Relief Sculpture Plans

Hello all!  After a long week, my anxious brain has a plan to dive on to!  This week I started the first steps of a relief sculpture.  I also gave more thought to what makes me feel unfocused when drawing and designing for my three dimensional work.  The pressure I was putting on myself to make something truly excellent (before recognizing the time and love it takes to fail enough to get there), I got ahead of myself and began to ignore what I’m slowly realizing is my process for making art.  When I don’t expect much of myself (my painting for example) I have more fun, even if it’s not a medium I gravitate toward, and the work is better for it.  So the personal challenge this week was applying that to my next piece.

That’s where the sculpture part comes in!  I’ve probably wined before that I feel I’m not as adept at drawing for three-dimensional projects but I set myself up for failure for thinking I had to draw differently right away.  My brain dismissed thumbnails and sketches, and wanted to create a scale drawing of my plan, first thing, with no errors.  Since that’s not how the real world works, I set the problem aside and worked on some things that felt more manageable so I could remind myself what works.  I think I owe my confidence in my design idea to my current storyboarding class.  I am being pushed out of my illustration comfort zone and learning I have a more defined style than I give myself credit for.  When I give myself time to develop a drawing, certain things become important to me and other things I intentionally give less visual focus to to redirect the eye to the forms I wish to showcase.  The weirdest feeling of actually liking one of my drawings was excellent evidence for the case that I could draw for my sculpture projects confidently.

So I started with thumbnails.  I’m understanding about myself that it is much harder for me to come up with an abstract image first, I need something to base it on.  While I imagine an intricate, Escher-esque piece, I can’t create that without my sort of “based on a true story” image.  For this project, I have the idea to depict one narrative over a long panel.  There are some logistical questions like how to show story progression in terms of multiple instances of one character over the piece.  There’s precedent for this in ancient relief sculpture, I’m excited to research more deeply but which may require a dive into my art history notes (which I am especially happy I held on to).

It’s difficult to say why this imagery is important to me.  Rather, I understand why, I suppose it just feels odd to articulate and personal reason for making art.  Sometimes words make things feel frivolous but that may just be sign to find more thoughtful ways to defend the art.  Though perhaps it’s inevitable that, being so close to the work, my art may feel kitschy, or dumb before deep to me, if I make my argument well enough, then even one person would walk away from my art wondering if The Wolf Man is, indeed, a grossly overlooked exploration of the themes of man versus self and societal expectation, in addition to an accessible allegory for mental health and self awareness with an acute focus on the heartbreaking consequences felt by others when one deprioritizes their own wellbeing…  then I’ve expressed myself coherently (no matter how silly it might be).

What’s Playing-  Because I’ve been re-watching the film to decide what imagery I’d like to focus on, here to set the tone is the orchestral score of the 1941 film, The Wolf Man.    

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