'm rendering. and usually we multi-task because we get boredquick. you know, we gotta be doing video games

where somebody dies every three seconds. youknow, we've gotta watch movies where it's fast cut, fast cut, fast cut. they can't havea three-minute take, that would bore the audience to death. they'll switch the channel on thetv. you know? and so there's all those kind of restrictions and problems. you know, evengetting a set of students in a school that has the attention span to wanna render formany hours on one piece. you know? that's even a problem. getting them to focos on theircraft consistently because there's a football...i mean, i can watch 12 hours of football onsunday. why would i wanna be drawing? it's easier. when i'm drawing i'm drawing while i'm watching12 hours of football. you know? so it's really

easy to get distracted. we live in fairly pampered times. not everybody,certainly. but even our poor people aren't as poor as they used to be. you know? in someplaces they are but, i mean, we've got...we have leisure and we have conveniences. wehave sundays off at least. we don't have to work 12 hours a day. at least some of us don' all those things create opportunities so there's nothing you have to do. trust yourinstincts and your instincts will get better with it. trust your imagination and your imaginationwill get better. they're muscles so work them. and at first you're gonna make bad choicesin terms of great art probably and maybe you end up never doing great art but you surehave fun doing it and that small group of

friends and family absolutely love it. andgrandma or whoever or your boss absolutely adores that little portrait you did or thatbig portrait you did of him or her. so you can manage your expectations and you can bepatient with yourself. you know? so oftentimes we get really hard on ourselves as artistsbecause we're creative and we know what it should be, may be, and it's not coming outthat way and then we lose...we give up. it's just too painful. there was, i forget the writer but he says...likenorman mailer...some 20th century famous writer. and he said, "with every book i write a littlepiece of me dies." that was how painful his creative process is. that was how hard hewas on himself. and think of all the great

artists who killed themselves. you know, thehemmingways and the...van goghs and all this kind of stuff. the tortured creative mindis a clichã©, even. you know? because we just...we beat ourselvesup. so being patient, giving yourself time to get there and being comforted with theidea that you're not as bad as you think you are and you'll probably never do a masterpiecebut that's okay. you put out the best you can. you know, i was waiting, waiting, andwaiting to put out work in galleries and finally dan mccall said, "you're never gonna do amasterpiece. so why wait? just do the best you can." and my view now is if i'm not embarrassedby my work three or four years later there's

something wrong. that's true. i should be better. so but if you wait to be the best you'll neverget there, you'll never put out one painting. i mean you can frame these things in whateverways, use whatever words make sense to you but what you're trying to do is do somethingthat rings true to you. is there something you tell students thathave a hard time figuring out what rings true to them or what they should do? yeah. you know, i mean there's...again there'snothing you have to do so you can

i love, since i grew up with comic books,i love all the comic book movies coming out. none of those are masterpieces, some of themare pretty good but none of them are great films by any means. most of them are fairlybad films. but they're sure fun. they're entertaining. there's nothing wrong with that. just doinga beautiful sunset or a beautiful figure on a couch. there's nothing wrong with that infact there's a lot that's right with that. so it doesn't have to change the world andthe fact is i can almost guarantee you whatever you do won't change the world. but it mightchange a little piece. it might change one person and that person might go out of thegallery or from the folio feeling a little different or just being grateful that theyhad a break from their troubles. so it's

manage your expectations and you decided whatyour definition of an artist is. what do you really wanna be and what's your...when itrings true what is that truth? because, i mean, we have a lot of truths in this worldnow. there's no one truth. there's all sorts of religious truths and scientific truths,aesthetic, all this kind of stuff. political truths. you know? and so you're probably gonna be working withina small group, a tribe that agree with you. but the fact is the difference, even if you'rea completely different tribe than me and it looks to me like you are just kind of...justa tad...anyway. we're both human beings and so we have a lot in common. and if i findsomething interesting and challenging and

