Archive for April, 2009
Identity is a necessary aspect to a character. Without it the character becomes flat, or like an object with nothing more than a physical aspect to its identity. The details of oneâ€™s personality is what ties this all together â€“ their mannerisms, their likes and dislikes, how they maintain their appearance, their possessions, their environment, their lifestyle, their diet, and also their bloodlines whether or not they carry on family traditions or expectations. Every character, fictitious or real, has a story, which is the main element that drives me to capture the identity of the characters I photograph.
As I create characters or attempt to capture an already existing character with my imagery, I realize that a very obvious character to portray is also myself. I find that self portraits are bold, fearless statements of an artist to clarify who the person is behind the artwork, and if it is at all possible to relate this imagery to their other work. I have come to find that my self portraits are not only attempts of bravely putting myself out there as an artist, but also as an exploration of my own character, which in turn may help me find other characters.
My friend Nik lives above a funeral home. Turns out his apartment is pretty fabulous to shoot in. I had shot in the apartment this past Wednesday, but all the images I gathered from the shoot that I really loved were too out-of-focus. This time around I managed to gather 36 in-focus images and pulled this one from the lot. This is my grandma’s wedding dress (you’ve seen it before, I’m sure), and the window is in the breezeway of the upper level of the funeral home. The next goal is to shoot an image in which I am wearing my mother’s wedding dress.
Also this past Wednesday, Art Agency held the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser. Customers purchased a ceramic bowl thrown by UWGB advanced ceramics students and were filled with soup or chili from local area restaurants. We raised $2148 for Paul’s Pantry!
The semester is drawing to an end. And I am in fear of getting my work done. Cross your fingers that I do…cuz I sure am.No comments
Today was one of the greatest days of my life as an artist. Comic artist Lynda Barry came and visited campus today. We had the opportunity to partake in a workshop and listen to her artist talk. I now consider her one of my greatest inspirations/influences. My favorite part of the day was the workshop where she challenged our minds and inspired us to be creative at play exploring our childhoods, particularly with writing. During the workshop, we would create lists off a topic thinking back to our childhoods (cars, neighbors, and accidents). We would then select one that stuck out to us. After that Lynda asked us questions about it and we wrote answers. Next we wrote for 6-8 minutes prompted with “I am” or “You are” or What You Don’t Know”. After writing we would focus on drawing a spiral with the lines as close together as possible and listen to the stories. We weren’t allowed to read over them which is why my writings sound so poorly written…that and I was trying to write like a little kid. Lynda believes that every person on this planet is a storyteller, and while Oprah told me this I heard so many great stories from people…and it didn’t matter if that person was a creative writing major or not.
Now, I will share my stories I wrote today.
The Woody Brown Minivan Named “Chocolate”
I am in the middle seat of the car driving back from Disney World and I don’t want to drink my soda because I don’t want to lift up the can and see that sticky goo leftover from when Ben spilledhis soda there weeks before. So I’ll just draw. Oh crap the car just died, and the smoker man from the Waffle House is going to help us. Looks like we may have to stay in a smokers hotel. I should scramble about the floor of the car to make sure my markers and crayons are safe. I feel bad for Chocolate and I hope she doesn’t die. My hair is frizzing up because it is too humid. The air smells funny and musty. Must be that Spanish moss stuff in the trees. I am so taking some home. I wish mom and dad would let me take an anole home and I could catch it crickets in the yard. But we can’t get anymore pets because Elsbeth is mean. But I like her I guess…
I am in Caley’s bedroom playing with our toy horses. She has more than me. Oh well my palomino toy stallion is better. His name is Sunspot. I broke his leg last week and daddy fixed it. I hope her 18 month old brother doesn’t try to eat one of my horses or get drool all over it. I would be mad. Caley’s mom makes her play piano. Like, forces her. My mom can’t make me do that. I’m just going to take horseback riding lessons and sing instead. This house has so much flowery victorian stuff in it and the outside is painted blue. Even though the stupid carpet on the stairs has flowers on it. Our horses should go exploring and the stairs should be a mountain. But we should feed them first. The toy apples have magnets in them and so it looks like they are really eating! I have riding lessons later. I’ll prolly ride Pebbles. She likes to bite me but she’s better than that fat stupid pony called Suzi. But back to playing. I had grilled cheese and apple juice for lunch and it was delicious. They must get free Kraft Singles because her dad works there. Caley’s going to move in a year. She said because her dad moves a lot for work. I’d give up Kraft singles to stay in Menomonee Falls. Then we could still play with our toy horses and we could still have grilled cheese we’d just use different cheese.
