My Ears Have Finally Stopped Smoking

It has been an excellent 2 weeks for trading information. (i.e gossiping)

But first I must, I must indeed, record last weeks crit on Wednesday. Foz sent us a truly hideous brief that was a thesis styled article on professional burnout in the medical profession. I’m under the illusion that I know a lot about this due to my still strong House MD obsession with Hugh Laurie.

I suppose in retrospect I should have sensed the tone of the article but at the time I drew complete blanks for ideas. So anyway I struggled with it all day and it wasn’t eventually successful. (too comicy, too silly for such a serious matter).

We all went for short 4-5 person crits with Foz in the downstairs meeting room. Learning from the error of my ways in past crits I immediately opted to go in the first group, knowing that by the end of the day crits would take longer and longer to finish.

Athier was first on the guillotine, he had just returned from his ‘tour’ with his ‘band’.

As you can tell by my over use of quotation marks, I heartily disapprove of his ‘ band’ and his ‘tour’.

As Simeon so brilliantly stated,

“I think that live music should be enjoyed sitting at, you know, a table…with a nice cup of tea..”

Athier mostly discussed the edits he was forced to make by his children’s book publisher on some of his spreads and also the work he was doing with his own art students. There wasn’t much to say about either really.

He also had some doodles on brown paper bags (Camille has being doing a project for a few months where she’s been drawing the city onto bags).

This raised Georgina’s hackles immediately,

“I just saw them and thought ‘What?? That’s blatantly copying Camille! Why the hell are you drawing on bags now?”.

I mentioned that in Athier’s defense he said just didn’t have any paper at the time, but it didn’t seem to entirely placate her. It is very odd to see Georgina angry. She has a very angelic, peaceful countenance, much like a Renaissance Madonna.

Next in the firing line was Alex who had brought in a piece of A2 paper on which he had stuck down a color xerox of a vulture’s head, of which the wings and body were drawn in black felt pen while next to it were 3 patterned squares of red wallpaper pasted down.

Right away I knew that he was in for trouble. Foz was going to eat him alive.

He opened by saying,

“Uhm…. I didn’t do a lot of work this week no excuses really, just didn’t do any work…”

“But um…. as you can see this is a piece that I did…like, I just did it last night so it’s a bit unfinished…”

“Uhm as you can see its a vulture’s head on a woman’s body and like, its supposed to symbolize a predatory kind-of woman…

“Like, I drew all of it with a felt pen and well, the pen ran out last night so it’s uhm unfinished so far but like, I’ve just had fun doing it so yeah… I’m enjoying it and I’m quite happy with it…”

“I bet Janine is going to have a lot to say about it…”

(Referring to my criticism last week)


What can I say? If Alex ever reads my blog he’s probably going to send me either a mail bomb or death threats but the fact is that the guy just doesn’t even try.

Honestly I had no idea what to say. I mean, it was quite poor.

It was rather shoddily drawn, the legs were awkward, the wallpaper seemed to be badly stuck on and seemingly pointless but I didn’t want to be harsh with the guy. Last week he seemed a bit testy about what I said during the crit.

So I just said…actually I have no idea what I said. I think I mumbled something about it being interesting or a better move than last week which was just ass-saving bollocks really. I wanted someone else to crit him this week.

Foz seemed to be thinking very carefully on what he should say. I was expecting him to explode a little but he seemed to be visibly biting back his words and deliberating very carefully on what to say.

Finally he asked

“Was there any reason for the wallpaper? Does it mean anything?”

“Uhm no like I just put it there cause I had it around and like I thought it looked good I mean aesthetically so yeah there’s no other reason really…”

“Alex *sigh*…you know I don’t want to make your life miserable… that’s not what I’m here for, you know… I don’t want you to dread crits but honestly you can’t afford to have weeks like this. If you continue like this you are going to fail.”

Alex immediately goes on the defensive and retorts

“Well that’s just not going to happen, is it?”

“Yeah Alex you keep saying that every week but every week its the same thing…”

“Well it just wont happen.”

“At the end of the year I’m going to be forced to write a *he mimes writing an F on a piece of paper* and hand it to you and you’ll still be saying ‘Its not going to happen’ and it’ll be like ‘Well yeah it did happen, here you go’

“And just discussing your piece… the woman’s legs are really chunky, I mean there’s some good meat in them legs, but your line quality is quite awkward. Why couldn’t you finish this piece?”

“Well it’s like still unfinished at the moment so I’m going to be working on it as I said like, my marker ran out at 8.00 at night so like, I couldn’t finish it..”

‘It’s unfinished’ is a common cop-out of Alex’s at a crit.

“There wasn’t a single thing, paint whatever, in your entire flat that you could use?”

“Well the thing is like I had some paints and stuff but it got stolen and…”

“Look Alex, Alex… I don’t want to get into it, seriously….”

“Yeah yeah OK I don’t want to get into it either, but basically I’m just going to do more work… that’s it …”

“Good. So more work, next term yeah?”

And that was the end of that. *whew.*

At about 6:00 I went with Simeon, Georgina and Mike to a lecture at LCF on copyright laws hoping we would return to CSM triumphantly smug. Unfortunately the lecture wasn’t that useful so we were only partly smug.

We joined the others back in the pub and managed to emotionally blackmail Simeon to come to the pub with us for a change. Foz has just left before we got there and Georgina was deeply disappointed.

Man, if Foz was single he would be getting a hell of a lot of action from at least 1/2 the women in the class and possibly Martyn. Its true what they say: women love a man who’s a bit of a bastard.

Martyn and I exchanged various tidbits of gossip over his pint and my whiskey and then wobbled off home.


4 thoughts on “My Ears Have Finally Stopped Smoking

  1. Pingback: Adam and Joe Illustration Crit. « Tin Roof Press

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