Marshall: Good afternoon Stan. Stan: What’s up Marshall? Marshall: We’re here to do the Draftsmen podcast,
you and me… Stan: Together, we’re in this together Marshall. Marshall: You look like you’re bursting with
youthful energy. Stan: What’s wrong with the way I look? Marshall: I mean, no, I made you – I was complimenting
you, I wasn’t saying it wasn’t great. Criticizing just so we’re bursting with youthful energy. Stan: That was sarcasm, that’s definitely sarcasm. Marshall: No, I really meant it to – yeah
I did, I meant it and then it’s like OK. Stan: You did. What the hell, what’s your problem. Marshall: Why don’t we just get started. Stan: Unfortunately I can’t say the same about
you. Marshall: oooohh it hurts. oh oh Stan: Welcome everybody to the Draftsmen Podcast. Marshall: Here we are. Stan: I am Stan Prokopenko, I’m an artist
and a teacher. You can find my stuff on proko.com. Marshall: I’m Marshall Vandruff, I am an art
instructor and I draw and you can find my stuff on marshallart.com. Stan: I love that website name… Marshallart. Marshall: Yeah. Stan: I’m surprised you got that even though
it’s spelt like the a name Marshall, but yeah. Marshall: Pioneer days of the Internet. Stan: Oh yeah, I was lucky, I got – I got
stanprokopenko, I got stanislavprokopenko, I got Prokopenko. I got my last name as a
.com. Marshall: That’s wonderful. Stan: Yeah. Marshall: And your given name in it’s full
length is Stanislav? Stan: Yeah. Marshall: Okay. Stan: I even got my misspellings; I got stanpropenko. Marshall: Did you really – Stan: Because everyone spells it like that,
Propenko. Marshall, what are we talking about today? Marshall: We have a question that was given
to me, “what are your thoughts regarding practicing multiple disciplines? I’m really concerned,
I’m spreading myself and my resources; time, money, energy too thin and threatening my
chances of any success which is elusive enough”. Wow, that last part about threatening my chances
of any success which is elusive enough maybe a statement about the person who wrote this
question saying not sure I’m gonna make it anyway and that would be a whole other thing.
The thing they’re focused on are about “spreading myself too thin, being practicing multiple
disciplines”. I know you have things to say about it. Stan: Absolutely, I have a long story I want
to tell. Marshall: I want to hear, let’s – let’s start
with it. Stan: You want me to start that? Marshall: Let’s go right with it, yeah. Stan: Okay, well first I’m gonna start by
just giving a short version that I don’t think you’re gonna spread yourself thin, you’re getting
very comfortable. Marshall: Okay, if it’s okay. Stan: I don’t think it’s a bad thing to spread
yourself – not to spread yourself too thin but to practice multiple disciplines, I think
it’s a good thing. I encourage cross-training because you can learn things from other disciplines
that you can apply to your discipline. It actually kind of goes back to adopting your
parents, right? Marshall: Yes, it’s related. Stan: You can do things in your discipline
differently because you know how things are done in another discipline; you can kind of
bring them in sometimes, creatively. It worked for me. Marshall: I’m interested, yeah, I want to
hear how you did it. Stan: Okay, so when I was a little kid, my
cousin and I… I’ve mentioned, he’s the dick that called… Marshall: Yeah, Tom. Stan: Yeah Tom, you remember that one episode? Marshall: for the rest of my life,
yeah. Stan: That fake voicemail? Marshall: Yeah. Stan: What a jerk! Marshall: But he also did your shirt… Stan: Well, not my shirt. Sean: But he did his own shirt. Marshall: He made that sound better, so that
makes up for – Stan: He did make our intro song. Marshall: Tom is a great guy. Stan: He’s a great guy, I love that guy, he’s
my cousin. Anyway, as kids, we would make movies together. We would reenact existing
movies, so we were basically – and this was in VHS times, right? When the camera you have
to – its tape, there’s no digital editing. Do you remember that when in order to edit
anything, you have to connect the camera to the TV and the VCR and if you want to like
clip something, you have to press record, press play on the camera, record it, press
pause and then skip over to the next clip that you want to record, press record, play
– Marshall: And you still get a glitch. Stan: Oh absolutely, there’s always like a
little – like a few frames of that – Marshall: Yeah. Stan: Yeah. So we used to reenact, we reenacted
the entire Home Alone movie. Home Alone: Lost in New York part two. Marshall: That’s impressive. Stan: The whole thing. What we would do is
we would play the movie on the TV, so the sound was the actual movie and then we would
just like lip-sync and we would act it out and then we would edit it all together. It
was so stupid too because we – there was no continuity in the characters, sometimes I
would – I would play – what’s his name? The main character. Marshall: Macaulay Culkin’s character? Stan: Yeah… Marshall: I can’t remember what his name was. Stan: Whatever his name was. Sometimes I would
play him, sometimes he would play him. We were just – I was just all over the place,
but we were like – we were being creative, we were making movies, we’re thinking about
that form of art, right? Marshall: How old? Stan: 9 or maybe 10. So that was my first
kind of creative thing where I was like really into it and we would do it for several years
we did this. We did The Mask, not the whole movie but just clips of it, just to be funny
and we made our own stuff. Marshall: It’s a nine year old filmmaker. Stan: Yeah, then my dad got me into coding.
