Saturday, March 04, 2006

Art director for a day

When I was a kid, in late high school, my family went to a camp in the mountains for a week in summer. We went once a year, generally, and had the routine down. It was a family camp, so they had meals planned, tent-cabins already set up, and campfire shows.

They had a pottery area, and my mom had a fair amount of ceramics experience, so she would go down and throw pots on the wheels. Nobody else there, often including the art director, had any such skill, so she often ended up giving impromptu pottery lessons to others who happened by.

One year, she wanted to paint a bunch of bear-themed t-shirts for our family and some friends we knew from that camp. She wanted them tie-dyed to go with her themes. Mine needed a blue background with a yellow spotlight, which later painted a dancing bear into. My dad, who liked nature hikes, would get a bear climbing a hill, so the tie-dye for his shirt was a diagonal brown-and-green patch (hill) below a blue patch (sky). With plastic bags and a lot of time, I managed to keep the blue out of the yellow, and so on.

That year, the camp's art director set up the dye tubs and took the day off. I spent most of the day around there, wearing my mom's pottery apron and working on these special-order dye jobs. I looked about the same age as the college-aged art director, and official, in my apron, so everybody assumed that I was in charge and asked me what to do. The first one caught me off-guard, but by the second or third, I just took it in stride and explained it to each new camper who wandered up. I wonder how many thought I was on the staff.


Blogger Amgine said...

Becoming in charge, and confident in your ability to explain and teach, are such organic processes. Sometimes you grow up into it. Sometimes everything around you falls away and you're left standing above your surroundings.

Sometimes you're just doing your thing, and people just want to know what you're doing.

04 March, 2006 23:18  

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