This post is long overdue, but I wanted to share some highlights from my six-month stint as a moving image archive intern. It’s been nearly a year since I first started archiving, and I still can’t believe my luck in finding (much less landing) such a convenient position. I was fortunate enough to work in a library that boasts an impressive collection of Paramount and Pathé newsreels from the first half of the 20th century, with topics ranging from everything under the sun. As an undergraduate at the time, working hands-on with nitrate and acetate film is something I wouldn’t have expected to be doing unless I enrolled in a graduate program. Another bonus: I didn’t even have to commute that far.
Last summer, I’d vaguely hinted that I was working on a big project relating to Buster Keaton. It took me about a year to compile my research and visual notes, but after that, life got in the way. For a while, I felt pretty lost over where and how to actually begin the bulk of this project, and felt an additional sense of intimidation as this is my first crack at drawing in a format I’m not used to. However, when Lea announced her annual Buster Keaton blogathon, I thought it posed as the perfect opportunity to just get started on the thing, and now I can officially say I’m working on my own version of a Buster Keaton graphic novel.
For a while, I have been under the bewitching allure of Buster Keaton and his films, and it is one spell that I feel cannot truly be broken. I have since immersed myself into every film, book, and photo I could find relating to Buster, and through it all, I’ve surprisingly learned a few things about myself. For starters, the unruly path that I faced while trying to sway among various creative fields of study weighed heavily on me for a few years, until a light started filtering through the dense overgrowth that is my mind. The things I wanted to study became clear to me because of him, and I realized that I didn’t have to give up my passions in favor of another. Rather, they formed a perfect amalgamation. Most of all, who knew that the small plucky man in the porkpie hat could be the one to help me further understand what I consider to be the deepest complexity of my life?
I’m currently working on what I can say is my biggest project yet, and I’m just itching to share a piece of it here. I don’t want to say too much about it at the moment (I will share more details eventually, though I hope to gather enough interest first), but it does involve Buster Keaton and my own creative vision.
Before the day draws to a close, I wanted to make a short and sweet post to celebrate the 120th birthday of my favorite person in cinematic history. I felt inspired to make a drawing of him in monochromatic pink, and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out in such a short amount of time.