beautiful or whatever adjective i wanna attachonto it there's gonna be a lot of people who feel the stane way about it. and yet [inaudible01:18:29] i'm gonna depend on the fact that i'm not so much different than that other,that tribe. you know? this is the way we go through life, disconnected. whoever i am i'm not in this old body, i'mthis incredibly handsome, tanned individual who's six-something and still growing. andso we're locked inside us and separated. you know, even when i touch something i'm notreally connecting to it. not in any deep way. i'm always separated from it. so we're alwaysdifferent in that level and yet we are connected in some ways. we can connect in a deep way,especially through our art. you know, art

does and religion does the same thing, philosophydoes the same thing. it connects in a deep, deep way. it breaks past the veil, is themetaphor for that oftentimes. you know, so all...when you get this fortunateconnection of colors and shapes or this fortunate connection of prayer to an idea sometimesthat veil opens up and you get a direct connection. you know, you get this rush of energy throughyour body. something like that. sometimes it's coffee but sometimes it really gets you.and so you get that connection and so with the artist it depends on two things. thatwe're not so different so if we find something truthful, beautiful, pick your adjective,other people will, too. maybe a lot, maybe a little. we can't control that but some will.and yet we are distinct.

there's never been another you in the wholehistory of the human race but there's been a lot of people come through the doors. youknow? we got seven billion or whatever it is now and yet there's never been a personexactly like stan ever. and so you have a unique perspective on the world that nobodyelse has ever had and that's an opportunity then to bring something new. nobody thoughtto put those two or those five ideas together the way you did it or to do it that same oldidea at a level that's never been seen. you know, why can't i do something as a realistthat's better than sargent or better than rembrandt. you know, there's that possibility, too. it'sless likely but it's still a possibility.

but it's quite likely that you could takea little bit from sargent, a little bit from rembrandt, a little bit from picasso, anddavid hockney and come up with something that's very interesting. it's done all the know? any good business idea, any good movie idea, any good story is that. and anyart style is that. cool. i'm gonna do video art instead of paintedart. that was a new idea that was not too long ago. as we focus so much on craft itis such a treasure hunt and usually those treasures are really buried deep. and it takesa lot of energy and diligence just to cobble together a figure-drawing education or a colortheory education. i'm exhausted just doing

that. where is the time to then say somethingimportant about it? but it's similar to learning punctuation and grammar. you know, that'sgreat if you know where to put the semi-colons but if you don't have something to say inthat story, you don't have characters that you've lived with or characters you've livedas to put down on a page what's the point of writing? but it's pretty clearly pointless that ifi become the best punctuarian, i'll make up a word, in terms of writing skills and i havenothing to talk about, no insight to bring, then who's gonna read my story and why shouldi even write a story? i'm just gonna put down random words. so oftentimes as realists ourcraft, then, includes how to make a nose come

off the page and how to put it in the rightplace and the right proportion and how to color it right and all those kind of mechanicalthings. and fortunately for us we don't have to can just be that one off can't just do one word as a writer. you gotta run the story whatever it is. as the artist that can be aesthetically beautiful.but ideally we would then have some great idea to talk about some great fundamentaltruth, say loneliness or salvation or inhumanity to man or whatever it is. or the thrill ofcompetition or, you know, it could be anything. but we have something to say about that andbring it out. but if i'm gonna lead you by the nose and say, "now this is what you...youhave to feel with my paintings." i'm gonna

paint this beautiful, in fact she's reallyhot because that's what we realists usually do when we're male artists, and she's drapedon the couch with this gauzy night gown that's pretty dark. stan: that's a good image. steve: yeah. is it hot in here isn't it? andthen i've got moonlight coming through the open curtains and there's a guy in a blackcape with a skull and a scythe hovering over her and she's pale-skinned which i thoughtwas a great touch. and it's death coming for the hot babe metaphor. you gave us everything.what are we gonna do? we're gonna go, "yeah. she's a hot babe. but if you'll just turndown...turn up the air conditioning i'll be

fine." but you don't get anything else. youdon't live with it, you don't take that home. and you go, "she was not only a hot babe,she was also a really hot babe." that's all i can get out of that. so we need to do something that's iconic,that's metaphorical. and something that stands for other than itself. that's what a metaphoris. god is a rock. that's a metaphor. now that's a lot. god is not a rock. if there'sa god he's certainly not a rock. but since i can't understand very well the concept ofgod and i know quite well the character of a rock i can get some insight, maybe someemotional truth out of that metaphor. that's what metaphors do. they bypass this or quicklymove past it and they go right to this. "yeah.

