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Art is beautiful, no matter what, It is detrimental that everyone creates art to express themselves, especially those who struggle. I set out to support this. My lifestyle is rather strange to most. I enjoy horror movies may be too much. I own a lot of horror action figures such as Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies, and I have a set with Freddy and Jason on a bridge from Freddy vs. Jason. It fair to say that I am a horror movie buff.
I have always had an affinity for the dark side of human nature. I have watched countless serial killer documentaries and have tons of horror trivia stuck in my noggin. This directly relates to the art I make. I incorporate a piece of myself into my artwork. I connect with the dark side of human nature. It shows throughout my pieces that I reflect on many aspects of human nature and also that I do try to come from a place of understanding of the abnormal psyche.
When I was around 13 years old, I made art that I felt expressed to me as an individual. I made collages that I cut from various magazines that I felt told my story. I would take a skull or something that looked scary and create a mash-up style collage that represented beauty but also something dark or macabre. I liked doing pieces this way because it represented life and death. It represented two sides two different aspects of the world.
I was bullied in art class by peers, and I was told I was demented for creating such pieces. It goes without saying I stopped doing my art. In retrospect, I wish that I continued just not at school. I feel an artistic soul that burns within me. I have been shutting it out for years. I have tried to quiet the inner voice, and it just always poured out. I wanted to try and reconcile with my happiness in this endeavor. I wanted to see if art and I could work things out. I wanted to see if the happiness I felt and the passion that burned within me could be reignited that’s the pivotal moment I wanted to recreate. I wanted to be successful in my artful endeavors but also wanted to recreate the spark I once knew that existed. I was beyond successful in my aspirations!
I have never been a formal definition of an artist or ever been accused of being talented, but it was worth a try for me to give art another shot so to speak. I wanted to commit to paper something that resembled a drawing, as I was still apprehensive of what I might do or be capable of after all these years. I haven’t had any formal training. I have always made art from the heart. I have never taken any courses relating to art only the requirements from my Middle School and some in High School. The art I made when I was 13 years old, was amazing! I created a beautifully constructed Frankenstein-like collages that were truly unique. I wanted to get to that place again with this project. I just wanted to take it slow. I wanted to create art that spoke to me like my collages used to but I wanted to get my creative engine warmed up first. I used this project as a brainstorming session. I wanted to create art that may serve me better later. I wanted to represent the dark side of a future collage in the making! I was thinking I could use the drawings in a future masterpiece collage and pick from magazines for the beauty aspect.
Day one: I drew a spider. I wanted to see my version of a spider and I was surprised at the outcome. I felt strange to be at the drawing board again so to speak. I felt like an alien trying to communicate with humans for the first time. It was awkward for me to begin and decide what I wanted to do in the first place, and it was like an encounter with ET trying to explain what I had no business doing. I struggled with the arachnid’s body, and I decided to draw it belly up and create a black widow spider. I completely colored it to find that my red sharpie was missing in action. Other than the sharpie faux pas, I actually liked my spider! I also thought it would be cool to put into art one of my fears. I also wanted to incorporate the spider because my dad had an awesome spider tattoo and he has always been someone I can relate to (even if we were butting heads). He sadly passed in 2017.
Day two: My dad was on my mind that day. He was cremated and I have his ashes. I began to think of if he had a tombstone what it might look like. I began to draw the tombstone and even ripped a few sheets because they weren’t up to par. I finally created the perfect rendition played out in my mind even drawing his bird sitting atop the headstone. I was happy that I could take something from my mind and illustrate it! My husband loved this picture! I think that death is an aspect of life and I have been living too much of it lately. I have grieved and have not had a break from someone I know dying since 2014. This affected my happiness a lot and made me think of aspects of life that used to bring me joy, which made me decide to do art again and take on this project.
Day three: Souls were on my mind. I was stretching this day for inspiration more off in another plane of existence. Where do we go when we die? Nobody knows for sure. I was thinking of how the eyes have been said to be a window to our souls and what kind of person we are. Blam! It hit me, An eye! I wanted to show the dangly bits. I wanted to show how a soul is more than good it’s also bad. Blam! There I was 13 again. It was euphoric it was like I hit a nerve that was dormant. I was representing two sides to the story again the way I used to. I was feeling complete like an accomplishment that day. I felt nostalgic. It felt euphoric creating art that mattered. I have often struggled with purpose and feeling of belonging. I don’t care as much about what other people think anymore. I am a returning student to UC Clermont. The first time I was in college I would have been too nervous to do a project this intense. It would have hit too close to home. I am glad that I came back and that I got this assignment when I did. It was a pivotal moment for me digging up old feelings of uncertainty and finding new meaning.
Day four: I couldn’t stray away from the eye. I loved my work the day previous and wanted to expound upon that concept. I drew an eye. It was a red eye, a tired eye. It had a glimmer like when someone asks you how you’re are to which you reply I’m doing and I say “fine” no matter how I’m feeling. It represented the happy face we put on for others. It represented the glimmer of hope we have in our darkest days. I wanted to express an emotion. An eye that has seen a lot in its day. I wasn’t happy while I drew this, but when I was done I felt good. I felt like I mattered in the world like I had an opinion others might want to hear once in a while. It felt good to create, and that’s when I realized it was beautiful and what others consider beautiful may not be the same interpretation as my own. It was cathartic because it released a feeling. Although it wasn’t a good feeling at first, in the end, it was bittersweet. It was like an awakening of some sort that had emotional ties. It felt good to express it.
