Studio practice

This post will focus on all of my studio work, what I have done and what I could do better next time.

 

Comic Mural:

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A mural of various comic book characters, logos and sound effects and speech bubbles. Initially, I wanted to focus mostly on characters and logos that were not from DC or Marvel, but as I progressed, I included a couple of heroes and villains from Marvel and DC. At least this way, more people will recognize what my mural references. I also included various sound effect (pow, bam and Boom), similar to the Adam West TV show.

In addition to characters from Marvel and DC, I also included characters from Dark Horse, Image and other Indy comics. I even drew observational drawings of sketches of two underground comic creators, Harvey Peaker and Robert Crumb.

My primary influence was just Roy Lichtenstein, but after a trip to London to look at several art galleries, I noticed a strong similarity between my mural and a mural by Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon. They’re mural featured various characters, some from comic books, and others from their own imaginations. I wanted my mural to resemble theirs, though thinking of characters to paint next was tough.

I have a love of comics, ever since I discovered them years ago. I wanted to really express my love for the medium through this painting, including everything, from superheros to science fiction and fantasy. My mural is meant to show that comics aren’t just for superheroes, but for all genres. The mixture of characters, logos and sound effects makes the mural instantly noticeable and easy to spot. I left some drawings un-painted, since I think they look more distinct that way.

If I could change anything, it would be to feature more obscure comic book characters. Another thing I would change is my use of materials. I used paints for most of it and a little drawing, but if I could, I would also use chalk and drawing pencils. I could have also painted the background, but I didn’t want to get paint on the other paintings, as that would ruin them. Beside, comics used to be printed in black and white (and some are still printed that way now), so this further ties into the comic book theme of the piece.

Seven Deadly sins painting:

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I have had a fascination with the seven deadly sins for some time now. Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Greed, Wrath, Envy and Pride, each sin represents a flaw that everyone succumbs to.

I wanted to produce a piece of artwork that relates to all of the sins, and after much thought, I came up with the “7 sins pizza”.

Basically, it is all 7 sins, gathered together on a canvas, painted to resemble a Domino’s pizza logo. Gluttony is the logo, while the other six are the toppings. Each symbol represents a specific sin: Trophy (pride), green eye (envy), breast (lust), pound sign (greed), clock (sloth) and a fist (wrath). The logo is Gluttony, as I have previously explained.

The composition was used well, giving each symbol enough room and not have them overlap each other. The use of colours helps give the painting an eye-catching quality to it, and the symbols make it even more striking.

If I could change anything about this painting, it would be to make it less vague, because some people initially didn’t understand the meaning of the painting until I explained it.

Flawed Lies:

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Flawed Lies is my first performance film, and by far the most challenging studio practice work. I’ve seen performance films before, and I’ve always wanted to do one, at least once. However, actually doing it was difficult.

I had to think of a theme, any costumes I like to wear, how long the video will run and where the film will take place.

My idea was to perform with my mask, so people will guess who I am. With Kate’s help, I took out a camera and started filming myself in various locations. My initial ideas was to film myself working in my studio, possibly with music. I had another idea, which involves  connecting my film with the sin of Sloth, by filming myself sleeping in bed, or just sitting down. However, I grew bored with the idea of standing still and sitting.

So, taking inspiration from Yinka Shonibare’s A Masked Ball , I decided to film myself performing to one of my favorite songs. The song I chose was Flawed Designs by Stabilo, which is about the “masks” we wear to conceal our lies and guilt. The song connects to me like no other song, and I wanted to act out my feelings to the lyrics.

Together, Kate and I made several practice films, before booking a room in the media block of the university. It was in this room that I performed Flawed Lies, with the song playing on my laptop. In the end, we filmed nine performance videos.

After I picked the best performance video, I gave it to Kate, who edited the song into the background. I watched afterwards, and I was blown away. It was fantastic, as my movements matches the lyrics perfectly.

If I had one complaint, it would be the bundle of paper in my coat pocket (left over from my exhibition I had in the park). I found it distracting, but I doubt anyone else will notice. I also could have been faster with my movement, since the coat I was wearing was a bit cumbersome. Still, I am happy with my outcome.

Gluttony:

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Based on the comments I received for my sins painting, I chose to focus on one specific sin, and make a piece of art based on it. Since I love to eat, I chose the sin of Gluttony. I’ve wanted to do another big food based artwork for sometime, and this was the perfect opportunity.

At first, I wanted to do a simple collage of my favorite food (pizza, burgers and curry), but after thinking about it, I decided to go bigger and be more inventive. So, I started collecting used food packaging from my room, the kitchen and even outside, with the intent of using them as part of my collage. As for the base, I went with one of my favorite types of food: pizza.

I bought a medium domino’s pizza box and brought it back to the studio, where I proceeded to stick all of the packaging I had collected into the box. It worked out so well, I decided to do it again with a large pizza box, and make it into my final piece.

Once I had the box, I started to stick a new batch of food packets and wrappers into it. Kate even provided some fresh packaging from home, so that was a big help. I wanted to stick a coffee cylinder in the middle, but it wouldn’t stick. I also stuck three images of lips into the box, to reference the overwhelming hunger that comes with gluttony.

I really enjoyed doing this piece, as it expanded on my previous deadly sins artwork, and allowed me the chance to do something I’ve wanted to with food packaging for some time.

If I could change anything, it would be to include packaging for health food. Something to think about for next time.

They Live! They Live!!!

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This final outcome stems from my horror paintings. Paul commented how the villains I focused on are outsiders, shunned by society, and that is why they are so beloved by audiences around the world. Paul suggested I look at the universal monsters, and see what kind of art I can make based off of them.

Initially, I tried to make similar paintings based on their distinct features, such as Dracula’s eyes and the neck bolts of Frankenstein’s Monster. However, my attempts didn’t turn out the way I had hoped they would. After thinking it over, I decided to make a photomontage of the Universal Monsters, just like Frankenstein stitching body parts together to make his monster.

I made at least five test pieces; four in my sketchbook book and one on a piece of cardboard from a cake box. I then moved on to my final outcome, buying two sheets of black card from the art shop.

The first one was going to be my final test piece, and the second my final outcome. However, looking over m first test piece, I realized that it was too good to be test piece. Not only had I used images of universal monsters, but images of other horror icons, like Freddy, the Tall man and the gremlins. The “monsters” I made are fantastic, and I wanted to add more. So, using the images I was going to use for my second photomontage, I added more monsters to my montage. I even cut out imagery from my horror magazine (I bought it for my earlier studio work in October). The images meshed together very well, creating a slew of new monsters that could easily appear in any future horror film.

My influence on this outcome was the artwork of Hannah Hoch, who was a pioneer of photomontage.

If I had one complaint, it would be trying to find the right images to use and putting them together in unique ways.

Overall, my studio practice has been a complete success.

I got to try new things, expand on some of my critique work, and further develop my art style. I had a great time working in my studio, and I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

 

 

 

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