He bought me a visual basics book. This was a very very basic coding language. Marshall: How old are we talking about here
now? Stan: This is now like ten eleven. So, I spent
like full summer just learning how to code as a little kid and I loved – I made several
games. It was some kind of game show that I made but it was all about my family because
all the questions were about my family but I – I designed all the visuals for the game.
It was like a real game. Marshall: And you did this via coding. Stan: Visual basics code, yeah, so you’d play
that – by also – I had – I made several games, but anyway, I learned how to code, I really
liked it, I was focused on that. Then, when I was like 13, I got really into oil painting
because my parents friend, they helped him come to America and he taught me about painting
for a summer and I just – from then on actually I’ve been drawing and painting. Then in
high school, I got really into animation and then all four semester – all four years I
took animation every single semester, I think I talked – did I talked about this? Marshall: You did mention it that the teacher
who expose you to Vilppu stuff and that kind of thing. Stan: That might have been an episode that
we cut. Marshall: Okay, yeah, but I didn’t know, yeah
– Stan: That’s reminding me of last episode. Marshall: I didn’t know you were – you got
into animation and that he was the one who kind of introduced you. Stan: Yeah Nataha Lightfoot, he was a
really good teacher at my high school, built everyone a light table, exposed us to Glenn
Vilppu, played us his VHS tapes in class. Yeah, so he got me in to animation – I took
animation every single semester in high school, I thought I wanted to be an animator. I even
– I said summer I applied to Cal arts I didn’t get in, and so I ended up going to Watts Atelier.
At Watts Atelier, I got back to drawing and painting, but while I was at Watts, I got
really into web design and web development and kind of um, starting my own businesses.
These are all very different things that I’m focused on and spending a lot of time and
energy on exploring and learning. Web development, I got hired to develop many websites for people. Marshall: You were doing a freelance then. Stan: Yeah, I was doing freelance web design,
web development like HTML, coding them, designing them, here’s your website. They weren’t that
great but you know – Marshall: But you did it? Stan: Yeah yeah. So I learned how to do business
and at Watts then after that, I started teaching. So that’s another thing, I started learning
how to teach. Long story so long – Marshall: That’s like seven or eight – is
it seven different disciplines that you’ve mentioned there? Stan: Something like that. Yeah. Yeah, so
the teaching thing was the last thing and then I started Proko. Do you see where I’m
going with this? Marshall: I see where it’s going. I definitely
see the convergence jelling. Stan: It’s all of those together.
Every single one of those elements put together into one. Marshall: I root for you for having done the
thing. That was seven or eight disciplines that now come together so that your business
allows you to do those many. Yeah, that’s the best story about convergence and also
knowing just a little bit about it and being part of Proko now, it’s great to hear. That’s
like one of those things that at the beginning of a romantic comedy, you say those two will
never get together and then at the end they get together. Stan: That’s great, I love that,
yeah. Marshall: Well, that is an argument for multiple
disciplines. Stan: Yeah, it is. I mean, I am afraid though
that I’m wrong. I mean, it just doesn’t work for me and then for other people, they just
really need to figure out one thing and focus, you know? Marshall: I don’t think that, but I do have
a comment about it because – well, I was gonna figure out – two ways we can go, one is I
can chime in and agree because I do, I think the multiple disciplines can be really valuable.
