Break it down like this:
I've been drawing since I was 8 months old. That is to say, I picked up a pencil as a babe, and from there, began to develop my skills. I constantly worked in the shadow of my Father, who became a recognized artist through the seventies and eighties; then a surge of my artistic development occurred in the mid-eighties. By the time I was a freshmen in high school, I was already besting the school's art teacher and could draw a fairly accurate likeness of people.
I taught myself to paint throughout high school, surprising myself of my own advancement. When I entered the community college, I had already been playing with the idea of returning to the place of my birth, and the school that brought my parents together: The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
There, in 1994, I realized that my technical talent exceeded some of the students, and I became known throughout the school. Despite my technical advancement, my work lacked a sense of heart and creative flow. At IAIA,I learned from my instructors not only techniques and definitions that alluded me in my own studies (that I knew, but didn't have words for), but how to dig into my art, and pull the wonder out of it. A book doesn't have experience like a working, breathing artist.
I took photography in 1995. I dabbled in an introductory class at The Salish-Kootenai College, but the resources were limited. In Santa Fe, I returned to photography, and found the technical and artistic elements fun, creative and challenging. With drawn, painted or sculpted media, the process includes taking raw elements and changing it's makeup to develop another object or representation that "means something." Photography, however, allows the artist to find something in life that is normal, and with manipulation of light, form, depth and tone, the mundane can be made extraordinary. Much like children. Anyway.......
At the Institute of American Indian Arts, I played with Photoshop 3.0. At the time, it was very advanced and on the cutting edge of desktop image editing software. Well, guess what? It still is. Since IAIA, I've found ways to keep up with the Photoshop technology, working with 4.0, 5.0, then 6.0. When I visit Barnes & Noble, I peruse the Photoshop books and learn what I can. I teach Intro to Photoshop at the Salish Kootenai College which is part of the upcoming Applied Multimedia Graphics Certificate Program.
The main frustration I've had with art, however, is that the pictures can't move. Although I could be a cheapskate and actually make drawings and painting move through media tricks, it's cheating. There wouldn't be any real creativity at work, just a bunch of avant-garde bullcrap that makes the art world spank it until their hands bleed. I like the narrative of recent graphic novels (comic books), but love the lush depictions of other worlds in science-fiction and fantasy art. In art, you can't make a beautiful woman turn into the setting sun in one fluid motion; either with drawings, paintings and especially photographs, all you'd capture is a frozen, isolated moment.
Movie making appeals to me because I can combine my artistic technical know-how, appreciation of photography, interest in moving narratives (such as comic books) and writing skills. These talents and skills will help me make good to great movies.
©1999-2000 Sam Sandoval
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