Manifesto Style to Artist Statement

Last week in class we discussed and shared our Manifestos!

We discussed the writing process and technique and how it can be applied to writing an Artist Statement.

*This week MFA students will be having their mid-term critique (but all MA students are are also being asked to apply this technique to submitting an Artist Statement this week as well)

The writing approach we used for our Manifesto encourages the use of making a list of statements to communicate and express ourselves publicly. In the coming week each student will be creating and completing an outline for their research papers, and for some, their final thesis.

Between now and Tuesday 10/16, please begin writing your Artist Statement by generating a list of 15-20 (or more) individual short statements in the form of a list (just like your manifesto). Publish your statement in the comments section below.

**Put your emphasis on the most current body of your work. This should be something that you have been working on for at least the last 2 months. 

Questions and format to focus on as you generate the statement: (but you are not bound to)

1. Description – Describe the concept and idea around the body of work that you will be discussing. Be clear and objective, you need not tell your whole life story here. By creating a list, you will illustrate the many fragments of your thought process. Don’t worry about editing or making things perfect, just list. What is the work about? What are you communicating and why?

2. Process, Materials and Methods – Here you will a list and discuss the descriptions of your working processes, techniques learned and applied, and the materials used to generate the art that you have created. Why have you selected these specific materials and techniques to communicate your ideas for this body of work? How do these choices effect how the viewer will receive your work? Have you personalized a technique in a new way? How so? Were their limitations and new discoveries?

3. Resources and References – Historical and cultural referencing, artists, art movements, databases, and any other form of related influence. How has your research influenced your work, ideas, and decision-making process? What contrasts and contradictions have you discovered about your work and ideas? How has research and exposure during your last few weeks inspired this body of work? Have you made direct and specific connections to an art movement or a series of artists? Explain your discoveries and how you came to those conclusions.

By engaging this assignment from the fresh perspective of writing a manifesto you will open another pathway to generate a new outcome. 

After the list generating exercise, if you wish, you can then convert your list into sentences and paragraphs for the sake of a more traditional formation – but this is up to you.


PS – those Interested in submitting to the F.I.L.E exhibition should express interest this week in class –

12 thoughts on “Manifesto Style to Artist Statement

  1. “There’s nothing more inspiring than the human face. Especially when they inspired the human race.”
    -Dan Christoffel

    Initially I had plans to create an exhibition of all printmaking elements and techniques. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to create that body of work. So I’m wrapping my head around Plan B, one day I walked into the Art office, saw and admired a portrait created by our very own Dan Christoffel. I was in awe of how he was able to capture Lincoln‘s face and show the solemnity of his time. I felt the need to attempt to capture that with portraits of the past and those of our times. I set out to paint to complete the works for this exhibition.

    These portraits represent the forces behind major movements in black activism in the United States. At one point in history or another, these individuals have had the courage to speak out, stand, sit or kneel for their convictions. These acts of courage came with a heavy price for all, still they did and do not falter.

    As you view this exhibit, ask yourself, what courageous contribution will I be known for?

  2. 1. Keep an eye out for the little things You might miss something that will make you smile.
    2. Colors can help us focus.
    3. There is always a human element.
    4. Experiment
    5. Remember you are part of the Earth.
    6. Do not rush. Give your creation time to grow.
    7. Look at other artists’ work often
    8. Try to understand what you are drawn to.
    9. Learn about new materials and new processes.
    10. Take time to think about your viewer and the world at large.
    11. Keep your mistakes. They might lead to inspiration.
    12. Be precise.
    13. Think about the big picture.
    14. Know you have your own vision. Both imaginative and physical.
    15. Keep creating.

  3. -still life, draw from observation
    -arrangement of objects in aesthetically pleasing way
    -black and white, dark darks, light lights
    -still life drawings promotes traditional drawing skills, you’re never too experienced to revisit foundational skills
    -important to know and review in order to create your own body of work.
    -used traditional drawing techniques such as observational skills, creating value, sketching and measurement or proportion skills.
    -materials, charcoal; compressed and vine, erasers, drawing paper.
    -additive and reduction drawing techniques
    – first create mid tones, second use eraser to sketch objects. three add highlights to objects. Four, add shadows to objects. Five, add midtones. Six, reinforce darks and highlights. Seven, add shadows to background and foreground.
    -use prior drawing knowledge
    -use professors teachings
    -Carrivaggio still life paintings

  4. 1. Description – 
    Femininity, the human condition, spirituality, identity
    Politics and political issues both nationally and globally.
    Consumerism referring to materialistic value or possessions.
    Content questioning social values as different global perspectives.
    Social justice by comparing the distribution of advantages to disadvantages within societies globally.

    2. Process, Materials and Methods – 
    Materials- Human body, camera, written English language
    I choose my own body as the subject matter because my meat puppet is the most immediate way in which I know society and society knows me. Any medium other than myself or the human body seems too remote and undirected.
    The content of my art is amplified concerns of general living situations of ordinary people. My process has been photographing pseudo-religious mediations on hugely individual objects. These meditative spiritual awakenings take place in studio or in a predetermined controlled location. I was born a woman and have only perceived the world through the eyes of a woman. From an outsiders perspective my art could be labeled as “feminist”. Though that is not my intention, my identity as a white woman in her late 20’s is definitely reflected in my art. I am a proud feminist but do not wish to be pigeon holed into being a feminist artist.