But we need to at least play devil’s secretary or whatever it is – Stan: Advocate. Marshall: Devil’s advocate. Sean: Devil’s lawyer. Stan: Okay – Marshall: Or at least – where we do at least
what’s the argument against. Stan: Against it… Well, the question kind
of covered that. Marshall: That you have limited time and energy. Stan: Yeah, you do all of them poorly. Marshall: Yes, if you – if that’s what’s happening,
if they are robbing from each other, but I want to tell you something about William Blake
who was a writer, some people say he’s England’s second or third greatest poet and he was a
picture maker. A lot of people didn’t like him as a picture maker but some people really
do like William Blake’s images, but he was doing both of these things and he felt that
they were robbing energy from each other and he gave one up so that he could focus on the
other and found that the other was suffering from not having had the dynamic of bouncing
between the two. David Bowie I’m told did something similar; he would write songs and
paint pictures and when he was having trouble with a song, he would paint a picture and
when he was having trouble with a picture, he’d go back to the song. So he had two things
to bounce between. So it’s like what we talked about with the curriculum thing and balancing
your calendar. These multiple disciplines can be spokes in a wheel and that wheel would
get rolling and each one of them props it up, and they all have something in common,
they’re all creative, even coding is creative, business is certain creative. So, they are
all things when you’re learning to make decisions. Stan: Yeah, I mean, I mentioned all those
things because they were creative disciplines. There’s a bunch of other stuff I did that
weren’t you know… Marshall: I guess the way you’d find out whether
you’re going to be better by not having multiple disciplines is to do what William Blake did,
cut one of them out, see what happens. Do it deliberately, do it where you’re looking
at it for a month or two to see how your energy changes. I always had trouble with this because
I wanted to write and I wanted to draw and I wanted to do graphic novels and I wanted
to make videos but it was too hard because we were even before the VHS time, trying to
shoot stuff on film was really tough and just all sorts of other things that I started to
– I had lunch with a teacher, at Fullerton College many years ago who was an older guy
and he said the thing he regretted is that he tried to be this and that and an artist
and a teacher and a father and all these other things, he said “if I’d have just chosen one
thing, I would have done better”. And I thought, ugh ugh, that’s what’s gonna happen with me.
So, you can – you can look at it and say “I want to do this one thing and if it’s like
what Norman Rockwell did”. Norman Rockwell was one thing right? He was an illustrator,
but Norman Rockwell’s life was so varied because he would be alone in the studio to paint,
he would also be sociable with people because he’d take pictures of them, he also wrote
in his autobiography “My Adventures as an Illustrator” he was also one of the teachers
in that great course, so he did a little teaching but it was all focused on making his hundreds
and hundreds of images that had variety within the process. So, there are multiple disciplines.
To be a good illustrator, you’ve got to be good with your models and maybe learn some
photography and marketing and all the other things. Everything’s multiple – what could
there be that isn’t a multiple discipline? Stan: It depends on how you – what you define
as a discipline. I do want to point out, I don’t know if this is a factor or not but
I didn’t do those things at the same time. So I wasn’t spreading myself thin because
I was doing all these – trying to fit them all in my schedule on the same day. I did
them one at a time. Marshall: And you did them through your childhood
and adolescence. Stan: Yes, I did them within my childhood. Marshall: So they’re your experiments to see
which one you want to do? Stan: Yes. Now, I am focused. Marshall: Yeah and in your focus like Norman
Rockwell, you can make films, direct animations, right? Stan: Right, I guess so. Marshall: You could code if you wanted to,
you’re in front of the camera, you’ve got all these things going on. Stan: Yeah, but I still – I still attempt
to spread myself too thin. Sean: Successfully spread yourself too thin. Stan: Shut up Sean, what do you
mean? Sean: Yeah, we’ve got anatomy, we got painting,
we got basics Stan: Oh, too many classes at once. Yeah,
we’re not talking about – that’s the same discipline though, that’s the same project.
But yeah, no, I know too many. I’m also doing like AI and I’m building a social network. Marshall: I think they’ll converge again,
I think that this is all – Stan: No they will, they’re all connected
to Proko. Marshall: They are. Stan: There’s this thing that I want to build. Marshall: Sorry we’re not giving you a lot
of help except to say multiple disciplines, good, but watch out for something. Watch out
that is – Stan: Cross-training. Marshall: Pardon. Stan: I want to use the word cross-training
because you know, like in sports, they do that all the time. Like you go swimming in
order to get – gain strength or something or whatever, I don’t know. Marshall: That sports psychologist Eddie O’Connor
talked about how that when you specialize in a sport to young, you only develop the
muscles for that sport, whereas if you’re taking several different sports, you’re going
to be – you’re gonna be more balanced. And there are also some people, like Shel Silverstein
who was a songwriter, had a band, a music performer, he did some hit songs. He was a
children’s book writer and a children’s book illustrator, he was an actor, right? There
we’ve got enough to say that is multiple disciplines and he did all these things, a great cartoonist.
