A Baker's Dozen in the art world
While painters, sculptors, photographers, graphic designers, and other artists may work in different mediums, there is one commonalty amongst them all: what it means to be an artist. In general, to be an artist means having the ability to think creatively and being able to express thoughts, ideas, and concepts through various mediums. On a more personal level, being an artist to me means creatively portraying ideas and influencing the audience to think differently or more deeply about various topics. As an introvert, art is an outlet and a voice for me to express ideas that simply cannot be expressed adequately through words. Where words have failed me, I have been able to find my voice through art, specifically filmmaking. I enjoy being able to explore various topics throughout my films and representing concepts in an artistic way. In addition to being an outlet and a voice for me, I choose to create art because I genuinely enjoy the process involved in creating and the feeling of accomplishment once a project is finally complete. Film is one of my favorite mediums to work in because I enjoy the process. While it is certainly an intense process, I find it rewarding to see the final projects pieced together after weeks of hard work. Additionally, I enjoy the act of storytelling and being able to recreate scenarios in my films that would be impossible in real life.
As an artist, there are certainly many people and things in life that inspire me and my artwork. First and foremost, I find much of my inspiration in nature. From trees and flowers to insects and animals, I find myself inspired by the intricate details found in nature, which is something I tend to replicate in my artwork. Whether it be painting a nature scene or photographing trees, I strive to find a way to appreciate nature and its intricateness throughout many of my artworks. In addition to nature, I am also inspired by other people and artists. When it comes to filmmaking, I am influenced by artists old and new including Salvador Dali and his surrealist films as well as Billie Eilish and Melanie Martinez and their music videos. I also find inspiration from various filmmakers including Steven Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan. Often times, if I am working on a specific film, I will watch films that are similar in subject matter or theme to get inspiration. For instance, when working on my nightmare film “One Summer’s Day,” which was about a shark in a swimming pool, I watched a documentary about Spielberg’s Jaws and the techniques he used throughout his film.
With film being my favorite medium to work in, there is much I would like my audience to know and understand about the process. When creating films the first step is always coming up with ideas. For instance, for my nightmare films, I first begin by discussing nightmares with my friends and family members. From nightmares about werewolves and seeing a dead version of oneself to a giant shark in a swimming pool, there is certainly no limit to the possibilities when it comes to subject matter. After deciding on a storyline, I move on to writing a script and drawing out a storyboard, which involves drawing mini sketches of what I want each scene to look like. After that, I decide on all costumes, makeup, lighting, and props needed for the production before moving on to the filming stage. When filming, I am constantly keeping in mind framing as well as camera angles and movements that will best enhance the storyline. For instance, in my film “The Prelude,” the camera movements are very shaky, which adds to the suspense and mood of the film. Once filming is complete, I begin the editing process which involves re-watching every video clip that has been filmed, trimming the video clips to the parts I want in the film, and then piecing the clips together. I then spend a good amount of time searching for the best music to go along with the video clips. I always strive to find music that best enhances the theme and mood of the film.
Whether it be a painting, photography, film, or sculpture, art plays quite a significant role in society, a role that is often underestimated. One of the many reasons art is important is because it is a reflection on the current events happening, emotions felt, and ideas being thought during certain periods of time. It is through art that certain truths about humanity are revealed. Looking at my own artwork, I explore the emotions, ideas, and mysterious qualities behind nightmares, which I translate in the form of film. Additionally, art is important because it provides a medium through which everyone can express themselves and have a voice. Art provides a way in which people can explore topics that can be difficult to talk about such as politics, racism, and mental health. While these topics may be difficult to discuss in words, art allows for people to express their opinions and emotions regarding these sensitive subjects.
Looking at my audience, it currently consists mainly of family, friends, and members of the Monmouth College community. One of the reasons this is my current audience is because I am only just beginning the steps to hopefully generating a larger audience. In the past, sharing my artwork for other people to see was something I struggled with, and still struggle with, due to anxiety and fear of disappointing others. However, I am now slowly, but surely, gaining the confidence necessary to share my artwork with a broader audience beyond family and friends. I see my future audience as being anyone who has an interest in my films, which I plan to continue posting on YouTube to reach a wider audience. When building an audience or following, social media is an especially useful platform that can allow one to reach a broad audience from around the world. One also must not underestimate the power of word-of-mouth and other classic methods of advertising such as postcards and posters, which can be equally as impactful as social media.
A successful exhibition would consist of a variety of completed artworks of the same or different mediums with a common theme connecting every piece. Additionally, a successful exhibition would generally include a gallery talk given by the artist in which the artist would discuss their artwork. Gallery talks are important because they provide a symbiotic opportunity for both the artist and the audience. The artist has the chance to discuss their artwork and process in detail while the audience has the opportunity to ask the artist any questions they may have. Because the artist is given the chance to explain their process and artwork in a gallery talk, it can generate from the audience a greater appreciation for both the artist and artwork alike.
When thinking about selling artwork or making a career out of it in the future, I can see myself working via commissions as more of a side profession. I think that if I were to work for commissions, my clients would be strictly limited to friends and family as I know that they would truly appreciate the artwork that I create for them. I am not sure at this point in my life that I could handle the stress and anxiety of working commission for difficult clients who want something extremely specific. I prefer to have artistic control over my artwork and make the artistic decisions rather than have someone else dictate. The price of my artwork would depend on the cost of materials and the time it took to create it. For instance, an oil painting would cost a significant amount more than an acrylic painting of the same size due to the costly price of oils.