How can you not love the cleverness of the Japanese language? One of the ways to say "have sex" is to say "do H". Except it's Japanese so they say pronounce "H" as "etchi". Asking you if you'd ever heard of "hentai" is probably like asking if you'd heard of say, Oprah. Except hentai Overseas tends to be used to describe porn, anime, manga and other sexy stuff that is Japanese. In Japan it is an adjective that is most frequently used to mean sexually perverted. Can you see where I'm going with this? The Japanese then took the "H" from hentai and now use it all on its own as either the verb for fucking or as an adjective to describe something pervy, sexual, porny (?!), etc.
Sorry for the lesson, I thought I should preface the actual blog with an explanation for the post's title. Right, glad we cleared that up.
Last night I embraced my fear of being in a new social situation while creating art in front of other and checked out Tokyo's Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School. I'd seen ads for it in Metropolis and other places around town and wrote it off as some strange-sounding cult. However, the Other White Girl and I looked into it recently, discovered it was not a cult but a very cool evening put on once a month in Tokyo, and decided to embrace that shit together. I really didn't want to go-although it sounded cool I was more into the idea of it rather than actually putting 4B pencil to paper and trying to draw someone. Let's not forget the "in public" part here. But alas in my recent attempts to improve on my at time overwhelmingly lonely and socially-lacking life, I forced myself to go.
First off, I am no Toulouse-Lautrec. Other White thought that I could have some latent talent a la my mom but I think it is safe to say I don't. My dalliances in art and poetry were just that-when I was little I would read a novel about a poet or artist and for a couple weeks after that I would try out a new career only to give it up after realizing it was a farce.
Last night I did manage to draw half the model's body in somewhat correct proportions during one of the sets. Maybe I should quickly explain just what kind of art school I was at. Originating in NYC, Dr. Sketchy's is a burlesque-style life drawing "class" that meets once a month at a restaurant in Tokyo. There is lots of drawing sexiness-last night's model was a gorgeous belly-dancer-but there are also competitions, drinking and a DJ! Fearful for my life, I thought perhaps they would put me on stage and critique my stick figures with earrings and breasts, but it was so laid back I had a fork and a glass of wine in my hands more often than a pencil. Clearly my idea of the perfect drawing class is one that involves no actual drawing of pictures.
I faced my fears and am happy I did. Will I go back next month? Probably. Do I still feel like when I walk into a room everyone knows each other except me? Definitely. I possibly mistakenly revealed to Other White that I used to sit (and stand and lay) for art classes here when I was a student, so towards the end of the night she tried to pimp me out to one of the organizers as a model. I don't think my experience of getting naked for every art class in the greater Tokyo area qualifies me for a Dr. Sketchy's class and as the organizer pointed out, it's less naked but more sexy. I can't quite decide whether to put this particular "fear" into the forget about it box or the maybe later one, after all, who doesn't like pasties and feather boas?