This year in art, I continued to explore the concentration of monsters that I began in Advanced Studio. I specifically focused on expanding my settings—placing ghosts and monsters in places that one wouldn't typically expect to find them—and attempting to branch out material- and size-wise.
Throughout my concentration, I've tried to maintain a decent ratio of pieces that are relatively creepy to those that are more fun; however, I feel like this year my balanced skewed more in favor of fun. After all of the digital pieces that I did last year, I was kind of tired of dark backgrounds, so I tried out different ones—like pool parties in the middle of the woods, and afternoon meals of bowls of soup. I was also able to try out different techniques with these pieces, especially where watercolor was concerned, since in the past I've just used watered-down acrylic. After a while, I eventually found a way to create my desired textures and colors without completely ruining the paper. The only really "dark" piece I did in traditional media this year is What's Your Emergency?, which was incidentally done in oil paint sticks (a material that I have hardly used and which I barely like). It was a struggle for me to get the textures the way that I wanted and to get the image to not look horrible, but after a lot of blending of colors, paint-smeared fingers, and scratching away with a pencil, I was able to create a finished product that I was somewhat proud of. I liked the moodiness that the darkness created (I feel like lighting has a way of making or breaking a piece). Admittedly, even though it was a struggle for me, the varying textures, line qualities, and colors that I was able to achieve with these sticks was fun to experiment with, although I'm certainly not too keen on taking something like that up again.
It's been nice to look back on my works from the past three years and compare them to my newer ones. Not only has my overall style been more solidified, but I've improved in technical aspects, as well. My overall use of shape, composition, and color has vastly improved since freshman year, and it's obvious that I've started to put more time into adding small details to my works. My sense of proportion and shadows has also gotten better, I think. It's gratifying to know that all of the time I've put into my work in these art classes have paid off. Additionally, my ideas have become more original, and I've begun to create things that are unique to me—not that my ideas in the past weren't original, but I feel like recently they've become more individualized.
Overall, I'm glad to have taken art classes these past four years. I was a bit tentative initially, but I think that through these classes I've grown both artistically and in other aspects—I've become a bit more confident speaking about things that I've created, and I've learned to problem-solve to an extent that I don't think I would've been able to otherwise. Although I probably won't ever take an art class again (sorry, Ms. Medsker!), this has been a valuable experience for me, and one that will stay with me for a long time.