Falling Off My Bike and Skinning My Knees While Camping
You are a family member of mine. A cousin, an aunt, or an uncle. You might be cooking lunch on the grill or fire. You might be talking to another relative. Let’s just say you’re my Aunt Mary. You have three boys. Your 3 nieces and 2 nephews are here. They all have this obsession with riding bikes. There is a circular gravel drive at the campsite. Your boys, nephews, and niece Emily are riding bikes. Emily always tries so hard to fit in and play with the boys. It’s hard because her bike is florescent pink, and instead of it being a dirt bike or motorcycle, it is a horse. It’s name is Flessorent (Flessie for short) because she can’t say florescent. At least her brother named his bicycle “Steve”. But still, she’s the odd one out. After all, she did lose her training wheels last while she is the oldest. Anyways, the children want to race. Someone is going to get hurt. You hear “vroom vroom” noises, some neighing, and soon enough Emily is screaming bloody murder. She fell off her bike. She always falls off her bike. Her parents come to their dramatic daughters aid. So do you, to make the boys stop biking. Flessorent and rider have collapsed. Emily’s knees are skinned. Bloody gravel, no big deal. Her parents clean the wounds, and place little mermaid bandaids on her knees. She still cries and Flessorent gets put away. The boys are ready to race again. Soon enough Amy is crying because she dropped her plastic vending machine ring into the fire. Is Rose going to cry too? Even if Emily cries at the sight of a flush toilet that she is deathly afraid of you try to convince her the one toilet with the green cover is special and not scary…the trip is so worth it. What you don’t know is that your boys and nephews will intrude a wasp’s nest and get badly stung while playing in the playground tires. Adam will have one even behind his ear.
We created these images, and I want to try more exercises like this to help my work happen. It is indeed a VERY good day.No comments
Took this one this morning. The dress was one of my mother’s that she wore as a bridesmaid in a wedding once in case you were curious.No comments
I had a fabulous martini tonight. I can still feel the blackberry brandy warm my bloodstream through to my bones. I’m back at my apartment, it’s warm, it’s quiet and I’m listening to a band I’ve never heard before but their introduction at this very moment couldn’t be more perfect. They are exactly what I needed to be listening to right now. (For those of you who are curious, they are called Flowers of Hell–check out their myspace–www.myspace.com/flowersofhell).
I’ve had a lot of downs the last two days. Art student has been beaten to a pulp. Your stuff sucks, go make good stuff now is what I have been hearing from professors. Some critiques have been helpful, others, not so much. But I think I might be creeping towards the light through the door crack in this dark room that I’ve been working in…I know what I want to create and I have my pride for everything I want to do. Artist. I chose my path of life and I couldn’t have it any other way. I would master it all if I could. I picked up a third focus…I’m doing drawing, photo, and textiles. I should be considered insane. I know I’d be a fabulous sculptor too. I’m a designer. I’m loving it all so much and although I got so down on myself after this week’s crits and was afraid it would kill my motivation, I think I found by throwing everything I have into my work–my blood, my flesh, my soul–even if I create stuff that has potential but isn’t quite there yet–I just want to keep searching.
