Caffeine Induced Self Portraits and Ominous Wire Figures
Going through my old sketchbooks is always a lot of fun and brings a lot of nostalgia. Today I thought I’d share the experience and walk you through my third year sketchbook from art school, specifically on two projects from a drawing course.
In a Drawing: Perception, Perspective and Structure course, our second project was about using information to create a speculative drawing. It’s clear I brainstormed quite a bit for this project, considering all possibilities.
I was inspired by Bryan Saunders Self Portrait project where he took a different drug each day and drew himself under the influence. (Fun fact: I ended up meeting him about 3 years later!) For my project, I went through a coffee experiment where each day I increased the number of cups of coffee I drank and painted a self portrait in coffee… for 7 days (I hate coffee now and can’t even stand the smell!)
I used my sketchbook as a daily log where I wrote down how I felt, how the coffee tasted and any differences.
I also experimented with different styles of drawing using coffee.
And brainstormed my moods visually.
The next project was to create a drawing on structure and abstraction. Thinking about the possibilities of drawing in space, I made four 3D wire frame renderings of human figures. I took inspiration from several artists including Marcel Duchamp, Andre Masson, Grego Maiolino and Julie Mehretu.
A lot of brainstorming.
More sketching and brainstorming.
When it came time to present, I hung the four 6-10 feet tall wire figures in the 4’ x 4’ spray booth room and asked each of my classmates to enter the room blindly while listening to an audio recording of a man breathing. It was quite the experience to say the least.
These were successful projects and really shaped my style of artwork. Although I may not force viewers to feel a drawing or put myself under crazy experiments, today I try to involve myself as much as I can into my work and I’m still finding different ways to portray the human figure and evoke emotion from the viewer.