When I studied art in sixth form there was always a project title that I had to adhere to, these were usually very loose so you could work within fairly broad perimeters but still a theme you had to think about when working. Since I am no longer in education there is no one to set a title or a theme for me to work from, recently I came to resent this and worry about how I would create with no initial direction.
To push myself out of the rut I had found myself in I decided to ask friends if they would like me to create them each something for their new student homes in September. Thankfully they were all very supportive and said they would be glad of something to brighten their walls! By initially creating for friends I feel more comfortable and also feel a sense of purpose, I have a deadline to work to and also an audience who I know will be honest with me about the quality of what I produce.
Working for friends also means that I can create them something that I think suits their personalities and would affect them positively. This new sense of direction and purpose has helped me so much and I would advise anyone who was in the same position as me to give this a try!
Initially I thought about what I wanted to give each of my friends, how did I want them to feel when they looked at my work? What would be the best materials for me to use so each piece could survive life in a student house?
I started work on a piece for my friend Tom. He likes bright colours, interesting patterns and art that provokes thought. I began with a few sketches mapping out possible ideas, materials, colours and messages- this is my favourite way to get a feel for what I want to achieve.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that I wanted to use a cardboard surface and create a pattern from drawings of exotic flowers that I already knew I enjoyed producing. This added the bright colour and pattern aspects I wanted to include. For the thought provoking aspect I chose to insert a range of questions that Tom could read as he observed the piece, hopefully triggering conversations with those around him or inner thoughts of his own.
So I set to on drawing the flowers using a mix of oil pastels, chalks and pencils which marked the beginning of Tom’s piece.
Thank you for reading!