Since my last post, I’ve managed to complete my Coronavirus Diaries Project, and have sent the individual panels as well as the panel layout to my professors. Now all I have to do is wait and see if my work is accepted by the New Yorker. I cannot show the final panels with this blog post, since doing so would cause me to be disqualified from being considered for publication (as the comics cannot be shown online before consideration).
I’ve also succeeded in sending my best work to be showcased in the Senior Exhibition online later this semester, and I was tasked with writing an “artist statement” explaining my oeuvre, which I can show and have attached below:
“My comics and graphic novels can best be described as paradoxical, or almost
self-contradictory. Cosmic yet intimate in scale, and melancholy yet ironic in their sense
of humor, my pieces thematically elevate the personal to the grand, yet personalize
something initially far removed from one’s mundane experience. In “Galactic Intimacy”,
two galaxies collide and hold their spiral arms together, in a gesture that is both celestial
yet private, while “Heroshima” tells the story of a Hasaki, a young girl who is born with
mutant superpowers in postwar Japan— a world that hates her yet needs her. My “First
Fear” comic reimagines my childhood stage fright as an assault by an amorphous
blob-like audience, while my “First Bliss” comic is a Star Wars parody encapsulating the
explosive joy I felt watching the original trilogy for the first time. “The Cold Signal
Theory” is a humorous twist on the Fermi Paradox, revealing humans to be the
spammers of the Universe, blocked by annoyed alien races. Finally, “True
Procrastination” is a moral fable, exploring the complex, contentious relationship
between a polite angel sent by God, and the more crass Devil himself.”
There are only a few more weeks left in the semester, but I’ve finished pretty much everything for the remainder of Senior Thesis 2, and I am very happy with the result. I’ve delved into new territory creating a very “personal”/autobiographical comic about my experiences as a Shop Rite cashier amidst the coronavirus pandemic (in contrast to some of my more melodramatic or unrealistic work in the past), and I’ve finally gotten back to using pen more in my drawings, as well as Copic Multiliner to make my artwork look cleaner.
I’ve even set up my own Instagram to accompany my Behance, and I uploaded my best work on the former: https://www.instagram.com/charlestaart/
The future is uncertain right now, especially in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is showing signs of getting better over time in regions like New York state (although it is worsening, elsewhere such as in Russia, Brazil, or Turkey). I’m worried about my career prospects, and the possibility of graduating on time as a result of this pandemic, and about how the Fall semester (the first semester of my final year) is going to go (even if the pandemic were to dissipate over the summer, the New School would probably host online classes well into the fall as a precautionary measure, and I wouldn’t leave my house until it was certain the disease was eradicated).
However, the fact everyone’s online now has presented new opportunities for me to get noticed for my artwork, and the free time I will have this summer will allow me to create more comics, or explore internships that can be done remotely. Therefore, not everything is all bad, and I’m learning to balance my pessimism with a little bit of optimism, bit by bit.