BFFL (biff-uhl): Best friends for life

Nellie! I could not find you on Monday tell you, so I had a brain blast and decided to message you on my blogster. Thank you so much for being the truest of true (I used your word here bahaha) and the nicest of nice. You are such a genuine person and professor. Thank you for teaching me this semester! I never say good bye to people so see you around!

Love, BFFL Bell

This project was a little frustrating as it went on… I sometimes forgot where I was at and did not feel the same level of concentration and meditation as the day before. Above all things, it the most difficult was feeling inspiration from day-to-day. I felt like I never ever EVER feel when I am doing something I love a.k.a art. Going from my nose to my mouth was wonderful, going from my mouth to my chin was super, going from my chin to my eyes? Well, let’s just say I erased and smudged on more charcoal to the eye area a little more than 11 times.

They were too small in the beginning, then they were too large, the highlights were off, and then my personal favorite, my pupils looked dilated like I had just smoked a joint. Any-who, creating my eyes was one of my biggest challenges during this project. I felt like I was running out of time and that I could never get them right.

This is where acceptance takes its role. I had to accept my eyes- though they did not look like mine in an exact way- they did represent my eyes. During the critique I was super nervous about what people would think about my portrait, but in the end the comments I received were so lovely- thank you! It made me feel so much better about my work when someone said that my portrait carried my spirit with it.

The art process I have learned has always been a personal process for me, so naturally many swirls and twirls of the things I hold dear: memories, laughter, home, friends, cakes, and my grandma have all been the glue of my mind these past few months.

This self portrait assignment was alien to me. I had no idea where to begin and I dislike looking at myself in a mirror which magnifies my flaws before my eyes. However, as the project progressed I slowly began to relax and see not my flaws in the mirror, but rather the delicate measures of my eyes, mouth, and nose that I had never seen before. The technique of erasing color to express highlights on the face and lightness was a bit hard to grasp at first, but once I sat for many hours at a time it became easier and easier.

Tiny animal name: Comfortus
Special powers include the power to heal the heart and bake delicious cookies.Comfortus has a sweet and gentle disposition and is always, always sincere. He literally wears his heart on his sleeve which makes him extremely vulnerable to feeling sadness, but he never minds because he has so much love to share and give. His environment is where ever you are when you need him. His appearance might seem odd, but he has such a warmth and kindness about him that he becomes a dear friend to anyone.

I just love this. Reverting back to the creativity you were once allowed to express as a child is almost therapeutic. Really and truly I had absolutely no idea what mystical animal I was going to make… so instead of planning like I normally do I just let the materials lead me to ideas. My animal was making itself so to speak and it was one of the coolest things to see progress.

The materials used in making my tiny animal were mainly as follows: yarn… lots of yarn, styrofoam, sewing needles, buttons, sewing thread (embroidery), and velvet fabric.

At first they were just materials, but they became so much more as time progress… they formed a character with feelings and a soul. I stitched on a heart because I sensed my tiny animal had a big one. I added the eyes and a tail… and lo and behold Comfortus was created. I think that characteristics of myself were mirrored into my tiny animal… it was unintentional, but they appeared regardless.

As I was working to figure out what enthusiastic and controlled visually look like I used my synonyms as a reference. I thought about the order of controlled and how things that appear ordered on the outside really are brimming with the need to let loose. Then I thought about my enthusiastic friends and how fun and silly they are.

This really enabled me to come up with an outline of what these two antonyms look like on paper and out in the world. I wanted to create images that express controlled as: square, order, and a bit of wanting to be more like his neighbor enthusiastic. I wanted to express enthusiastic as: wild, never ending, fun, and a little bit too loosey goosey… wanting to be a little more reserved like his neighbor controlled. This is how the image turned out.
Later when it was time to find or create an image that appeared in real life I turned to my knitting yarn for enthusiastic and to rows of ink pens for controlled. I think that both of these images portray what I was looking for.

Knitting yarn because: vibrant color, swirly shapes, and the idea people have of knitting yarn in their head (reserved)

Organized Pens: observing my mom gave me this idea- she always has her desk organized to a T and her pens are organized just so. However in my picture I have the pens slightly off-center and not color coordinated… this would drive my mommy UP. THE. WALL.