He did all of these things and he did all of them well and I don’t know how they overlapped
and they must have overlapped some. So you could just say look, I want to do several
things and I want to see how well I can do them. Another person like Norman Rockwell
say I’m gonna be an illustrator. Stan: But we don’t know that. Like, what did
he do in his childhood? Maybe he experimented early in his life. Because when did he become
like a successful illustrator? How old was he? Do you know his history? Marshall: No, Norman Rockwell’s history is
really simple; he went to the Art Students League, he got his first commissions, he started
working for The Saturday Evening Post as probably one of the youngest illustrators they must
have ever hired, he had the audacity to go in there and try to get him to hire him, they
hired him and then he did – all through his life he was an illustrator. So he got – he
got aimed right to it. Stan: Alright. Well, I mean obviously that
it’s both ends of the – Marshall: Yeah, how do we wrap this up? Stan: I wanna hear your side though. Like
did you have a bunch of things you did as a kid? Marshall: Oh yeah yeah, but they were mainly
– I knew from the time I was a kid I wanted to go into the arts because we had a – Stan: How old? When you made that decision. Marshall: I’m gonna guess I was about eight
or nine, but see – Stan: That was like what? 200 – 300 years
ago Marshall: Yeah yeah – no, I was born in 58.
Let’s be objective about this – Stan: 58? Marshall: 58. Stan: Not 19, just 58? Marshall: 1958. Stan: You were born in the year 58. Marshall: I was part of the baby boom. It
was before Twilight Zone came to – it as a year before Twilight someone came to TV. I’ve
got it all worked out by popular culture. Gilligan’s Island was yet to happen and Dr.
Seuss books were – Stan: You were eight? Marshall: I was about eight or nine but now
here’s the thing, I had a crisis because our babysitter’s Bob and Wanda Duncan wrote television
shows, they wrote Lost in Space and Time Tunnel and U.S. Steel Hour and we’d see their name
on the TV and we’d cheer when we see their name and they made a lot of money writting
for TV shows, living in Anaheim and I thought I want to do that because I didn’t know do
I want to be a cop, do I want to be a teacher, what do I want to be and they could – they
could write a story about all sorts of characters; about a rock star, about a person who travels
in time and I remember when we were having to do laps on the basketball court and I was
thinking “I don’t think I’m gonna be an athlete” but while we were doing hot laps on this hot
asphalt, I was thinking “if I be a TV writer, I can beat all sorts of things in imagination”. Stan: Writing, you’re great at writing, right? Marshall: I love the process, I love the process.
I’m not known as a writer now but I love to sit down and take an hour or two into a train
of thought – Stan: But that is a discipline that you really
gave a lot of focus to it, isn’t it? Marshall: I decided to become an illustrator
only because there was a major in advertising illustration at the junior college that I
could major in and when you were – there was no writing major as such, there was an English
major and so that’s how it happened. But I wanted to be a writer or a picture maker and
I wanted to get them both together and do what the Mad Magazine artists did where you
do writing and pictures. Stan: Weren’t you on the radio for a while? Marshall: I did do radio stuff with my friend
Nigel. We did recording, we used to write and record our voices and that kind of thing. Stan: So it wasn’t a professional like radio
show? Marshall: No we – no, but we did do some radio
commercials that we got paid for and Nigel and I used to – we attempted – we attempted
comedy. I interviewed Santa Claus, you probably don’t know that I interviewed Santa Claus.
I did a full series of Santa Claus interviews with Nigel as Santa Claus. Yeah, maybe – maybe
you’ll find out about those someday. I’ll get Nigel’s permission to see if we can let
you know what I did when I was younger. Loved comedy albums, loved radio and so figured
you know, radio Wow, it’s just something about late at night when the lights are off and
you have somebody telling you a story or the different kind of music can come through there. Stan: I didn’t know that – late at night,
lights are off, that’s somebody – Marshall: You’re getting predictable Stan: Whispering in your ear – Sean: To tell your story. Stan: Yeah, come on. That was going
somehere else. Well that came back though. Marshall: Yeah, it did, it came back I guess
doing stuff with Proko, yeah, it’s sort of like doing radio, yeah. Stan: And you’re a lot better than me at it
because you – you’ve practiced it. Marshall: Well, we’ll see. What next? Stan: It’s time for an ad. Marshall: Yeah. The other night I dreamed
that Stanley Kubrick was your uncle and I sat down and talked with him for a while.
He was very amiable and he forgave you for not paying any attention to his movies. But
I’ve always thought – Stan: he’s great. He forgave me. Marshall: Yeah yeah yeah, he was your uncle.
What’s next? Stan: Marshall, we’re gonna get a voicemail. Marshall: Oh I’m eager. Stan: I should remember the number. Marshall: ♪ You can sing that number, everyone
will be pleased to hear Stan sing… To hear Stan sing. Let us hear, it is 1-858-609-9453
that is the number ♪. That is terrible though because nobody’s gonna remember it when it’s
written like that. Stan: Yeah, you have to split it up into three
three four. Marshall: Well, I did the best I could, this
was my first time singing a telephone number to the world. Stan: Just in case that was confusing, again
it’s 858-609-9453. Marshall: Let’s go. Stan: Sean, play the voice mail. Sean: This is from Marshall. Stan: What! Voicemail: Hey Stan and Marshall, huge fan.
