As a new year starts, so does a new project. Once again, it’s time for in-depth!
Finding a Topic
Like most of the other 10’s, I’ve been thinking about my in-depth topic for a long time now. Taking into consideration my interests and what I’ve been wanting to learn about, I started brainstorming potential projects; this included making sketchnotes, mind-maps and going through every TALONS blog in the last five years for inspiration. I put a lot of effort and hours into researching each one and looking into potential mentors. In the end, I came up with a short list of potential projects, including tumbling, jazz dance, nail art, and hairstyling.
And, of course, I ended up doing none of them! As I was going through all my options, I realized that I didn’t want to do my project on something entirely new; rather, I wanted to take one of the skills I already had and build on it. This was how I arrived at my in-depth topic: digital art. I have been taking art lessons for approximately 12 years now and have worked with a variety of mediums, ranging from charcoal to acrylic paint. Despite this, I have not ventured much into the digital branch of art, only having created a few (below-average) digital art pieces, such as the final presentation of my in-depth project last year and this beautiful piece of art I created for Kendra. As you can see, I definitely still have a long way to go and a lot about the subject to explore, which I am very excited about.
For this year, I wanted to find a way to give back in a way and make sure that my mentor is also getting a lot out of our relationship. Because of this, I have decided to look for a digital art student to help mentor me. This is because I know that teaching someone is the most effective way of learning something and helps someone retain approximately 90% of the information, and I think that having this opportunity can really benefit an art student by solidifying their current knowledge.
Currently I do not have a mentor. However, I have spoken with Ms. Stokes, who is the Art Careers 12 teacher, asking for some grade 12’s that she would recommend for this project. She has given me the names of a couple of people who may be willing to help me, but I don’t know either of them, so I have asked Ms. Stokes for contact information and she has yet to get back to me, but I will be following up soon (likely in-person on Monday).
If neither of the students that Ms. Stokes has recommended are able to mentor me, though, I have been looking into various universities, such as Vancouver Institute of Media Arts. However, if I found a mentor from a university, I would likely have to travel to Vancouver often in order to meet up with them, which will be harder to do and I will not be able to meet with my mentor as much, so it is definitely not preferred.
Like I mentioned before, I already have a lot of experience with art and have a fairly good grasp on elements, principles, and composition of artwork. Therefore, I want my project to be focused on being able to use art software well and gaining a thorough knowledge of all the tools in the program. In order to incorporate this into my project and show my understanding, I will likely create artist statements explaining how I have used the various tools in the software to enhance my drawings.
Something else I want to develop through this project is my ability to create original art pieces. Because of the way my art lessons are run, a lot of the drawings I usually do are based on reference drawings, which isn’t in itself wrong, but I want to expand my creativity with this project by coming up with more of my own ideas and relying less on other people’s ideas. This will definitely be hard for me to do because I have a hard time visualizing anything, but that just makes the argument for making this one of the things I want to achieve stronger.
In addition, I want to focus my project on imperfection. Despite my experience with art, I still struggle with a lot of perfectionism and find it hard to be able to complete drawings in a timely manner (I’m pretty sure I spent 3 months on the last painting I did). Because this project is on such a tight timeline, I am using it as an opportunity to push myself to let go of artwork after a period of time rather than hanging on and working on every minute little detail for hours and hours.
“There is no such thing as a failed painting, there is only practice for a successful one… as long as there are artists who paint better than I do, I will remain a student. I expect to die a student.” – Brenda Behr