    3. Resources and References – 
    My favorite artists and movements are ones of which I can relate too. I believe that my generation has very different values and experiences from art created just 50 years ago. This meaning that my big influencers are all contemporary artists and movements. The “anti-high art” movement of the Fluxus Group is an inspiration to me. Artists like Ana Mendietta, Zhang Huan, and Eikoh Hosoe who use their own human bodies are a big inspiration to me. I am interested much more in peering into the mind of an artist or an artwork through an instillation or documentation or an event like art from Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing and Yayoi Kusama than I am looking at a painting. Self expression takes the reigns in my art and conceptually thinking. The intention of my work has never been whether it would “look nice hanging over your couch”.

  5. Art is fun.
    Art is messy.
    Art is technical.
    Charcoal is my medium.
    My strokes speak for themselves.
    “Every single line means something”- Jean-Michel Basquiat
    Currently the works are portraits of animals,
    On a large scale.
    Animals; delicate creatures but life is hard and rough for them too.
    My strokes speak for themselves.
    My movements are swift,
    I dance with my piece.
    The lines come together as one whole in the end.
    I am drawn to hippopotamus’; their curves,
    their demeanor,
    their eyes.
    Animal eyes always intrigued me….
    “Eyes are the window to the soul”
    Eyes tell the story really. Just look at the eyes.
    Bewildered, frightened, curious, happy.
    Kind of like kids.
    You can tell the mood by the Eyes.
    Fine one moment and intense the other.
    Kids remind me of the animals I see.
    and vise versa.
    Jean-Michel Basquiat is an artist I admire most.

    -Jessica Hart

  6. 1) Botanical illustration
    2) I want to try to create flowers and botanical illustrations that are more than what is seen in a textbook.
    3) I want to make works of art that are so accurate that the viewer can identify what kind of plant they are looking at without thinking about it or reading the title.
    4) Capturing the beauty of the natural world.
    5) Humanity is part of nature.
    6) The world is filled with more than just natural elements.
    7) Using realism in my work is important so I can capture and accurately represent the innate beauty of nature.
    8) Water can be reflective of the world surrounding it, even if slightly distorted so too can art be; as it is a lens with which to view the world through a different perspective.
    9) It is important for me to have a strong light source with which to represent shadows and contrasts.
    10) I started creating black and white artwork because I felt that graphite is the best medium for me to accurately portray the essence of any given subject.
    11) Georgia O’Keeffe’s work inspires me to produce a more feminine edge to my work while Chuck Close is another artist that has influenced my work due to his hyper-realistic style. I aspire to have my work measure up to his in terms of vivid depictions of my subjects.
    12) Andrew Wyeth uses his artwork to impose a chilling, but beautiful story upon the viewer. I have attempted to channel that same beauty through my own work by using vivid details and showing how nature can endlessly bounce back from disaster.
    13) I use photography to first capture the soul of any given piece and proceed to give it flesh through whatever media can depict my idea in its most genuine form.
    14) I use my artwork as a way to process the moments that stand out in my life. Depicting both good and bad moments act to remind myself that there is happiness everywhere even the darkest of places.

