Lo and Behold! The artistic spark rises out of its dejected ashes like a phoenix.
Kickstarting my arts independent has not been an easy feat. The last three weeks can be summed up as a series of awkward mishaps, stumblings, and all together inconclusive in the grand scheme of my independent. This week wasn’t much different. I haven’t been in the studio nearly as much as I should, let alone as much as I want, which has really thrown me for a loop. In the past the studios at Westtown have been my life, heart, and soul. I subsided on charcoal residue, akua inks, and the low pressure water fountain in the hall. I find myself now facing a problem that I have never encountered in my art life; logistics.
That’s what the past few weeks have been really; just a huge pile of logistics I struggled to get through. This week is not particularly different, but I’m proud to say I’ve made some substantial progress. First and foremost, I finally organized my supplies source, and assessed my printmaking tool accessibility. Westtown’s printmaking cono sur is Caroline Loose, who is one of my mentors and has been my teacher for three years. Having worked close with her in the past, logistics in the printing world were relatively easy to work out. And so starts my printmaking extravaganza.
Other logistics haven’t been so kind, and there are still plenty of things to arrange. My work is going to be rooted in the human figure with an emphasis on portraiture. Any work in observation of the human body requires, well, a human body. Finding models willing to sit for more than half an hour is a challenge when your selections all fall in the age ranges of 14-18. For this reason, extensive work from 100% life is going to be virtually impossible. So I’ve come to different solution: Instead, I’ll be doing several series of short sketches (or croquis), and for those models willing, 15-20 minute sessions. This will create a wonderfully diverse body of referential life material. Essentially, I want to create my own human study encyclopedia. Every artist sees the figure differently, which is why it’s crucial for me to have reference points which I created. If I were to open up an anatomy book every time I wanted to draw a face from my creative points of view, my work would become bland and flat. Working from my own observations while composing creatives images not from life is likely to give my work a gestural quality, which will produce much more personal and influential pieces. Most prevalent artists follow this trend in extensive subject studies; it’s the process of studying a subject that allows an artist to then create a subject.
Sketching is essential to the artist’s understanding of their desired subject.
In addition to modelling, I also need to work out photography logistics. I am not a technically trained photographer, and I know nothing about artificial lighting, which means I need someone to, at the least, introduce me to the process. In lieu of lighting, I also have to figure out photoshop techniques in digital media, which will give me a broader range of artistic choices.
The logistics haven’t killed my spirit though. I still remain passionate about my project, and with one of my biggest roadblocks out of the way, I can move onto the next one: artist’s block.