What are the effects of consumables on our planet? How are waste products associated with buildings? In my collection of work I display the waste products that are associated with certain buildings as a way to create notice of the destruction that humans are putting onto the planet. Using the actual materials within each piece, I exhibited the physical aspect of each product. Creating a reality check for the world, my collection touches each stereotype of a building that produces a consumable, however, hinting that us humans are the reason behind it all. As seen in my earliest works, specifically 1 and 2, I started with the inadequate mindset of simply associating a building with a certain material. When I started to research the impact of the waste products in the world, I began to realize that thinking of the building as the source was not correct. With this, I wanted to change how each of the products were represented and expand my ideation. The closing pieces, such as 8 and 9, hint more at the influence of people, which leads to the final piece that has all of the waste products on hands that are reaching towards the earth to represent the true source of the contamination.
What is a common link between all people? The fact that all people grow, develop, and change throughout childhood and life. The topic of development and change throughout life, shown through a steady evolution and change of media and style with each piece, representing the idea of how people both change physical (growth) and mentally (attitude, personality, etc.). I approached each SI with an experiment process that combines quality appearances and the idea of evolution. The contrast between 1 and 10 is very clear existing media and style, and this wide difference is the exact point of my SI. With 1 style that lacks color and has a very prominent line type, this represents the “blankness” of the baby within the womb, that the infant is unchanged by the outside world, leaving it as a blank slate for change. With 10 being extremely colorful and possesses a freeness of brushstroke, representing the change one goes there on the course of life. The use of printmaking within 6, 7, and 8 reflects that idea of tightness and discomfort, found in the pressure of puberty. Adjacent to each piece is other compositional works that were changed or replaced, in the process of revision.
How much of a story can you put from a character's design? As it turns out, a lot of the choices that character designers make can have a huge affect on a story. At the beginning of this year I wanted to follow a single story line and develop it through the eyes of someone watching these characters. However, as I developed these characters they began to have personalities that began to affect how I drew them. For instance a character named Milo was designed to very faintly resemble a close friend of mine, with a few differences. As I drew him in this world I had created it didn't feel real to me. When I started incorporating parts of his design that were closer to the person that he was based on, it became more real and brought the world to life. So I began to wonder, was this just because it was closer to something I saw in the real world that made me relate to it better? Or was it because of the design? How much did this affect a story? I decided to change my SI and I set out to answer my new question.
How do the symptoms of BPD affect the behavior of a person? My sustained investigation is driven by effects of the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) on the human behavioral response and neurological effects. Each piece is dedicated to a symptom of BPD and a special look into their mind and perception of the world. Piece 1 represents the cycle of dysfunctional relationships and the feeling of abandonment provoked by stress stemming from trauma. Pieces 8-10 represent the way in which a person with BPD perceives themselves at different stages of the illness through costume design and photography, showcasing odd thoughts and unrealistic thinking. Piece 4 was an earlier investigation of the same concept. Suicide attempts are significantly higher in individuals with BPD. Piece 2 speaks to the emotional turmoil and impaired reasoning leading to thoughts of suicide. Piece 3 has an ironic take on impulsive behaviors such overeating and anorexia. Piece 7 is based on chronic emptiness that leads to dissatisfaction and boredom. They also have episodes of paranoia and dissociation as seen in piece 6 causing impaired thinking skills.
My Sustained Investigation aims to tell a cohesive story in a grounded world, by only utilizing visuals. To achieve this, all 10 pieces were developed simultaneously. I chose to work within photoshop, as it allowed me to edit and rearrange elements much more easily. Going back into a project and either adding to it or tweaking elements is much more forgiving in a digital format. 10 images can only do so much, so each piece was carefully planned and evolved over numerous compositional revisions. #6 displays this most acutely, the multiple compositions give context to my process. My understanding of the characters and world gradually shifted over time with research. Researching not only influenced my art, but also the storytelling. For instance, the kora, a 21 stringed harp represents the journey to adulthood. Every seven strings symbolize the stages of life; being childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. This inspired me to tell a bildungsroman, as it’s easy to relate to the universal theme of coming into one's own. Hence the protagonist constructs his very own kora throughout his journey into adulthood, as seen in #3, #5, #7, #9, and #10.
What is the significance of symbolism in dreams? In my body of work, I went over different meanings of dreams through symbolism. My work visually shows the idea of hidden meanings in dreams brought by the conscious and unconscious mind. Starting with surrealistic ideas, evolved to the examination of Freud and his theories. Throughout the process, I have gained practice with stippling and pen and ink which is evident in pieces three, four, five, and seven. Along with this, I have experimented with mixed media in pieces two, six, eight, and nine along with colored pencil in piece ten. Revision has improved pieces six and ten the most because the change of background has more depth and texture, improving the overall image. My idea has influenced me to include pieces of Freud’s written theories in piece six which includes his portrait along with his theories as the background, along with piece three which involves his theory of the Id, ego, and superego. I have also done research involving symbolism of natural beings such as animals which is evident in every piece. I was also inspired by J.W. Dunne's theory of precognitive dreams which is shown by piece nine.
How has society impacted women’s identities? I began my journey reading and researching historical events and or literature based in time as seen in SI 1 & 2. By SI 3 & 4 I started thinking of not only how all women have been impacted by society, but more personally how have I been impacted. I am only 18 but already feel the pressure to become a wife and mother. SI 5 fully explores how who I am contradicts societal norms often leaving me feel unsettled. In SI 6 & 7 I focus more on my relationship with art and the relief I find through it. As I continued my Sustained Investigation I centered my attention towards my strength and empowerment shown in SI 8 & 9. By the end of my SI the pandemic had hit and new societal norms were in place. This dramatic change only validated my inquiry on society's impact on identity. The emotional state depicted in SI 10 demonstrates how many people were feeling under stay at home orders.
Throughout my SI, I asked myself a variety of questions whether it was about the piece or about the focus of the piece. Moreover, I always asked myself this one question, "what do WE do that severely impacts our planet or habitat?" Asking myself this question allowed me to uncover more evidence that supports my ideation through research. Since my first piece, I have tweaked that question to at least try and keep in the loop of work. That question stuck with me throughout the whole year and hasn't failed me too greatly. With my five selected works, there was quite a bit of revision with each one. Each piece had its hurdles to get over, especially with a few because I had difficulty trying to bring my ideation to fruition. For experimentation, #5 was the one that I experimented with the most between trial and error since I am not a professional collage maker, but with this piece, I tried to experiment with what would draw the eye better to the work, including many other pieces. Finally, for practice, #3 was a huge leap for me. Since I was using the light table, it helped further improve my draftsmanship capabilities linework wise. In conclusion, there was much for me to improve on.