KAYLA EDMONSTON

MonthNovember 2017

Criticize Me

I’ve always struggled to call myself an artist. I’ve never really felt that I’ve lived up to the title. I was recently discouraged by a role model I idolized throughout my artistic career. I sought “resources” to help the process of my portfolio. I never saw any flaw in it. I saw it as an accomplishment really. Rather this was seen as “taking the shortcut” or other words “cheating.” I don’t really understand how seeking resources is cheating, nor seeking the upper hand. Despite the apology I received shortly after, the commentary resonated with me for an extended period of time. It’s really hindered my “velocity” as some would call it.

I often feel like the key to being an artist is independence. I’ve become reliant on resources to ensure my process. I do not think I would be remotely capable of completing a portfolio on my own. This is my doubt speaking and I know I really should not rely on my inevitable doubts but I cannot help it. I know I am not thinking clearly and despite my conscious understanding, I cannot bring myself to not listen to this part of me. I guess part of being an artist is having these doubts. I sometimes feel like I am back to square one. It kills me though because I’ve surpassed these obstacles.

I want to be deemed talented and I want to have confidence in myself and my artistic abilities. It really just seems like a scam. I feel like I’ve been ripped off. I want the best. I want to be talented. I want to deem myself competent. Competency is always a tricky one. After a brief episode, I’ve always come back to questioning my ability. I know with being an artist, criticism is a given. Except this criticism constantly clouds my judgment.

Criticism is most definitely something I need to work on. I can’t see the light in the criticism, nor can I see the strengths in what I present. I emphasize the part I think of as “wrong” meanwhile there really isn’t a right or wrong to art. I know I ‘ll have to prepare myself because I’m going to need to handle it later on. Especially in college. I’ll be in an environment filled with entitled opinions about my artwork. And don’t get me wrong, not everyone in college will be an artist. But everyone sure is a critic.

I DON’T HAVE VELOCITY!

Art means nothing. If an artist second guesses herself she’s immediately viewed as incompetent! If an artist doesn’t engage in the work ethics that her peers do, she’s incompetent! Any form of weakness is basically viewed as incompetency! Art doesn’t mean anything. No one really has talent! Artists just think the more they whip out the easier it’ll become to gain talent! HA! I don’t whip out art work as fast as my peers so I am incompetent! I lack velocity behind me! I am incompetent! No velocity means no talent! I don’t have a single portfolio piece that makes me stand out from everyone else because I don’t have velocity! Colleges will never think anything of me! It does not matter! I am just a fraud! I’m not an artist and I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to be anyway. Where is this coming from Kayla! Why are you angry? Why are you mad? I’m not mad, I’m just incompetent! I have no talent and I never will. Maybe if I just whip out pieces as fast as everyone else I’ll get asked to go to SUNY PURCHASE too! Too bad I’m just a fraud. My art means nothing thats why it gets thrown out every year! Too bad I have no velocity to fix it! What a shame. There’s my 200 words to get to me to 1200.

Experiment

I found myself incapable of completing the heads. Now this is where my process comes into play. I was ready to hand in a mere four heads. I was ready to stop a two week long process with four heads. Pathetic, I know. I began to hand out clay to everyone in the class. An artist has a team, right? If I was going to finish these heads, I was not about to slave another two weeks of time that I don’t have to boredom. I began to pass out the small styrofoam balls to my teachers, my peers, anyone. Tons of artists have artist that work with them. Yes, I know. I am not well known, established, accomplished, or rich, but I can try. Chihuly has a team and in no way am I putting myself on the same level as Chihuly. My sculptures are not exhibited in botanical gardens. I began to slowly make it to five heads. I reached my limit ten, and I finished with thirteen. The last few heads were molded by a collaborative team of hands. Continue reading “Experiment”

BOREDOM STRIKES AGAIN

Writing about my artistic process has always been difficult for me. I’ve never understood the purpose of a process nor have I sought to achieve one. I’ve always dwelled into the possibilities of an untouched canvas, sketchpad, and territory because I’ve never wanted my imperfect errors to taint the white surface.  

I now realize now matter how eloquently I phrase that opening sentence it’s all a load of crap. It’s a wonderful way to say, I am a timid artist who lacks experience or the ability to understand an untouched canvas is a gift. But I’ve unfortunately taken that gift for granted. I’ve indulged in the wrong wonders of art. I’ve recently been working on sculpting tiny heads out of styrofoam balls with air dry clay. (Disclaimer: I’ve done this project multiple times.) Except this time, I’ve come to absolutely hate this project. I figured it would be easier because of the familiarity that harbors in a previously assessed project. All thoughout my high school experience for some reason, I’ve somehow always come to working on miniature heads. Sure, at first it was fun, and the first four were tolerable. But as I moved on to make my fifth, I simply could not bring myself to do it. I stalled. I prolonged the final product, and yes, unfortunately I stalled more. I had lost the bliss of starting fresh on new surface. This surface had once been touched by multiple projects and I no longer want to do this project anymore because after a long four years, I reached the confrontation.

Yes the prolonged but inevitable confrontation: Familiarity. I’ve always been a fool to undefined territories within my realm. I’ve never wanted to reach the ultimate oblivion of starting fresh. I’ve never really stepped outside of my comfort zone. The dual battle between Boredom v.s. Familiarity. Finally. As an artist, I’m supposed to find the balance in the familiar and the unknown. I’m supposed to inch off into the deeper end. I definitely suffered the consequences of this boredom. I have never dreaded anything more than working on this project. Now writing this reflection, all I really have to say is, just unbelievable, Kayla. Art is meant to be exciting. If it’s dreadful, you’re definitely doing something wrong. However it does not mean to just stop all at once. Part of it is getting through it. No one really cares about how you got to the finished product. In general no one really cares at all about any of the artwork a seventeen year old produces. To think my art is of value is an insult to the industry and myself. I really don’t matter that much. The point is I just have to get it done. Ironic a project I’ve done before proved to be so difficult. Guess I really need to start getting more out of my projects. Man, this reflects poorly on my part. Whatever.