When I ran off to art school I'm not sure what I was expecting (I seem to remember some fantasy of a strong girl with long hair dancing around a beach bonfire with a can of Fosters in hand)... mostly I wanted to get a grasp on the 'mysterious' bits of the animation industry... I wanted to find a place for myself.
Oh well, I learned a lot even if I didn't come away with a sense of ownership on the situation.
By far the best class was the Aesthetics class I took with the lovely Becky Wible... one of my all-time favorite professors.
That class taught me to look at the things I liked and ask myself why I liked them, to dig away at my own taste sensations and get to the root of them.
Just about always they end up leading me to some moment in my childhood, some place/person/thing that I boxed up and stored away deep in my psyche... or some common element that's less than intriguing.
... and this continues to disappoint me.
Fer instance... I was thinking about music I like, what the common features exist in a lot of my favorite songs. The common element turns out to be reverb... put an echo on just about anything and I'll get all dreamy about it and think it's enigmatic... full of hidden secrets.
But really, I think I like reverb because the bathroom I had as a kid was all tile and porcelain and during long baths I'd talk to myself and it would sound all portentious and important... because of the echoes.
I've noticed the same thing with various paintings and photographs and illustrations and movies. In thinking about them I've realized I'm a sucker for anything with a pitch black sky for a background.
For a while I thought this was because of the inherent mystery of that darkness, the potential for adventure or danger or romance inherent in the absence of... anything else. I could fill that black void with whatever weirdness I liked.
Really though, I think it's just because I grew up in Vegas... where you never see the stars. Where every night's vista is twinkling jewels on black velvet... and out there beyond, nothing but hundreds of miles of empty desert.
My tastes in food, clothes, women... all go back to the first ten or so years of my life. Just not all that interesting, really.