Sunday, 5 June 2011

telling your story backwards

I was reading something in a book the other day about re-framing your life story from the present back into the past. I have all sorts of stories about my creativity, told chronologically. If my parents hadn't got divorced, I would, I'm fairly sure, have become a professional violinist. If I hadn't left home so early and gone to art school at the age of 16, I might have done A levels, and might have discovered my academic capacities in an area that I was really passionate about. If I'd gone to art school later, I might have been able to withstand the bullshit and have managed to continue on and become an artist.

Told backwards, it looks like this. My parents getting divorced saved me from a young life filled completely with a gruelling 12 hours a day practice routine at the expense of all other aspects of life. Not having a strict classical training enabled me to develop a style and attitude that wasn't hydebound by traditional technique and interpretation. Not doing A levels and not going to university at the usual age meant that I didn't end up studying the topic I was good at at school, or the one that my parents thought would be sensible for me. This meant that when I did my degree much later on I was doing something I was fascinated by, and that I had had a lot of personal experience of. Not going to art school saved me from getting sucked in at an impressionable age to the pretentions and restrictions of the commercial art world, which would have determined my direction in narrow and unimaginative way. Mmmm, this backwards storytelling thing seems quite productive....

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