We have this art teacher – Mr. Allen – who is God’s gift to our artistic journey. He’s always there to help out, push us along, and help us develop and create new ideas. I’ve recently been feeling very stuck, and my recent art pieces have felt very forced, but one particular conversation with him really seemed to get me out of my rut.
So far this year, most of my pieces have been very mono-focular – there’s a distinct fore and background, mostly literal pieces, rather than abstract interpretation – but Mr. Allen told me to make something where the eye has the opportunity to travel. For whatever reason, this statement really stuck with me, and I’m now beginning to look at my works as stories; every element of the whole thing is contributing in some way to the idea that I want to present.
For me, the most obvious way to do this was using collage-like techniques: layering paint, found images and other medias to create a piece that is more dimensional (both figuratively, and literally). I went to Goodwill to find old books with a history and meaning behind them, and I’ll be using bits and pieces of those to add further meaning to what I have so far.
I’ve been working on this piece for maybe a week now, and already I feel a lot more free. I’m not setting any boundaries for myself, and the entire thing is a really relieving journey. It’s nowhere near finished yet, but I’ve already had a few challenges, and thought of new and creative ways to fix them. For example – I want the piece to represent my cynical view of today’s society (particularly America), but the army colours that I used for the background were really throwing me off with their literalness. To combat this, I added my favourite colour – a salmony pale pink – to give the whole thing a sense of innocence and the signature girliness that I try to enstill within every piece. The end result works really well, in my opinion, and I’m proud of myself for being able to overcome my usual ways and go beyond.