My thing is actually digital art and I’ve watched your video about how to hold a pencil
and I was curious how much of that you find transfuse over to digital art and I’ve actually
seen your video holding a stylus and you had your glove on and all that stuff but I didn’t
get a teacher – the way you’re holding your stylus. So, I’d like to know how much of holding
a pencil transfers over to holding a digital stylus. Anyways, huge fun, thank for your
time. Stan: So, that was you? Marshall: That was not me. Stan: From – Sean: So long ago. Stan: A different Marshall. Marshall: But it was for you. Stan: Yes. Did you not hear it? Marshall: Yeah, I heard enough of it. Stan: Okay, the question was does the video
I made about holding a pencil and I’m assuming he’s talking about the overhand grip, because
I also talked about the tripod grip which is what usually hold the stylus. That grip
does not carry over to a stylus, at least not yet in the way a styluses are made. Marshall: Styli. Stan: Styli. Yeah, right now – no, it doesn’t
transfer over. You usually hold it in the tripod grip, like the way you hold a pencil
when you’re doing little details and stuff. But, the way you move your arm does transfer
over, you still want to use your shoulder and your elbow and sometimes your wrist, almost
never your fingers. Yeah, because whether you’re holding it overhand or a tripod grip,
like it doesn’t – it doesn’t matter, you’re still moving your arm the same way. So, I
think that was also in that video right? Was moving your arm correctly, you know – Marshall: Yeah. Stan: So, there are two elements to that. Marshall: And the bigger motion is the more
important thing ultimately. Stan: Yeah, you usually – you wanna – especially
in the beginning you want to start with the more of a gestural thing, bigger shapes, bigger
lines then once you start shading and getting little details, you can flip it over to a
tripod grip, it’s not illegal, you could use the tripod grip for what it’s best at doing,
best at using it for. Marshall: But it should be illegal for some
people. Who did this? Who said – Stan: Marshall, it is you. It is you. Marshall: Oh, it was someone else named Marshall? Sean: Yes. Stan: Did you just get that? Marshall: Marshall, I did get it but I forgot
it. Okay, yes, I’ve only met a few Marshals in my life, what a pleasure. I think this
about the tripod grip and the – all that; I only ever used the tripod grip and I regret
it because when I see people make beautiful lines – we had this conversation once in one
of those crits on the joints for the anatomy course. You remember? Stan: Yeah. Marshall: Where you gave me a C for my line
quality and I had to try to riggle out of it because Stan: I’m such a dick Marshall: Illustrators that do preliminary
work often don’t care about their line quality. When you look at William Blake’s work, it’s
just awful line quality, the stuff that he did before he did the finish painting. And
so, that gave me permission, okay, and I started – a number of years ago I got really sensitive
to how awkward my line quality was, so that I’m determined that I’m going to get past
this and get some good line quality but it is so hard to unlearn those habits that are
itchy-scratchy as one inker called it, make it out of a lot of small ones and to get the
movement of arm. You even told me once “why don’t you just make the line with your whole
arm instead of your finger” and I thought “why don’t I?” oh that’s why, it’s no control
at all. Stan: Yeah, well yeah, if you’ve been writing
with your wrists and fingers your whole life Marshall: My whole life. Stan: Your arm hasn’t been trained to move
in those very subtle precise ways. Marshall: That’s why that thing in the fundamentals
of learn line and learn to carve a line and learn to make it go thin to thick and learn
to make it – you know, Kimon Nicolaides who I will always refer to, even though that book
is so flawed, The Natural Way to Draw, those exercises – Stan: We should do an episode on that. Marshall: We should do an episode on that. Stan: You have very strong opinions. Marshall: I do but you know, an old guy – Stan: Oh, wait, sorry I’m thinking of the
drawing on the right side of the brain. Marshall: No, that’s a – yeah, that’s a whole
other thing from Kimon Nicolaides, you couldn’t get anything to be more different. Stan: But you have strong opinions about The
Right Side of The Brain book. Marshall: Yes, I do, I have strong opinions
about it, but we’ll save them for another time. Kimon Nicolaides makes you do something
like 750 hours or something like that (future Marshall here to make a correction that the
total number of hours of Nicolaides exercises is not 750, its 375. Every time you hear 750,
it’s half that, 375) of exercises that are gonna yield nothing worth looking at – Marshall: And so what most people will do
– it’s gesture drawing. He’s the one who – Stan: What do you mean, that’s very useful. Marshall: He coined the term gesture as far
as I know for the English language by putting it in that book. He was teaching at the Art
Students League at the same time Bridgman was. Stan: But how’s that not useful? Marshall: Well, here’s the thing, you do hours
of gesture drawing and your family’s not going to be impressed. You do hours of these studies
where – the watercolor study where you press harder or you press lighter depending on whether
something’s closer to you or further away. It’s like you end up with these pages of messiness
but his point is these are experiences not product. These are things that are teaching
you to be sensitive to whether something’s coming towards you, going away from you, he
has you do blind contours for hours. Really valuable stuff but most people don’t go through
it and I try – I used it for 75 hours. I got about 75 hours into it in my late 20s early
