Portfolio Reflection, End Of My First Semester
I have learned a lot about myself this semester. The biggest thing that I learned was that I knew nothing about drawing. Everything I thought I knew was wrong. I am very thankful that I had Kortney as my professor because I have learned so much.
I had never sighted or measured anything while drawing. I did not even know what that meant until this class but I sure do now. I had never put in a horizontal guideline on my paper before either. Both of these are very important tips. I have learned how to use planar analysis and how to construct the figure. I have always struggled with faces and they are very complicated for me to understand. By practicing them in and out of class many times, I have greatly improved.
I have improved through my thought processes as well. Previously, I would make something without thinking why. All of my instructors have pushed us to really think about our reasonings and concepts behind our ideas. When I have an idea for a project, I “do” something. I don’t just sit there and procrastinate anymore. I sketch or write down ideas or talk about them with people. From there I answer “why” did I choose this? How am I going to get my point across? Am I pushing myself? Could I do more? After answering these questions I go into detail on my ideas. I then start finalizing it and pick the one idea I am going to fully carry out. Originally I would have never done this. I wouldn’t have even thought about a second idea.
I have also learned that I am more excited about my projects. Now that I have begun to have a clear thought process for my work, I can map out my time, see the steps it is going to take, and look at the direction I am headed. I am beginning enjoy the critiques. At first I thought they were a waist of time and somewhat pointless. I realize now that we are able to here from other people what is and what isn’t working in our piece. I am more active in critiques now because I want to hear what other people have to say about my work.
What/ Who First Inspired You Artistically?
Ever since I was extremely young, I have been artistic. (Or at least that is what I have been told) I picked up on painting, drawing, and being creative very quickly. Still to this day when I go to restaurants, I draw on the back of placemats.
Because family members and friends had always told me that I was talented and such a good artist, I began to get a big head. I was never rude about it, but I now knew that I was good. Once I started going to school, my art teacher noticed that I was good. I do not really remember what happened in detail from kindergarten through third grade in art class, but I do remember that I always did well. When I got into fourth grade, that is when the projects started to get more complicated and my art teacher started to challenge me.
In fourth and fifth grade, we would have projects that were assigned for the weekend and were due the following week. I loved this. It was just another excuse for me to use my artistic ability and creativity. Most of the projects were drawing still life’s from observation. I was still being praised for my good work and “perfection”. This is when I started to slack off.
There came a time when my art teacher started to do critiques, verbal critiques. Overall, I usually did pretty well on the projects. When she did point out that I did not work well on something or that there was something lacking, it really did hurt me. Not only did my grade on the project suffer, but this was the first time that someone was criticizing me. This had never happened. I took it really strongly at first and I was very upset. Little did I know that she was only helping me.
From that point on, I stepped up my work. I took her critiques to heart so I could progressively improve. I strived for my best and she could tell. She was my hero. I was so inspired by her. She always challenged me and that is what I needed to keep me going.
During my fifth grade year, i found out that she was retiring. This crushed me. One of my most favorite people in the world was leaving me.I knew that I would have to make this year really count. That is exactly what I did. I enjoyed every moment of art class. I retained every detail she told me. I respected her so much and hated to see her go.
This story actually has a happy ending. My art teacher missed being a teacher and became a substitute teacher for my high school several years later. Last year, I was talking to her about college. It turns out that she went to Kent State too! Who would have thought that I would be following in her footsteps.
I really enjoyed this project. It was fun to work with a new material and also a little dangerous. This was actually my “Plan c”. My first idea was scribbling on 6 pieces of paper. I had someone cut them up however they wanted to. From there, I traced the scribbled pieces onto cardboard and cut them out. I traced the scribbles onto the cardboard and then scored where the scribbles were. The cardboard became bendable and slightly flimsy. I put all of the pieces in a bag and when I pulled a piece out, I would glue each piece to the following piece. It looked neat when I was finished but I wanted to use a different material and get away from cardboard.
I decided to use aluminum cans. They were a new material to me, one that I haven’t worked with before. For this idea, I did a little of the same thing as before. I used 15 empty cans, crushed them up in my hands and tore them into chunks, put the pieces in a bag, pulled one out at a time, and glued the piece to the following one. I brought both of my ideas into class and we broke off into smaller groups to talk about our projects. My group said that they liked the can idea but go a step or two further. I totally agreed with them.
When I got home I got to work. I finally had a good, clear idea. I took the can sculpture apart and tore the chunks into smaller, nickel-size pieces. I put them in a bag and glued a layer of pieces onto a base and then grabbed a handful of the pieces from the bag. I dropped them onto the base and glued them where they were dropped. I kept building up and up until I got to an interesting stopping point. I am incredibly happy with the outcome and very supportive of my strategy.