I’m working on my final project for my drawing class. Last Tuesday we picked pieces of paper from two cups: a phrase and a word. I ended up with "The mythology of…" and "epiphanies."
The funny thing is that this phrase is very meaningful to me. and I have been corresponding about "doing the work" necessary to create a book that is honest, and authentic from its dialogue to theme, to emotions. A work of fiction or art is never born fully formed as Athena from Zeus’s head. It is built little by little, year after year upon the backs of the previous drafts and thumbnails, research and revision.
My journey to this realization has taken a while. I’m still thrilled when I learn a new trick of the trade, or an interesting bit of wisdom on revision but the fact is that nothing creative comes easy. Even for those who are wonderfully talented.
I was unsure of the image I would create for this final project. I’ve been drafting thoughts and listing words that come to me. Birth of ideas, the story behind the story, tales of success, fish stories, tales, eureka, lightbulbs… Using words in the image seemed like a cop out, using a symbol or iconic image seemed too cliche’. Then I got to thinking of the work I’ve done. The images for portfolios that got ripped apart by well-meaning art directors. I decided to rip them apart myself.
I took out my old work and portfolios and started tearing. It felt great. I made piles of color and created a mosaic type, collage, background of blue gradient from all the skies I’ve tried to do in my paintings. Then I started to think of these as the scaffolding, the girders that allow me to climb higher in my understanding of illustration and design. I immediately thought of the photos by Hine in the ’30’s of the workers building the Empire State Building.
Look at those amazing lines! What an epiphany! I immediately started sketching thumbnails. Tomorrow, I’ll draw on top of my mosaic sky to recreate an abstract version of the girders in the building. It is due on Wednesday. Hopefully I’ll have a picture to post by then.