he is a rock because when i pray to him ifeel like i'm standing on firm ground and i feel like it's gonna always be there." youknow? and i'll start attributing this to god theserock-like qualities and i'll get some connection. bringing it together again. so that's whatwe're really looking for as artists is to create a metaphor. you know, the fact is sometimeslife can be magical. we can't sign up for a magical school but sometimes life is magical.we have magic moments. sometimes it is wondrous. you know? and there's a certain emotionaltruth there. it's not scientific truth but we're flooded with scientific truths. youknow? we're talking to our audience through scientific truths. that doesn't make us...wecan go home and drink ourselves to sleep after

those wonderful scientific truths. you know? because we're so miserable in our lives. that'snot what people need. but the art, you know, going to a movie...the right movie can changeyour life. you know, reading the right novel can change your life or at least give youcomfort to feel like that you're not alone in your life, that other people have gonethrough that. that film on transgender or depression or whatever, or chemicals in thesoil. you know, that's..."maybe that's why aunt sally's sick. she lives by that chemicalplant." you know, even that kind of stuff it can...the drama of those characters goingthrough that you can connect to that and pull from it. so that's the power of art. it workson these deep, deep levels.

i mean, think of the sistine chapel whereyou walk in, you can't read, you've only listened to these stories through your clergy. youwalk into that chapel for the first time and you see the face of god. that's pretty know? what could match that in a life that's pretty mundane? that's often as prettyhorrific. and yet you've touched, as this peasant, youknow half star who can't read and has no hope for a better've touched god in someway. what was your training schedule like? well, in school what i did...i touched onit a little bit before is i made sure i didn't...that i prioritized the classes. you're gonna getlet's say five classes or four classes or

three classes or whatever it is. they're notall gonna be equally valuable to you. okay. so do you choose the one you're interestedin? because you might be skipping out on something that's really important but you don't likeit. well, that's always the danger in. it's whenyou make choices. when you leave something out there's a danger you screwed up. but maybei really wanted to be an abstract painter so i'm gonna blow off that realist figurativeclass that i had first semester, by third semester i realize i wanted to be a realisticfigurative painter. now i gotta go back and take that as an elective. what i did was itook...with whatever electives they give you, you take what you have to take and that tastetesting, that buffet of early college or early

education important... like an atelier doesn'treally have that. they'll teach the one process through a couplemediums, usually, and then you're out the door with a great skill set in that processoftentimes but you don't have communication classes, you don't have design classes, youdon't have a sense of the contemporary audience you're working with, you're really doing paintingsfor a 300 or 400 year old audience, oftentimes. so there's always gonna be gaps and holes.but so it's nice in the beginning if you can take a buffer and say, "well, take a few ofthese." and as i found later on i never wanted to be an abstract painter but i am an abstractpainter. my figures, these are all abstract shapes. you know? you take this out of contextor you crop it in, why can't that be a six-by-six

foot abstract painting? yeah. well, wouldn't that apply to anybody's? yes. it would and it should but most realistsdon't think that way. they say, "that doesn't look real enough."and the only truth is the realism of it. and even that's okay but there''s nice toknow there's other truths and you may say, "i got my plate full already just doing thingsrealistic. i'm gonna do photo-realistic work. i love doing it." and so that's enough forme. but oftentimes people, if you say, "what about this?" they'll go, "oh, yeah." and they'llrealize, you know, "that's why i was fighting doing those type of renderings, because i'mreally a looser painter. it's a looser truth

i'm after." or kinetic truth or whatever itis. so, you know, pick your choices. kind of havea game plan. i always try and think two years out, five years out, 10 years out, and thena lifetime. when i'm 84...i was gonna say on my deathbed but in florida retired witha martini or something i wanna be able to look back and say, "yeah. i wrote a good storyfor myself. you know? i did okay. i don't regret that i didn't try and be an artist,that i didn't try and get as good as i could get or whatever, or i didn't spend more timewith my family or whatever." interviewee: you know, i did it well. i neverwanted regrets and so i tried to plan for that. by doing that there's a level of maturityinvolved. that means you can't watch 12 hours

