Friday, May 18, 2012

Art 318

For my final quarter at Louisiana Tech University, I was enrolled in one of the most difficult classes a Studio Art major can take, Conceptual Design - Art318.

In this class we were given vague themes to work with and told to create something profound within the theme. However we imagined that theme could be presented, whatever media or technique we wanted to use was fair game, our job was only to present something in the best way we could. For me, I felt that way was through digital illustration, and so 3 of my 4 projects were exactly that. The fourth project won't be shown here because it was a sculpture done in a way that makes it EXTREMELY non-photogenic.

Anyway, first up was the theme of Time. I decided that Time is a journey to be traveled. We have many goals and places we would like to go, and at all times the distant future looks far better than the nearby present, but we never really know where we're going to end up. We definitely don't know what path we're going to take or what hardships we're going to encounter.... Or at least that was the idea.... No one really got that from this drawing. They said it was pretty though, so it wasn't a complete loss...

The second project was Body/Identity. To me, identity is defined by the trials you overcome to reach your goals, and the things you leave behind as you try to get there. I tried to show this loss through objects referencing the dreams of various facebook friends who I asked to list me their dreams from childhood.

The third project, which won't be shown here, was Place. For this, I crafted a small sculptural island paradise and placed it within a small, cracked box with light pouring through the cracks. The piece was more along the lines of what everyone else in the LATech art department looks at as "Fine Art" and so they considered it my strongest piece of the quarter. The plain, black box is rather boring to look at through photo, however, so you don't get to decide whether they were right.

Finally, my fourth project was Science/Spirituality. For me, spirituality and science are both the same thing. Salvation being brought to the masses in the form of knowledge. Whether you believe in the divine or believe in only the irrefutable facts of science, your goal remains the same; teach the world around you so that they might understand things as clearly as you do. Unfortunately, when you try to teach someone something they don't want to know, they tend to rebel against that knowledge and show hostility towards you. The true test of your beliefs is always whether or not you are willing to face down that hostility and continue your quest anyway. This illustration is how I chose to represent that:

By the end of the quarter, I proved two things. First, I proved that I have improved immeasurably over my pre-college self in that my use of color and composition have come leaps and bounds forward. No one could levee a single complaint about the actual drawings I was presenting. Unfortunately, the second thing I proved is that I, in no way, belong here at LA Tech. Every other artist in the class complained that my drawings weren't presented in some interesting and unique way that redefines what it is to be art. My Place assignment was just to appease those people and show them that I can participate in the nonsense just as well as they can, but I choose not to. They don't get me any more than I get half the artwork I was presented throughout my time in the class (from professionals, not other students. I understood my fellow students' works well enough). Two wildly different parts of the art world, I guess.