There were a few important objectives for this project that we had to keep in mind as we were creating our pieces in order to make sure that it was appropriate for our ideas. One of the main objectives that I think was important to making this piece was making sure that I was able to communicate the idea that I wanted. Basically, we were trying to communicate our blank in the world to others without really telling it to them. I actually didn’t do a very god job of this—there were times that I completely forgot what I was trying to do with this piece and was just making it to make it.
I used quite a few materials to make my finished project. One of the most important was the SEOUL magazine. I did the background using magazines to make it seem more city-like, because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to draw or paint a city that looked as real as that. I also used powder pastels, markers, paint, a painting knife, paint gel, and, of course, paper, scissors, glue, and cardboard. These materials helped me to create the picture that I had originally sketched in my Developmental Workbook. My project had a river in the middle surrounded by city on one side and grass on the other. The river is slightly textured because I did the painting with a knife instead of brush. It has certain parts of me in it, which is part of the way that I connected it back to my original idea.
My project has developed and changed thorough many stages.
1. Original Sketch:
My first sketch was a river fed from a waterfall on a mountain. It then passed through different places. I tried to represent this by a forest on one bank and a city in another bank.
Mr. Noguera suggested that I focus on the river because that was what I wanted to communicate. I thought that this made sense, so I then made another sketch.
2. Second Sketch:
This sketch is the river with the words, “I am like a river in the world” written along the banks. I hadn’t planned out any background yet, and quickly realized that the picture would soon become boring if I had no background and had the same type of coloring. Also, in this sketch, I only had one material, which may have made the final result boring had I left it like this.
3. Final Sketch:
After we completed our experiments with materials, I came up with a more developed concept and sketch. I used the same basic concept, but I added a city on the bank. I also put pieces that I thought described my life in the river this time. I decided to try and use powder paste for the river, and gouache for the background. This was my final sketch before creating the piece, but it still changed while I was creating it.
4. Mid-completion photo:
I decided to use magazine cut-outs for the city instead of drawing it. I also decided to do this for the background so that it didn’t look so pastely. It was after this stage that Mr. Noguera suggested that the river looked a little bit out of place compared to the sharpness of the photographs. I agreed with this, but I wasn’t quite sure how to change it. He thought that maybe I could use paint and apply it with a painting knife instead of a brush to give it more texture. Also, I used paint gel to give it a shinier look. Because I did this, the river fit into the overall piece slightly better.
5. Final Piece:
With this piece, I was trying to communicate many different things, some through symbolism, and others through literal representation. I chose the river to represent my life because it has many characteristics or roles that I also have. For example, rivers carry nutrients that make soil fertile and ideal for farming, making people dependent on them for life. In my case the nutrients are information and example that I hold for my younger siblings. These things can change their lives completely. Also, rivers carry everything that enters them down to their outlets; nothing gets left behind, for better or for worse. I like to try to make the best of new situations so that no opportunity gets left behind.
Another piece of symbolism is in the city that surrounds the river. There would be thousands of people in the city, causing the river to be almost surrounded by them. That is the way that it is in my life. I am surrounded by people who help me succeed and learn. Also in the river, I put a rose, graduation picture, family photo, United States map, and rose. I decided to put these things in the river because they are real parts of my life and things that someone walking into my house would probably see.
One of the problems with my piece is that someone who didn’t know what it was about wouldn’t be able to look at it and automatically know the concept behind it. I think that my piece would have been better if I was able to communicate the concept more effectively.
One challenge that I faced when I was doing this project was not knowing exactly what each material was, how they were used, and what they did. This made it a little bit harder to find exactly all the materials that would have been perfect for this project. I wish I had known before hand what all of the materials available to me were. But, because I didn’t know what all of the materials were, I was able to learn the importance of knowing what is available. Next time we do a project, I will try to learn more about the available materials before hand. I will also try to learn how they are used and how the same material can be made into many different things. I think that knowing this will be able to help me communicate my concept better.