of football, you can't go to all the parties,or maybe even most of the parties. you have to give things up. and so that's a tough one,too, and i've always thought that college comes too early. you know? we spend 12 yearsgoing through kiddy school. you know, taking stuff that our adult...the adults said wehad to take to be good citizens and for the most part cramming for them and forgettingthem. you know? can you really remember the capitals of all 50 states? you know, you justcrammed through that stuff and then you forget 99% of it. and then what they do is they in the lastyear and a half or so you start taking tests and exams for college placement. you startsending out letters, planning for scholarships,

and then you jump right into a package atharvard or at washington state or at this junior college and you run through that forthree-and-a-half years or maybe it's 12-and-a-half years depending on what you're doing and thenyou're spit out and you're expected to be an adult and spend the rest of your life doingthat major which was american literature or a business degree or whatever it was whenyou're really still a child. you know? in terms of knowing what you wantand what you need to do. so to me it's better to get out of the children's school, 12thgrade, and then travel for a couple years or work for a couple years or mix it up. workfor a year and then go get a year a real pass in europe or, you know, get an inexpensivecar and drive across the country that you

live in. okay. so experience. steve: experience and start to say, you know...iwas at that political demonstration, i don't like the way the system works. or i lookedat the system and think, "well, actually, it's working pretty good. need to do something,i wanna be a part of that system." or whatever or i think there's already plentyof bureaucrats. i'm gonna be an artist. but what does that mean? but people that jumpinto it too immature, really. we're not living in new guinea, you know, 300 years ago whereat 13 you were a man and you went through a man's rite and oftentimes your body wasscarred to show that you were now a man and

not a child. and so you went through an actualritual and things were pretty simple. you didn't have much you had to do. here to be a good man or a good woman whocan take care of their partner and their responsibilities and not take from the world but to give backto the world or help uplift the world or even challenge the world that take some know, and oftentimes we...our education system targets things early and then theysay, "okay. learn to draw. okay. learn to paint. learn to render. learn to color. learnto design." and you don't know how to put those things together because nobody showedyou. it took 40 minutes of history then 40 minutes of math and it's all cut apart.

and so you have to be in a position that you'remature enough that you know what you want even if it's wrong, even if you think youshould be an abstract artist and later you changed your mind to be a realist or viceversa make a choice and then what's the best plan of action? because the college isn'tgonna give it to you, probably. what's the best plan of action to get there? what doi need? drawing? do i need anatomy? you know, what do i need? do i need laws of light tounderstand how to render it? is there anything that you would do differentlyin the way you trained or in the decisions you made? no. because all know, when youlook at your life, you know, i'm 58. when

you look at your life when you've got, youknow, 20, 30, 40 years behind it looks like it was meant to be and everything that wasa mistake is also an opportunity. so i illustrated and ended up hating it buti got an incredible amount of mileage and i found out what i didn't like and i tooka skill set that had some problems, i was a hack, as i said. but, also, i was a prettygood hack because i could render. you know, i could picture make and stuff like i gave me some skills and i worked on things that i wouldn't have worked it was a good stepping stone. and then i went into teaching and every time in lifeyou're at those kind of crossroads moments you're gonna find lessons of what to do andlessons for what not to do.

so you look...i looked at a lot of the teachersand saw they were burned out. so now how am i gonna go through with this love i have forart and not burn out on it? you know, so they taught me what not to be as artists as wellas teaching me color theory and whatever else. so there's always that side. so, yeah, i meanit is what it is. but i feel good about what i did. you know? so i could have moved fasterhere. once i had done the illustration stuff and i got pretty successful they...the morethey wanted me the worse i got because the deadlines became more stringent and the imageryoftentimes wasn't as fun or whatever it was. and so i've always kind of held back a littlebit in terms of doing fine art and trying to be super successful at it because i didn'twant that same kind of having to knock it

