20 January 2017

My Art Journal I Scarcity & Surplus

I'll let you in on a bit of a secret of mine; At school, I did Organic Chemistry, the arrangement of the nuclei of atoms, I did all of the human reproductive system and how different hormones are sent to glands or muscles. In maths, I did calculus and in English I did Shakespeare. That's not my secret- it's the norm. So, my secret is this: art- particularly the practical component of art- was the most difficult component across all my subjects at school. 

The practical component of art was difficult for me for several reasons: I found it very easy to compare myself to others who had a natural ability to draw- unlike me. Before taking art, I can't say I volunteeringly scavenged for a sketch pad and got drawing (which makes me think that I took art for the theory component and the practical challenge) which probably explains my lack of drawing confidence. Also, I don't think I ever found my personal, distinctive artistic style- which made starting a new drawing or artwork more frustrating. I think if you look hard enough, all artists (and now, including myself) have a visual thread that links all their art together. One just has to look more closely for some artists than others.

So, knowing my secret, I'm about to do something that petrifies me down to the bone marrow in my bone. If someone were to come up to me and ask me if I could draw, I would reply "no". However, I'm proud of this body of work presented below. These pieces represent a girl who over came her fears, her doubts and got to the finish line. 

The work below can be found in the visual diary pictured above. This was my year work project, which formed part of my final, senior year's art examination. The theme for the project of work was 'Scarcity and Surplus' .It was up to each individual artist to interpret the theme as they pleased. The group of work had to include a drawing and an artwork. A drawing consist of line weights of varying weight, where as an artwork does not need to consist of distinct lines.

I have selected some of my best pages, in terms of layout, or pages that were integral to the process, to lead you through my journey of how I got to my final artwork and drawing.

Artist Research
I always found that I started my process out with research into what other artists were doing- both in terms of subject matter and media which I thought linked with the theme. Research was important for me to find inspiration and learn and possibly adapt an already existing technique.
I've never thought of this process as linear, hence, I found that time and time again I would return to artist research or experimenting as I found necessary, after doing initial research and experimentation.

This part of the process was probably most enjoyable to me. I could 'mess around' with different subject matter and media without people knowing that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I could blame any 'failed' works or mishaps on 'experimentation'- which I found went down well on the social judgement spectrum of my art life.
Take a moment and remember this work. It is amazing to  reflect how different my final drawing ended up being. However, I like to think that this experimentation was integral in ending up where I did.

I liked the mixed media but I found that I hadn't really made this concept enough of my own. It was too similar to the original artist and hence, abandoned my experimentation with this already existing style.
My work looks at the scarcity and surplus in The Fees Must Fall Movement which I wrote about here
I think the movement epitomizes a surplus of youth, hope and togetherness in a scarcity of money and resources.
Hence, the woman drawn below is inspired by a student leader that I met whilst doing primary research. She was an integral part in developing my final idea.

The culmination of all my experiments lead to this. It is charcoal on paper. Upon completion, I realized that this wasn't what I wanted to exhibit and be judged on. However, a discussion with my teacher led to the idea that follows.

The faces below are multi-media and in different, very distinctive styles. The idea for these faces was to make so many, that in the end, they formed a crowd, like the Fees Must Fall protest crowds. The differently drawn people don't marginalize or discriminate.

Below, I experimented with light to distort the initial drawing. I was fascinated by how different the drawings ended up being. However, in the end, I didn't end up using lights as logistically it would be too difficult to exhibit.

In the end, I had about 40 or so faces. It is way less than the amount that I wanted, but it is all I could manage at the time. There were some faces, which weren't up to par with other faces, so I discarded them. Some of the discarded pieces are today.

*Scroll down to see the final exhibit of this work*

Once the drawing was in progress and on its way to completion, I went back to the research phase, but this time, in hopes of finding inspiration for a three dimensional work

Thumbnail Sketches
This step is really important in terms of conceptualization.  Like every other part of the process, the depth could vary. Some artists may find that they can conceptualize better three-dimensionally. These were very initial sketches but they were very helpful in putting my idea onto paper and visualizing it. 



Let me know what you think about my art and the process that I went through. If you're an artist, it would be lovely to hear how your process differs from mine. 


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Till next time-


    Ive recently gotten back into sketching after years and years of time off. and ive really adored getting to see other people's art. it makes me so happy to see. I love your style and your concepts and really everything about those pieces. I think you're talented and if you kept at it, you could even get better. I would seriously keep at it.
    they're lovely works. keep making art and keep creating.

    1. Faith!

      I'm enlivened knowing that you like my art. I've seen your stuff, and it's impressive. Thank you for thinking so highly of mine.

      Maybe you have a point, 'keep at it' and see where it goes.
      I'd love to see some of your sketches,too!

  2. wow your style is so different and totally awesome! I love it!
    My fav has to be the first piece it's just so unique and captivating! (also just wanted to let ya know that, I'm following!)

    1. Thanks Rithvika!

      I never quite found my artistic 'niche' so I'll settle for 'different'.
      I'd rather be different than the same.

      Thanks for stopping by, leaving a comment and following.

  3. These are so beautiful Steph! You definitely have artistic talent. I love your style and how fascinating you draw faces. There's something about them that makes me want to just sit and look for hours.

    1. Marian! That means so much to me. Thank you! Your last comment about sitting and watching them for hours enlivens me. I've never thought so positively about my art.

      Thank you for being my blogging friend, and for your constant comments!


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