2. What would you do diferently if you had the opportunity to do it over?
I would be more precise in how I hung and labeled my work, and I might have considered doing something to change the gallery space in some way because I didn’t really take any risks.
3. If you had unlimited time and resources, what else would you have done to complete
I would’ve included some sculptural/installation pieces and murals-I have ideas to do these sorts of things but just haven’t had the space, time, or resources to do them.
4. What was the overall value of this experience for you?
It made my work feel somewhat more worthwhile, showing my work from the last 3 years made the work more valuable to me because I had more of a reason/goal for having created it.
5. How could this process be enhanced for future Art 5 students?
I don’t think there is any way to enhance it necessarily. I think the shows are whatever the students are willing to make them. However, since other students in the class have to be placed in shows of up to five people, which limits their ability to maximize their shows success, there could be a process to assigning shows that doesn’t involve everyone being garunteed a place such as an application or a minimum limit of finished pieces. Maybe this way students who are really committed to having their shows would have priority.
6. What means did you use to promote your show, and how might you have promoted the show even better?
I used posters, post cards, and a video advertisement. I could’ve advertised better with the video but I faced some setbacks there
7. How do you feel about the labeling system you used for the work on display?
It could’ve been improved, but it also wasn’t a huge priority for me and I personally don’t mind that my labels were not perfect
8. What setbacks did you have to face, and what could have been done to remedy them?
I had setbacks with my advertising because the newsroom staff had trouble playing my announcement. First they lost my video, then forgot to play it, then blew a circuit and broke all of their computers so I lost 3 days of possible advertising. The situation was pretty much out of my control, but I could’ve possibly been more assertive about the problem.
This year I took Art 4, and it was my first year in Deep Run’s upper level art courses. The first Art 4 critique, when we were reviewing our summer work, was memorable for me because it was much more involved than the critiques from Art 3. I was much more invested in it than I was in the Art 3 critiques, and it excited me for the rest of the year. Throughout the year I continued to develop a personal style. Since Art 1, I have generally stuck to painting. Within my paintings I have experimented with religious elements, childish themes, and animal imagery. I have been exploring themes of shame, guilt, and vulnerability, both physical and mental, as well as relationships between people. An interest in anatomy and human relationships with their physical bodies leads me to include imagery that suggests physical harm-like images of scissors, blood, and Band-Aids. Often, characters appear apathetic to the wounds on their skin to demonstrate a lack of connection to their physical bodies, an ability to ignore physical pain, or an ability to use it to one’s advantage. I also show characters as expressionless, or replace faces with inanimate objects, in order to express shallowness and emptiness. For (almost) every piece I’ve made this year, I have tried to write a short statement to correspond with it in order to develop a more concrete message in my paintings.
If I think about what I would do if I had to relive the year, I think that most simply, I would work harder. I wouldn’t say that I am unmotivated or lazy at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have pushed myself even more. I had 1-3 pieces for every critique, but I had plenty of time to make more, and should have. I would have tried to do more observational studies in my own time to improve my technique. I could also have tried to be more actively involved in the class, especially at critique. I feel that I have had a successful year, I’ve made around 11 pieces that I’m proud of and my technical abilities are much better than they were freshman or sophomore year. I have spent the majority of my free time painting, drawing, and brainstorming. I generally choose to work on portfolio projects instead of going out or watching tv, and I continue to work on my artwork even when it’s frustrating and unpleasant. Whether or not I enjoy the artistic process is a 50/50 gamble most of the time, but regardless I still make sure to complete projects not just to get the grade, but also for the satisfaction of completing a piece. I think I was also somewhat proud of receiving a Young Arts Merit award. (But it was only a merit award and my portfolio probably should’ve been better.) It was exciting though, to have finally received recognition for my work other than an Honorable Mention at Scholastics even if I probably didn’t deserve it.
Advice for Next Year's Students:
To better yourself, take outside classes. They will help to add to your resume when applying for colleges and summer residencies. Even if you can’t take classes, spend a lot of time outside of class teaching yourself to improve technically through practice or online sources. The DRHSArt program usually focuses on creativity/ideas, but I think that you still need artistic skills as a basis to succeed.
When it comes to critique, avoid making excuses-especially if your work is late. You won’t get in trouble, but it’s annoying for everyone when they give you advice and you say, “it’s too much work,” or “I can’t do that.” Do not refuse to try new things. Don’t say that you can’t paint, or can’t draw, or can’t sculpt because it isn’t constructive to your work to decide you can’t do things. Literally no one has natural talent, you have to work for it. Try to never bring unfinished work to critique, it’s incredibly awkward for everyone when they have to try to give you advice on a blank canvas. When critiquing others, you should also avoid staying quiet. You might think it will spare people’s feelings if you don’t speak up-but no response at all to a piece is much worse than harsh criticism.
1. What specifically have you learned from this project? Don't only think in terms of the work you made, but also through the discussions during critique of others in the class.
This project was kind of a wake up call for me about my craftsmanship. I need to put more care into the work I make, and be more self-critical of it. During critique, I was recommended different and better ways to approach the project than I did. I plan to redo this project at some point, or at least my next project will be based off of it.
2. If this project is assigned in the future, how might it be tweaked to enhance the overall learning experience for all students?
I was personally confused by the assignment itself, and noticed that other students were too. I wasn’t sure if our focus was to study the artist and just try to remake their work with a different medium, or to make it into something about ourselves. I felt like we were being asked to make something really specific, like there was a really specific goal for the project and since I didn’t really know what was being asked of me I ended up just making a copy of the original work using junk mail. I would recommend explaining the standards of the project more clearly, or simplifying it.
3. How have your thoughts about design changed through because of this project.
I definitely value it a lot more. I need to try to force myself to be more considerate of the elements of design when I paint.
4. What changes would you make if you had the opportunity to re-work the image you created?
I’m planning on keeping the grid background, color scheme, etc. but replacing many of the graphic elements with painted symbols from my own artwork. It’s probably going to involve maggots and opossums. I also need to reconsider the typography.
My artwork has a lot to do with fear and intrusive thought. I use subjects of animals, plants, people etc. as symbolism for whatever I am preoccupied with at the time I plan a piece. These themes range from fear of being misunderstood in my communication, to losing control, to physical injury or illness. I tend to think a lot about how complicated and fragile the human body is. The possibility of horrifying, gory things happening is something I find myself thinking about, and it is prominent in my pieces. This is why the characters in my work are often injured in some way. My subjects are intended to be experiencing whatever I am worried about, though not directly because I like to embellish situations by making the scenery more childish and playful. I also like to use simple phrases in my paintings, which serves the purpose of reminding myself of something I find important at the time, but are still open to interpretation.
From an aesthetic standpoint, I recently have been interested in giving my work a more graphic, collaged quality. I collect imagery to incorporate into pieces, and I like creating compositions where these elements are layered. This, as well as a combination of simple, minimalistic symbols (such as speech bubbles, stars, text, and simple drawings) is something I was focused on while making these 3 paintings.