out. and so actually the last four or fiveyears i've been working on these big commissions for a collector and i haven't shown in galleriesbecause i haven't wanted to. i wanted to do this commissions and kind of just not do theshows for a while and then when i do shows again in another two, three years wheneverit'll be there'll be something different. boxers and the workers will be gone. do somethingnew. i'm gonna do stalin on a teeter totter, ithink. did you study more from life or from the masterswhen you were... i did both. i studied from life and didn't...ididn't use any of the tracing tools that they use to...i can't even remember what they'recalled now. but the projection stuff. now

you do it with all sorts of stuff but i didn'tuse any of that. i always drew freehand. because you can...what people would do isthey would... you get this photo reference, you could trace it out or you could freehanddraw it and then you take that and you put it in an image projector or print it out andblow it up and then you work on that. i would always redraw or...and draw freehand. so iwould screw it up but i have to draw it two or three times to get it right and it waspractice. and, also, i still use that process because when i draw i'll draw it a littlesloppy. so i'll have to move things around a little bit and that creates these interestingedges and that sense of kinetics that's important to my work.

yeah. that's probably one of my favorite thingsabout yours is there's these little things that if you had traced it you would have nevercreated these varieties from life. yeah. and i saw that in pontormo. pontormowould do two or three nipples and six or seven fingers and look and he'd just leave themthere. just looking for anything that created this sense was cool but also a senseof vibration and's gonna move in a second to something else. stan: in your book you talk about consistency.there's a quote i'm gonna read. it says, "start thinking of the frame around your artworkas a window into your world. the marks you make explain the rules of that world and theyhad better be consistent." are you talking

about in a single work or in a body of work?consistency? steve: all. yeah. and that consistency can be how it think of a gradation. this can be consistently a well-structured, well-designed arm but itcould go from strong light to ambient lifght to shadow so there can be an evolution there.that's what a curve is is it's always changing directions incrementally and going from downto eventually up. and so but it's that ringing true and having a focus of what you're tryingto say with your work. the more clearly you understand and it can be this understandingor this understanding or both, understand that what that mark is doing for you.

and just the way i almost went into engineeringbecause i liked math before i discovered art as a young man so i like to know why thingswork. i like to figure it out. so that's just my thing. it's not all good. you know? formost people they don't need to know the...every single why but i like to know it. so a lotof times it's just a emotionally rings true but every mark has to be in service of something. okay. so what do you enjoy more, a quick sketchor a longer effort. yeah. i like all the process. i like to mixit up and so i'll sketchbooks i'll do more of a kind of sargentesque kind ofstuff or a quick sketch with oil points would be more my sargent hat on. and then the longerwould be more of my rembrandt where i'll build

up wet over dry. stan: so you don't like one over the other. i like all that. i don't at this point. i'vebeen doing it long enough and i went through my early years as a realist doing stuff prettytight. i don't like to sit there and render a bunch of...a big painting, a full paintingwith a fully rendered...and if you'll notice my work it's designed in such a way and that'kind of the nature of chiaroscuro you have light and shadow and most of the informationis in the light you don't have to render the shadow. most of the information is in theforeground, you don't have to render the background. so i have kind of non-background backgroundsand the shadows are more or less void with

a little bit of line work in them. and thatway i've designed a piece where it'll be, you know, say like know, i don'thave to do anything here. it's just a few areas here and i might even drop those handsoff into shadow and drop that leg off into shadow. maybe i'll put a lot of folds realistichere and then it will become more broken, more abstract, and more linear than lost.and so i'll actually create a gradation of realism oftentimes where i'll go to purelyabstract shapes, simple gradations. go from painting to drawing where this literally does. but i'll do that in the painting and it keepsthings fresh for me. i'm not focused on every little area and it' attention span thenis held because each area has a little bit

different problem and then getting those allto ring true is kind of fun. you know? how can i make line, abstract painting, realistpainting, and drawing all work in the same deal. what medium do you want to learn that youhaven't? well, i would love to...well, there's twoanswers to that. i'm actually playing with writing right now. that's one of my thingsthat i'm doing while i'm kind of hiding out. well, you've kind of already... yeah. i did that and that's one of the reasonsi did that. i'm actually writing a novel for my kids.

