16 August 2013

Lost Artwork

I have come to realize recently that I have lost a lot of artwork over the years. Sometimes I'll find an old image or just something I see will reminds me of something I did long ago and  disappeared from my collection. I also think of all the stuff I  gave away to family and friends as gifts and never took a photo or made any other kind of copy of. What happened to all those drawings and photos? Where are they now? How many are lost forever?

I know where a vast number went... When I lived in Boston, my first apartment there was flooded 4 times in 2 years. I lost many drawings and thousands of photos. This was long before the digital age so all that wet paper was ruined forever. As soon as the technology made it possible, I scanned all the remaining images, drawings, paintings and photos alike and still have them on my computer and on back up disks. 

But what about all those works of art I did when I was younger? Firstly, would anyone (especially me) want to see them again anyway? Some, I admit, I would. I remember doing a series of "tall ship" pencil drawings and some pen and ink animal images...and lots of dragons and sci-fi stuff for fun and a friend's fanzine.  I also remember a series of poster recreations, logos and all, a preview of my interests and career in graphic design perhaps. A couple pages did survive from these periods and I'm still not ashamed or even unhappy with most of it. Some of it I leads me to retry things or inspires me to new ideas. 

Not long ago I redrew an ink drawing I had done on a massive mounted drawing board 25 year ago and managed to compare it to the original which was still in the home of the cousin I drew it for. I learned quite a bit just by seeing it again.  I think I have improved my skill set but also I could see how my focus has changed in what details I chose to accentuate and how I chose to represent  complex subjects. 

What can be done about all this lost experience? Not much. I am making an effort to photograph stuff I gave away if I can get to it. The more I think about it, the more things I remember are gone. Is it sentimentality? Curiosity about my own past thoughts? Ego? I can't say I really know, but I seem to be getting a lot from just trying to remember my past accomplishments and even more if I actually rediscover them somewhere. 


T' said...

I know what you mean. I've lost some of my earlier artwork, though not as much perhaps as you. I find it's good to go through old stuff as I might have had ideas then that I wasn't good enough to really make until now. There's the nostalgia aspect to it, too and some of it is indeed terrible. It serves to show me how far I've come. I bet you have all sorts of good stuff in your files and at the very least, put together, it tells the story of you as an artist.

Behemoth media said...

I know my mother has the "bat drawing" I gave her somewhere. It was on the wall for years. I remember being good…I wonder if I were to ever get in contact with the friend who I did the fanzine with (Gollum's Cave it was called) if he still has some of that stuff!

T' said...

No reason not to try and find out!

Behemoth media said...

Oh I don't think he wants to talk me ever again! Not sure why… he disappeared during high school from my life. He did contact Frank Strom (I think you know from the picnic) about something years ago but never followed up on that.

T' said...

Frank was a buddy of Karen Perlmutter, wasn't he? Remember her? I know he was also big in the Boston Japanimation society, too. Oh, well. I don't know who wouldn't want to talk to you again. I always found you very friendly and kind.

Behemoth media said...

Yes they were friendly and he was working the industry and doing illustration for punk bands but I'm not sure if he still is or not. As for who wouldn't want to talk to me… i'll give you a LONG list! LOL I don't think he wants to talk to anyone he grew up with to tell the truth. Just my impression.