I am finished getting my MFA. The last two weeks of classes ended July 24. The first week was a fantastic illustration class with C.F. Payne and Gary Kelley. I already knew they were talented illustrators but I discovered they are also gifted teachers. The second week was a self promotion class with Danny Pelavin and Chris Spollen who are two of the funniest and most talented people I've ever met. Their class was full of laughs and tons of information. We each designed self promotion pieces specific to our work.
I have mixed feelings about finishing the program. On one hand I feel a tremendous sense of relief. No more projects or papers. No more financial strain of trying to pay tuition and pay my everyday bills. No more worrying that I might not finish all my paintings on time for the final show. On the other hand, I'm going to miss the program and more specifically the people in it. My classmates are a great bunch of illustrators and although I'm sure we will stay in touch and see each other from time to time, it won't be as often as it's been in the last two years. I'll miss things like all my classmates going to the Leyendecker exhibit in California and then taking over the back room of a nice little restaurant.
I'll miss the excitement of crits, finally seeing what everyone has done. Every time, I was blown away by the talent and skill on display. It was intimidating at times, knowing I had to put my paintings next to such amazing illustrations, but it was also very motivating.
And I'll miss my illustration mom and dad, Carol and Murray Tinkelman whose kindness and generosity have helped make the last years two of the best of my professional life.
Here's the first in a series of final paintings for my thesis project, based on the show Fuerzabruta.
Like the show, my images will be ambiguous. Taken together, themes such as isolation and connection will be explored. I have a specific narrative in mind running through the series, but the viewer's interpretation may change the story they take away from the paintings. I've struggled with technique and am relieved to finally hit on a direction I'm happy with.
This is a painting is of a store that used to be in downtown Collinsville Connecticut, just down the road from my house. Click here to see what it looks like today on Google Maps. While you are there, take a look around. It's a great little town.
This painting is for a history of illustration class taught by science fiction illustrator Vincent Di Fate. It's a movie poster for an imaginary remake of the short film La Jetée. La Jetée is the basis for the movie Twelve Monkees. My model for the male face was my classmate Dan Yagmin. The female figure was from one of the over 1500 reference photos I've taken at Fuerzabruta.
Every spring and fall the MFA program meets in a different city. After each trip, at the next contact period, every student has to present an illustration based on the last trip. This is my painting from our trip to Pasadena, California.