oh, okay. a fiction. steve: sort of a love letter to my kids. yeah.yeah. so i'm just having fun. i've always world-built in my... stan: is it a graphic novel? are you illustrating? no. it started as...there was a...early onwhen i was deciding to get out of illustration i did a graphic novel for disney comic booksand then they went out of business before they ever... what was it? did they print it? oh they... no. they never printed anything. but theygave me a nice advance that allowed me to

be a fine artist. but i did that so i couldwork with these kind of mythological ideas for kids. anymore books in the works? i might. the publisher wants to do anotherone. this is doing pretty well. and i've got a whole series, five, six, sevenbooks i could do. some, yeah, at some point there'll be anotherone out. okay. are you working on one? not yet. but i've got it...when i did thisi structured out very loosely three or four and, i mean, i've been teaching long of the reasons i'm doing this

with you and doing the new masters and otherstuff is i won't be doing this forever and i won't be around forever. so i want to get out whatever i know and whati've got and what art has given me i wanna put it back out. and as many forms as i cando that i wanna do that. so it's great to have it on...recorded, you know, all thatstuff and then in the book form, too, i'll try and do that. and just everything i gotis not mine, it know, it's me stealing from all these other great, great folks soi wanted to get it out there. because, like i said, most of the treasure hunt is hardand i think i have a few ideas that are useful that don't get talked about or don't get talkedabout in context or at least in my context.

and so i think that it can be part of theconversation. so, yeah, there'll be more. i'm not sure when. where do you see your art going in, like,the next decade or so? are you gonna do more boxers, are you gonna do a series? no. i'm done with the boxers. the worker boxers,series that was a particular kind of male mythology, tough it out, life's a battle,pick yourself up by your bootstraps kind of stuff. it's an american idea of if you workhard, you know, and fight the good fight that good things will happen. that kind of thing.there's enough of that, i think. so i'm gonna...i'd like to...i've got a series i've been meaningto do for probably 20 years on female...series.

okay. that's gonna be a popular one. yeah. and it's foxy boxing, it's called. noi'm kidding. female boxing. okay. yeah. no. i'm kidding. is it nudes? it'll be nudes. yeah. it'll be nudes. yeah. any specific take on that or... steve: yeah. still playing with that. it'sgonna be kind of a submerged idea. i had the real know, i like cliches becausethere's certain truths and they push buttons.

especially in this day and age. so i'm gonnaplay at least in the beginning with active and passive. the males were active, the femalewill be more passive. but there's also would be a long answer so i won't get intoit but we spent a lot of time with the male mythologies so i wanna deal with more of thefemale mythologies in life. and then i have a series of landscapes i wanna do since i'mliving in a beautiful landscape country. last question. where can people buy the book? you can get it any place books are sold iswhat my publisher tells me to say. yeah. you can go online or to whatever book store andif they don't have it they can order it but it's all over the place and it's in severallanguages now, too.

oh, awesome. yeah. no. i mean those are continuing to add...itjust came out mid-summer so it's still fairly new. but they sent me a german edition. i thinkthere's two or three languages other than english now. there should be four, five, orsix by the end of it. awesome. so "figure drawing for artists: making everymark count". thank you very much. thank you.

yeah. thank you for being here and... my pleasure. yeah. i'm excited to see. so sweet of you to come up and spend sometime with me. of course. i hope to visit you someday. yeah. yeah. that would be great. and you'reall welcome to [inaudible 01:45:45]. no. you're not all welcome. yeah. what's your address? yeah. and cut, cut, cut. cut it.

all right, guys. thank you for watching. ahuge thank you to steve for passing on so much wisdom. i'm definitely gonna go backand re-watch the interview a few times myself and if that wasn't enough steve actually stuckaround and recorded a hand-drawing demo after the interview. so i'll be posting that nextweek. you don't wanna miss it so click that subscribe button and go get steve's's great. if you haven't done it already go get it, you need it in your life. all right.thanks, guys. see ya.

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