Day five: I watched the newest Halloween movie with Michael Myers. It came out sometime last year, and I haven’t gotten a chance to see it yet but I digress. I drew inspiration from the film and decided to draw his iconic knife. I thought about him wielding it and I drew my version. It wasn’t perfect but I enjoyed it. I kept it black and white. I wanted to keep it black and white because there is never a black and white reason why someone resorts to murder. It is complex and a nature vs. nurture debate. While I added intricate details as an attempt to signify the complexity of psychology (my major). I was happy with its meaning. I liked what it represented in regard to human nature. I often strive to understand people with complex life stressors like Serial Killers. My major is Psychology and I hope I can incorporate my perceptions in my work in the field.
Day six: Holidays were on my mind. I was thinking about my childhood and how my family struggled to make ends meet. I thought about the happy times with family when we would search for eggs on Easter and go trick or treating on Halloween and open presents on Christmas day. I thought of how I felt those days. I decided to draw pagan symbols. My reasoning for drawing these symbols is that it is often unrecognized that a lot of our holidays we celebrate are rooted in Paganism. I decided to incorporate the symbols I knew. For example earth and Neptune. It took me a while to configure these two so I went to bed feeling good about my work and happy! I have studied a few different religions including Christian, Pagan, Native American and Satanism. I was going for the shock value of this piece. I wanted the onlookers to be uneasy. I find that many tasks in life aren’t easy and are unsettling. I find family gatherings rather unsettling.
Day Seven: I wanted to add to my work for the previous night and add more symbols to the page. I included the mark of thorn from the Halloween movie The curse of Michael Myers. I really loved this piece and added on to it for a few more days. I added music while I was making the additions and that only made the journey more enjoyable. It took me someplace where stress couldn’t find me. It elevated my mood and helped me to focus. I learned a lot from these days spent. I learned that I don’t give myself enough credit. I learned that I am an artist in my own way. I realized that anyone could do this. Anyone could sit down and practice and learn enough to create a piece that is uniquely them, No formal training necessary! Art helps to articulate feelings and emotions when words aren’t enough. I learned that bullies should not matter in the affairs of the soul. I connected with myself and was honest with myself about my expectations and wildly exceeded them!
Doodling can spark your memory and transport you back in time when you were creating the art (Courneya, 2012). I could recall my early teens and when I used to create art and how it made me feel. I could remember my emotions and how happy I used to be when I made art that expressed my individualism. I was striving to obtain the happiness I once had in my teens. I wanted to reach that level of elation again! My art exposed the duality of human nature. I was ecstatic when I hit that Aha! Moment with my art and felt that euphoria again, I was essentially traveling through time. When art is speaking through its creator or onlookers I mean what an artist is trying to convey may not be what the onlooker is seeing their perception is based on their world.
It seems improper to ask someone how a piece of art touches them (Hubard, 2015). It would have too many variables, art may speak entirely different from person to person.
Grotesque art is where a piece shows horror or can be depicted as disturbing or considerably gross (Bird, 2012, p.50). This type describes my style to a T. I like representing life in its duality, the good, bad and the ugly. Referring to the last paragraph an onlooker such as myself would see the beauty in a Grotesque work whereas most would deem it shocking or wouldn’t want to look at it. Some may consider a work of art to be great for many different reasons. It could be style, brush/paint strokes, vision, or they can’t explain why they don’t like it or do like it. In either case, art is in the eye of the beholder.
Art makes the individual feel tingly. I speak from my own experiences. I feel tingly and alive when I create art, it makes me feel me. It connects me to my inner-self and essentially helps me to get to know myself and makes me consider my strengths and weaknesses and my creative juicing ability. It allows me to introspect and really reflect on myself and my beliefs my inner voice speaks to me (Reisburg, p.9, 2019).
Art can be a lot of things. Some people dance artfully. Music is considered an art form. Poetry and writing also in the category. I look at art a little more generally, Art can be anything that makes you feel good inside. An athlete can be an artist they can make music so to speak by their movements just like a dancer could in ballet, it can be a beautiful thing.
To address art being a way of life, for example, is how I live. I eat, sleep, breathe horror flicks. It’s natural my art would reflect this. Art can change over time as you mature, and change your views about things and life topics. I’m not saying that every piece someone does is the same just that it’s reflective of the individual’s desires and perceptions. Art is expressive of the person who made it. We can make a hasty decision about a person with our impression of them. Art is deeper than that. It forces us to think, it takes our previously known knowledge and begs a question. How should I interpret this?
I am a firm believer that anyone can create art. I stand by it because we all have strengths we just must learn to articulate our concepts. Art can be represented as an emotion, or the latter no emotion, vague and distant. I urge the reader to not discredit art and attend an art museum, learn to dance, write music. Find what makes your strange heart happy. Transcend into the wonderful world of Art.
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