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.
This 3D art piece is a chemical garden. It is made from clay, sodium silicate, sodium acetate, and many, many other chemicals to form crystals. These mostly came from little kids' science kits that are found in cheap stores, so these are pretty simple, minus the week long wait for them to fully form. This chemical garden was inspired by many videos demonstrating a macro-view of the chemical reaction taking place, as well as the end product of the reaction.
Mostly made of twigs, logs, stones, and leaves found in my backyard. This piece of art is one of the very few that expresses my actual emotions (because of my lack of them). This earthen work was originally going to express even more emotion after being set on fire, but that would've expressed a bit too much in more than just a few square feet covered in charcoal.
So far, most of this cup sculpture was made purely out of improvisation, a Tuesday morning with unexpectedly-strong coffee, and inspiration from sculptures I've seen in person (said sculptures being located somewhere in Raleigh.) I didn't like how it turned out at first, but after coming back a day later to look at it, it didn't seem as bad as I saw it from the day before. Maybe it's because that day was the day I went through major perfectionism and frustration creating this piece, but I came back the next day feeling much calmer. It's not exactly the best, but it's decent enough, and I think I'll go with something more calmer and smoother next time.
This is an abstract piece depicting many different interpretations of space. One example of said interpretations could be the blast of colors at the bottom left, which could mean the big bang to one person, or a supernova to another. Another example is of the giant Jupiter-like planet on the top left, surrounded by a night sky that is bordering what some people could interpret as nebulae. It's really up to the viewer what each part represents in space. While creating this piece, we really weren't going for something space-themed. Instead, the color scheme we chose was with the intention of creating an abstract piece inspired by 80s pop art. But after multiple happy accidents and improvisation, it came to look more like space than 80s. That's what we went with in the end, and it's a mess of acrylic paint. A mess of acrylic paint that was worth it.
This naturescape project is composed mostly from oil pastels and scratches, and inspired by scientific documentaries and sci-fi movies. "Dans le Ciel" means "In the Sky" in French. Since it's such a rare opportunity to see some of nature's greatest phenomenons in person (one of them being impossible), one might as well make it for themselves. One is of a volcano eruption, one is of the northern lights, and one is of the sky from another planet.
Ξεφορτωθείτε (Xefortotheíte) translates to "get rid of it" from Greek to English, although the translation was originally "Hildima," translated from the text within the image above. It depicts a strange, crying creature caught within the web of a spider, after it has been lured in by the sweet smell of flowers. This piece was created through the use of ink, markers, watercolour pencils, and a questionable mind.