30s to try to overcome the stiffness and carefulness and it did help me overcome it. I could at
least get past stiffness and carefulness even if the lines – Stan: Sounds good. Sean: I did half the book and I was really
bored by the time I got – Stan: Okay, so that’s the problem is that
these are useful exercises but there’s no play involved at all and like halfway through
you’re just – you’re so – you’re like you regret and even starting because it’s not
as enjoyable as you wanted it to be. Marshall: I didn’t regret it but let’s put
it in context; he’s doing this at the Art Students League and people are also taking
Bridgman’s classes and other people classes at the same time, but he is teaching you with
this closed fist, there is only one right way to learn to draw and it is a perfectly
natural way, it has nothing to do with artifice and technique. He’s got a quote at the beginning
of the thing and it’s “you submit to what I tell you to do for this 700 plus hours and
then you will be an artist”. And I think it can rub against some people but I got so much
value out of it and I see so much value in it, as flawed as the book is – Stan: So you’re promoting it? I thought you
were bashing it. Marshall: No no but – but people do bash it
and we were gonna do a class, I was gonna put together a class online for this but the
host said “you know, I don’t know that people are gonna commit to this”. Marshall: Yeah. Stan: But do you know of any students that
did the whole 750 hours? Marshall: No, I don’t. Stan: Oh, no one actually does that. Marshall: I don’t but I do know that a lot
of artists who came out of the Art Students League like Norman Rockwell and like Robert
Beverly Hill and others came out with a command of how – of them – Stan: So they went through that, they did
the 750 hours. Marshall: They went through that stuff, yeah. Stan: So those – okay. Marshall: It’s classic training and I would,
even at my age, I would still take a year to say “I’m gonna do all of these exercises
so that at the end of the year I’m gonna have even – I’m gonna have more command than i’ve
ever had at being able to sit down and draw like Daumier would draw. Stan: Do any of these really successful artists
give him credit for it? Do they ever say “man, I’m really good because of that, because I
did those 750 hours”? Marshall: I don’t know of examples, I know
that Rockwell gave Bridgman a lot of credit. Stan: I know, I hear a lot of Bridgman but
– so they were at the same school? Marshall: Yeah, they were the same school
at the same time. In fact Nicolaides said that you know, he even mentions that Bridgman
is your teacher for this stuff and I’m your teacher for this stuff. Stan: Okay so no one really that you know
of. Maybe – can you guys if you know the answer to that. Marshall: If you know, yeah, let us know but
I do know that Nicolaides had a good reputation as a trainer of artists. Nicolaides died before
the book was finished, which means students put it together and the examples are just
awful and the book has got all sorts of problems and if you can look past the flaws – an old
artist told me – when I was beginning to teach, he said “you know the more the years go by,
the more I see how Nicolaides got the core of what is really important which is not just
Anatomy and perspective”. The thing Nicolaides, we’re gonna try to boil the whole book down
to it, it is empathy with the characters you are creating. Empathy with the weight, with
the feeling, with the forces inside that world, empathy with that so that you are living it
the way a storyteller lives inside the skin and feelings of a character. And then you
use Anatomy and perspective and shading and all that to bring something out of it but
you can – all that Anatomy and perspective and shading is useless, it’s empty if you
don’t have something that you’re living inside that story with to get the emotions and weight
really, forces. What would be like to be that model. So it’s ethereal, it’s hard to grasp
and I think a lot of people when they criticize it, they just throw it away and say “this
is too much for me”, but I don’t feel that way. It completely confused me when I was
exposed to it in my 20s, in my 30s I started to see value with it and now I’m kind of wishing
I could go back spend a year on Nikolaides. Maybe we should make the offer that if we
can get 20 or 30 people who will commit to it, you’ll have a teacher who’ll carry along
with you. You probably don’t want to do it, do you? Stan: No, I can’t. Marshall: You’re too busy, you’re professional. Stan: If I were to do that I would have to
done that 10 years ago. Sean: Cancel the basics course. Stan: Yeah. I mean, I did that with other
exercises. I did gesture drawing and I did figure drawing, lands and stuff where hundreds
and hundreds of hours. So I did similar practice Marshall: Yeah, that’s right, you did. Stan: It’s not whatever Nikolaides – Marshall: You got enough training to do what
you’re doing and what you want to do. Stan: Okay – Marshall: What was the question? Sean: Marshall was asking about how you hold
a pencil. Stan: Yeah, digital vs traditional – no
it’s just the transfer over, the way to – no, it doesn’t, the grip doesn’t but the shoulder
movement does, that was my answer. Sean: Or cut out everything in between. Stan: No… That’s useful. Marshall: Yeah, I thought that would
and I wanted to give my sermon about Nicolaides. Stan: I’m actually really curious, I have
the book, I’ve never read it. Marshall: It’s not worth reading, he tells
you not to read it, you’re not allowed to read it, that’s one of the rules he makes
at the beginning, “you do not read this book, you do the exercises, then you move to the
next exercise”, you don’t look ahead in a mathematics book to read it, you do the problems.
