Inclusion Design

THE WAY LIFE SHOULD BE

JAN. 21, 2018 — digital

In this assignment, as part of our midterm exam, we had to complete a submission for a contest. The subject of our art was supposed to pertain to inclusion, specifically the inclusion of those with developmental disabilities.

I had several ideas for this, but none of them were very good. At first I thought I would draw some glorified stick figures (a la Keith Haring, except bad) and somehow manage to make them fit into the shape of Maine. However, I scrapped that idea and moved on—maybe I would draw a city scene, I decided, but after spending 90 minutes trying to get that sketched out in a satisfactory way, I didn't like it. Most of the time I spent on this project was spent trying to find a decent idea, thinking I had found one, and then getting frustrated when it didn't turn out like I had thought. Finally, I decided that I was going to draw a hiking scene ( I had looked it up, and there are wheelchair accessible hiking trails), both because it could somehow pertain to inclusion and also because it kind of pertained to Maine... I'm sure that there are probably lots of hiking trails here. So, I labored for several hours on this idea, sketching it out and diving in with pen and paint, only for the result several hours later to be... not so good. In fact, it kind of sucked. Badly. It was too late to come up with another idea, though, so I had to power through it somehow. Then, at midnight, it struck me that I could do it digitally. So I did—I took a photo of what I had done so far with paint, and then I feverishly traced over all of the lines using a drawing tablet. I spent at least seven hours doing this—tracing and coloring and shading and going back in and adding details, and then deciding that I had to redo the shading, and then resizing things, etc. And then finally, after what felt like years, I was done.

I did not like this project. I don't have any vendetta against MDDC, of course, but I do have a very hard time drawing people. Anatomy and I are not friends, and so that's probably part of the reason that this took so long. Also, it was pretty hard for me to come up with an idea in the first place, as is evident in the paragraph above—for some reason my brain just short-circuited and I found myself unable to come up with anything satisfactory. In the end, though, I guess that that worked out. I tried to make good use of space in this by positioning the subject (the people) in a way that would make the eye drawn to them, but also that wasn't all smushed into the center of the piece. I'm not sure if I succeeded, though—in fact, I'm not quite sure that I even like the end result of this. Having been staring at it for the past seven hours, I can't tell whether or not it even looks good. I do know that I had a hard time with the shading, especially because I didn't have a good reference and also because for some reason my brain decided that it has no idea what light looks like when streaming through trees. In the end, though, I am just glad that this project is done. Maybe I should would on my anatomy skills for future projects...