Drawing attention to drawing at WAMFEST 2014

By Dan Landau
 
Artists Michael Arthur and Stefan Bucher visited Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Campus to talk about drawing and their experiences as artists in a conversational interview with WAMFEST artist-in-residence, Wesley Stace on October 17.
 
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Above: Stefan Bucher (left) and Michael Arthur (right) talked about art and design with Wesley Stace (not pictured) in Dreyfuss Building at FDU's Florham Campus as part of WAMFEST 2014. (Photo by Dan Landau)
Besides running the design firm, 344 Design, Bucher is known for his popular “Daily Monster” drawing series. In this series, Bucher drops a blot of ink on his paper and then draws a monster, using the shape of the inkblot. He said he started the project as a way to be more loose and creative in his drawings.
 
Bucher rotoscoped (an animation technique) a music video for Stace’s song “Goodbye Jane.” A riff on A-Ha’s famous “Take on Me” video, the “Goodbye Jane” video is made up of 1,810 individual sketches, all drawn by Bucher. View the video here.
 
An academic-turned-freelance artist, Arthur specializes in live drawing. Using only pens—no pencils—he often live draws events. Each of his works is a live reaction to the moment. He got his start during a time of his life marked by several tragedies. He found that drawing brought him happiness so he decided to move to New York City and pursue art. He is the archival artist at Joe's Pub in New York, the rehearsal artist for La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and the town draw-er in Balthrop, Ala.
 
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Above: Michael Arthur live-drew Stefan Bucher while Wesley Stace and Bucher spoke. (Photo by Dan Landau)
Arthur also live drew the October 16 WAMFEST event featuring noted author Neil Gaiman, creating a spectacular piece.
 
Stace is a critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter and novelist. He has released fifteen music albums, ranging in style from folk to pop, most under the stage name John Wesley Harding. He has also published three novels under the name of Wesley Stace.
 
WAMFEST is an annual series of unique conversations, collaborations, and performances hosted by FDU that attempts to break down barriers between different genres in the arts, particularly between what are considered “high” and “low” arts, and to celebrate what is shared among all artists and all audiences.  Guests have included, among many others, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Pinsky, Rosanne Cash, Paul Muldoon, Jonathan Demme, and Talib Kweli.