In honor of heading home feeling relaxed and accomplished, I thought I'd share the preparatory writing I did for my disproportionately nerve-wracking art review board (out of proportion because it's not for credit). Now, having finished my board, my final, and an extremely successful sidewalk sale (sold $183 of handmade books, and traded for a necklace, a pendant, a pair of earrings, a button, and a mug) and happily (if sleepily) waiting for my flight home to board, I'm ready to share evidence of my panic.
Artist statement, Spring semester, 2013
I am a representational artist – it is how I define myself. When anyone asks “what I do” at art school, I always say “figure drawing.” I’ve spent years studying anatomy and how to accurately render forms, translate what I see to my paper. Unsurprisingly, discovering that most of my classes expected conceptual work this semester was nothing short of terrifying. The last two months have been an exercise in crowd-pleasing: producing abstract, conceptual, mixed-media-based work not because I felt inspired to do so, but because I felt it was expected of me. It was not difficult, per se, but it was frustratingly boring.
It took most of the semester for me to hit my stride in terms of concept. That being said, I think the composition of this semester was perfect for me. I learned a staggering number of techniques for bookmaking, mixed media, and different forms of “drawing,” all while being encouraged to develop more personal ideas. Struggling through blank books, overly literal drawings, and empty collages helped me to appreciate how much fun abstract art can be. I still love figure drawing, and the practice of precisely recreating what I see, but I’ve also come up with a long list of abstract projects I want to try, and I can proudly tell Bill Flynn that I found “the metaphor.” I finally feel like I belong at the SMFA, and I couldn’t be happier.