Thursday, March 7, 2013

Outside Me+Education

Outside Me

As obvious it may have been, this blog is personal in many, many ways. One of them, which I wish wasn't the case, was in the display of my work. See, my end goal is to have my work be somewhat of a means to live.

Right now, my work is for myself. Few people see it (outside of my readers and random friends who come over and ask) and there isn't much a purpose to what I'm doing if I'm being honest. That is not to say it is completely useless. Everything I create, everything I draw, I hope to learn from - whether it be something technical, conceptual, or even, to put it in practical terms, something I can put in a portfolio sometime in the very near future.

But again, this is all personal work. I want to eventually do commercial work, work with and for a purpose. Work that extends beyond my personal propensity to showcase it. The fact that I've only created personal work has been a little bug in the back of my head scratching away. But with time, I tell myself, I'll be able to scratch that itch. With time, has recently become this time.

Last week, I was able to say I was "swamped" with work. I've said it before but what it really meant was, "I have personal projects I' rather work on than do whatever alternative I'm being offered."  This was not one of those occasions.

For almost a year or over a year depending on who I'm referring to, I've been involved with different people, different companies and different projects. Some employ my specific skills, some didn't, and until last week there was always a nagging awareness that I wasn't doing any type of illustration or even design, a related field.

Over the last week I finished two design pieces. One was from a project a few months in the making, a rough was given at first then I needed to finalize it. The second was a small project a friend had thought I would he person that was capable.

For hours I worked on the designs, making tweaks, changing colors, zooming in and out, ensuring every aspect of it what neat, well-done, and exactly how I wanted it.

For both projects, when I finished and sent them to the expecting person, there was a surge of accomplishing relief that filled me. Here was something I created, and for it to be part of something larger, seen by who knows who feels, in the simplest of ways, good. This is what I want, this is what I'm working towards and I can't wait to feel it again.

Unfortunately for my readers, I'm unable to show you either design. What a tease, I know, but one isn't public and the other is no longer mine, being part of a project. However, as soon as I can, I will not wait a second to share what I've done.

But I'm not leaving without showing any art. Here's...


This is a pretty old piece but one of the last physical ones with color. It was created while I messed with watercolors.

It's hard for me to talk about inspiration. It will be a topic soon but I'm not sure how to define what or how I get inspired.  This piece, from what I remember, arose from me thinking about my relative unhappiness in both elementary school and high school.

I don't want to say that I had a terrible time or that I was depressed in school, rather what I remembered was how much happier everyone else seemed to be.  And, whether I am right or wrong, it seemed that the lower the grades, the happier the person, and the higher the grades, the happier the person (I wasn't the only one who had a hard time in school, but I wouldn't say I'm a victim here).  

In a literal sense, I wanted to evoke the contrast of happy v. sad in an exaggerated fashion.  With that, I got to sketching.  I started with the sad face because that's what I had a clearer picture, as I thought of it first.  For whatever reason, the sad person was a girl.  I really wanted to push the exaggeration theme and wanted to have sad cheeks just come out of the face itself.  I went through various iterations.

In a similar method, I tried the same with the happy boy, but the challenge here was not how to show happiness in an exaggerated fashion (the sad face helped with that) but actually the boy's face.  I tried long, skinny, fat, wide, etc but a lot of the time the boy looked less happy but more high or dazed.  So he seemed more blissfully ignorant which wasn't really what I wanted to show.  Bad grades didn't necessarily belong to a "dumb" person, the only connection was bad grades = happy, but they didn't cause each other.  I hope I'm making sense, I also don't want to impose my meaning on the art either.  

After the sketches were finished, I moved onto bristol paper and tried out watercolors (the real reason why I started the piece) and ended up with these two pieces.

I was pretty happy with them, they really felt mine.  It was something I haven't really seen before and could only relate them to other pieces in very vague and obscure fashions.  That was also a time where I wanted to move everything digitally so I recreated it on Photoshop, ending up here.  

They look similar enough but lack the texture of the originals.  I'm actually more proud of them than when I finished, which is a very good thing.  Since I started, I think I've gotten better at certain skills and techniques and ways of communicating myself visually, so often when I go back to older work, there's a sense of pity I feel, knowing I've left that behind.  But looking back at this, I feel much better.  I know I have/had a sense of personality with my work, a kind of voice, one that I hope to carry throughout all my works.

Thanks for reading.