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”
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.
“You are not as adventurous as you were last year.”
I am not a lot of things anymore, and I do not know how to cope with my lack of motivation, or desire to contribute to society in a meaningful way. I feel my naive sophomore self would be disappointed in my junior self. I no longer have this yearning to want to know myself, I no longer am curious to identify myself. I feel I am undeserving of any title, any name, or any artistic position. I sought to be an artist last year, or at least identity myself as one till recently. My uncertainty is beginning to settle in and my nervousness demeanor is nestling its way back into the crevices of my being. I am torn between doing what I would like to do and what I am capable of doing. I am torn between not knowing what I truly enjoy anymore and I am torn between pursuing something that I think I enjoy. My uncertainty has allowed me to jump to the idea that I want to be an artist, that I want to achieve in the artistic world. My uncertainty has found comfort in this childish dream that all I want is to be an artist. I have spent months dwelling on whether I was worthy enough to deem myself an artist. I wrote blogposts as well, and had conversations I thought were insightful, but now I worry I have only chosen art because it is all I know. I have never pursued anything but art, and the thought of not knowing if it is my actual passion or want is what terrifies me most.
In the previous blogpost, I was assigned to write about my future. I began to write a completely different lifestyle than what I had imagined. I wrote that I was a dermatologist. I figured I would be useful to society, cure the youth of unwanted flaws. I figured I would be content or at least satisfied.Through this assignment, I was instantly dissatisfied with this lifestyle. felt disappointed in myself for writing about something other than art. So, I began to write about art instead. I wrote that I had a simple lifestyle, woke in the morning to an empty canvas, and fell asleep to completely full and vibrant work of art. Though cliche and lame, I found comfort in. I don’t know if art is a comfort to fall back on or my passion. I am too fearful to pursue something otherwise. I do not want to do art if this is the reason. I am not sure if I am passionate about. I am not sure about anything anymore really. I am not adventurous, and I am not anything. Maybe this feeling is temporary. Hopefully this feeling will fade, but for now I am caught somewhere in the middle.
The cotton sheets shape the folds of her small figure. The single studio apartment is soundless in her wake. She lays, bundled in an array of multicolored quilts. Her eyes, softly closed, her lips carefully pursed, and her brown locks slightly tangled. What seems to be an everlasting silence is disrupted by a man. His slender body slumps over her sleeping shoulder, as he sits on the edge of the bed. He doesn’t touch her, and he doesn’t wake her, he just looks. He doesn’t really understand her much, yet he continues to fold the sheets neatly around her while his swift hands outline the depths of her face. He is unsure of her full name, most of her likes and dislikes, casual things too, but somehow he still finds minimal pleasure in her company. Despite her ambiguous character, he notices the minute details that tell more than she does. He notices the way she avoids eye contact, investment in personal connections, and most importantly confrontation. He pays attentions to the uncertainty in herself, between the way her hands tremble when holding a spoon of butternut squash soup to her lips and the way she avoids the 40 seconds of conversation with the cashier when she makes her order. Even though she knows her order before entering the local cafe. She continues to sleep, his sweet disposition reminisces over soft skin. His hands smooth and gentle caress her hair as he peers over, and as swiftly and quietly as he came, the floorboards begin to creek as his worn boots trace the floor, a gentle rhythm hums and as the door lightly closes. In the silence of the small apartment, she wakes.
Her small feet hang over the slightly raised mattress. Her stiff body slides out from under the covers. She fetches her cashmere sweater and worn out jeans. The fabric above her knees is slightly faded, yet she pays little to no attention to it. She decides to eat later in the evening and progresses to the outside of her single bedroom apartment. In the crisp winter air, she is greeted by the lively ambiance of the Williamsburg atmosphere. Despite living in this familiar location, her sense of direction has yet to adapt to her current living area. She continues to walk on the street, and is greeted by one of the small business owners on the block. He reminds her which street connects to which, and which street leads to the small market. His slight act of kindness pleases her more than the small businesses man will ever come to comprehend.
