Notes From Chang 10/25/2019
- We discussed how the project might expand next semester. One possible route could be to silkscreen the images. Over winter break I can try and play around with ideas for color, and present these ideas in January. Chang also suggested scanning and printing (or phone pic and printing) the images to explore different solutions for markmaking/patterning/etc.
- Assess art as a pattern. See what elements need more push/pull.
- Go back through with one more pass of refinements.
“Duck, Duck and Cover”
“play around with overlapping images.”
Here are two ideas I came up with. I prefer the first one, as i think the work lacks visual density and needs more dark areas. The patterning would be small and dense around the border, rather than large swoops as shown (but this was just a quick exploration. ) I’d like to collage some dahlias as well.
Xerox test 1
“Adam and Eve, once over”
“Fill the negative space with obsessive organic shapes.” (ie. dots as seen below)
Old drawings of hands
Old drawing of a delicious potsticker
This is the result:
The obsessive/malleable marks contrast with the formal elements (ie. the posing of the figures, the architectural composition). This process is incredibly time-consuming, but the texture is worth it. I’m not nearly done with it. With this piece, I can definitely see the the possibility of adding an additional tint (ink wash) to allow for the push/pull of value. Currently, everything blends together,.
3 boxes (untitled for now):
“Experiment with the push and pull of the pictoral plane. Try only dealing with pattern and the purely abstract. Experiment with markmaking/rhythm, and figure out the systems/rules for each type of mark. Differentiate each set of markmaking, create a sustained practice. create something that is purely abstract. For this piece, push the sense of composition and space. Do not support a narrative. Play with foreground/background. What is solid? Transparent? Translucent?”
I tried experimenting with having more representational images, but didn’t like the result. I don’t often make abstract art, so creating a purely abstract piece could be a fun challenge.
Holding off on this one for now though.
The current state of the art. I have inked borders.
Notes From Chang 11/1
“Apple > God”
Notes from Chang:
“Consider the background as a visual contrast to the other elements. Ie. try markmaking with a straightedge rather than having organic, fluid lines. The rigid lines would provide contrast and separate the visual planes.”
Below is the design implemented. The brown areas are cut out with darker paper pasted behind it. I’ve also gone through multiple times to refine the squiggle lines.
Cell Phone Mandala:
I will finish it (mostly) by next week.
“Sustain the integrity of the markmaking from the center, and pull the designs to the edges. Make the marks small and dense.”
I’ve worked on this all weekend, and it’s taking forever. The background is almost done. I still need to go back through to the figures in the center and refine them some more.
It is beginning to have a mind of it’s own.
“Be conscious of the push and pull of the different layers. Hold off on this one at the moment.”
Will have finished-ish for next week. Last week I inked in the background and cut out some areas to allow for the brown paper to show through.
“Hold off on this one.”
I did add some Asian carp to the background, as well as adding more squiggly lines. I’m not super convinced by this piece. The anatomy is weird. I might collage it. I might set it aside. I’m creating some distance before making a decision.
“Refine the drawing before going into the inking. All spaces should be defined by minimal tangential relationships Ie. solid black and white, with some representational drawings. Focus less on pattern though. Each shape is an object with DENSITY. What is the edge? What is the line? Make it graphic and minimalist.”
This is just a Xerox test image. The actual drawing hasn’t changed in the last week. Chang disliked like the idea of re-introducing characters from other drawings, and I agree. In this test it feels like a collage of unconnected characters and textures. The addition of too many patterns/textures makes it chaotic. While I think that creating a little visual chaos might add to the narrative, I don’t think this is the way to do it.
I’m also holding off on this one for now. I need to make more printouts and play with the composition before committing.
Mid-Semester Report for 3D Illustration
Project 1: The Designer Toy
I have the pattern and have started sewing the Tardi-bears. I have to give up on creating an army, because time does not permit it. Focusing on making 3 really cool Tardi-bears is more important at this point.
I took Paul’s advice to go for the grotesquely cute. To do so meant straying from my original idea of a more realistic bear/microbe hybrid, and instead making a big eyed/big-headed/squishy weird thing.
