Art School

The short answer to the question, "why was I chased by a mob?" is because I made art that people didn't like to look at.


I don't know.

Maybe it's because, when I was a kid, I never dreamed about being an artist. I mean, why bother? The countless stories about starving artists are enough to put anyone off. So when I started university, I was practical and studied political science.

But then one day, a friend showed me a book filled with the paintings of Salvador Dali. I was immediately dazzled by Dali's imagery and his wealth. He certainly wasn’t starving.

And the more I looked at his art, the more I believed that if Dali could earn a living as an artist, then I could too. So I bought some art supplies and started to draw.

I soon became obsessed. In fact, I became so obsessed that I lost interest in political science and seriously thought about studying art. But since I was still haunted by the stories of starving artists, I didn't. Instead, I compromised and studied the psychology of art. I figured that if I failed to earn a living as an artist, I could always be a psychologist.

By the way, I never took formal drawing lessons. I taught myself how to draw by spending countless hours copying cartoon characters from newspapers, satirical magazines and underground comix. Eventually I submitted some of my own original drawings to my university student newspaper. One of those drawings, entitled Show Business, was printed in the University of Victoria Martlet in 1974.

PICTURE: Rick Gibson 1973 original drawing in University of Victoria, Martlet student newspaper, entitled - Show Business

The closest I ever came to formal art studies was a UVic fine art course taught by the artists John Dobereiner, Don Harvey, Pat Martin-Bates, and Roland Brenner. From them, I learned that anything could be used to make art.

I also volunteered at Canada's first art therapy clinic (founded by Kathleen Collis) in Victoria, Canada. My role was to hand out art supplies to long-term psychiatric patients at the start of art therapy sessions. During these sessions, patients painted pictures or made sculptures. The sessions ended with every patient describing how their artistic creation represented their mood or personality.

By the way, none of these experiences taught me about "beauty", which could explain why I am not interested in it.