She returns home to her small apartment after a day well mostly on public transportation. Her poor sense of direction is subsequently shown in the close to empty metro card. She pays little attention to the insufficient fares left on her card and enters her small apartment. She enters her room and immediately returns to the bedroom. To the left of her bed side charcoal pencils, freshly sharpened followed by kneaded erases, and leather covered sketchbooks lay in an organized array. The floor filled with a plethora of empty canvases and stacks of overfilled moleskins, swatches of color from collaged pieces lay in clusters.The familiarity of these small luxuries leave her in awe. Her hand is quick to find an ebony pencil and a sketchpad. The morning light rays fill the room, casting a shadow upon her unfinished sketch. Her hands soon to be covered by the residual remnants of this media, delicately fill the tan tinted paper. The satisfaction of this leaves her in awe, and she returns to slumber, content with her creation. She sleeps through the night as the room darkens; the celestial body in the peaceful evening casts a reassuring shadow through the half opened curtains. She will soon wake, simply to repeat the simple satisfaction of artistry.
As an artist, I value finding my true self in my artwork.
The tangible interpretation of someone’s mind. My core values were often reflected in my work because they delivered a piece of myself I was trying to find. Subconsciously, I was searching for confidence in myself as an artist. I masked my lack of confidence by claiming I was searching for my identity. In reality, I was too scared to acknowledge the artist I am.
I figured if I was able to “identify” myself, I would be satisfied. I figured the key to my success would be declaring myself the prestigious title of an artist. Reflecting, the vague generalization was a default mechanism for actually getting to know Kayla. The overaching theme seemed sufficient enough. I associated the persona of myself with simply being an artist.
What I realize now that in order to be an artist, I need to know who I am. The artwork I create is a direct reflection of the way in which I percieve the world. There is no measure, no defintion, no textbook ideal of what declare someone an artist. Yet, I continued to believe that there was some standard I had to reach. I was fooled by the idea of creating artwork for the audience, when I was supposed to be creating artwork for myself.
I get know that being an artist isn’t something that you study for or crash course in a couple hours. I guess in some ways you can learn traditional training by going to class, but Pollack did not take a class that taught him to revolutionize the modern art industry through a new form of painting. Dadism didn’t come from copying existing pieces. The conceptual art movement was created by making works that upended bourgeois sensibilities but instead generated works that questioned the conventional society, that challenged the norm.
In a lot of ways, I guess you could say I was stalling. I didn’t want to acknowledge the qualities of my art that reflected me. I wanted to avoid the possibility of being known, of being seen, of being exposed. I wanted to remain the anonymous artist. But what good is creating art that doesn’t make you think?
To me, art has become the constant battle between pleasing yourself and pleasing your audience. The true artist will please themself, yet who I am to say true. Artists live to reach satisfaction, however, I do think confidence is the most essential quality of being an artist.
In my art, I’ve always been drawn to faces. Pretty ironic, coming from the artist that doesn’t want to be knonw. I figured the more faces I drew, the better I would be able to find out who I was. I was searching for a definition of myself in my artwork. My lack of self-identity would influence my artwork because I value the unknown.
Though the unknown is undoubtedly frightening for me, it allowed me to fall deeper into my fears. I was able to restore the lack of satisfaction I had in myself. Rather than thriving off of the satisfaction of pleasing my audience. My fear gave me this identity that I tried to cast myself away from. It gave me the piece of myself, I wasn’t ready to show. I now realize, my identity, my true self is in progress. And that is all I could ever hope for. It is my resolving satisfation.
And this to me, is what art is. Satisfying yourself rather than the customer of your art. The contrasting ideas between what the artist delivers and how the customer perceives what is allows for the flow of conversation and ingenuity. It is tthe friction between contrary and conflcting ideas coming together as one.