2011 - Present
Collaborative Combative Drawing
One large piece of paper, one central goal, two or more artists, power animals at the ready, drawing tools cocked and loaded, and the understanding that collaboration is messy… Whether negotiating personal or professional relationships or simply coexisting, everyone comes to the table with their own ideas. Sometimes those ideas fuse, sometimes they clash; often they do both. The harmonious side of human nature seeks a common ground, knowing there will disputed objectives before a new perspective can be adopted. Collaborative combative drawing utilizes the energy created by the inherent pushing and pulling in human relationships as a method of (art) production.
Two Person POWER DRAWING
This workshop takes the focus away from the idea of physically fighting and more towards generating energy and ideas.
The objective of the activity is to explore how productive energy can be created out of resistance, obstacles and challenges, i.e. a fun way to see what happens when we collaborate with someone who has different ideas and or perspectives than us. Aesthetically, it also functions as a way to look at how mediums interact (charcoal vs. paint or pen etc.) and to see how energy is expressed through line quality and characteristics.
I lead in a 20-minute movement warm-up, which includes working in partners on our balance and awareness and a few very important self-defense/ self-confidence techniques. These include: the readiness (fighter’s) stance, how to move someone else’s body with leverage points, wrist grab escapes, how to defend against a ‘crayon attack’, and power poses for building confidence.
The Drawing/Painting Activity (Directions):
Think of a challenge or struggle that you are facing - this can be something very specific (like a difficult homework/ work assignment) or something less defined (like a general feeling of frustration or bad mood). Now, imagine yourself as an animal facing that obstacle. This animal should be meaningful to you and have qualities or abilities that you relate with (or would like to have) – if you could imagine yourself as an animal what animal would you choose and why? (It helps the drawing process if it has a head and tail or rear-end of some sort, like a tiger or a flying squirrel.)
Work with your partner (from the warm-up), starting at opposite sides of the paper and working your way to the middle - drawing the body of the animal from the rear-end towards the shoulders. You have 15 minutes to do this and meet in the middle at the shoulders. When everyone has met in the middle (at the end of 15 minutes) I say “GO!” and, for the next two minutes, the objective is to attempt to complete your drawings by drawing the head of your animal in your partner’s space while making it difficult for your partner to do the same, utilizing the movement and resistance of your partner to produce the final work.
After the drawing takes place, we move as a group around the room and reflect on the drawings: Why did you choose the subject matter and medium? What happened and what surprised you about the activity and the mediums used? How did your physical movements affect the qualities of the marks made on paper? What surprised you about your partner and about letting go a certain amount of control? Was an interesting visual effect created that you haven’t seen before? Were you able to finish your animal?
This process can help us define some areas of interest and serves as an effective gateway for working together on a collaborative project as a group. It is also completely and utterly fun!
Collaborative Combative Drawing with the Sculpture 1/2 class at Stanford University, invited by artist and lecturer Llewelynn Fletcher, 2016
Performance Space / Play Space at the University Gallery, California State University, Chico with the Interpersonal Communications Class and Beginning Drawing class. 2016 See more
Collaborative Combative Drawing Artist Talk and Demo at Sports Basement in conjunction with California College of the Arts' course Physical Exhibitions. - invited by Glen Helfand, San Francisco, CA, 2015 + 2016
Two Person Power Drawing with the students participating in the Young Artists Fellowship at Djerassi, Gunn High School, Palo Alto, CA 2015
Two Person Power Drawing with the students participating in the Young Artists Fellowship at Djerassi, Eastside Preparatory College, East Palo Alto, CA 2015
Collaborative Combative Drawing Presentation and Activity at CESTEMER 15 - Cultivating Ensembles in STEM Education and Research conference hosted by University of California, Berkeley TRUST Center, Berkeley, CA 2015
Collaborative Combative Drawing Artist Talk and Demo at Sports Basement in conjunction with California College of the Arts' course P.E. - invited by Glen Helfand, San Francisco, CA, 2014
Collaborative Combative Drawing Workshop, Mills College: MFA program - invited by Glen Helfand, Oakland, CA, 2013
Collaborative Combative Drawing Workshop, California College of the Arts: interdisciplinary critique seminar, BFA program - invited by Lynn Kirby, San Francisco, CA, 2013
Collaborative Combative Workshop, MFA program, California Collage of the Arts - invited by Glen Helfand, San Francisco, CA 2012
Fight Therapy Ice-breaker, BFA program, California College of the Arts - invited by Nathan Lynch Oakland, CA, 2011