I thought it would be fun to share my Petcha Kucha presentation slides along with the original script that I wrote for the presentation. A combination of sleep deprivation, a bad memory, a lack of preparation and adrenaline resulted in a presentation that quickly abandoned the script and became a happy disaster. I originally intended the tone of the presentation to have a sad Mr. Rogers vibe or maybe a Louis C.K. vibe but once I had the microphone in my hand I was instantly possessed by the spirt of Sam Kinison. Unfortunately, my insanity was not captured on any audio or video devices. So my Petcha Kucha presentation will forever remain a special once in a lifetime moment of hysteria I shared with the audience. If you missed my Petcha Kucha presentation I hope you are sad that you missed it. Hopefully you still find some enjoyment from the Slides below.
I want to thank Jonathan Wood + AIGA Wichita for inviting me to present at the Pecha Kucha event. I want to thank all of the people who paid real money to watch me scream like Sam Kinison for 6 minutes. I want to thank all of the other presenters for being brave, creative, insightful, funny and overall amazing people. I had a blast. Now I must return to painting and losing my fucking mind.
Here are my slides and the original script. Enjoy.
I am Dustin Parker. I am a professional illustrator and graphic designer. I am a comic book geek and a television addict. I am the editor of Proteusmag.com. I am also a painter and I have exhibited my paintings in almost 100 exhibits in Wichita, Kansas. Today, I am going to teach you HOW TO HAVE AN ART SHOW THE DUSTIN PARKER WAY.
I was born with a compulsion to create. Art is in my DNA. I am fueled by a hunger that is both primal and defies logic. The voice inside my head convinces me that an art show is a good idea but I know that the voice is leading me down a dark and dangerous path.
First you must find the perfect space. This is the easy part. Wichita has several established galleries but you don’t really need a gallery. You just need a room with walls and lights and no dead bodies. Be creative and find a space that suits your needs. A parking garage, A warehouse, your grandma’s house, it doesn’t matter.
Next you must name your baby. I keep a book of potential titles for shows and paintings that are collected from song lyrics, novels, comic books and other random sources. I like titles that are bold and catchy that establish a mood. I almost called a show Satan’s Dick.
Next you Design the poster. Art shows are awesome excuses to design kick ass posters. Posters are also a good excuse to dress in crazy clothing or wear makeup. My favorite posters involve photoshoots because things always go really dark and insane really quickly.
My cave is a sacred place where I can create art and watch television in peace. I never leave my cave. I am very anti-social. However, when I have a looming art show I try to make my existence known. i go to other art shows and tell other artists about my show, and now they feel obligated to go to my show because I came to their show.
This is the moment when I realize that the show is really happening and I don’t want to do it. I have other things to do. I have hemorrhoids. I want to catch up on Sons of Anarchy. I remember that I hate doing art shows. I spiral into a state of doubt and despair. I suck. I can’t paint. I’m a hack.
At some point I decide to cancel the show. I want to quit. I always start with these amazing ideas but quickly realize I don’t have the talent, time or money to properly execute those ideas and it depresses the fuck out of me.
On more than one occasion I have decided to share my hell with others. Instead of canceling the show I would invite other artists to join the madness and that often took the pressure off of me. Now I can split the rent with my super friends.
Looking at art can both inspire you to create art or it can discourage you and make you feel inferior and talentless. When I’m struggling with creative burnout I find it helps to look at art and hopefully I see something that informs me about my own work.
Now its Creative Identity Crisis Time. I don’t know what to paint or how to paint. One day I want to paint like Basquiat and the next day I want to paint like Jenny Saville. At the end of the day you just have to find your own aesthetic, good or bad, and run with it. Play to your strengths.
At some point I regain my confidence and I decide on a plan of action. In most cases, I just go to default mode and revisit familiar themes or ideas and try to take those ideas in new territories. When in doubt paint a skull or Abe Lincoln.
Now that I have my shit figured out. I can watch breaking bad and eat nachos and tweet about comic books. I usually schedule a show 1 year in advance and end up doing 95% of the work 2 weeks before the show. Can you tell that I waited until the last minute to prepare this presentation?
At some point the panic hits. I realize I only have 2 weeks to pull an entire show out of my ass. All I have is 10 really great posters. I don’t have a single painting done. I have clients calling me about freelance work. My mom is bugging me to come visit. I need to wash the dishes. All of these other things get in the way.
When I’m in panic mode. I am also overdosing on starbucks coffee and not sleeping. I’m fucking insane. I get delusional and start seeing things in my peripheral vision. But I often do my best painting when I’m in these crazed and altered states. I don’t do drugs. But I can see why other artists do.
At some point I have to promote the show. This is very very important. Most artists fuck this up. I print posters and distribute them all over town. I annoy everyone on twitter and Facebook. I contact the newspaper. There is no point to having an art show unless you invite people to see your work.
The posters are distributed. The paintings are varnished and photographed. The lights are adjusted, The food is on the table. The cash box is full. The iPod is playing the newest Radiohead album, Oh fuck… I forgot the title cards. There is always a last minute crisis.
The show starts! This is the moment. This is why you abused your body and mind. You are now a God. Everyone loves you. You are the center of the fucking universe. Your ego is all huge and greasy. You forget about all of the pain and the craziness and the sleepless nights. You forget about the hemorrhoids. You are God. Andy Warhol can suck it.
The next day you feel like shit. You are exhausted. You can barely move. You are a big fat pile of depressed. You hate your paintings. You didn’t sell anything. Why do I keep doing this to myself. I’m just a big fat failure. I can’t paint. I will never do this again.
Create Destroy Repeat – But for some reason you do it all again and again and again and again. Because that voice won’t shut the fuck up. You have to keep making art and you want the love of an audience. Art is a drug. I am addicted. Thank you.