This summer has proven to be a crammed six weeks of exploration. Amidst my traveling between school quarters, I was able to tackle some new mediums and revisit some old ones I haven't used in over a decade. It always seems as though a tight schedule manifests the most creativity for me, and I'm more willing to take risks with my work. There is something so fast paced about precious time that forces all my artwork to be made with pure curiosity. Other times during the year, I am meticulous in fine tuning my linework with the brushes I use, as well as tracking down images that fit within a certain theme. However, these university holiday breaks are like a flash in the pan and I am able to make sloppy, hectic pieces with reckless abandon. The process always yields something new and unexpected, and I am always surprised by the results. These are the pieces that turn out to be the most rewarding.
My foray into new materials was the use of plywood. I purchased a very low end scroll saw and experimented with cutting out shapes. I was able to create a small series of animal heads based on loose illustrations I had made in my sketchbook. I painted them with house paint, since I could get a wide variety of colors at a very low cost. The process spanned over multiple days. The cutting is slow work and requires a good studio or outdoor space. Prepping the wood takes even longer, and although I am immensely impatient, sanding the pieces created a much nicer surface to paint on. I am indebted to my family for allowing me to raid their garage and use every power tool I could get my hands on for these projects.
I also revisited paper cut outs, which had been a favorite form of mine in my teenage years. I hadn't even thought of working in silhouettes with my current work until a friend prodded me to try my hand at them again. I immediately fell back in love with the process, and have been shifting my focus to paper cuts outs almost exclusively. For such a precise form, the paper and blades allow for some very rough drawings to begin with, which is very different from my inking process. While my ink drawings are realized in sketchbooks over weeks of fine tuning lines and perspectives, paper cut outs begin with a freehand sketch on black paper. I carve out details as the piece moves forward, and the final product is always vastly different from what I started with. This process requires me to think differently and see differently than how I normally do while creating. This is why cut outs are my favorite pieces. I feel like I am able to truly work from an authentic and eager place within my personality.
I hope as the year progresses I am able to keep up a steady work flow. Balancing college with art is extremely challenging, but it's a way from me to stay grounded and sane. I'm looking forward to whatever surprises and inspirations come my way.