Some troubles I’ve had is with sewing in general. I have not used a sewing machine in years because I find fabric to be the most frustrating medium to work with. I also sewed 8 left arms for the Tardi-bear, which is unfortunate now that I no longer need extras for my army. I am slowly re-learning how to use a sewing machine, which is exciting. In general, this entire process is proving to be incredibly anxiety inducing though. I spent the weekend fighting with the sewing machine, and nearly completing one Tardi-bear, only to be unhappy with the results. I’m thinking of making them smaller, because currently they look like bowling pins with big heads.
Preliminary Patterns and Tests
The result as of 3/25:
This sad misshapen creature and my disaster of a living room. I don’t want to look at either right now.
Project 2: The installation/diorama
My original plan: Make an army off tardigrade plushies. Why make only 3 Tardigrade bears when I can make 50? Who came up with this brilliant plan? I admit, this idea was incredibly ambitions and I am currently re-evaluating my life decisions that led me to this place. I wanted to make something cute and grotesque and squishy, and making many iterations of the plush would enable me to create something large and ridiculous. I liked the idea of a comforting and squishy installation because stress and sleep deprivation leaves me wanting nothing else. Perhaps others feel the same way. Why not create a comfortable space for them to contemplate their existential quandaries and a creature for them to cry into? It is the kind thing to do.
The new plan: TBD. All is lost.
Project 3: the Editorial Illustration:
Two doctors face off: one with a vaccine, one with incense and a plague mask. Children play together, passing a ball back and forth, their skin spotted with red bumps. Is it a coincidence that the rise of anti-vaxxers and measles outbreaks are happening concurrently? It feels like a battle between science and misinformation.
The measles children have been brought to life but are incomplete.The characters have been created from wire armature, foil, paper tape, and paper clay. Clothing is required. I don’t know how to clothe them yet. Eyeballs are needed to show their haunted expressions. Measles must be applied to their flesh. Do I want to do this traditionally, or photograph them and apply the virus digitally? These are the questions that keep me up at night.
Project 4. The Story Illustration
The story I chose is “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” from a book by the same title.
I have been drawn to this story since I first read it, partly because of Kay Nielson’s gorgeous illustrations, but also because of the role reversal of genders in which the female protagonist is the adventurer. For this project, I’m choosing to ignore the sexist undertones that still exist within the story, and take it as the fantastical fairy tale that it is. It has many similarities with the story of Cupid and Psyche: Girl marries invisible person. Girls family convinces her to look at him while he sleeps. Girl discovers that her husband is gorgeous, and while senselessly gawking she accidentally spills candle wax on him. Husband was cursed by a witch. Girl has to go through trials to get her guy back.
The three scenes I am illustrating:
1. The beginning. The father gives his daughter to a polar bearing exchange for riches. While she goes of her own volition, it is because her father convinces her. the polar bear is in it’s very basic form.
2. Three is an important number in this—and most—fairy tales. The girl goes to look for her guy after he and his castle disappear. She meets three women who each giver her an item to aid her in her quest.
3. The girl is dwarfed by the north wind as she rides it to the castle. The stones show through the clouds in the distance, and the castle walls are monolithic and imposing.
I had the intention create a sort of shadowbox with the 3 scenes, but I’m still figuring out the logistics. I am currently working on creating the separate pieces to join together (mostly armature, cellu-clay, and paper tape), and might be looking into the addition of found objects.
The North Wind:
Gunther is a small stuffed toy dinosaur that I’ve has since I was in Elementary School. Because he looks so innocent and unassuming, I feel that he lends himself to drama in my comics. While he is often the victim of unfortunate circumstances, I can confidently say that no Gunthers were harmed in the making of any of these comics.
In this installment of Gunther Comics, Gunther is left alone with another stuffed animal: Skin Graft Monkey (an actual flesh-colored sock monkey that I made). This comic was made in Typography class.
Gunther’s New Friend
Before moving to NYC to finish my undergrad at Parsons, I had my final art show in Michigan. The title of the show was “Bedtime Stories and Other Disturbances.
In this collection of work, I wanted to illustrate the inherent traumas of childhood. I have vivid memories of being a child, and being constantly afraid. If it wasn’t monsters, it was my parents. The main theme throughout childhood was my lack of control, whether in playdates, emotionally unhinged parents, forced interactions with creepy family members. In all of my pieces, I show this lack of control: the child is powerless, and often in danger–either imagined or imminent .
I used Copic Fineliner pens for all of these pieces. In “Bedtime Story” and “Twins” I also use Moltow Acrylic Markers.