| Angie Counios
The idea of influence hit me and as you can see specifically here - Dave's influence on me with my next two posts.
People influence each other every day in many ways. One of the first times I realized how directly influence happens was in University when I was getting my Bachelors Degree in the Fine Arts.
The Glory Days
The third and fourth year art students shared a studio space that we divided with precariously balanced temporary walls and curtains, each our own little territory. The place smelled like turpentine and oil paints, varnish, spray paint, resins, glue, incense (to try and mask all those odours) and on Monday mornings beer, lots and lots of beer. We were mostly all in our early twenties and we were full of piss and vinegar, living the life of the artist, working til the late hours, listening to weird, marginal music and poo-pooing anything that was mainstream. We were cliches and that's totally okay because it was part of our process.
At that time I began to develop a series of small multi media pieces which I still create consistently to this day. I love them. Some of my studio mates worked on large paintings, others strongly representational work, mythological imagery, postmodern work, feminist deconstruction and all sorts of weird and wonderful mark making. As we worked over the months we all began to notice that we were influencing each other, whether it was subject matter, materials, or themes.
As we'd take breaks and meander from one art space to another we began to notice how the subject, style, theme, technique and even size of work was seeping from from studio space to another. We'd dialogue, beer in hand, in the wee hours about how influence happened so subtly. We'd looked around and I think we felt flattered. There was a validity in doing something that someone else thought was interesting enough to incorporate into their creation.
And you know what?
Influence is a little bit like imitation but not exactly.
And it's okay.
It's a pretty sincere form of flattery to say "your idea got me thinking about my idea".
So thanks to those people who prompt and teach just by being.