Monday, July 30, 2012

Making Your Art Mean Something

One of the biggest problems that beginner artists have is that they simply pick an image they like from a calendar or the internet and copy it. That might be a good way to practice, but if you keep doing that, your end product won't have much meaning. It's someone else' idea, someone else's rendering of their emotion.

Even if you have to paint with crappy reference material, I encourage you to make your work your own personal interpretation of something important to you. "But I'm not an interesting person," you might say (as I did before.) "I don't want to talk about myself. There's nothing exciting to tell." But think about it. Each time you talk, you are expressing yourself. Anytime you interact with any other person, you are revealing something of your nature, your past, and your experiences. There is no-one on earth who has nothing exciting to tell.

To infuse more symbolism, deep meaning, and unanswerable questions into my art, I've decided to turn to poetry! Before I begin each artwork, I will now make a poem about the theme I'd like to explore. Something intensely precious, painful, frightening, or wonderful from my personal experience. This poem will set the tone for the piece and be like my guide map while I'm creating the work.

The first painting I did this way was "May I Come Out Now -Mou Iikai-". In this poem, I wanted to express the sinking feeling that comes from knowing I ended a precious friendship(s). I don't know if I'll ever be able to surface again, if the friendship will ever be mended, or if I'll have to stay in hiding; ignoring this person(s) forever. Also, "mou iikai" is the chant that kids say in Japan when they are playing hide-and-seek. It's like "Are you ready yet?" In this poem, I wanted to ask, "Are we finished being angry with each other? Mou iikai? Is it enough yet?"

Ever hidden, ever concealed, motionless.
 

Sounding! Two fathoms.
 

Sounding! Thirteen fathoms.
 

Sounding! Twenty fathoms.
 

Entangled, surrounded, barely breathing.
In a sepulcher of one’s own making.
Deluded, not by a mirage of water,
For water is the mirage.
Will it come to an end?
Are enemies eternal?
 

May I come out now?

↓ The finished piece, below.

Photobucket

I'll reveal the poem for my next painting. What imagery does it evoke for you? Can you understand what it might be about?

Spurion

They said:
Conniving,
Contriving,
Cold-blooded,

Vain.

The vanity I concede,
But to the others I say
They were the paltry attempts
Of this infantile, trembling thing

Trying to appear strong.


Let me know what you think of today's post, and watch for big, meaningful paintings ahead! <3 JUURI

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