james: when did you first start drawing?at what age?
Berry: James, Probably at the same age you did, it’s just that I never stopped. Many people think of “when I started drawing” as something begun in adult or adolescent life but in fact we start drawing as children, toddlers even, and forget that we were somehow stopped from continuing. What we then remember is when we began AGAIN and account it as the age we started drawing. This is important because of a couple things. It causes you to reexamine your education because embedded in there is the thing that stopped you …and it still can. It still can because it was inculcated in your youth prior to any real consciousness of such “education” and so operates as an invisible monkey. The next and really exciting thing is that if you can identify and see past this negative, you’ve reentered the area of your original aspiration, the area free of conditioned inhibitions, and connected up with the fountainhead of child learning and acquisition. A mouthful I know. It sounds like I’m saying “find your inner child” but it’s nothing so simple or sappy as that. There’s a capacity for learning and seeing that children have that gets “straightened” into a sort of mono-brained, linear and very impoverished form of knowledge acquisition; its only virtue is children are easier to control if they can be forced into it. Prior to this they are seeing and learning thousands of things a week instead of, say, ten things a week when placed in first grade (it gets worse the further “up” the ladder you go). Do you remember finger-painting, sponge painting in kindergarten? Do you recall how astonishing that was? What if that had been kept as an ongoing effort? Where would you be now? And I don’t just mean art. I mean across ALL disciplines. There’s nothing to compare with a live mind as opposed to an artificially deadened one. — from RickBerry