they made me mention artist names.
i sound like a freaking dork.
About seven months ago I had gone back home to my parents house to go through and clean some things when I came across a few books that I have forgotten that I have had. I had found some of my old journals from when I was younger, the earliest being from third grade. The pages were filled with receipts, birthday cards, stickers I had received from class, notes, little scraps of paper, doodles, streamers, thoughts, feelings, and anything else that I considered being meaningful enough not to throw out. Flipping through my book of treasures brought me to the realization that I keep my journal the same exact way I did from when I was a little kid. To this day, things are taped, glued, stapled, painted in the pages and make my thoughts come to life as I see them in my head. Every form of application matters. A picture is bonded with electrical tape over a heartfelt rambling that no one else is supposed to see yet some of the words stick out from this picture. The revealed and hidden words are little reminder for me of what was previously written about but interesting enough so if anyone were to pick it up, would want to question me what does that say. That night that I found my old journals I went home and paged through my more recent journals and found myself in a speechless state of an emotional distress. My old journals were kept with the intention to remember something; a moment, an event, or a feeling. However, my recent journals are on the opposite side of the spectrum and I write so I can forget.
Looking at my current journals, they are filled with everything from depression, restraining orders, heartbreak, depression, anxiety, and everything else in between the carvings. All things important that reside in my journal are there for a reason. It’s a moment in time that was able to let my emotions go on paper rather than on myself. Every form of disguised handwriting, overlapping, and subtraction means more to me than anyone else could figure out when picking it up and reading my most protected thoughts.
My journals are just the root of my artwork. I have started to translate my disorganized mess into works of art and let them take their own form. My choice of carefully selective materials and the process of which they are applied have an underlying meaning and best interpret the emotions carried throughout my writings. I feel that it makes more sense for me to used mixed media and found objects in order to stay true to my theme. For instance, there was a page in my journal that I had written specifically to one person. I had covered what I had wanted to say with only the most important words showing. I translated that into one of my art pieces by attaching a door to a box. The box was filled with the writings to that person on photo remnants with a light coming from the bottom of the box. I did things in this order so the viewer could almost see what I wrote. My artwork was not a literal conversion from what had originally inspired it, but still relayed the same message.
In my pages, there is a marriage between the colors applied to these pages and to my writings that some may call scribble. There is a sense of appropriateness in connection with the overall mood and tone of what I’m feeling that day. The color in my artwork may or may not be a reproduction of what one sees in my journal but of how I am feeling when I am making my art. I often use dark colors throughout a piece that I am creating with a proper bright color somewhere to balance out a work or just to lighten up the mood so it is not too heavy.
Art, for me, is more about the process of creation. The process is more important to me than the final product. Recently I watched a video on Jackson Pollock and how he creates his art. He crouches down over the canvas on a floor and physically lets loose. He also used different materials not only in his art, such as cigarettes, broken glass, etc., but he also uses different materials to make his art, for example, kitchen utensils. I caught a resemblance to his regarding the same way I create art and gained more of respect for him that I have a credited him to prior this discovery. I also am partial to other action painters who I feel like I share similar attributes as Willem de Kooning and Franz Klein in regards to the creation process. De Kooning uses multiple layers and takes advantage of the viscosity of the paint to achieve an impasto effect. Application plays a large part in the creation process and much like the action painters of the fifties and sixties. I apply the paint to canvas, wood, or any other material I deem fit in that moment, with a slashing and vigorous physical motion just as severe as the emotion that it is fueled by the movement. I get into this state of mind that no one but myself can release me of and then I get to work. The most heavy and inspirational music, for me, is put on and I almost drift into this place close to where I was when I originally had written in my journal. Everything is poignant while holding concentration to the feeling that I am portraying. Art is therapeutic for me. Art is what keeps me from breaking. It allows me to take all of my aggression and hurt out on something other than myself. I think that is why a lot of my art involves parts of the body, my fascination with how the body works, but not in a way that is too literal. I see it in a way of how different everyone is both inside and out; chemically more than physically; emotional diversity.
When someone asks me what I think my best work of art is, I freeze. I think of things that I have produced which I like, visually, but there are two works of art that come to mind that gives a sense of where I currently stand as an artist. One work of art that I feel like I can present is my three panel painting (?) that I completed as a part of my independent study project. I feel like that best describes where I am as an artist and where I would like to start off and continue in my works. The only other work of art that I can say that is my best work is my actual journal, which is, needless to say, never on display. I feel like these works best exhibit s who I am not only as an artist but as a person.
In thoughts of where I wanted to go as an artist in the future, and was inspired by Robert Rauschenberg and how he had taken something private and made it public when he produced “Bed”. I had thought that I am fully ready to show what lies in between my pages and ultimately what lies in my head. I wanted to break my words from the private place they were so comfortable in and used to and lay them out for everyone to see. My intentions of freedom from restriction changed slightly for me when I had to stand in front of my peers and describe what they were seeing. My legs were shaky and I could not find the right words to sum up what stood in front of them. All I kept thinking in my head were the reasons behind the journal entries and the wanting to explain them, rather than use my journal to explain my artwork. I feel like I want to explain my motivation for creating, I wanted to explain my deepest darkest secrets so my peers would understand that what they were looking at was not just a bunch of scribbles and basic problems that everyone goes through. It’s more complicated than that. I wanted to show them that I am more complicated than that. But I can’t. My wobbly legs and sweaty palms took over the quiver in my voice and I think I mumbled something along the lines of ‘personal issues’ and my art being ‘therapeutic’ for me to create. This is all true, but that whole experience was opening to me as that maybe I am not ready for people to figure me out and know my thoughts and memories.