  7. In Da Hood is the title of a graphic novel that I wrote and illustrated. It contains seven short fictional stories that I like to call ‘episodes.’ Though the stories are fictional, they are also semi-biographical as they explore my childhood experiences. Some of my adulthood experiences are also explored, particularly my interactions with teachers, administrators, friends, associates, family, and the world around me. The stories and artworks are exaggerated for the purpose of entertainment through the use of comedy.
    The four main characters are Cholo, Lil’Tyrone, Tito, and White Boy John. They are adolescent boys around the age of 12. The graphic novel and artworks tell stories of poverty, violence, and dysfunction. Its primary focus is four potty-mouth, young boys on the cusp of manhood having to navigate through life by dealing with dysfunctional parents, crime-ridden neighborhoods, violence, and a failing school system.
    The language used in the graphic novel can be grammatically incorrect. Growing up in the ghettos of Newark, NJ, we spoke in a street lingo. It worked for us at the time. The language used in my ‘In Da Hood’ graphic novel is inspired by this lingo. The lingo is sometimes mixed in with some Spanish words or phrases.
    One of my favorite inspirations for creating ‘In Da Hood’ is Aaron McGruder. McGruder is the creator of the hit tv cartoon series, ‘The Boondocks.” McGruder’s concepts, storylines, and complexity of his characters and the interactions between them make for a clever comedy that entertains. I was immediately drawn to his TV show as it resignated with me on many levels, especially my childhood. I was exceptionally drawn to the grittiness, unfiltered rawness, and grit in which McGruder uses to tell his stories. I wanted to do something similar, so I came up with ‘In Da Hood.’
    The process that goes into creating artworks for ‘In Da Hood’ involve drawing, lots of hand drawing. Once I have an idea of what it is that I want to draw, I begin sketching lightly in a drawing pad. After making several sketches of the idea that I have in my head, I pick one of the sketches, and stick to that one. Everything depends on what is happening in the story: the angle or perspective that I’m trying to accomplish, facial expressions of the characters, composition, and mood. Once all this is figured out, I can finally decide on the overall composition. At this point, I begin to draw digitally onto my artist tablet. I start with a “blueprint sketch.” Then I begin to fine-tune the background details by using “layers” in Photoshop. Depending on what’s happening in the image that I’m drawing, and how many characters appear in the drawing, I begin to focus on drawing each character, again using “layers” in Photoshop. When I am finished with the drawing, I could have approximately 4 to 7 layers of drawings. At this point, I begin the coloring process on each of the layers. Coloring is one of my favorite parts of the art making process. It feels like magic as I’m coloring using the digital paintbrushes that Photoshop has to offer because little by little, the overall whole piece is beginning to come together and make sense at this point. Finally after the coloring is complete, I “flatten” the image. “Flatten” means that all of the layers come together and become one final image. I work using 350 dpi (dots per inches), this way when I print, I have the option of printing small (roughly 10.5” x 11”) or I can print large (roughly 14” x 16”). If I work using less than 350 dpi, I risk not being able to print larger because the image will look distorted.
    Another part of the process that goes into making artworks for ‘In Da Hood’ is acrylic painting on an illustration board. This is the same or similar to acrylic painting on a canvas. Only I like to use an illustration board because the work can appear to be more detailed than if I was to use a canvas. I enjoy paying attention to details when I work. Using an illustration board to draw and paint on makes it much easier for me to do this. I like to use acrylic paints over oils because it dries fast. I enjoy working fast, or getting fast results from my work, so I not only use acrylic paints because it dries fast, but I also like to keep a hairdryer handy to speed up the drying process. Similar to digital painting, I begin by drawing a few sketches on my drawing pad. Then I pick the one sketch that I like best, and use it as a guide to begin drawing on the illustration board. Once the final drawing is complete, I begin painting with acrylics.
    I’ve only created one art piece in marker, and I like the outcome. I look to make more art pieces in the future of ‘In Da Hood’ using marker. Though it is not my preferred medium to work with, it is still fun to do. I’ve also created one 3D piece of ‘In Da Hood.’ I enjoyed it very much, and look to create more. For the 3D piece, I used foam board, acrylic paints, markers, glue, Zacto knives for cutting, and other mixed media for props and other details.

  8. Create art with a purpose.
    I paint the ocean, by using plastic bags to paint pictures of the ocean.
    To create images to remind us why we should care and what we will lose.
    Bringing awareness to the current state of our pollution problem within our oceans.
    71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean.
    Home to plant life, sea creatures & loads of plastic.
    We need the ocean. Most of the world’s oxygen source comes from phytoplankton that live near the ocean’s surface.
    Single-use plastics are harming sea life & soon our own well-being.
    By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
    We are the future.
    We can make a change.
    Refuse the straw.
    Use a glass reusable container.
    Say no to plastic bags.
    Save our planet.
    My art is abstract but the purpose isn’t.

  9. -Recreate Chinese history clothing as anime style looking
    -Focus on the 618-1920s AD. (History Timeline)
    -Create original ancient clothing eventually.
    -Getting knowing all the rules that ancients’ clothing following. ( The rules always change in different dynasty)
    -Start sketching by following the history picture. ( Reference)
    -Brainstorm about anime part. ( Remain the tradition or update to anime.)
    -Focus on the eyes. ( Eye is a key part for anime.)
    -Manga markers (Copic markers)5.99 for each it is a little expensive to get all the colors and it is very hard to mix the color. (getting a new color.)
    -Watercolor, the technique is similar than Chinese traditional watercolor painting.
    -Easily mixing colors
    -Smooth and flexible
    -Drawing software (Already have, no need for other purchase, but need to think about the printing problem.)
    -Adobe Illustrator
    -China had a very long history (clothing) that increase the difficulty to tell the stories. However, art can help.
    -Introducing my culture to others (who has no idea about the Chinese clothing history or has the stereotype.) It is time to update it.
    -More I animated the ancient’s clothing, more inspiration I got to create my own ancient-style clothing.
    -Assimilate the historical knowledge and connect to the world.
    -No more “ For you, you can understand the meaning based on your culture. For me, it is just well-done amazing symbol art.” Everyone has a different culture, I understand the culture difference. But, it cannot be a reason that stops you to introduce, communicate with others in your way.
    -I really love ancient clothing and anime, so I am really excited to combine these two favorite things and share with you.

  10. Art is a language
    Art is crazy and quiet
    Art is life
    Artworks are sometimes rigorous
    Culture and tradition, integration and collision
    My artwork is a carrier
    Is my carrier like a culture
    Is my way of expressing emotions
    Familiar relatives
    Ancient culture
    Modern atmosphere
    Brush waving
    Clay sculpture
    Repeated action
    Different printing
    The power of modern technology
    Modern fashion guide
    The collision and integration of innovative ideas and traditional culture is an artistic concept that I try to try and pursue constantly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s