On Sunday I took a photograph. It’s so different than what I was working so hard to shoot on spring break. While I keep trapping myself with trying so many ideas (which isn’t bad at all and I’m not going to stop) I never took any of them further. My brain is just like “Work work try this work work ooh shiny…whats that try that work work work”…i never sat down to breathe, take in the imagery and see where it would go. The photograph I took this Sunday is one that I find phenomenal beyond all measures to what my brain can actually take in–which sounds quite conceited but it’s more to me than a pretty picture. Sure, it references classic romantic art with the figure yet with my tattoo and it being my bedroom it’s become my self portrait. It has great contrast and nice light quality…it’s pretty…but what floors me most about this photograph is that it has been hiding in me for so long. I want to create more characters, those have so much potential. But I was afraid to take that photograph. Because it was of myself…and I could have had this image all along as I struggled. I don’t have all the answers but I realize that this is something that I MUST keep trying. Sure, I’m a stronger drawer. It’s effortless for me, but photography didn’t just introduce me to an exhilerating art form–it has affected ALL my artwork and nothing will ever be the same so I have to keep up with it. So for the rest of the semester I am going to attempt to make myself focus. Characters and self portraiture. I can play with the toys a little but I have to shoot. I will get children’s books. I’ll read more on Cindy Sherman and Anna Gaskell for my characters. The self portraits are my own journey. I think I can do this.
There isn’t any new art in this entry. This entry might be too confusing to comprehend and might just be a “word salad” as my friend puts it. But I can tell you this. The best is yet to come. Just you wait.No comments
So, after much anxiety and not following through with an idea, I finally shot a self-portrait. I like it, but I know that it is only the first one. I thought hard about why I had so much trouble shooting this. And I really only shot around 10 frames when I should have shot a lot more. I wrote an entry about it into my idea book this weekend while I was on break at work:
“I’ve let myself down on a goal that I need to make happen because I seriously want to succeed in this. I need to shoot my weekly self-portraits. I hadn’t realized my anxiety with this until recently. I really have no idea what causes such a rediculous fear, perhaps it is general low-self esteem, but then again a lot of people who have low self-esteem are able to shoot their self-portraits. Perhaps I am too concerned about interfering with the environment I choose occasionally when I do use myself as a model. Perhaps I’m avoiding using my bedroom as an environment. I don’t think I’m afraid of possibly letting the viewers of my art into my world and into my mind. Not everything that is of myself can be depicted in a single photo…or can it be? Either way I need to stop putting this off and just shoot it because I believe I could shoot a decent self-portrait. I need to give my photos more credit, put more of a mark down for myself, and wear the wearables I created in some of these.”
Today has been rather unproductive. I hadn’t got much sleep all weekend so I slept in and have been watching the goonies aside from shooting that photo. I have to catch up on my brochure project big time and plan on venturing to Studio Arts later to do so. Another challenge I am facing is the pouch project in textiles. We must sew together a pouch with a zipper…my challenge is making a boring project into something creative. But how do I do this? What is my bright yellow pouch to me?
Last night I hung my photos in the photo classroom for critique on Monday. I wonder how they will be recieved.1 comment
Here it is! As promised! This dress protests littering and pollution. Got trash you wanna throw it on the ground? Give it to me, I’ll just sew it on my dress. This may continue to be a work in progress, I already found two clear plastic rings I plan on sewing to it. If not I am bound to create others like it as I have decided to take Advanced Textiles next fall and most likely major in it.
Right now in Graphics we are working on a brochure I am rather excited for. Chances are I will upload that on here. Until then, maybe I’ll shoot more. Or draw.2 comments
I did four photo shoots today. One was for Emily, a former UWGB Theatre Major who still participates in shows. After we did her headshots she agreed to model for a shoot for my art portfolio out on the golf course. She wore a very tiny outfit but was such a trooper as it was very cold and windy outside. She never complained and even wants to go play in the culvert when it gets warmer. I also took photographs of my friend Alex tonight, just pretty portrait shots, we had fun with it.
Right now I am frustrated with my macbook. I finally was able to figure out how to unlock the raw files in my trash can but there is random crap labled .NEF on my desktop that is in use and apparently nothing can be done with it. I was editing off the camera and just want to upload them and drop them on my jump drive.
I will bring my camera to textiles tomorrow morning so I might photograph the dress.
Now, I will restart my computer. And hopefully get the crap off my desktop and upload my photos.No comments