The Art Assignment #3

Have you seen John Green and Sarah Urist Green’s new video series The Art Assignment? During each episode Sarah interviews a working artist (or two). Sarah and John discuss the art and its precedents. Then the artist provides an assignment for anyone who’s interested. Here’s my response to the third assignment: The Intimate, Indispensable GIF. Despite Toyin Odutola‘s claims that a lazy 5 year-old could do the assignment, it took me three days and lots of help from my indispensable daughter.
















My inability to use photoshop was frustrating but it was fun to work together and try something new.


© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

12 replies
    • lsteinglass
      lsteinglass says:

      Michelle, here’s the text I started with. I cut it down a lot to fit.

      I come from words

      I come from novels read late at night, characters befriended and lost,
      in places I’ve never been, never can be. I come from newspapers
      unfolded over bowls of cereal, articles skimmed and digested, opinions
      judged wise or unsupported, crossword puzzles marked in ink.
      I come from conversations and arguments, shared ideas, shared feelings,
      shared experiences, shared dreams. I come from picture books,
      read, reread, grown out of, saved. I come from libraries and card catalogs,
      bookstores and browsing and choosing and buying. I come from coffee tables
      stacked with magazines carried around the house and abandoned
      by the bed, the couch, the toilet. I come from dictionaries and definitions,
      denotations and connotations, Roget’s thesaurus, and finding just the right
      word. I come from lectures and lessons, textbooks, test questions, and essays.
      I come from letters written and mailed, written and never sent, written,
      received and wished for. I come from rooms lined with bookshelves
      filled with books I’ve never read and books I’ve read a thousand times.
      I come from conversations I’ve had, wished I’d had, and those I’ve
      overheard. I come from radio news, after-school television,
      weekend movies, and late night plays. I come from documents, Constitutions,
      laws, mission statements, expressions of ideals never attained, but always
      worked towards. I come from poems, loved and discarded. I come from
      secret diaries, daily journals, and notebooks crammed with first drafts,
      abandoned and rescued. I come from names for people, places, animals,
      scientific principles, literary devices, and flowers. I come from words.

  1. Bridget Magee
    Bridget Magee says:

    This is so cool, Liz! I love the movement/walking aspect. I’m impressed with your mad photoshop skills and I love the added benefit that you and your daughter did it together. = )

  2. lsteinglass
    lsteinglass says:

    My daughter’s ingenious idea was to work around photoshop. We took lots of screen shots with the body full of fewer and fewer words, then used photoshop to format all the screen shots into an animation. Working within photoshop was super frustrating!

  3. readingtothecore
    readingtothecore says:

    How clever of you create this image for amazing poem! It’s comforting to know I’m not the only person who has a coffee table “stacked with magazines carried around the house and abandoned.” What is worse, though, is then I tear out articles, vowing to read them someday, which only creates more stacks!

  4. Linda Baie
    Linda Baie says:

    I’ve been off trying to figure out what you did & found a decent instruction page, but don’t have photoshop. This is awesome, Liz. I’m glad you shared your poem so we could read it too. Like Catherine above, I have those magazines, but tend to read the books instead. So glad you shared, something new for me to try!

  5. lsteinglass
    lsteinglass says:

    I hope you all check out The Art Assignment videos. They are very enjoyable even when you don’t intend to complete the assignment.

  6. maryleehahn
    maryleehahn says:

    I subscribed the The Art Assignment videos. Now it’s just a matter of finding time to watch them! This dang Day Job does get in the way!!

    Thanks for posting the text. Kind of a take-off on the George Ella Lyon’s Where I’m From poem, eh? Love your wordy take.

  7. lsteinglass
    lsteinglass says:

    Hi Mary Lee, Exactly. I was definitely inspired by George Ella Lyon. I was also thinking about all of the studies about young children’s variable exposure to words. I was certainly exposed to lots and lots of words. And yes, it’s impossible to find time for everything!


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