Saturday, May 30, 2009
Review of This Year's Body of Work
I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but this past school year has been a sort of art crisis for me. I felt like I was falling far behind everyone else in terms of skill and imagemaking capability. I spent most of the year frustrated with my work and I think, to a large degree, much of that frustration stemmed from my lack of direction. I wasted quite a bit of time planning grandiose projects that were high in ambition but had a lack of any basis in realistic scheduling. Inevitably, I never was able to fully complete any of these overly-ambitious projects and my overall experience with them left me feeling physically and mentally drained. I was unorganized and had fallen to using, at random, whatever design elements happened to catch my eye. I didn't know what I wanted out of my work anymore. I wasn't sure how to grow because I didn't know what direction I wanted to grow in.
Ultimately, I believe I had a bit of a breakthrough at the end of the year when I was asked to compile a list of Illustrators whose work I admire and explain WHY I liked it. This forced me to reexamine my ideal aesthetics and ask myself exactly what elements in their work I found visually attractive. Just what was it about the work of artists like Vincent Hui, Sam Webber, Jillian Tamaki, Kent Williams, Odd Nerdrum, Justin Sweet, Tomer Hanuka, Jenny Saville, Andrew Hem, John Foster and many many others that I found so appealing? The answers surprised me, and ultimately, I came to realize that my taste in work had changed without my conscious marking of it, and this change had led to a deep dissatisfaction with the direction of my own work.
Now, armed with this new knowledge, I've set out to grow in a direction that seems much more clear to me. Recently, I took the time to pour over my work from the past year and figure out exactly what elements worked for me and what didn't. I feel that it's important for me to understand exactly what the strong and weak points of my work are in order for me to address them and therefore guide my own artistic development in a direction that I feel is more progressive, appealing, and enjoyable. I've decided to repost all of the images from this year that I feel were somewhat more successful.