Teaching drawing techniques in Chinese

Well, that's the plan anyways.

About a week after arriving here in China, I was speaking with a local and we got to talking about art and design. She made an interesting comment, saying that as a people, the Chinese have an incredible knack for replication, but they aren't truly creative.

Of coruse, that's a pretty broad generalization, but the more I've thought about it and observed my surroundings, the more that seems to be the case. For instance, when I go shopping at some of the night markets or even the formal malls, I can find a TON of amazing stuff if I'm looking for a style that's been popularized elsewhere (the US, Europe, Japan, UK, etc), but if I'm looking for something original, that can't be found anywhere else, it's a dead end.

Cars are another example. China has their own automobile manufacturers, but the models look IDENTICAL to Nissans, Hondas, Jeeps, Toyotas, and VWs back in the states. None of it's original, only replicated.

And the list goes on. MP3 players, phones, electronics, computers, clothing, shoes, etc etc. It's all copies. As far as I can tell, people here aren't taught to think in terms of originality. It's my guess that this is part of the reason that my drawings at the beach fascinate them so much. I mean, I'm by no means that fantastic of an artist in that medium (I cringe looking at the landscape I did earlier due to all the mistakes), BUT it's different and unique (to them, at least), so there's a certain appeal there.

So, unsurprisingly, there's a lot of folks here that want to learn how to draw, to paint, to design, and to create. I'm no master at any of these things, but I feel I have something to offer, so I've decided to set up an appointment with a few locals (and a few English-speaking expat's) to do a sketching day around the city.

Of course, that means a WHOLE new vocab set. Yikes!

Drawing vocab 1So today when I met my Chinese tutor at Starbucks I told her I wanted to skip the book lesson and talk about drawing stuff (she's actually going to be one of my drawing students, ha!). So we discussed values, forms, shapes, lighting, reflection and refraction, transparency, texture, line weight, pencil pressure, erasing techniques, and composition. All in 90 minutes. WHEW. I took a ton of notes and need to study a bunch before we go out, but I'm stoked to have it written down, at least. As it turns out, the words were super versatile and useful for things not pertaining to art, too, so that's pretty great. It's still mind-boggling how many times a day I realize I don't know how to say something ultra simple... one day!

In Linty Fresh-related news, I'm just polishing up the design now for next month. It'll be the first time I'm doing an Atlanta-themed tee, but since LF is based there and I've got a show there in late May, it's about time! I'm just hoping Atlantans won't be miffed by seeing two of their beloved icons battling it out above their city's skyline. Lolz.

By the way, I just got my acceptance email from Renegade Brooklyn. If you're in the area be SURE to check it out. It'll be my first time at this location, and from all the things I've heard I'm 100% stoked about it. See you guys there!

posted by Mr. Linty @ 9:44 AM,


At 6:29 PM, Blogger Karaku said...

Very true! They have a new word for the replication culture-shanzhai wenhua(山寨文化). It relects the social phenomenon in China.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Eric Terry said...

Huh, very interesting! I can't wait to see a little creativity, though. I think the Olympics showed us that when they really put their minds into something unique, the result is amazing.


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