Coaches and Artists

I dislike the “artist” label. Maybe it dislikes me, too.

Original from Tierazon 2.7

To me, the word, “artist” conjures up the image of someone who works hard and approaches their “work” with discipline and dedication. They are the subject of biographies and documentaries; art emanates from them. That doesn’t describe me.

I’m more of a scavenger, a graphic entrepreneur, someone who finds, compiles, edits, and presents. Maybe a talent scout or agent or coach. I am the coach for a small team of digital machines.

I never touch the canvas, and I don’t know where the paints are kept; ask one of the artists. I suppose I could try doing something myself, but I feel more comfortable taking the mis-directed talents of algorithms and pointing them in the right direction.

A coach works with other people’s talent. You could call the coach a different kind of artist; coaching does require some artistic ability, of sorts. I don’t know. I just prefer to call a coach, a coach.

An artist will often work for days on a single image, painstakingly working, and reworking, every detail. A coach unlocks the room and turns the lights on.


Because art is produced, we call the person associated with it, an artist. But the title doesn’t always fit. There are some who deserve that title. As for me, like any coach, I’m just excited whenever the team scores a goal. It’s never my name that gets mentioned in the newspaper, but that’s okay. They only put my name in the paper if I hit someone.

Of course, none of the players on my team can write their name, so I put my own name on the artwork, as their coach. It’s simpler that way, for legal reasons. I always give them credit when I can.

Tierazon parameter files

I told the team: “Tierazon gets the ball and passes it to Overlapper, who sends it to Inverse Intensity. After that it’s Renaissance for that nice edge effect and off to First Stop Randomville or Holding a Cake to the Sun, depending on how things go, for the cool colors and grainy effect. If you find yourselves short, Color Cos or Emboss Coming Out All Over will get it to the net. Multicrystal’s getting a little worn out and will be sitting out this game. Don’t freak out if it doesn’t work the first time. Tierazon’s got a formula parser and can start a million plays if you need him to. You’re all first-class players, but I should tell you that I’ve downloaded some new talent and I can’t keep everybody. So now is not the time to start slacking-off.”

They tell me I’m the best coach they ever had, but I’m not so sure that’s what they say about me behind my back.

Tim Hodkinson

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