1. Describe your work. What do you make? What are the formal qualities?
I create a variety of works that range from animation and cartooning, to realism and representational art. My portfolio includes expressive comics and animations of my original characters, as well as vibrant and detailed designs/portraits of them. My representational art includes traditional still life works with symbolism and meaning, and portraiture. Something that is usually present in my body of work is the high level of detail. When I work in color, I experiment with a variety of vibrant color palettes. This includes the use of complementary colors with contrasting values. My portfolio also includes works in black & white, which I enjoy (sometimes even more than my works in color).
2. Describe your aesthetic values. In what ways do your projects communicate these?
My aesthetic values include intricate details, hyper-realistic renditions, compelling compositions, and vibrant color palettes. While creating my representational art, I always strive to get as close to hyper-realism as possible. Every bit of detail my eyes can see is transferred through my body and onto my work. This is done through painstaking attention to the textures, values, and field of depth present as I observe. I do my best to accentuate details which I imagine other people would simply overlook. When it comes to my character designs and animations, my aesthetic values include intense facial expressions and dynamic body movements. I aim to have fluidity in these works for successful storytelling.
3. How do you create your work? What tools are essential? What are your methods of making?
I use a variety of media to create my work. I mainly work with traditional media, such as charcoal, graphite, colored pencils, pastels, acrylic paint, and most recently oil paint. I have also worked with digital media in creating animation clips, but I would like to explore more traditional methods of animation. I am quite new to knitting, crocheting, weaving, embroidery, and beading. However, I truly enjoy these methods of creating art and I will continue to improve these skills. No matter what medium I use, I include intricate details and vibrancy into my work.
When it comes to my work habits, I usually work in 30 minute to 1 hour blocks at a time, while taking small breaks in between. I plug in my earphones with energizing music, and I put 100% focus into my work to make the most out of each small block of time.
4. Why do you make what you make? Why is it important to you? To others?
When I began drawing as a child, it was a way for me to escape my difficult situation at home. Times were rough since my family dealt with poverty and other kinds of adversity. Emotions would overwhelm everyone in the household, and I was always in the middle of it. I eventually began securing myself in a corner of the room with a book and pencil, and I just scribbled anything I had in mind.
I still create because not only is it an escape for me, but it’s a way for me to bring out my strange ideas and transform them into something beautiful. I am an over-thinker who has suffered from major depression and anxiety. My thoughts overwhelm my daily existence. I think too deeply about even the simplest things, and at times I find myself having an existential crisis. I take these thoughts: positive, negative, empowering, and downright dark and scary. I then transform them into a beautiful, symbolic creation. I also use different media because I am always searching for ways to express all aspects of my ideas. Thus far, my work has been quite vibrant. Therefore, I am striving to experiment with darker colors and values. I want to explore my entire spectrum of possibilities.
I work very meticulously and I do my best to make it shown in my work. This is because I want to express in my work how I view each passing moment of my life, and the depths of my daily thought processes.
5. How do your research interests inform/intersect with your creative practice?
When I research, I look for art which exhibits the characteristics I would like to attain in my work. For example, I look for hyper-realistic works with compelling compositions. I look for detailed line work, striking values (contrast), unusual color combinations (e.g. dark & dull with light & vibrant, as if glowing), and a variety of unique textures. I collect images, info on art materials of interest, and keep a library of tutorials on different drawing/painting techniques. I also gather inspiration from my surroundings in the city, galleries, art and craft stores, jewelry & thrift shops, personal accessories, nature, etc. Last but not least, I always make sure to ask questions. I ask my peers and professors for advice on how to improve on a technique or idea. I also do research online (on art forums and the like), which has been very helpful.
After exploring many different sources of inspiration this semester, I have been inspired to create more meaningful work for my portfolio. I have been inspired to put more thought into what I choose to represent in my work, and what I aim to symbolize in my subject matter. I want to explore different ways of manipulating formal elements to successfully portray unique qualities I wish to represent. I want everything I create to have a purpose, and be representative of ideas and experiences that are dear to me.