Stan: Well, whatever. In order to do the exercise don’t you have to read the exercise?
Marshall: You read the exercises. He’s the one who started the book with that quote from
Da Vinci that, “The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance.” And it’s
like this book is going to be a dose of performance. You’re going to exercise not theorize.
Stan: All right. Marshall: Who goes first? Oh, hey Stan, what’s
your thing? Stan: My thing?
Marshall: Your thing? Stan: Or my thang?
Marshall: What’s your thang? Stan: Marshall, what’s your thong?
Sean: I can see you are picking up. Stan: Yeah, put that back up.
Marshall: You know, I’ve worn sandals for years and we used to call them in the ’60s,
we called them thongs. And then I found out you’re not allowed to call your sandals, ‘thongs’,
because it means something else. Stan: Well it does. It’s the same thing. It’s
like, it’s either in your butt crack or in between your toes.
Marshall: It’s a thong for your toes, yeah. Stan: Yeah. How do we get on these
topics? Marshall: You make it happen.
Stan: Yes, I do. Marshall: Okay. What your thang Stan?
Stan: My thing is I just got a standing desk. Marshall: A standing desk.
Stan: Yes, sir. Marshall: So, this is to get past sitting
too much. Stan: Yeah.
Marshall: Tell us more. Stan: I haven’t used the it yet.
I just got it and I built it. And I haven’t transferred my stuff to it yet.
Sean: But it can hold his entire weight as we saw.
Stan: Okay, yeah I sat on it and then I pushed the button. It’s electric, so, it goes up
and down. Marshall: Have you done work standing up as
opposed to sitting down? Stan: I have, yeah. I mean, you can make your
own standing desk by just putting a box on your desk and put your laptop on the box.
Yeah, it’s really hard. It’s really difficult. Oh, well, right now I’d probably be able to
do it way easier because I’ve been walking a lot more. But, like ask me two years ago,
when I would literally for like eight years straight I would just sit all day, and it
caused back problems. And those back problems caused me to not exercise as much because
every time I went to the gym my back would be so sore. I couldn’t walk because I had
such a weak back and core from sitting so much. It’s like a snowball.
Marshall: Yes. The worse it gets, the worse it gets.
Stan: And so, now that I’ve been walking a lot, I think my feet are stronger, my back
is stronger and I think I could stand a lot longer.
Marshall: Well, I think you’re in for a treat because some people choose – Walter Murch says
he never sits when he edits a film. He said, “It’s like being a gunslinger. You don’t sit
down to be a gunslinger.”, because you got to make choices while he’s standing on his
feet. I have a student this past semester, Tiffany, who told the class about how she
did some of her work standing and inspired me. I’ve done it for a few years where I’ll
just, this evening I’m going to stand to do this work. And I feel like it brings up an
energy because you’re physically up for it and so your your whole thing just sort of
livens up. Stan: Do you paint?
Marshall: No, I don’t paint. Stan: Yeah, that’s what I thought. Okay. I
just want to know your opinion about painting sitting or standing? Because, you know, more
easels are made for standing but I know a lot of people sit. And I sat for a long time
for painting in the studio. When I got plein air painting I stand.
Marshall: I watched Justin Sweet do a painting in front of a group of students where he would
step back and hold still then he’d suddenly lurch forward and do something and it was
if he was trying to catch a trout in a stream. By reaching in there, it’s like I see it there
and now I’m going to catch it while I’ve got it. And it looked like swordplay too.
Stan: That’s cool. Marshall: So, yeah, there is something about
posture that I think makes a difference. Okay, let me tell you my thing which I didn’t plan
on saying this but this is the thing. Stan: What’s the thing?
