corbin thomas

To conclude the purpose or origin of my own artistic nature is to demand of me a description of what I still do not understand. I do not think of myself as an artist in the most practical terms. Throughout my childhood my parents stressed to me the qualities and subtleties in music, plastic art, and various antiquities. Deriving from this I believe myself to be a product of their opinions and artistic moral, as I presumably draw from this influence in anything I create. At the age of six I was enrolled unwillingly in piano lessons and from here began my study of music, a study that would develop my need to create what is considered a form of visual art. As is a common dream of any child so heavily influenced by music I felt the need to perform, finding myself, after various piano recitals, developing my skill on guitar whereby at the age of 10 started my first “rock band”. Although the normality in which I think does not easily allow me to anaylize myself in such a fashion I find music as a release for maybe a tension, love, or something I do not yet understand. What I do understand is when certain harmonics are achieved through the sound of my instrument and the accompaniment of other instrumentation, a sort of harmonic vibration roars through my body touching every ounce of my soul. (if soul is the word for it) As the harmonics spread filling the air I breathe and my inner and outer self I witness a rush of endorphins and chills that are unlike anything else I have encountered. In music I find pleasure in performing or creating art as something I enjoy sharing with others the same holds true with the plastic arts I am only beginning to touch upon. In order to share your art with the masses of today’s society, one so opinionated by media, an artist must understand tools of marketing and target audience. A study in marketing, the legwork involved, and the process of acquiring knowledge and skill necessary to do be effective involves so many aspects outside the realm of your art’s medium. In my struggle to recruit fans for my band’s gatherings, I found the need to produce flyers. Quickly I realized the importance layout and design have on how effectively your promotional material can attract attention, maintain attention, and force remembrance. Assisted by my enjoyment for computers, technology, and my understanding for them I began assorting font style, size, and position within the frame of reference that I found to be most effective in achieving the article’s purpose. As I now understand as popular in periods of Gothic art, the arrangement and abstract use of size can appear dominant (attracting the most attention), giving a works viewers a sense in implied order of importance. Beginning with small “hand bills” and progressing to posters demanded that I abandon my comfort zone of simple elements found within the confines of an early version of “Microsoft Word”. Opening a new door, to (for me) the unexplored use of pictures and other graphical imagery, became a necessary means of maintaining industry standard “promotional art”. A revolution in mass media and advertisement, the Internet, consisting of World Wide Web pages as promotional tools, swiftly emerged spreading in popularity requiring again a further reformation and honing of my skill, one that would push me one step closer to what is considered now by professionals as the field of “graphic design”. The need to promote my musical endeavors through form of posters, hand flyers, and web graphics became an endless outlet for my new interests of visual art. My process of thought has always been of impatient and scattered nature. Generally not thinking things through to their consequences resulting in endless amounts of trouble at school, a mannerism that ultimately jeopardized the caliber of my grades as well as a negative effect on my interest in learning, and the formulating of teacher opinion diagnosing me with ADHD. This behavior led me to almost disgracing my parents by failing or dropping out of high school. Something I am glad did not occur, as I barely graduated slipping by through the frailty of motivation sparked by the effects my laziness and lack of interest produced. This mentality, present for the majority of my childhood, teen, and young adult years, hindered me from associating names with things I found aesthetically pleasing. I took things in, but due to my short attention span had and still have little memory for dates, names, or anything academic. This type of mentality also makes it quite difficult to cite specific artist names, movements, or pieces both visually and sonically that have influenced me as they only exist and influence from the realm of my subconscious. Sounds lazy huh? Try dealing with it. I would assume the influence of my parents and their stressed opinion of patina (an appreciation characteristic of folk art), fuels some sort of inspiration popular to my works subtle use of chroma and value. This subtlety veered my artistic taste, in most circumstance, away from the overuse of chromatically intense hue. Much like the crackle patina of aged stain on a piece of furniture of the Chippendale period. It is clear that my early works in music and graphic design reflect interest in darkness as I explored hues of low intensity that I found descriptive of my mood. An appreciation for film, and specifically the sci-fi or fantasy’s genre proved capable of producing livable, surreal, or unrealized environments, can be deemed influential to the shaping of my artistic vision. Through film elements depicted such as unexplored space, and a human fascination for the unknown influenced my choice of simplistic elements of composition enabling a sort of glowing, crisp, or space like motif to take precedence over many of my works. It was obvious that I showed no interest in academics, ergo my appreciation for sound and plastics seemed to occur by chance. After high school found myself pursuing solely the unrewarding dream of “making it big.” Two years progressed and my parents watched, as I made no motion toward establishing a more achievable goal. During these years of rebellion and one-track mindedness I created more than 500 articles of promotional art only showing interest in creating these materials and getting them distributed for the benefit of the band and its popularity. My parents understood and developed appreciation for my promotional works, and this time influenced me again to select pieces from this inventory and display them in the form of a portfolio at CCAD. Shortly after our conference we received notification that I was offered scholarship to this reputable school, whereby under an impression of the rarity of granted scholarship I gratefully accepted deciding to take my chance again at further education. Since my admittance to CCAD I have been struggling with my understanding for art. Having no experience in drawing, painting, since 7th grade and the overflow of information poured over my brain as if it were an already soaked sponge I find new interests that previously had not been realized. This struggle, accompanied by the history and philosophy of culture has turned the key to a forge that is possibly too soon, melding strong artistic opinion and perspectives on culture thus driving a fascination as I pursue education and accomplish things I had never before acknowledged capable of my reach.

What's on my mind...

corbin thomas

Posted on Jun 30, 2011 | Last Updated Jun 30, 2011

artist/musician

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Photoshop design by Thomas Corbin while still in school.

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