Friday, January 13, 2017

Choosing...


...a theme...

well, I thought it would be difficult, and I'm probably jinxing myself for future series development here but it didn't take long to choose one after I understood the approach. 

Basically, a series of artwork can be built around anything.  

Cue my head exploding. 

It was too much for my brain to conceptualize; too many options/possibilities to determine and I knew I would get stuck on that alone if I wasn't careful.  Further research uncovered a handy list that helped categorize some general concepts to consider:
  • Traditional subject matter
  • Style of art
  • Word inspiration
  • Design elements
  • repetition series
  • "Time" series (seasons, days, time of day, etc.)
This list helped narrow it down for me and immediately word inspiration jumped out.  

A series built around a word...  

I was intrigued. 

A little voice in my head was like:  "Really? Don't you think that's too narrowly focused?  That seems like a lot of work for you."  

To which I swiftly and promptly replied:  "cool your heels woman.  Sit down and shut the hell up, this is the ticket!"

This speeding train will not be stopped by insufficient self doubt.  Nope.  

So I started making a list of words.  Admittedly, it was very short. I got to 4 when I went back and circled the one I wanted.  Hence my opening line about how easy it was to choose. (furtively looks around while knocking on wood vigorously to avoid any jinxes)

I did give myself a day or two to sleep on it to ensure I didn't lose interest or something else more appealing came along.  In the end though, it stuck and I chose the word "Unravel".

Why?   Hmm...how to explain it...

Okay, imagine a giant, beautiful artificial lake kept in by a dam.  

Got it?

Now, imagine a busy city sidewalk during the morning rush-hour commute, like in New York City.  Masses of people with their heads down, moving along their paths.  Each one of these individuals is that serene artificial lake on the outside.  Then, a leak appears and a stream of water starts to escape.  Cue the cartoon character poking its finger into the hole to stop it only to find another leak has sprung in a different part.  Eventually the pressure builds and the dam explodes.  

It's a curious thing, this type of unraveling but it is not the sole motivator of the choice.  No, this just sets the tone.  

I did some preliminary research for Unravel because I wanted to see what first impressions the word evoked outside of my own (by that I mean, I took a poll).  Most of the results ran along a similar vein (ie - thread/yarn/clothing coming apart/fraying), but there were some more interesting answers such as chaos, craziness, plans and humanity that I especially found interesting.  However, the overall tone was for the more negative sides that the word represented (as I interpreted it). 

The very textbook definition of Unravel:
  1. To separate or disentangle the threads of  
  2. To free from complication or difficulty; make plain or clear; solve
  3. To take apart; undo; destroy

Bottom line: I wanted the positive; I wanted to solve.    

Now what?  

All of this general research and gripping imagery, but what to do with it

Truly, the inspiration comes from a few precious "birdies" of mine (from near and far).  I've learned, through myself and others, that it is okay and at times necessary to have controlled releases of that ever building pressure inside of us lest our dam unexpectedly explodes on everyone around us.

*Cough*

Friends don't let friends rage-flood their "countrysides".  Just sayin.

So, I will unravel myself.  Beneath this serene artificial lake of mine is a brewing tempest, as is with everyone, and it's time to release some pressure the best way I know how - my work.

This body of work as a whole will be a self portrait of sorts, and through it, I hope I can show others that they are not alone in weathering that inner tempest.

I, too, struggle.  <3
       


XO












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