Ever since fourth grade, I've been practicing and refining my art skills with nothing but pencil and paper. And that's all I've ever used as an artist. Just a bunch of pencils, paper, and sometimes markers, because I practiced cartoons over other types of art. That being said, exploring what is outside my zone of comfort is really something. But thanks to my prior experience in self-taught art, I was able to incorporate my skills to what I created throughout the semester. I used my inspirations from cartoons, video games, anime, and Bob Ross to make my own pieces of art that isn't cartoons for once. Needless to say, they came out pretty good!
What is a project this semester that you would change if you could?
I would like to improve my watercolor Toronto cityscape at least a bit more. I love my painting, with the many colors, shiny reflections, and many, many windows that were a bit tedious to work with, but there were some flaws here and there that I would like to perfect. For one, there's a few blobs on the buildings that were meant to be lights, but in an attempt to make them shiny, some of the paint for the buildings were also taken off from the paper during the process. And when the sky fades from dark blue to bright orange, the line where the color starts to change isn't hazy enough, nor is it straight.
How did taking risks or challenging yourself make you a better artist this semester?
For one, I was forcibly removed from my comfort zone of cartoons and violently catapulted into other types of media. So basically, I was taking risks ever since we stopped using pencils and sketches and moved on to pastels, paint, and 3D objects. With that, I was able to expand my horizons a bit more. I'm considering the use of fountain pens, inkwells, and watercolor, those of which were among the other art supplies I used to not like because they were too messy and I didn't really want to clean so much, especially since I do art on a daily basis. But after using them after so much, I grew attached to the overall feel of using them. Ink and watercolor are just so satisfying for some reason, and I've seen cartoonists use both these in ways I haven't been able to... yet. So, I try doing it myself for once.
And I can still get away with being a cartoonist with this one! And I may as well become a better one with these new tools I became attached to. Now excuse me, I'm going shopping for said tools and extra cleaning supplies... oh wait, I'm broke.
What is a media you liked working with this semester?
I loved most of the media I explored during this semester, but I have to say that abstract art with acrylic paint was rather fun to work with. You make random shapes out by zooming into an image, create a flat, blank version of it, and play around with it with colors and textures. You can take a triangle, square, and circle and make it the sweetest, most beautiful thing you've ever saw, or you could make it absolutely messed up and terrifying... or both, if your imagination is wild enough. Also, I watched Bob Ross a lot when I was younger, so using acrylic paint on a canvas makes me able to actually practice what I watched and learned once again (because last time was a monstrosity of a 3rd grader).
These prints are what hit closer to home than what my usual projects do. Thanks to finals and being hit with tons of work, it puts me under a lot of stress. And with that stress, nightmares and inner demons. In an attempt to make myself at least feel better, I bring out what I see in my nightmares as a coping skill. I used three different techniques to bring out three different monsters: Printmaking, monoprint, and collograph respectively. These days, what I see and envision for some reason have a black background and some meaty, warm colors. Hence, the color choice for the first three being those colors. Sometimes, I see a muddy mess of gross colors, sometimes I see a figure. Although, for the last two made from printmaking, they weren't made from nightmares, but from my own conscious choices to make a horrendous monstrosity. Trust me, before ink was put on the print, it looked much more terrifying. It makes me feel much better when I make monsters scarier than my own.