Monday, October 18, 2010

Random musings on my current project

This summer, while working as an office slave for the art department, one of my painting professors came by and dropped a load of books on my desk. Apparently, I looked bored, which perhaps isn't the best omission about my work ethic. At any rate, as I shifted through the pile of books, one in particular caught my eye. It was a two inch thick tome, with a cover jacket filled with 20 century-esque illustrations. It was a graphic novel, and he assured me it was quite heavy in subject matter.  Twenty pages in I was very confused but hooked, and over the course of a weekend I completely devoured Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Chris Ware). Since then I decided to take a lecture class dedicated to graphic novels that breach the realm of high art, adding yet another life long obsession to my list of great loves.

Graphic novels have become a crucial stepping stone for me because it introduced to me the term and idea of sequential art. As I previously wrote, I have a deep interest in the narrative that goes far back, but was tapped into creatively after viewing Chris Marker's La Jetee. My introduction to sequential art gave me the idea that to work with narrative I don't need to make a movie- Family Circle does it in one panel all the time in the weekly paper.

So triptychs became my chosen method of delivery.  My idea has been to experiment with how much I can do with three panels. In the beginning I went with simple narratives, where the gutter fills in most of the information. As I created more and more, the last frame became more and more separate, creating a non-sequitur. The human brain has a tendency to force order onto chaos, and I'm curious how far I can stretch this before I really start to lose my viewers.

In effect, my goal has to become this: messing with my audience. I started with the non-sequitur in image form, and moved on to format. I started arranging them in what I call a grid format, essentially making one of the image much larger, sometimes twice the size of the other two. By weighting one I put special emphasis on it. Even with color and composition, I tried to unify heavily to imply meaning and cohesion.

I feel like I can move my images much further but I'm feeling something of a slump right now. I feel my work is lacking an extra interactive element. I've considered a few ideas but I fear most of them are rather harebrained. I believe it needs to be sculptural in nature, and something highly interactive that someone can touch, feel, and/or turn around.

The other thing is drawing. I have become obsessed with drawing recently. I purchased a new, leather-bound journal the other day and it's almost full. I take with me everywhere. I've even almost got in trouble a few times while drawing people in restaurant. While talking with my partner the other day I suggested she draw on top of her photographs for an assignment, and realized I was really giving myself advice. This idea may be an entire series away but it has been brewing for some time, and I believe it's ripe for experiment.

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