Freedom!

FREEDOM!

Finally, after months of work on Beauty is Abstract and weeks of fooling around with my self portrait I’m finally done.

Okay, not actually done. I still need to add the flowers and put my self portrait on a canvas, but all of that won’t take too long. Before now it seemed like the finish line was all the way over the horizon and now that I’m here it seems weird that I can see it right ahead of me.

Next I need to start thinking about what I’m going to do with ink as my next project, but I didn’t think that would be for a while.

Only three more projects to do after I finish these!

IMG_2046

An albeit slightly blurry photograph of what Beauty is Abstract looks like now. I cleaned up the edges around the body and added the leg hair. I think I’m going to leave the hairline as it is. Wouldn’t want to mess anything up. If you look in the bottom right corner (near the lips) you can see my signature too. I might paint over it and redo it though

Self Portrait last

The digital art piece of my unnamed painting. Any name suggestions?

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Digital Art and Self Confidence

 

This is my progress so far on working with digital art.

It was so frustrating at first. I didn’t know how to use the brushes and any of the tools on the side bar of Photoshop, but I’ve come a long way since then. While at first it was so difficult that I was regretting choosing it as a medium, now I love it so much that I find it’s difficult to do anything else. The clean up is definitely easier than traditional art.

I’m thinking of doing a self portrait, working off the theme of self-expression. Ms. Fernie suggested I make it a multimedia piece, and I think that’s a good idea. Around the portrait I’ll have an abstract expressionist collage like in Beauty is Abstract. The collage will be about the beauty industry and the stigma our society holds against self love, something that I’ve struggled with for a long time as a young adult, seeing all the women around me constantly diminishing themselves.

I remember seeing a Clean and Clear commercial on Youtube recently about being confident in your own skin. The girls in the commercials always talk about how they were bullied for their acne in school, but this product helped them become confident.

So we’re taught that the only way we can gain confidence is if we look good to others. We must be acceptable looking enough that people won’t be nasty to us, as if it’s our responsibility to look good for someone who will abuse us otherwise. It has never seemed right to me.

But what I’ve found with shaving my hair and not shaving my legs, is that the only way to be truly be confident is by being fearless in showing your true self, despite any messages telling you otherwise, despite the fact that people might not understand why you do it. You think before hand that it will be terrible if anyone sees this thing about yourself that you’ve been trying so hard to hide, but in reality nobody cares.

So anyway, I hope this piece turns out well and I finish it soon, because Beauty is Abstract is still lying around unfinished and the days are ticking by before exams. I haven’t finished a piece since summer, and the time before exams and now is becoming more and more comprehensible.

Crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to finish in time.

Islamophobia in recent news

  A few weeks ago I made a drawing in my sketch book, and in an effort to make it relevant, I connected it to an editorial by Omar Mouallem about Islamophobia. 
In recent news, this issue has come into the media spotlight. Hours after Paris: death threats to Muslim organizations. In Peterborough, Canada, a mosque is sent up in flames. Women wearing head coverings are attacked on the streets. All of this happening in a matter of days after the attacks. 

There’s a double irony here. Number one, more Muslims have been killed and injured from ISIS than any other creed. Second, ISIS’s strategy for increasing their numbers is by inspiring Islamophobia in western countries. So when people make these attacks they are falling into ISIS’s trap. How else is the organization going to recruit young people without them first feeling alienated?

 

By Jasons World. m-mediagroup.com


I encourage everyone to think twice before they make a generalization about an entire grouo of people. For any Muslims who are experiencing hate after the Paris attacks, it isn’t fair. It’s a blatant double standard which has infected our society, painting Muslims as terrorists after an attack that is unconnected to the individual, while when people of a different creed are convicted for killing hundreds of people it is seen as an anomaly. 
So please, next time you see Islamophobia happening, wherever it may be, speak up. 

Ai Wei Wei and Art as Social Change

Last week our IB Art class watched some videos about Ai Wei Wei. Recently after making a mass order of Lego pieces for his new piece, the contemporary artist was denied access to the materials by Lego. According to the company, they avoid “actively engaging in or endorsing the use of Lego bricks in projects or contexts of a political agenda.” Ai Wei Wei, who is possibly the most controversial contemporary artist in the world today, certainly fits into this restriction.

Nevertheless, Wei Wei is not giving up on his project. Instead, he’s now accepting donation of Lego bricks from all over the world. Just because a major corporation told him, “no”, it doesn’t mean he’s going to stop, because according to Wei Wei it is an artist’s duty to show their feelings through his work.

In my opinion, showing your feelings through artwork is what it’s all about. Whether those feelings are controversial, emotional, thought provoking, or anything else, art is there for you to express what you would otherwise keep inside. For me, that is what my entire exhibition is about, sharing my feelings through art, especially ones that I don’t share in any other way. Art is a medium that is there for you to display your thoughts to the world.

But sometimes displaying those thoughts are hard. Take Ai Wei Wei for example, who has been incarcerated for opposing the government through his artwork. Another artist like this is Honore Daumier, the “Michelangelo of caricatures”. He published a caricature of the king of France, Louis Phillippe, and portrayed him as a giant named Gargantua. Because of this social commentary, Daumier was imprisoned for six months.

gargantua.jpg!Blog

Gargantua by Honore Daumier, 1831

The moral of this story? Even if you know that your thoughts will cause controversy, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t speak your mind. As an artist, you can’t be afraid of criticism or punishment. Art has the power to change the world, but you have to let it.