Inside the Artist’s Sketchbook: Everett Brodbeck ’12

This feature was conceived as a foray into the hearts/minds of Kenyon’s finest artists through the pages of their sketchbooks. This week, we’re talking to Everett Brodbeck ’12. 

Self-portrait of Everett Brodbeck courtesy of Everett Brodbeck, accompanied by an email that read simply "in case you need a headshot."

I think the best description of this feature is probably provided by the email I sent Kenyon studio art-philosophy double major Everett Brodbeck ’12, trying to persuade him to share his portfolio on The Thrill, so I’m just going to paste it in here.

Emma Specter
10:29 PM (22 hours ago)

to Everett

Hey Everett,

I’ve been assigned a piece for the Thrill called “Inside the Artist’s Sketchbook” and I was wondering whether you’d want to be a part of it.
Basically, the idea is that we’d scan a few pictures from your sketchbook to run on the blog, and I’d ask you some questions about the work in your sketchbook and run the Q&A along with a few observations of my own (not a crit or anything, obviously, just random musings/what have you).
 Let me know if this sounds like something you’re remotely interested in, and if so maybe we can work something out (we’d need to meet up to do the interview, but it shouldn’t take too long and I can work around your schedule).
 See you around!
Everett Brodbeck
10:53 PM (22 hours ago)

to me
Having established Brodbeck as a man of few words, I headed out to third-floor Bexley to view his portfolio with my own eyes. I was immediately drawn in by the ornate pen-and-ink sketches that covered every square inch of the sunlit, insanely spacious studio he shares with Megan Llewellyn ’12, and had to stop to ask about a few. Brodbeck named French illustrator Mcbess as a source of inspiration and admitted that if he could only save one drawing from unknown malevolent forces, he’d keep the aptly titled “Monkey-A Journey to the West.”

One of the creations that livens up Brodbeck's walls.

“I’ve done art my entire life, but it’s too much fun to do for school,” Brodbeck explained as I leafed through his sketchbook, and we agreed that there’s something fundamentally strange about the concept of art being “assigned.” He’s found other ways to use his talent on campus, from contributing to Floodgate — a comic he worked on with fellow artists Jack McKean ’12 and Madeline Gobbo ’12 — to doodling his way through a variety of classes. “I draw a lot during class … I don’t pay attention in class at all,” he joked, and a sampling of recent class notes he plucked from his backpack did seem to support this claim.
Only one set of notes, from Brodbeck’s epistemology seminar, remained art-free. “Oh, yeah, that was an interesting class, we were learning about internalism versus externalism,” he remembered fondly as I nodded sagely and pretended to understand what that meant.

Some excerpts from Brodbeck's sketchbook, along with the only aesthetically pleasing philosophy notes I've ever witnessed.

 It was incredibly hard to pick a personal favorite from such a prolific collection, but below are photos of the three aspects of Brodbeck’s studio that particularly jumped out at me.

Brodbeck’s parting words of wisdom for prospective studio arts majors? A) Take a class with Read Baldwin, B) Take advantage of the “Art Student Exercise Program,” the twice- or-thrice-daily trek north to Bexley, to stay in shape and C) “It’s the only major in which you can do your homework drunk.” It’s hard to argue with that.

The Artist in Repose: Still Life with Hammock, Comically Oversized Novel and Red Cup.

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