Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reflection: Two Ideas, One Issue, What to Do?

After my IDEA proposals to Stephanie's Group Gathering:

Empathy for animals, connection, natural world, nature, texture, interaction, intricate, delicate, details, animals, illustration, color, paper, clay, hand made/hands on, education, cause, exotic, display, 2D/3D relationship.

Interested In:
Animals and Plants
Craft and Process
Merging 2D and 3D
Detailed color and texture
Education/Public Awareness
Developing personalities and characters

At this point, it's no secret that I love animals. It's pretty natural to have animals make their way into my work despite whatever I'm doing. My overall concept is still under wraps, but I like the idea of creatures that are not common knowledge. I like researching and exploring the possibilities of flora and fauna in unreachable parts of the world (Arctic Deep Sea, Siberian Tundra), organisms that no longer exist (Dodos, Quagga, English wolf), made of creatures (Fantasy, mythological animals) and the relationships of humans and the natural world.

I originally brought 4 ideas to Tuesday’s class, but I decided to only present 2 of them because the both of them I’m seriously considering. The most pressing issue I seem to have is whether my project should focus on 2D or 3D, and depending on what medium I pick the concept will travel different routes. I recently discovered that my journey for detail in illustrations/sculptures is a slow process and the more time I spend with the piece I begin to develop a personality and relationship with the subject. I normally draw plants and animals because I believe they have personalities and I illustrate/sculpt them emphasizing their playfulness. 3D I tend to focus on the pose and position – like I am trying to bring the creature to life. They are never standing still, but are active and living their lives. My 3D sculpture tends to acknowledge its audience just by looking back at them. My 2D pieces, however, tend to be drawings of animals/plants living their lives. They normally don’t acknowledge the audience, but my drawings portray their true character in their environment.


Next to this paragraph is a few pictures of inspiration I kept in my sketchbook for my first idea of sculpture. The white sculptures are made of paper pulp from molds by Allen and Patty Eckman. It's a technique I really wish to explore using my bronze and slip casting mold making experience and my new found love of paper. Paper is a delicate, subtle medium and yet expressive because of how malleable it is. I love working with paper and the solid white color would be interesting to work with, it seems mysterious -- though I would like to experiment with coloring the material or possibly painting and decorating it. The other artist responsible for the colorful clay sculptures at the bottom of the page is Ellen June -- I'm interested in using bright colors in my final pieces -- the idea of clay would be an easier and controlled process (No molds and less waiting time, and less "surprise cracks, breaks") and I can probably produce many more creatures this way. My sculptures in clay would be a raw product, rather than sculpt it in clay, make a mold around it and display a copy -- it would be a raw original, mistakes and all. Ellen June is a wonderful and very talented artist known for creating creatures. Her style is incredibly similar to my mine -- the expressive personification of creatures. They lack human traits and qualities, but they adopt a playful and curious personality. Something that I can explore with sculpture -- full expression in 360 degrees.

(Idea 2, Illustration and Papercraft/Pop Ups)

Technically I managed to sneak in 3D into my original 2D oriented idea. I would really like to combine the two elements together such as through a pop up book or the art of papercraft models. The major different between this and IDEA 1 is that I have manage to merge my illustration skills with my sculpting prowess. The process is specifically related to paper engineering techniques and drawing in the digital realm. The process is tedious and similar to the mold making project in IDEA 1, but something I definitely wouldn't mind in. I love long processes -- the research, learning, and practicing gives me such nostalgia once the end result is complete. There will be a lot of mock-ups and some will not work, so the time placed into this project has to have a couple of months set aside for possible paper folding "failures."

What's next?

Studying the relationships between humans and animals. I'll be taking out books on cultural relationships with animals -- (Inuit Art, Korean Art, the Reindeer People of Siberia, Celtic Societies, Zuni Indians, Hindu Faith Societies) just to explore other concepts and see how they portray animals in their art.

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