Jul 19, 2010

Putting effort into work is like giving birth, only you appreciate the pain as much as the final product.

Ok so maybe the title isn't entirely true but i hope i made you laugh. Alot of the time the title of my posts doesn't have anything to do with the posts but today it does. You see, my art class recently had a practical assessment task and the effort I put in was so not worth it.

Seeing as I need to write the process in which I took to make the artwork that I am not pleased with, and I can't write things in a formal way without wanting to tear the paper in half, I decided to write it as a blog post. Let's face it, no matter how we do something in art class we can claim it was to add creativity to our work. Everything we do in art can be explained away as a form of art. Shall I begin?


For our second term assessment task, we did the subject of graffiti art; is it art or vandalism? The task was to select an every day object and deface it, vandalise it in whatever way we wanted. When I did my assignment I worked from an original idea that changed as I progressed. I am a little dissapointed with how it worked out; I wish i had stuck to my original idea.

I selected an old discarded chair that would have been used in a primary school class room. The chair was small and made for a child, so I figured it would best portray innocence. My plan was to paint the small blue chair with bright prime colours (red, yellow, blue and green) to represent childhood. I was then going to 'graffiti' words onto the chair, words that weren't exactly 'cheerful'. The words would vary from song lyrics to poetic extracts to just random words one would assosciate with growing up.

The graffiti would represent the passage into adulthood and the difficulties involved. The combination of the child's chair and the emotional phrases would represent growing up and the innocence lost along the way. I believe, had I kept to this idea, my artwork would have turned out alot better.

I had my chair so I painted an undercoat of white, just to give myself a base to work with. By the time I finished the white coat, however, I discovered a problem: I couldn't find all the colours I needed to complete the chair. I found a large tin of red paint, but the yellow blue and green, if they were available at all, must have been hiding from me. Because it was in the middle of a double lesson, and I really wasn't dedicated enough to keep looking for more paint, I picked up the tin of red and thought "close enough".

I ended up ditching the bright colour idea and just making the whole chair a depressing emo looking type thing with alot of dark song lyrics scribbled on it. That first change in ideas, I think, ruined my work but I was determined. Also at the time I didn't really think it would turn out bad. So I painted my chair completely red, and it did look pretty cool. Then it was time for the words.

Over the weeks I had written various song lyrics and phrases I had heard or read into a notebook to possibly be used on my chair. When it came time to put the words on there I was pretty psyched thinking "Oh yeah this is gonna be easy I'll make a stencil type thing and use black paint to put the words on and it will turn out to be some cool emo chair that won't suit me at all." Expectations, I have learned, are rarely the reality.

So I had my little dark red chair, my notebook half filled with lyrics and a tin of black paint. Had I realised it was enamel paint that lesson may have turned out a little better. I made one stenciled word, which took ages by the way. The word was 'scream'. The words that were to follow were 'for some silence' but i didn't end up making those stencils.

I put the 'scream' cut out onto the seat of my chair and started painting over top of it with the black enamel paint. I thought I would be greeted with a nice clean looking 'scream' when I removed the cut out. Instead I was greeted by a black blob. So the stencil didn't work, all that time making it was wasted and the rest of that lesson consisted of me repainting the red and trying to wash the black paint off my hands.

The next lesson I pulled out my black permanent marker and wrote 'scream for some silence' on the seat of my chair, free hand in the font I had been practicing over and over. It was great, it took almost no time at all and looked alright. So I turned the chair around and started writing another phrase on the back, a lyric from the same song (unhearted by automatic love letter).

The phrase I was writing on the back was 'breathe because it's necessary'. I discovered that day how much I hate writing the word necessary. I am never sure if it is spelled correctly and I always forget how many c's there are. After some time of figuring out how to correctly spell necessary I had the phrase written. Then I realised how rediculous a phrase looks when you forget the e on the end of breathe. Breath because it's necessary? Really? So I painted over that passage simply because I didn't want to look at it anymore and the lesson ended.

My return to this project was a little better. I avoided spelling mistakes, I wrote many fancy lyrics and phrases and I was feeling quite good about myself. The next few times we returned I managed to fill the chair with words. I even wrote 'famous last words' across the end of the seat, though you couldn't tell with all the jammed lettering.

Just as I thought it could pass as finished, I doubted myself. Again. The first time was with the bright colours, which I am convinced I should have stuck to. This time I thought it needed more. There was a can of shiny gold spray paint sitting right on the desk beside me and my chair was looking bland. I could have just out lined the chair, or even just sprayed the legs (now that i think about it, I totally should have sprayed the legs) but no. I decided to spray paint, freehand, 'last words' across the whole front of the chair.

Mistake number 1: When writing something permanent make sure you have room to fit it.

Mistake number 2: When writing something permanent, make sure it is readable.

So I ended up with a dark red chair, covered it black unreadable words that has what looks like 'last word' -if you squint and tilt your head to the side- in gold across it. I couldn't even fit the 's'. The 'a' looks like a 'u'.

In conclusion, the assignment was great, I just didn't handle it well. I think next time if I think through it more carefully and stick to a precise plan, no matter what my head tells me to do, I will end up with an artwork I actually am happy with.


And there you go readers that is my homework done and a long awaited blog post finished. Good night.


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