Kristen Wiig entering her show, ‘Welcome to Me’ in a swan-boat, from the film Welcome to Me.
For this assignment, I thought really hard about what how I want to portray myself.
My interests, inspirations, materials I feel comfortable working with and, crucially, what I would like to get out of the course.
I really struggle with the guilt of already having a degree in Visual Communications and still feeling like an absolute beginner in this Illustration Level 1 course. I feel like instinctively it stops me from experimenting, because I feel that I should already be at a certain level of competency by now, and the fact that I am not might reveal more about my abilities than I care to admit. But what I have realised (very slowly) is that that doesn’t matter. The fact that I am doing this course (very slowly) 3 years later is a testament to my remaining passion for illustration and my desire to have a better understanding of and ability to create interesting images. So, I have made a promise with myself to shut up and get on with it. But this first hurdle has been a big one.
I made a spider-diagram of sorts to sort my interests, attributes and goals for the course, etc.
After compiling my mind map, I thought about what kind of imagery would best represent me, my current situation (actual and metaphorical), this included some imagery of things things that I associate with myself, but perhaps an outsider might not. I’ve always been drawn to the image of fishermen. It’s something of a sticking point that I always come back to. I felt I had to include it somehow but if I based it solely around the idea of a fisherman at sea, then it might not make a whole lot of sense to my audience.
I collect little wooden men. Mostly Fishermen (made by Fishermen). A friend recently pointed out to me that this was odd. I was actually surprised that she thought so, but it made sense the more I thought about it. Last year when I was burgled, I was very lucky and not much got taken. Mostly because I didn’t have a lot to take. Unfortunately there were a few personal things that did get taken, that I occasionally miss. I remember at the time, I was desperately hoping that my Fishermen hadn’t been taken or broken. Of course, I also worried the about the cash that I had stashed in a hidden box hadn’t been taken too, but, it was the Fishermen that really stuck with me. Luckily they weren’t harmed and are still with me today. I just find them so captivating and strangely human. If I ever made something that strangely human, I’d be really chuffed.
This exercise really challenged me and I spent far too much time on it. Working out ideas, concepts and things that I would never actually use (not included on this blog post). This was frustrating, and in the end it was a very simple exercise that did not need that much time and energy spent deliberating over it. It may also have been because I am a weird crossroads where I am (again) deciding what direction I want to take my life in and this month has felt like a whirlwind of job applications, sporadic interviews and business planning and I’m still feeling like I don’t really what I am doing or who I want to be, so every time I sat down to do this exercise… it was a blatant reminder of that. One that I didn’t really want to think about much more.
I also learned how to use a wacom tablet and GIMP.2 from scratch, which was an interesting and often frustrating process, but I feel like I have accomplished something completely new to me now, and so future projects will be much easier and more enjoyable, or perhaps equally frustrating… but I think I can handle it.
However, now that I have spent lots of time agonizing over these very simple exercises and spent some time brushing up on my drawing skills (and figuring out my weaknesses) I am excited to start Assignment 2. I have realised that I enjoy the idea generating and sketching parts, as long as it relatively removed from any image of myself. And I am starting to like the results. I finally feel like I have a bit more focus, plus the space and a routine in place to get this thing underway.