Marshall: This has been my thing for years. I walk. I don’t walk as much now as I have
but I go in periods of a few years where I’ll walk many, many, many miles because when I’m
working in front of the computer, I get sick of the artificial light and I’m sitting. So,
I go out and when I lived in Laguna Niguel for 21 years, you could take a quarter of
a mile walk or you could take a three or four mile walk depending on which circuit you went
on and it was always green. So, I just found that, that was the way that if I had a problem
that I was working on, I’d go for a walk and I’d come back and I’d be full of ideas and
ready to go again. And I found out that Bob Hope was a walker.
Stan: Yeah, a lot of successful people are walkers.
Marshall: Steve Jobs was a walker. William Blake was a walker. There’s many people who
that’s what their ritual is, is to walk. There’s something that’s so natural about it. I love
it. And also, it’s been a huge part of my social life. People say, “Let’s get together
for dinner. Let’s get together for coffee. I’ll have lunch with you.” And my response
is just starting to turn into, “No. I’m not going do that. But, if we want to get together
for a walk, let’s go for a walk and that way we get the conversation going.”
Stan: Yeah. That’s how we met. Marshall: That’s right we walked.
Stan: But we didn’t meet walking. Marshall: We walked for nine weeks didn’t
we? Stan: Yeah.
Marshall: Yeah, around the lake sometimes too, didn’t we?
Stan: Yeah, holding hands. Marshall: You remember it more vividly than
I do. Stan: Maybe that was just part of my dream.
Marshall: Well, at least you’re dreaming in the right direction. Okay. I congratulate
you for that. Stan: Yeah, I was teaching a blizzard workshop
it was in your area. And I would come there to beat traffic or come a little earlier and
then meet with you for a walk and then go teach.
Marshall: Yeah. But I hope, I mean, I hope that I will be able to walk for as long as
I live because it is really a good thing. I discovered it in my 20s and started to see
that you got so much consolidation going on there. You getting your exercise. You’re getting
your variety of response. You’re getting to know your territory.
Stan: Do you know if it’s okay to eat while walking?
Marshall: I don’t. Stan: You don’t know?
Marshall: No. No. I don’t know whether it’s okay but I know that I have no inclination
to eat while I’m walking. Stan: Okay. I eat breakfast while walking
as well. Remember, I think last episode, I said I schedule my meetings while walking?
Marshall: Yeah. Stan: I also eat. So, I triple tasks. I eat
my breakfast, I’m in my meeting and I’m walking. Marshall: Yeah.
Stan: Yeah. Efficiency baby. Marshall: Good boy. But, uh, yeah, too much
consolidation though. That’s one of the things that Yoga was about, is that, instead of multitasking
and listening to a lecture while you’re exercising which means you’re getting your mind off your
body, Yoga was to get your mind on your body while you’re exercising and get in touch with
it but. And you know there’s mindful walking. Do you know about that?
Stan: Where you’re thinking about every step? Marshall: Yes.
Stan: Wait, seriously? Marshall: Where you pay attention to the rhythm
of your step. You think about your steps. You think about what’s in front. You actually
paying attention in the moment. Stan: Are you paying attention to yourself,
to your body or to just your environment? Marshall: It can be both and either.
Stan: Okay. Marshall: But I don’t do that that much. I’ve
done it a few times. But, no really, my walking for me is a way to get things moving so that
I’m living very much in my head. Stan: Yes. I agree.
Marshall: Well, that’s my thing. Stan: That’s your thing. I love your thing.
Marshall: Yeah, well, great. So, we’ve done another podcast here and, uh.
Stan: God! Why does it have to be awkward? Marshall: Because it’s a shift of energy.
Is this right? Am I saying this too soon? Should I say we’re wrapping up the podcast
here? Stan: Let’s wrap it up Marshall.
Marshall: Let’s wrap up the podcast. Thank you for being here with us.
Stan: Tell them what do. Marshall: You mean, uh, the?
Stan: I’ve said it like seven times. Marshall: I don’t feel comfortable asking
people to give five-star ratings. Stan: Come on Marshall.
Marshall: I know you feel comfortable doing that. I do not feel comfortable.
Stan: Do you want them? Marshall: Give a sincere rating of what you
thinking of the podcast. Stan: Of five stars.
Marshall: It’s like advertising. Give us a sincere rating of five stars.
Stan: What’s the comment on YouTube? Marshall: Tell us about how multiple disciplines
have depleted your energy or augmented each other, supplemented.
Stan: Yeah. Which disciplines have come together synergized in a way that you didn’t think
would happen and then you just like, “Wow! They came together and they made a baby.”
All right guys, call us, leave a voicemail. Marshall: Yeah.
Stan: Bye. Marshall: Thanks.