A Tiny Bit of Art

Welcome to my new blog!

Here I’ll be documenting my creative progress in a number of mediums, including film or animation, visual art, screenwriting, and whatever else I might be up to. After having discovered last year that I could actually draw, I’m really excited to be embarking on a new leg in my journey that includes visual arts in the more traditional sense. If you’re joining me for the ride, thank you! I hope you have as much fun as I do, which I expect will be a lot.

Earlier this year I had my first pieces in an art show -ever. Well, if you don’t count elementary school. I’m not counting elementary school.

animated_characters

These three guys were part of the faculty show at the Art Center where I teach filmmaking. The drawings are simple, but the point for me was to see if I could create character out of inanimate objects. Characters in story are everything, and so it’s a natural place for me to explore first as a filmmaker learning to draw.

Since creating those guys I have explored a number of topics, including a series of headless selfies that I wasn’t really sure where I was taking. A couple of weeks ago, after having met the kind folks at Gallery 924, I started getting really excited about submitting the headless selfies to their annual Tiny show in December. But when I got home and started trying to shrink the art to fit into the 6″ x 6″ x 6″ format as required, I was disappointed. It just didn’t look like the type of thing that anyone would want to take home and hang on their wall.

I decided the problem was that I was thinking too conventionally for my subject matter. The idea of headless selfies is provocative in itself, and if done wrong, could get awkward fast. A photorealistic image is not the best way to go in this case because  the women in these images are already posed in highly sexualized ways. I want to be clear that I’m making art, not  simply reproducing a series of salacious images. So I reconsidered the medium I was using – ink on recycled paper – and looked around at what I had available.

When I found some old wood pieces left over from the crafting I’d done over a decade ago – pieces that have moved with me from house to house, even city to city and back again – I realized they might have finally found their true purpose. And I set about to turn the first line drawing into a wood-burnt image lined in ink and colored with layers of oil pastel and colored pencil.

20161024_031801

The proof of concept worked, so I did another.

selfie-sample

I really liked how the pop art style I’d happened upon worked to make these poses feel much more relatable and less… dirty. My neighbor said it helped remove the shame that is so often served in heavy doses alongside images of women’s bodies. I’m not sure I want to comment upon the issue of selfies in general other than the work I’m doing to present them as an art form. I’m just hoping that women will want to hang these on their wall.

These pics are just a preview of what’s to come and don’t represent the final pieces I’m planning to send to Tiny. But they should give you a good idea of what to expect from this series.

I’m planning on posting regular updates on my progress right here, so follow this blog for more on the headless selfies series as well as other visual storytelling projects as they come up.

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