Saturday, May 1, 2010

IF: Cocoon

zdepski's illustration about living under his desk in art school
Under My Drawing Table
I lived under my table for a semester in Art School.
(Flock of Seagulls Hair)
I caught Ringworm from the Bed Sore Padding I found in a Dumpster.


As much as I loved the Philadelphia College of Art (now UARTs), it was too expensive. I was able to scramble enough money to pay for my last semester tuition in 1984, but not for housing. I petitioned the Dean for 24 hour access to the 7th floor Illustration studio, since I was "such a serious student". Upon approval, I had a free pass when the Security Guards walked through on their rounds... snoring or not.

I used to dumpster dive for everything, carrying an army duffle bag over my shoulder as I skated through the city at night. I found an egg-carton type of bed sore pad that I used as a makeshift mattress. My friend Phong, a very serious painter, moved his cot into the studio, along with a rice cooker. Phong's rice and 7-11's 2 dogs for 99 cents kept me fueled.

It sucked living out of a 3 foot locker, and sympathetic friends would allow me to use their shower. It was the time of squatters-rights and hard-core DIY, so I didn't think twice about doing it. I was filthy - the ringworm was the icing on the cake.

The next semester came, and I didn't have the money for tuition, so I started my life as a carpenter and roofer... 12 years of grumbling and cursing. I thank Hiroshi and Nancy Murata for kicking me in the ass to go back and finish my degree. I was on a treadmill to self-destruction and self-loathing.

two cocoons... the one under the table, and the one in my head. Glad to be out of both.

click to enlarge the filth.

7 comments:

Ana said...

That's a cool idea coming out from a not so nice experience.
I laughed at the Flock of Seagulls Hair :D

Sally Taylor said...

You are an incredibly interesting individual. Great story and and illo to go along with it!

Linda Hensley said...

Some habits die hard. I drove past a dumpster the other day and had an insane urge to find out what was in it. I kept driving, but I know there was something good in it. Thanks for the smile today. It's good to remember what's important and the struggles we've had to get where we are.

heidi aldin said...

Love the way you used color. At least when you're at the bottom the only place to go is up.

nina seven said...

nicely drawn and the story that goes with it...ouch! oh the sacrifices artists have to make!

Paul Kiesche said...

Great story! I love hearing things like this. These are the moments that help make you... you.

CĂ©leste Gagnon said...

ha ha that's awesome, I so remember those college days!